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Help to find the weak spot of a PC, and other issues

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January 20, 2013 2:09:30 PM

Hi, I'm new here but I've been lurking from time to time and this is probably the best place to ask.
I've read the guideline for this kind of posts, but it's a more general question than "need to upgrade this", so I couldn't find a better title.
The point is that i've built this pc more or less a couple of years ago but lately I've started to have some issues (resets during online gaming, a BSOD on Win7, and an overall slowing).

My actual specs:
Quote:
Operating System:
Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
CPU:
AMD Phenom II X6 1100T
Thuban 45nm Technology
RAM:
8,00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 596MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard:
ASUSTeK Computer INC. M4A89GTD-PRO/USB3 (AM3)
Graphics:
M2062D (1600x900@60Hz)
SyncMaster (1680x1050@60Hz)
AMD Radeon HD 6900 Series (ATI)
Hard Drives:
932GB Seagate ST31000528AS ATA Device (SATA)
1863GB Seagate ST2000DM001-9YN164 ATA Device (SATA)
Power Supply:
LC-Power 650W OZEANOS 14cm Modular 80+ [LC8650]

My computer's performance:
Quote:
Processor: 7,5
Memory (RAM): 7,5
Graphics: 7,9
Gaming graphics: 7,9
Primary hard disk: 5,9

Temperatures are under control also when gaming, no overclock at all.
When i turn the PC on, it takes 4+ minutes for it to be fully operative... this is what concerns me more, and lately I've had some slowing while gaming (both on FPS and loading time) and had to reduce a little the overall quality (this appeared to resolve also the sudden resets, but it could be a coincidence).
I usually have two monitor with different resolutions up and the pc resets (just 2 or 3 until now actually) have always been during online gaming (GW2) while having Firefox open and browsing on the second one (it can be extremely heavy sometimes).
I use the computer mostly for gaming (a lot on the indie side, so I don't usually need it to be top notch), web design (Photoshop, etc.) and surfing the internet, but I have a feeling that there's a bottle neck somewhere but have no idea where it could be.
Getting a SSD seems a good upgrade at the moment, on what I've seen it can really speed up everything (I've already optimized startup services and softwares, but getting one of those would lead to a good old format anyway).

My question is if there's something holding the pc back or it's just the overall quality that leads to such long start up times and loadings, and if upgrading could lead to more problems on the sides of resets and so (like power shortage etc).
Hope my english was understandable enough and that I gave you all the information needed, thanks!

More about : find weak spot issues

a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2013 2:34:55 PM

thie slowing could be caused by the memory getting worn down, because you mentioned BSOD which is the error of memory failing

run memtest
http://www.memtest.org/

also could be your hdd
check with
-start menu
-my computer
-right click your computer
-properties
-tools
-error checker, run this it may take a little while but it is worth it.

also if you want to upgrade i would sat crossfire that 6900(what ever one you have) and upgrade to a 3570k/3470k
January 20, 2013 6:19:50 PM

Thanks for your reply! I've just run both error checker and memtest (it took ages, but at least now I know that the HDD and RAMs are healthy) and both showed no bad sectors and no errors.

I did not think about the crossfire, it could be a nice idea since 6900 is cheaper now, but I don't understand what component you're talking about with the 3570k/3470k upgrade.
Related resources
January 20, 2013 6:31:26 PM

lilithlun said:
Thanks for your reply! I've just run both error checker and memtest (it took ages, but at least now I know that the HDD and RAMs are healthy) and both showed no bad sectors and no errors.

I did not think about the crossfire, it could be a nice idea since 6900 is cheaper now, but I don't understand what component you're talking about with the 3570k/3470k upgrade.

Thats the processor. You would need to change the motherboard as well if you choose to do that. If you choose to crossfire, your processor would bottleneck the graphics card. So you should change it either way.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2013 6:32:34 PM

Slow boot times

check your SATA HDD is set to AHCI mode


Then run msconfig
go to the start up tab, and uncheck everything that is not an essential windows service , your firewall , and AV

The rest can be safely turned off so they dont start automatically with windows . They will still load when you decide
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2013 6:44:25 PM

1. Since the slowdown was not there initially, I might suspect some sort of virus or malware first.
Look at your startup programs or installed programs to see if there is anything that should not be there.

2. The 3570K that was mentioned is a quad core Intel cpu. It is a $220 cpu that currently is as good as it gets for gamiing.
Your X6 1100 is no longer considered a very good gaming cpu. Mainly it is because the individual cores are not very fast.
Few games use more than 2-3 cores.

3. Your 6900 is still a very good graphics card.

4. I suspect you have a reasonably well balanced gaming PC.
To help clarify your options, run these tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.

Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

From a failure point of view, particularly with gaming, I might suspect your Power supply.
Over time, a cheap unit will start to fail and not deliver sufficient power, and that is what a strong graphics cards needs most.
Here is a list of psu's tiered by quality. I do not see your unit on the list.
http://www.eggxpert.com/forums/thread/323050.aspx

5. If you will upgrade the cpu, look to a 3570K. With a mild overclock, it will run at 4.3, a 25% improvement.
If you will upgrade your graphics card, look to a 7950 or GTX670 class card. I would not try dual cards so long as a single card will do the job.

6. Regardless, a SSD is one of the most satisfying performance upgrades around. A 120gb SSD will hold the OS and a handful of games. You can find one for <$100. Intel and Samsung are my first choices. A 240gb unit may be $200, and that will hold lots of games.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2013 6:56:16 PM

do you have norton installed or any other antivirus? if so then run a scan like to check for malware etc like geo said and also try disabling the startup check, these programs slow down boot time...

note, have you tried updating bios?(this may not work but it is at least worth the try)
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/308518-30-update-bios

have you also thought about getting a volt tester to see if your computer is still pulling the amount of power that it is suppose to?

and is your ssd(if this has windows on it) or hdd(same) set as first priority when booting?
January 20, 2013 7:11:00 PM

Thanks a lot for all the advices.
I'm pretty sure malware and viruses are not involved, i use Avira as AV and Comodo as FW and periodically run a scan, but a double check with other softwares will not harm.
I already unchecked a lot of things on msconfig and did actually see a faster windows start, I'll try to disable more services!
In the next days I'll run the other tests and tweaks you all suggested, I'll keep you updated, thanks again.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 20, 2013 7:44:32 PM

alright yeah just keep us posted and no problems :D  glad to help!
February 8, 2013 12:28:46 AM

Hi! It's quite some time i did not post but was waiting for my new SSD to be delivered!
I've done some of the tests you guys suggested and like some of you said it resulted as pretty balanced. Now after a fresh installation on the SSD (in AHCI mode) i'm trying to keep everything in order, on it just Windows and some other programs (mostly startup services and softwares) and it goes at the speed of light :D 
Not even crashes etc after the format.

Thanks you all!
!