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iBuyPower laptop is running "jumpy" under minimal workload!

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Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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June 25, 2008 8:18:32 PM

Hey everyone. I read these forums a lot but this is my first post. Thanks in advance for reading and I will try and be as descriptive as possible!

Two years ago I purchased the following system from ibuypower.com:
- AMD TurionT64 MT-40 CPU [2.2GHz, 1MB Cache]
- 2048MB [1024MB X2] RAM
- Mobility 256MB ATI Radeon X1600 PCI-E

This laptop has done very well for me overall. But I'm having the following issue now...

My laptop tends to run very hot to the touch, though it always has. The chip temperature generally runs at 65 degrees when the computer is handling a normal workload. When running a 3D game, the general processor temperature tends to be around 85 degrees. I checked the technical specifications on the chip and it says that it can run safely up til 95 degrees. However, sometimes while I am playing games the computer will get so hot that it will instantly shut itself off, something I know the computer will do if it gets so hot that the chip may become damaged. This doesnt seem right, or safe for the hardware. I think that the fan is working correctly - I opened the machine and its definitely spinning... I also have my computer up on an x-pad (www.xpad4laptop.com) to increase airflow.

The main issue is, my computer lately is often very "jumpy." I will experience a half-second of lag roughly every 30 seconds, which is incredibly annoying. I've been watching the processor usage, and at least 50% of the CPU is still free during these moments. This happens even just typing in firefox... a couple of letters wont appear then they'll all type very quickly when the lag passes. Its happening as I type this sentence! I see no reason why the computer should be constantly hiccuping like this under minimal workloads. I wonder if possibly the hardware has become damaged from too much heat?

The other issue is that I experience a similar effect when running 3D games. I will experience sudden drops in frame rate that last for 5-10 seconds at a time before the computer rights itself. I have no idea if this would be a processor or video card issue. However, its insanely annoying and should not be happening. It happens even on old games like Warcraft III, which this computer should be running with total ease, and which it DOES run with ease when its not having those hiccups.

In summary, I am wondering if someone thinks there has been damage to either the processor or video card, and if the fan is working correctly? Has anyone seen these symptoms before? I would really like to find out what is causing the computer to run so poorly, as I see no reason this machine shouldnt be running totally fine. Is there a known powerful laptop fan I could install to possibly help?

As a final note, I recently reformatted the machine, so everything is fairly fresh. I have all of the absolute latest drivers for all of the hardware, including the latest AMD processor driver. My windows XP is fully patched. I have no viruses (McAfee scan) or spyware that would be causing this kind of slowdown. This computer used to run very smoothly, and I would like to find out why it no longer does. I feel as though I've exhausted all of the software options, which is why I'm worried it may be a hardware issue, which is beyond my ability to fix.

Thanks,
Gerard
June 25, 2008 8:37:54 PM

Of note:
Temperature readings are from Speedfan 4.34 and of the core AMd processor... my ACPI temp seems fine, always around 34. Speedfan doesnt get a reading on my fan so I have no info about it. I'm really wondering if my AMD chip has become damaged somehow because I'm guessing its not the video card...
June 29, 2008 11:04:37 PM

FEEL MY PAINNNNN. im sorry you are another victim of this company's laptops. i am now an expert on these pieces of **** that ibuypower made.
ok heating problem: the laptop is a piece of **** and isnt designed too well. mine used to shut off ALL the time when i played warcraft 3. the way to fix that is to set it up on a diagonal on the end of a desk, and blow a fan from under it. that will keep it cool. the graphics card isnt too good but the lag could be from the RAM being used up...that happened to mee...get FreeRAMXP Pro from download.com to monitor your RAM usage if you want. the fan speed is fine its already at its highest i think. very soon your computer probably wont even start. mine gets the Windows XP loading screen and then shuts off. also there is a loose cable that goes into the screen which causes the screen to shut off if you move the lid too much. so i got a new computer in like september and hoping to pass this one down to my brother cause it has a flaw (its a dell). but good luck in the new laptop search, you'll be searching soon i assume.
!