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Old November 1, 2009, 10:22 PM
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Default my computer "stutters"

Hi guys,

Long time lurker, first time poster. Sorry that it is.

Anyways, ever since I got my computer (second hand) and formatted it with Windows 7-64bit, I've noticed that there is a stuttering (pausing for fractions of a second) issue my computer constantly experiences.

My hardware consists of:
Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB HDD
Q9550 processor
EVGA GTX 260 Core 216 GPU
2x1GB DDR2 RAM (CPU-Z says DRAM Frequency is 332.5MHz. Otherwise, I do not know much else about the RAM)
ASRock G31M-S motherboard
OCZ Fata1ty 550W PSU

My BIOS and video drivers are up to date.

I was wondering if someone can help me pinpoint what part of this build is causing my videos/music/seemingly all activity to stutter even when simply opening my Firefox browser or surfing the web.
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Old November 1, 2009, 10:30 PM
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Well, good information for a first post, but can you be more specific in the scenarios that it would stutter? What kind of video? music? What player?

A couple of scenarios described where it happens would probably help.

All I can think of now is that you're maybe playing 1080 hi def stuff and your HD is really fragmented.... ?

Needless to say, your machine shouldn't stutter.

Use defraggler for a run, see if it smooths out..... it certainly won't hurt regardless.
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Old November 1, 2009, 10:35 PM
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I'll give defraggler a shot. I have it on my old lappy but haven't got around to using it on this machine.

Typically I'd be playing music on itunes or watching a video (Sometimes avi, sometimes HD tv shows) on VLC mediaplayer while surfing on firefox with multiple tabs open when the the whole computer would stop (frequently) for fractions of a second.

It's especially noticeable when playing video games like Darkest of Days or Bioshock.

But like I said, I'll give defraggler a shot and report back here with my findings.
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Old November 1, 2009, 10:36 PM
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Try running your antivirus (AVG works if you don`t have one yet) and see if it finds something. If you do that and defrag and it is still occuring try booting into safemode to see if it is still happening, that should help tell if it is a software or hardware issue.
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Old November 1, 2009, 10:57 PM
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Also, try downloading prime95 from here and hwmonitor from here, run prime95 blend torture test for an hour or two with hwmonitor running in the background to monitor voltages and temps and see if it runs into any errors during the test.
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Old November 1, 2009, 11:19 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely try it out tomorrow as it seems like the defrag itself might take a little while.

Out of curiosity though, would getting a WD 640GB Caviar Black improve the performance of my PC by much? I plan on doing some gaming and was wondering if upgrading my hdd or ram would be a priority?

Last edited by bryab; November 1, 2009 at 11:43 PM. Reason: wondering about upgrading parts
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Old November 2, 2009, 01:14 AM
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I have both the HDs you are talking about and I don't notice any "real life" differences between the two. I'm quite sure there are, but for general use it's not something that grabs you by the ears and makes you take notice.

I'd say RAM would be more likely to give a difference.

As for the antivirus, I would actually suggest Microsoft Security Essentials. It's much less annoying than AVG and is my new favorite for free AV's

.... and try one more thing for me....

Go to your desktop, right click and select personalize. Then select the "Windows 7" theme under "Aero Themes". Tell me, if by chance, that makes any difference.
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Old November 2, 2009, 01:28 AM
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I stopped running the defrag to run an antivirus scan (I used NOD32) and there were (thankfully) no viruses. Currently resuming the defrag though.

Apparently my computer was already running Windows 7 under Aero Themes. I accidentally clicked the basic and tried to go back to the Aero but my computer doesn't seem to want to change back to Aero.

Although, I did try watching an HD video while running defraggler and starting up Firefox at the same time. I have noticed a slight increase in performance but it the video did still freeze up a little bit and skip a few seconds here and there.

Edit: Nevermind, I got the Aero Theme working again.

Last edited by bryab; November 2, 2009 at 01:35 AM.
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Old November 2, 2009, 08:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox View Post
Also, try downloading prime95 from here and hwmonitor from here, run prime95 blend torture test for an hour or two with hwmonitor running in the background to monitor voltages and temps and see if it runs into any errors during the test.
Okay so, I got some really freaky readings after running it for no longer than 20 minutes. the HWMonitor read:

Core 0 temp: 74
Core 1 temp: 66
Core 2 temp: 68
Core 3 temp: 70

Those were the maximum values they reached and i was reading that they shouldn't be that high and I got paranoid and stopped running P95.

I'm not entirely sure but I'm pretty sure it's just got stock cooling in there. Is this normal behaviour for a Q9550? And would this be causing my computer to stutter?
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Old November 2, 2009, 08:34 PM
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Technically intel suggests you don't run the processor above ~72 celcius. Now going over it a bit isn't really going to do much to it if it's only for a short while. If you run it at 80+ celcius 24/7 then you might see some degradation after some time(even then I donno), but it's nothing to worry about right now. I also don't think that would cause your computer to shutter. I was hoping that if prime95 would run error free for a couple hours it would help elimate the CPU as a cause.

Even with a stock heat sink those temps do seem a bit high. Are you running any overclock on your system? Also, do you mind opening hwmonitor again, turning on prime95 again for like 5 min and take a screenshot? I am interested in seeing what your voltages read.

To improve temperatures, you can try to reseat your heatsink, just make sure you have some thermal paste available before you start. If you find reseating doesn't help, and if you have a bit of spare cash lying around, I'd suggest getting and aftermarket heatsink:
Coolermaster Hyper 212 Plus Direct Touch 4 Heatpipe Heatsink AM2 AM3 LGA1366 LGA775 LGA1156 120MM
Can pricematch it on NCIX to $23.65 here. Fantastic price/performance, and that should help bring your temps down to more managable levels, and allows you to overclock a bit in the future if you choose too.
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