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CPU problem- need advice to find remedy

Last response: in Systems
February 26, 2012 1:15:47 PM

I have been having computer problems for a week or 10 days. I have been lurking on the assumption I will need a new build or upgrade. I will post my plans separately but I am curious to get your opinion about my specific issue. The computer turned into a slug. This build is about 5 years old. It is an Intel MB with a Core Duo E6400 at 2.13mhz and 4x1meg ram. I ran Memtest86+ and no problems reported. I tried all kinds of uninstall and reinstall software. Lightroom is virtually unusable and opening pages in Firefox can take minutes. CPU usage routinely runs from 50 to 100%. I used to have a Windows experience index of 5.9. I decided to wipe the boot drive and do a clean install of Win 7. I figured a clean install would help me isolate whether a hardware or software issue. I use a EGA 560 ti GPU. Once Win 7 was installed, I installed the Nvidia drivers and Firefox. No other programs. The Win experience index came back at 2.1. Everything had decent to very good scores (GPU) except the processor. I turned off Aero. Score rose to 2.9. It has now gone from slug to turtle status. BTW my case and PSU are Antec tower and Antec 550W but they are 9 years old. Any thoughts on why the CPU degrade?

Thanks for helping,

February 26, 2012 1:56:28 PM

Not to be a smart @$$ but you said "4x1 megabyte ram" there could be your problem, and a 2.13 megahertz cpu. That sounds like a computer from 1990's lol
February 26, 2012 2:12:36 PM

I hear what you are saying computer_w. I was hoping to get it back to the previous state and give it to the 8 year old grandson. He'll get a kick about it with his buds in 5 or 6 more years
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February 26, 2012 3:42:20 PM

I disagree with computer_Wiz the specifications for you machine are quite good, your grandson should consider himself lucky to get a machine of this specification.
However something is clearly wrong with the computer as with a clean install it should fly. The number one suspect should be the hard drive, and you should download and run from the manufacturer of your hard drive web site their diagnostic software.
CPU's do not degrade in speed, they either work or not or become unreliable, they do not slow down (unless under clocked)
February 26, 2012 4:20:57 PM

Thanks pjmelect. I had not thought of that
regards, Pat
February 26, 2012 6:41:46 PM

Ran Seagate diagnostics and no issues reported. One drive req firmware update. Completed the update and rebooted. Ran Win Experience Index proc score rose from 2.9 to 3.4 Tried Firefox page took 10 sec to load at 50% cpu usage. Took over 30 sec to drop Cpu to 0%. Any other suggestions?
February 26, 2012 10:13:32 PM

Have you tried to reset the CMOS memory and then set the BIOS to optimal settings?
February 26, 2012 11:15:25 PM

Not yet. I'll give it a try. thanks for the help
February 26, 2012 11:37:28 PM

MAYBE could be the PSU.. You said that its pretty old(9 years), sometimes with the use over time the PSU degrade their eficiency, thats means maybe that your system is not getting enough power... Also since you have an EVGA 560 which consume a good amount of power. I can say that getting a fresh instal and trying with a new PSU would remedy the problem, if that doesnt work... Well at least you'll have a new PSU for your new system or actually give an extended life for the current parts...
February 27, 2012 12:11:40 AM

I have been thinking about that myself. I have an electrical engineer friend who might have some testing gear, until I get a new PSU. Thanks for the idea