Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

CPU Usage unstable, jumping up and down

Tags:
Last response: in CPUs
Share
May 28, 2012 6:22:43 PM

Hello.
My specs are:
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ 2.70 GHz, 3GB RAM
ATI Radeon HD 3650
Windows XP Professional 32bit

I'm having major lag issues. I bought this computer from a friend of mine, and for him it has worked great. My friend took the operating system from the PC, so I got Windows XP Pro to this computer. After I downloaded all drivers and everything was setup, I tried launching a game Counter-Strike. To my huge surprise I noticed that I lag a little now and then, when running I would lag every 10 seconds, not FPS drop, but more like a "stop".

So, I checked the task manager, and guess what... PC Performance is jumping from 2%-98% depending on what I'm doing. And yes I have tried to close every process, which actually does lower it to 2% but the moment I load a webpage it will jump to 68-75% again.

Right now, when I'm writing this, I am listening to music on spotify, and the music LAGS so much... it's like the music stops, like if I paused it for a split of a second, and then it continues, it's the same in game.

When I pressure my computer, by doing anything like loading a webpage, opening control pane or My computer, or EVEN just dragging a window, my CPU Usage will increase, which makes me lag.

I have all settings on my graphics card set to performance.
Normally, I would have the following programs running at the same time:
Google Chrome
Spotify
Steam
Counter-Strike
Spotify
Avast
ATI Radeon graphics card program
Steelseries Engine
Creative Headset Program

And my old computer, that had the SAME exact same processors, could handle all of that without any problems what so ever. There are no "unneccecary" programs that take a lot of CPU, since I tried closing them all for example except Spotify, and still it lags.

Screenshots:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/594/normalwhenonly...
= Normal CPU usage when only avast is running, note that it does jump from 0%-4%.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/210/atob.jpg/
= Little test, this is dot A, watch me drag it to B and see what happens with the cpu usage.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/502/b22o.jpg/
= Dot B, see dot A above, as u can see it went from 0% - 22% just by me dragging the window a bit.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/513/openingchromew...
= Opening google chrome without anything other than Avast running, CPU increase from about 8 to 61%
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/689/normal8e.jpg/
= Normal CPU usage when I am running spotify, steelseries, ATI etcetc, note that chrome is minimized.
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/201/openingchromew...
= Opening/Unminimizing chrome window, watch the picture above to understand what I mean, it jumps from 8% - 36%
http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/24/backtonormalg.j...
= Then back to normal after about 5 seconds, however the CPU keeps to jump from 5%-90% depending on what I am doing.


Note that even when the CPU usage is low, the music on spotify lags terribly.. as I said, like if I paused it and then unpaused it, the same goes for games.

And once again, I had this processor before on my old PC, which could handle it great, shouldn't be any issues with the processor. Also, this being a "new" pc, I just installed WINDOWS on it, so it does not have alot of programs yet, so defragging or closing processes wouldn't help.

Appreciate early answers.

I was thinking dust? Or maybe the CPU is getting exhausted? What do you think? As mentioned I have another same processor on another computer, I could try to switch them.

Regards
Apologizes for spelling errors.
a b à CPUs
May 28, 2012 9:05:51 PM

Feel free to try to switch them and see if the same thing happens.

Also, I would like to know more about your cooling and power subsystems.

What case are these parts in? If you don't know, at least say if the PSU is on the top or bottom.
How many fans are there and which direction are they oriented?
What PSU are you using in it?

Also, what anti virus program are you using with this?
May 29, 2012 1:35:10 PM

Raiddinn said:
Feel free to try to switch them and see if the same thing happens.

Also, I would like to know more about your cooling and power subsystems.

What case are these parts in? If you don't know, at least say if the PSU is on the top or bottom.
How many fans are there and which direction are they oriented?
What PSU are you using in it?

Also, what anti virus program are you using with this?


I'm pretty bad with how PC's work when it comes to CPU etc, which is why I don't know what PSU's etc are. Anyhow, I will try to switch them and let you know, and if it didn't work I will tell you everything you asked for.

I am using avast, I was only gonna use it temporary while setting up my PC so I am thinking of uninstalling it but not sure if it has an affect on performance?
Related resources
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2012 2:32:38 PM

Some of these issues could be internet related... streaming music and online games will "stop" if the network is bogged down.

Might want to make sure you have the latest chipset drivers installed from AMD. These aren't generally automatically updated (whenever I build a PC I have to manually update the Intel chipset drivers)
a b à CPUs
May 29, 2012 7:39:01 PM

The PSU is the power supply, the thing the cord plugs into in the back of the computer.

Is that cord plugged in near the top of the computer or near the bottom?

Also, anti virus programs do have an effect on performance. How much depends on which one that you use.

I would suggest going on microsoft's website and downloading Microsoft Security Essentials and uninstalling Avast. If nothing else it might clear up the problem if it is related to anti virus operations and it would get you on an anti-virus program I have a lot more experience with.

I would not uninstall the anti-virus after you are done setting up the PC. Ideally, one should be active at all times, just in case you need the protection.
May 30, 2012 2:48:16 PM

wolfram23 said:
Some of these issues could be internet related... streaming music and online games will "stop" if the network is bogged down.

Might want to make sure you have the latest chipset drivers installed from AMD. These aren't generally automatically updated (whenever I build a PC I have to manually update the Intel chipset drivers)


Hello! It's definiately not internet related, if you watch the screenshots I posted you will see what I mean, internet does not affect CPU usage what I know of unless you actually are on internet. I do have the latest drivers aswell, thank you for the response though!

Regards

Raiddinn said:
The PSU is the power supply, the thing the cord plugs into in the back of the computer.

Is that cord plugged in near the top of the computer or near the bottom?

Also, anti virus programs do have an effect on performance. How much depends on which one that you use.

I would suggest going on microsoft's website and downloading Microsoft Security Essentials and uninstalling Avast. If nothing else it might clear up the problem if it is related to anti virus operations and it would get you on an anti-virus program I have a lot more experience with.

I would not uninstall the anti-virus after you are done setting up the PC. Ideally, one should be active at all times, just in case you need the protection.


I don't think it's the antivirus to be honest. I have tried to have the pc ON with nothing running, and tried with not running the antivirus aswell, and still the CPU usage will increase and jump high with something as little as moving a window fast from one side of the screen to the other.

I am now pretty sure it's not a driver or software problem, so I will try to replace the CPU as fast as possible since I do have a spare one, I will let you guys know how it goes!

Regards

Thank you for the early responses!

May 30, 2012 7:10:42 PM

Raiddinn said:
The PSU is the power supply, the thing the cord plugs into in the back of the computer.

Is that cord plugged in near the top of the computer or near the bottom?

Also, anti virus programs do have an effect on performance. How much depends on which one that you use.

I would suggest going on microsoft's website and downloading Microsoft Security Essentials and uninstalling Avast. If nothing else it might clear up the problem if it is related to anti virus operations and it would get you on an anti-virus program I have a lot more experience with.

I would not uninstall the anti-virus after you are done setting up the PC. Ideally, one should be active at all times, just in case you need the protection.


The PSU seems to be near the top of the computer. Uninstalled Avast and I will just avoid going on sites I don't know for now since I have no antivir, anyway that didn't help it either..

Also I tried replacing the CPU's but to my surprise the old CPU I have which is the exact same, has 4 wires plug, this PC requires only 3, so I tried to just drag off the CPU attached to the fan on my old CPU, and stick it on the fan of the PC, and that didn't even give a signal to the monitor so I'm guessing it didn't work...

Really have no idea what it is.. 3GB Ram AMD Athlon Dual-core 5200+ processors, my old pc which was the exact same but with 1.5 GB RAM could handle all this *** but this one can't...

Really frustrated because it seems like I cannot get it to work...
Help please...
a b à CPUs
May 30, 2012 8:56:50 PM

I am lost in regards to your last post. You said CPU at least 4 different times in the second paragraph and I think at least one of those times you meant something else.

Anyway, the thing it sounds like you mean is the CPU Fan power cable. These are usually 4 pin female connectors and some motherboards have 4 pin male connectors, but some of them have only 3 pin male connectors.

The extra pin is almost always there (4), because that allows control of the CPU fan's rotational speed so it doesn't have to be at max all the time even if you are surfing the internet.

Anyway, if the current computer has only 3 pin male connectors on it, then you can just put the 4 pin connector on it and leave one female end port hanging off in space and it should work. Your CPU manual should probably tell you which one to leave hanging off in space or you can just try both ways.

The computer probably won't boot if the CPU fan is not connected to anything, because the computer needs that in order to prevent the CPU from melting which is kinda important. That may have been what you were experiencing.

Anyway, I would install the Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus that I said.

Do you have a firewall installed on the computer? I seem to remember that XP had a firewall in it, but I don't remember if it was enabled by default. Computers connected to the internet without both a firewall and an anti-virus can be compromised by malicious individuals in a matter of minutes. Having both slows them down tremendously.

If you ended up with a virus somehow in the short time since you installed the OS, that could explain behavioral problems with it. Some anti-viruses miss certain things that others catch, which is why I suggest you try a different one, not just remove the first one.
May 30, 2012 9:32:54 PM

Raiddinn said:
I am lost in regards to your last post. You said CPU at least 4 different times in the second paragraph and I think at least one of those times you meant something else.

Anyway, the thing it sounds like you mean is the CPU Fan power cable. These are usually 4 pin female connectors and some motherboards have 4 pin male connectors, but some of them have only 3 pin male connectors.

The extra pin is almost always there (4), because that allows control of the CPU fan's rotational speed so it doesn't have to be at max all the time even if you are surfing the internet.

Anyway, if the current computer has only 3 pin male connectors on it, then you can just put the 4 pin connector on it and leave one female end port hanging off in space and it should work. Your CPU manual should probably tell you which one to leave hanging off in space or you can just try both ways.

The computer probably won't boot if the CPU fan is not connected to anything, because the computer needs that in order to prevent the CPU from melting which is kinda important. That may have been what you were experiencing.

Anyway, I would install the Microsoft Security Essentials anti-virus that I said.

Do you have a firewall installed on the computer? I seem to remember that XP had a firewall in it, but I don't remember if it was enabled by default. Computers connected to the internet without both a firewall and an anti-virus can be compromised by malicious individuals in a matter of minutes. Having both slows them down tremendously.

If you ended up with a virus somehow in the short time since you installed the OS, that could explain behavioral problems with it. Some anti-viruses miss certain things that others catch, which is why I suggest you try a different one, not just remove the first one.


Once again thank you for early reply.

Compilation of what I meant with my latest post: I switched the CPU's of the 2 fans, I basically took off the CPU (card) from the old FAN that I had on my old PC, and attached it on the fan of my NEW PC, thus checking if the cpu would work. Did not know about that u can connect the fan with 4 pins, which is why I went through the trouble to replace the CPU on the fan with 3 pins.

And firewall is enabled by default yes, but almost every antivirus has its own firewall which automatically disables the windows firewall. Antiviruses shouldn't be a problem.

And it is extremely unlikely that I have a virus since the harddrive is new and I barely downloaded anything nor been on internet alot.

Will connect the fan with the old cpu (the one with 4 pins) tomorrow! I will let you know if I have anymore problems, thank you very much!
May 31, 2012 2:06:53 PM

... Seems like the extra CPU didn't fit after all, although having the same track and they looked identical...

I am now back at # 1. Same problem, nothing fixed...
a b à CPUs
May 31, 2012 2:25:24 PM

FYI,

CPU:


Heat Sink with Fan:


It's confusing when you are using the wrong names for things. For example you don't replace a CPU on a fan... the CPU is attached to the motherboard, in a socket. There is a clip so that it can't come out freely. You can swap CPUs, though. You can also swap heat sinks and/or fans - but besides temperatures, the heat sinks are irrelevant to whether you CPU will work.
May 31, 2012 2:35:45 PM

wolfram23 said:
FYI,

CPU:
http://images.bit-tech.net/content_images/2010/07/how-many-cpu-cores-do-games-need/cpus.jpg

Heat Sink with Fan:
http://coolingtower-design.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/heatsink1.jpg

It's confusing when you are using the wrong names for things. For example you don't replace a CPU on a fan... the CPU is attached to the motherboard, in a socket. There is a clip so that it can't come out freely. You can swap CPUs, though. You can also swap heat sinks and/or fans - but besides temperatures, the heat sinks are irrelevant to whether you CPU will work.


I tried to make it as specific I could by saying "CPU Card" etc.

I tried switching the whole FAN with the CPU ON IT, but it didn't fit, so I decided to remove the CPU from the FAN and replace it on the other FAN and take off the OLD CPU that I'm having troubles with.

Afaik the CPU is easy to remove and only attached with some sort of blue connection material, like some sort of sticky blueish "glue" which is easy to drag the CPU off and on.

So to make myself clear:

I switched the CPU CARDS (The one u had on the pic, that link was broken on but still) and I did NOT switch the FAN, I tried to but the ORIGINAL intended FAN of the EXTRA CPU Didn't FIT in the small SPACE of where it's connected.

There, some caps so that I can make myself understood easier.

= The extra CPU I tried, did not work, because it didn't fit into the tracks of the motherboard white connector thing that the CPU is connected on top of. Which means I am back to where I started with no solution yet.

Regards
a b à CPUs
May 31, 2012 3:40:08 PM

Repeated in his language.

Ghost Powa disconnected the heat sink and fan from the motherboard and removed it from the case. The processor remained attached to it.

He separated the processor from the heat sink and did the same with his other processor and heat sink he had laying around.

As an aside, the "glue" is thermal paste. It allows conducts heat and allows the processor to move heat to the heat sink (the metal fins) even though the two things aren't touching each other. You can just call it paste if you want and people will know what you mean.

Then Ghost Powa switched heat sinks between the two processors to try and use the spare heat sink with the current processor. When he did this it didn't fit the board. It sounds like the two heat sinks are designed differently and not interchangeable.

The spare CPU also doesn't work in the current motherboard, because it is designed for a different socket.

As for moving this thing forward, it is possible you can physically detach the fan from the heat sink (the metal fins). If so, that would allow you to switch fans without switching the metal part to something that won't fit.

However, I want to point out that we might be chasing a ghost here, because the heat of the processor could very easily slow things down in a general sense, but it is unlikely that it would cause the processor to bounce around wildly in usage %s.

You might be better off just trying to uninstall some programs and seeing if the symptoms go away. My best guess is that it is more software related than hardware related.
May 31, 2012 4:08:12 PM

Raiddinn said:
Repeated in his language.

Ghost Powa disconnected the heat sink and fan from the motherboard and removed it from the case. The processor remained attached to it.

He separated the processor from the heat sink and did the same with his other processor and heat sink he had laying around.

As an aside, the "glue" is thermal paste. It allows conducts heat and allows the processor to move heat to the heat sink (the metal fins) even though the two things aren't touching each other. You can just call it paste if you want and people will know what you mean.

Then Ghost Powa switched heat sinks between the two processors to try and use the spare heat sink with the current processor. When he did this it didn't fit the board. It sounds like the two heat sinks are designed differently and not interchangeable.

The spare CPU also doesn't work in the current motherboard, because it is designed for a different socket.

As for moving this thing forward, it is possible you can physically detach the fan from the heat sink (the metal fins). If so, that would allow you to switch fans without switching the metal part to something that won't fit.

However, I want to point out that we might be chasing a ghost here, because the heat of the processor could very easily slow things down in a general sense, but it is unlikely that it would cause the processor to bounce around wildly in usage %s.

You might be better off just trying to uninstall some programs and seeing if the symptoms go away. My best guess is that it is more software related than hardware related.


I mentioned earlier that this is a PC with a new harddrive, therefore I barely have any software or programs except for drivers and chrome etc. I barely used 3% of the harddrive's space so far.

Also I should add that my pc is a : Acer Aspire M5201
Which is made for windows 7 and vista only I believe.

I am not a big fan of win7 and vista, and my friend who sold the PC to me, used the OS to his new PC, so this PC had no OS which is why I decided to install Windows XP Professional. I then noticed by going on acer's website that the PC I had installed XP to had no XP drivers, so I installed the drivers manually instead of from those who made the PC. Everything worked pretty fine but the CPU was having this issue. I also checked that the CPU drivers were installed.

I was thinking it might help to update BIOS or download the motherboard driver (which I'm not sure I have...)

Or the alternative that I don't like is to simply uninstall XP and install Windows 7 that this model is intended for...
a b à CPUs
May 31, 2012 6:52:42 PM

I understand that it is a new PC, but I am pretty sure you have at least this stuff installed:

Google Chrome
Spotify
Steam
Counter-Strike
Spotify
Avast
ATI Radeon graphics card program
Steelseries Engine
Creative Headset Program

any one of which could be the problem child. It could just be some setting somewhere in one of the programs, but the easiest way to narrow down which one is to uninstall stuff and see when the problem goes away.

You shouldn't need to worry about a CPU driver or a motherboard driver. The only drivers you should need to worry about are those related to graphics, sound, and networking for the most part. That and the BIOS.

You could try updating those drivers if something for XP is available for them.

Anything that works in Windows 7 32 bit should work in XP 32 bit and anything that works in Windows 7 64 bit should work in XP 64 bit. If you can only find Windows 7 drivers for stuff and they are the same bit as your XP, they should still work.
June 1, 2012 12:05:02 PM

Raiddinn said:
I understand that it is a new PC, but I am pretty sure you have at least this stuff installed:

Google Chrome
Spotify
Steam
Counter-Strike
Spotify
Avast
ATI Radeon graphics card program
Steelseries Engine
Creative Headset Program

any one of which could be the problem child. It could just be some setting somewhere in one of the programs, but the easiest way to narrow down which one is to uninstall stuff and see when the problem goes away.

You shouldn't need to worry about a CPU driver or a motherboard driver. The only drivers you should need to worry about are those related to graphics, sound, and networking for the most part. That and the BIOS.

You could try updating those drivers if something for XP is available for them.

Anything that works in Windows 7 32 bit should work in XP 32 bit and anything that works in Windows 7 64 bit should work in XP 64 bit. If you can only find Windows 7 drivers for stuff and they are the same bit as your XP, they should still work.


Thank you and I had already uninstalled almost all of those programs, even when I had nothing except windows and some drivers this problem occured.

I might try to update BIOS or just replace the CPU completely, because it seems no one is able to help me..
a b à CPUs
June 1, 2012 2:33:30 PM

Well I've heard of it happening before, but a CPU is not supposed to come out with the heat sink. Therefore the CPU socket on the motherboard may be damaged.
a b à CPUs
June 1, 2012 2:43:06 PM

Maybe before you replace the CPU, you might want to try blowing away Windows and reinstalling it completely from scratch.

Then test the heck out of it before you do anything else.

If the problem exists like that then the problem is probably the hardware. If it goes away then the problem may have been a bad Windows install or something related to the software.

From there you could install a program, test the heck out of it, install another program, test the heck out of it, and so on. If the problem resumes you would know exactly which software caused the problems.

I haven't looked at your available processor options, but if there is a quad core processor that fits the motherboard and the problem is processor related purely due to its being a dual core, then that would probably fix it right up.

However, I do want to point out that a processor that is working usually doesn't quit working. If you bought the computer from a friend that used it without problems then it is unlikely the processor started misbehaving.

It would be more likely that a motherboard or video card or something wear out through usage than to have a processor wear out through usage. Especially so if it never left the socket.

- Edit - Never left the socket before the problem started, I mean. In case it is unclear.
!