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Built new computer - Very sluggish/stuttering

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August 16, 2012 10:12:13 AM

Not sure if this is the right place for this question, so sorry if it's wrong.

I've just built a new computer and I've run in to some problems.

Straight away it felt a little sluggish and I was just underwhelmed in general with how it was performing. Then out of the blue it started stuttering and I haven't noticed a connection between what it's doing and when it's stuttering.
It will be fine when it's first turned on but then after a few minutes it will just slow down to a crawl and then it's pretty much impossible to do anything with it.

CPU and memory usage are normal when it's happening (CPU <10%, RAM ~1GB).
I've checked temperatures and they seem to be fine, but just for peace of mind I reseated the heatsink anyway.
I've checked to make sure all the cables are attached properly.
I've reformatted and reinstalled Windows but I'm still getting the same results.
Drivers for the chipset, GPU etc are all up to date.

Any ideas for what else I could try would be greatly appreciated.

The PC specs are as follows:

Gigabyte Z68AP-D3
Intel i3 2120
MSi HD Radeon 6770 1GB
Kingston HyperX Blu @1600Mhz 2x2GB
Seagate Barracuda 500GB HDD
Coolermaster GX Lite 500W PSU
a b B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2012 12:07:52 PM

Before I begin my incompatibility rant (below), there is one thing you can try. Go into BIOS and manually set your ram timings, speed and voltage but there is a small issue with doing that, setting your ram voltage to 1.65V does void your warranty on the Intel processor (if Intel finds out). Intel recommends a maximum voltage of 1.5V for memory. If setting the numbers manually does not help, (now my rant)...
I'm going to venture here that your issues are caused by memory incompatibility. I could not find that ram on the mobo's QVL, the Kingston 1600 ram that is listed are of a different ilk (the numbers aren't close enough for me to say they should work). But, to your advantage here, Kingston does have a "lifetime warranty", you might contact them about exchange. In the case of the ram you have, some of it's abilities are brought out by "a high end Intel CPU" (from Kingston's FAQ's) implying i5 or i7.
Personally, I would begin a dialogue with Kingston for a possible product replacement (swap) and also to see if they have ideas to make it work (they may have underclocking numbers that will work).
August 16, 2012 12:37:42 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I actually went in to the BIOS and manually set the RAM speed to 1600Mhz as by default it was at 1333Mhz.
Since then I've reset it to the defaults.
I haven't noticed the stuttering yet but the system isn't exactly flying either.

But you're saying it could be incompatible?
I'll try swapping it out for the Corsair Vengeance sticks I have in my current computer.

Thanks.
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August 16, 2012 2:02:01 PM

Quick bump.

I've replaced the RAM and it's still the same.
I haven't got the stuttering but it's just extremely slow.

It can take Firefox about 60 seconds to open, and then the keyboard input is severely delayed one it has.
It's the same with Chrome.

It's not just on the first time I open the application either. Once it has finally opened I can close it and open it again and it still takes forever.

I also get a sort of ghosting effect when moving windows around. Either that or the program just stops responding.

Any help would be appreciated right now, else I'm just going to go mental and start hitting it.

August 16, 2012 2:23:00 PM

You should take a look at the services that are running... open up MSCONFIG (run>msconfig) to do that.

I have a feeling you have something abusing your hard disk, and since you aren't swimming in RAM, you may be experiencing a system runing on its page file.
August 16, 2012 2:56:16 PM

I checked that and I don't remember seeing anything irregular.

I've gutted my PC now and I'm going to switch the MoBo/CPU between the new system and my old one.
August 16, 2012 3:59:43 PM

Okay, so I've changed the motherboard and processor and it's still the exact same.
The processor is an AMD Phenom II x4 955.

I've opened up MSCONFIG and checked the services running but I'm not sure what I'm looking for.

I've got a big list of services running but I'm not sure what's normal and what's not.
August 16, 2012 5:24:22 PM

Another update.

I've pretty much swapped out every bit of hardware now and the only thing that's been the same throughout all my testing is the hard drive.

Is it possible that the HDD was just faulty straight from the shop?
a b B Homebuilt system
August 16, 2012 9:41:38 PM

Considering what you have checked and changed, I guess you should ignore my ram rant. Could very well be the HDD, I've seen a few DOA's over the years (yet none that showed those symptoms - they've been literally DOA). But that is perhaps indicative of a faulty cache.
I would not say for sure that is the issue though, as has been pointed out, a corrupted driver could cause the same symptoms. A driver sweeping program may help here. The problem with simply replacing the HDD is you will not know if it is a corrupted driver (which may rear it's head again) or the drive itself.
A rather involved way of discovering if it is caused by a driver is to boot into safe mode and start manually loading hardware with Device Manager, looking for changes in response as hardware is added. Once you get into the lag/stuttering issues again, start back into safe mode and load the last bit of hardware (before issues began) first - see if the issue comes up right away, if it does, you've isolated a driver issue (or a little less likely, a hardware issue - hopefully hardware issues would show in device manager plus you've swapped all that out).
August 17, 2012 3:59:26 AM

you are using the same HDD on two test beds (Intel and AMD)...multiple OS installs?
August 19, 2012 5:54:54 PM

Sorry for the delay but the system now seems to be working okay aside from one small detail.

The stuttering and severe slowing down seems to have stopped, but there is still a slight ghosting effect and very small amount of lag when doing simple things such as resizing Windows Explorer or a browser.

However, I tried running Minecraft to see how it would handle it and it all worked fine.
But I noticed that while the program or any other program for that matter was running in the background, the tasks that were being slightly slow before were now silky smooth.

Is this normal? Could this be some sort of power saving utility causing the slow down?

!