HD 6950 - Idle problems

So after a recent reformat I was reinstalling all my drivers, games, applications. The usual. After a day or so of use I started to notice that whenever my PC was left idle for more than say, two to three minutes, it would start to lag very heavily. My graphics card ramps up like its gone into high-performance mode (fan speed shoots up, as does activity). Yet, when I return and start actually doing things that would be GPU intensive (playing MW3, Mass effect 3, skyrim..) it actually returns to normal.


I walk away for 5 minutes with PC left at desktop, it begins to lag. I return, begin to move my mouse around and attempt to click things and it lags very heavily for around 3-10 seconds then it snaps back running perfectly smooth.

I have checked all of my power profiles, nothing (appears) to be set to idle, hibernate, or sleep when left unattended. My biggest question is, where should I check? I'm a big do-it-yourself kind of guy, making this post in the first place kind of goes against my own rules but I'm stumped and have spent several days coming back to my computer lagging while idling.

Another good example is when I play any kind of game. I can walk away or simply not do anything for a minute or two and it begins to lag while the game is open, yet, when I actually start to move around and do things that you would think would only cause it to lag more it actually snaps out of it and begins running like normal.

I'm really trying to determine whether or not this is being caused by a setting on my graphics card (as it seems to be the one that begins to over-work itself when my PC is idle) as the fan speed will increase to almost 50-60 percent and I'll reach temperatures almost 10 degrees celsius higher when IDLING or if it isn't something going on with my CPU.

Any suggestions?
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More about 6950 idle problems
  1. what are your gpu tempters?
  2. When I'm actually gaming? Around 55c when playing something like Skyrim, but only around 45-50 when playing older games such as kotor. When I'm idling though it'll jump up as high as 63c sometimes.

    I actually first noticed this happening because I was watching T.V. with my girlfriend (Our couch is about six feet from my PC) and she commented on how 'loud' it was. Which is nothing unusual given my system case, but it was a considerable amount louder than that. Like my GPU was being overworked, and yet when I come over and actually begin actively using my PC I'll hear it wind down and return to normal.
  3. What OS do you have ? Windows ? You may consider turning off the indexing service. When your computer gets idle, indexing service pops in and consumes cpu cycles.
  4. I'm running windows 7, I'll give it a shot but I'm skeptical only because I've always used windows 7 and never seemed to experience this problem. I'm thinking it may have something to do with my drivers, though I'm not sure everything seems to be installed without conflict. I have inspected the inside of casing and removed any dust that may have been clogging up the GPU or CPU fans but have noticed no difference.

    Here's my current set-up:

    Asus Sabertooth 990fx
    AMD HD 2GB 6950 [Stock, NOT overclocked]
    2x4gb G.Skill Sniper RAM
    3.1ghz 8 core Zambezi CPU
    Seagate 500gb HD

    It really only seems to be when the system goes idle for more than a minute or two, and it only lasts for about 3-10 second after I return. It's not that it's devastating or anything but it shouldn't be happening, the system should not even be going into an idle state.
  5. Open Task Manager, Processes tab and leave it that way. When your computer does the lagging, see what process is consuming the most CPU usage ?

    Also leave CCC Overdrive section open to see if GPU usage ramps upafter being idle.
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