CPU Spikes when idle, causing audio and visual distortion. Please help


I've been having this trouble for a couple of weeks, and I've seen you guys help people with similar problems but nothing I've done seems to have helped.
I'm completely brand new to this forum so I'm sorry if I'm not doing this in the right format but basically every so often I get this weird audio distortion and visual lagg lasting around 2-3 seconds. It's a real annoyance, as it happens even when I put a movie on from a DVD, even when I take the audio plug out theres still a visual lagg and even when doing literally nothing but having itunes up it can happen.

I took a couple of screenshots of the CPU spikes in the 'Resource Monitor', thing;
(Hopefully that's the right thing!)

My computer is literally a month old, I did a clean install of windows 7 32 bit because I thought it was because I had it on 64 bit I was getting these lagspikes.

I've updated all the drivers, updated my mobo through the asus site, reinstalled my OS, checked I didn't have too much/too little thermal paste on the CPU, and eventually added a new fan (even though everything insisted that it was cool enough).

My specifications are;
AMD FX-6100 Bulldozer @ 3.3 GHZ (havn't overclocked, or touched anything)
1TB of SATA II Seagate 3gb/s
Gtx 560 ti
8 GB of 1600 MHz ram
BenQ 27'' Screen

Please, if anyone could help me it would be much appreciated.
Thanks alot,
10 answers Last reply
More about spikes idle causing audio visual distortion help
  1. First, reinstall the 64-bit version of Windows (if it's not already on there again). Then, can you identify what application is using the CPU at the time of the spike? Just look in resource monitor and try to get a screenshot of the processes list during the spike (maximize the resource monitor window). I have a feeling it will be either system or DPC/interrupt stuff. You can also open task manager and check the "show kernel times" option in the menu and see if the red line spikes during the stuttering.
  2. Well to get use of your 8 GB ram you should install 64 bit again. Does it do that with a

    complete clean install of windows ? ( no games)
  3. Thank you for such speedy responses.

    I'll re install 64 bit tomorrow, I just heard that it limits 32 bit applications to 2 GB of RAM, and since most of my programs are 32 bit (sony vegas, and photoshop which I need to my courses) I thought the extra RAM would be helpful, and also I thought that the lag was something to do with the fact it was on 64 bit was I totally wrong?

    I got a screenshot of the kernal thing, if that helps ? The processes were all back to normal by the time I got to them, I'll wait for another spike for that I guess.


    Also, not really sure if this is helpful or not, but I recorded the sound on my phone, sorry for the terrible, terrible quality.
  4. Wow, something really wonky is going on. It definitely is some driver causing this issue. Network drivers tend to be big culprits for this. Make sure your network card drivers are up to date (check the manufacturer's website). That RAM spike is odd even for this situation. Can you post a list of everything you installed after Windows? Drivers, programs, everything.
  5. Okey dokes,

    I installed Windows 7, put the Asus CD in which installed the VIA audio deck and other essential drivers, I then went to the asus site for my mobo and downloaded the hitachi installer (I think it's called) and installed the relevent bios, LAN, audio, VGA and chipset updates.


    I then went on to install Mcafee, and went through windows update which I updated fully. Itunes, Photoshop Sony Vegas office 2010.

    I installed 5 or 6 games, Tropico 4, Dawn of War: Dark Crusade, Modern Warfare 3, The Witcher 2 and Mass Effect 3. Installed bittorrent for the Woman in Black, which was the first thing I've torrented (aside from a Mass Effect 3 DLC thing like two days ago).

    That's pretty much everything I've downloaded. I spiked about 3 times writing that aswell. ):.

  6. OK so let's start eliminating things. Try installing Windows 7 without anything else. See if you can trigger the spike without anything but Windows 7 installed. Then install the drivers from the Asus CD. Use the computer a bit (do some web browsing or something) and see if you can get the spike. If you don't get the spikes, install of the Windows updates and your games (don't install McAfee yet). Then check yet again if you get the spike, if not it's probably McAfee's fault (wouldn't surprise me knowing what crazy stuff AV programs have to do). You can confirm by installing McAfee and seeing if you get the spike. If the Asus drivers cause the spike, then it's going to be a bit complicated to sort out which driver is at fault. If you get it with Windows 7 only, it's likely a hardware issue.
  7. Okay,

    I'll give it a try tomorrow and get back to you.

    Thanks for your help and for your speedy responses everyone :),
  8. Heyy,

    I installed 64 bit this time, and the RAM usage is much better, not going mental any more, the CPU (especially the red line) is spiking alot still? Still audio and visual distortion. Just updated windows and asus products in hope it'll sort out.

    What else should I do ?
  9. I don't know if you ever fixed this or not, but I was having the same problem on my computer to. I read on another thread here that Mcafee antivirus caused alot of these problems due to it's high memory use. I got rid of Mcafee, and installed MSE, and no more cpu spikes, or sound jitters. I saw on your screenshots that you have Mcafee. Try that, it worked for me.
  10. I have the same exact problem dude! I think it is related to faulty CPU, I have tested every other single bit of hardware in my machine. I have also tried several operating systems, 32 and 64 bit Windows Vista and 7, I have also used a few Linux OS's as well. Same problem exists, my PC is about 4 years old and cost me a fair bit of money to build it! I am going to use a new CPU tomorrow so if I figure out the problem is the CPU then I will let you know man.

    Best of luck!
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