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High CPU usage for no reason

Last response: in Windows XP
June 22, 2003 8:12:51 AM

Ok so when I've had my computer on for some time, things get a bit slow. I checked the task manager and it shows System Idle Process to be using quite a lot of CPU (80-99). How could this be fixed? Can it? I'm also not sure if this is the problem at all, so overall tips would be very welcome :)  My rig: MSI K7N2,XP 2400+, 512 HyperX, GF4 TI-4400, Win XP Pro. I thank you in advance.

More about : high cpu usage reason

June 22, 2003 3:48:57 PM

Actually, the <A HREF="" target="_new">System Idle Process</A> should be closer to 98-99% when the processor is idle. <i>Idle</i> being the key word.

I'd suggest that you use MSCONFIG (Start\Run\MSCONFIG) or a program like <A HREF="" target="_new">Startup Control Panel</A> to check and see what programs are loading at startup, and disable anything that is not actually needed. I'd also take the time to edit the <A HREF="" target="_new">Services</A> list, and either set to manual (or disable) any services that really aren't necessary for the system to function correctly ... this in itself can have a major impact on the performance of a system.

Scanning for spyware is also a good idea (with programs such as <A HREF="" target="_new">Spybot</A> or <A HREF="" target="_new">Adaware</A> ... or both). Running a regular <A HREF="" target="_new">scan</A> for possible viruses is also highly recommended.


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June 22, 2003 9:08:03 PM

Toey's right. Run msconfig, and choose Selective start-up.
Under the start-up tab, you can see what's running and disable from there. I found Spybot S&D to be super. Found 2 pages of spyware/malware and cleaned them out-including registry entries. Be sure to "Immunize" your system using that option to block additional downloads.
Doing these things (especially the selective start-up) really speed up my system.

But Officer, I wasn't speeding - I was qualifying ...
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June 22, 2003 9:57:15 PM

i dont suppose theres a way to disable system idle process? It runs on my machine constanly and i do the things that you two have describe on a regular basis and have for years. ITs really bad when i try to play games. To much lag.

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
June 23, 2003 8:10:47 PM

dont put eny effort in stopping the idel proces. It isn't realy a proces, the hole proces the thing does in giving the percetage of the cpu power you are not using. so if the idel proces is 99% continualslie if you are watching the problem of you slow computer is NOT that other procceses are stealing cpu power, and you have to search the problem somewhere else (registrie, defraged HD or full memory)

<font color=red>duk-tape is like the force, it has a bright side and a dark side, and it keeps the universe together.</font color=red>
June 24, 2003 3:57:16 AM

How are you suppose to get 100% total cpu time without the system idle process? That's a process that you cannot remove. I'm always hoping to see my system idle process to be very high if I run something because that shows that my cpu does not need to work so much. The game lag could be that your driver is the problem not the system idle process.
June 24, 2003 2:11:48 PM

The system idle process is actually a process. It runs when ever the cpu as nothing to do. If you look at the process table you see that it is a very small process (20k). It needs to be very small because it is constantly swapped. If it was too big the system would lag.

In ancient times they had no statistics so they had to fall back on lies
June 24, 2003 3:43:55 PM

Whatever problem with your computer that is causing lag during gameplay is not due to the System Idle Process. The System Idle Process is a single thread that runs on each processor. This process runs more than any other system process, and it takes a lot of CPU time; however, its memory usage is very low.

The System Idle Process runs only when <i>no other processes</i> are using the CPU. (This is a significant statement, if you consider <i>when</i> the lag is happening on your computer.) Therefore, when the CPU is idle, the System Idle Process is in action, executing special halt (HLT) instructions that put the CPU into a suspended mode and thereby cool the processor. Which is a good thing.

I think you might be trying to make an assumption about what might be wrong, based on the fact that you discovered something that you didn't recognize while troubleshooting. Hey, it happens to the best of us. :wink:

By the way, are we talking lag that occurs during online gaming, or single-player games with your desktop?

How about listing some system specifications, and describe for us the exact circumstances when the lag occurs. Does it happen in all games, or just one? If so, which games?

Arer you using the latest drivers for your hardware, including the chipset and the video card? Do you have DirectX 8.1 installed, or a newer version?

What hardware do you use to get online? Have you tweaked the video card driver under Display Properties to get the best performance? Is there a change with the amount of lag if you change the screen resolution and refresh rate? Are your games updated with the newest patches?

Have you tried using an application like <A HREF="" target="_new">Virtual Drive</A> to cache parts of the games on the hard drive (or in memory) to see if this removes the lag? Perhaps your optical devices need new firmware, or DMA is not enabled for the IDE channels.

Do you have a decent PSU ... enough to run all your devices without heat build-up? Does the system have an adequate cooling solution?

Have you checked out your BIOS settings, and looked for certain features, such as making sure the Video BIOS Shadowing and System BIOS Shadowing are disabled? Is the AGP port set to 4X, and is at least 128MB of system memory dedicated to AGP texturing?


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June 25, 2003 12:03:14 PM

If you have the <A HREF=";en-us;819634" target="_new">811493 Windows XP update</A> on your computer it is advised to remove it.
Micro$oft recommends <i><b>"updating"</b></i> the update 811493 again as the problem apparently has been corrected.
Anyway it is not an important update if you are the only user or it is used at home.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by scotty35 on 06/25/03 08:09 PM.</EM></FONT></P>