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Old March 24, 2010, 11:28 PM
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Default Overly high CPU load and inability to run programs smoothly

I've got my computer over at my cousin's place, and it's running very poorly, and I'm trying to figure out exactly what's up. This happened the last time I had the computer out here, and I thought maybe my Windows install was toast, but as soon as I fired the computer up when I had it back home, it was running just fine.

Here at my cousin's place, all 4 cores show a load of at least 18% but will linger in the 20's and 30's, and sometimes spike as high as 75% usage, despite the computer idling. Task Manager shows no programs utilizing that kind of CPU usage. MP3's have trouble playing, and will start skipping almost like a record, then in a minute or two resume normal play. I can not run video recorded in anything near 1080p without dropping a ton of frames.

The computer is a Q9550, with 4GB of PC3-12800, and a 5870. I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate, and I'm running a wireless connection. I have rebooted the computer with the wireless adaptor disabled, and it doesn't make a difference. I've got the computer sitting up off the carpet - it should be properly insulated. I've tried changing power outlets, although the outlets are likely on the same circut. I've tried going from the surge bar to plugging straight into the outlet. No difference. Other people run their laptops fine off the circut, but I'm assuming that if dirty power is an issue, the battery will serve to help moderate the power?

Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old March 25, 2010, 07:13 AM
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try disabling all network adapters? does that solve the issue?
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Old March 25, 2010, 08:40 AM
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I have never seen a power plug effect cpu usage before and in fact it can't so i ma kinda at a loss.
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Old March 25, 2010, 09:05 AM
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even if the juice coming from the wall wasnt quite proper..hmm...its weird. try a ups and see if it makes a difference.
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Old March 25, 2010, 09:41 AM
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computer are digital devices the only way for it to change power states on the cpu is through the board no power fluctuation would or could cause this. jmo
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Old March 25, 2010, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarkStarr View Post
try disabling all network adapters? does that solve the issue?
I gave that a try this morning - I disabled both of my ethernet adaptors and the wireless adaptor, and it doesn't make a difference.

I used to agree with everyone else that dirty power couldn't do this, but I can't figure out what other possibility there could be. There are no hardware changes, and no software changes. The computer literally just gets unplugged at my house, and brought to this house, and plugged back in.

The reason I still suspect the power is that the power in this house does not seem to be good. Simply plugging my computer in sends static over my speakers. Powering my computer up makes the lights in the kitchen flicker. Maybe it isn't the power, but I have no idea what else could possibly be different between running the computer here and at my house.

Edit: Not that this necessarily makes a difference, but I've got an OCZ 700w GameXstream PSU - I've heard they don't have the same kind of undervoltage protection other brands like Corsair would have.

Edit #2: My cousin just tried firing his laptop up on the same power bar my computer's running on - it started the boot process - but stalled at the Windows startup screen. Plugged into a different outlet it seems to be fine.

Last edited by Maplicito; March 25, 2010 at 10:44 AM.
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Old March 25, 2010, 10:49 AM
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Maybe you should as an electrician to check out the power and see if the power is grounded properly.

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Old March 25, 2010, 11:36 AM
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is that edit #2 repeatable?


either way, the CPU *usage* wouldn't be affected by voltage sags or whatnot.

Yet no task in the task manager shows CPU usage? you do have the show process from all users box checked? if the CPU is eating time, some process has to be eating it. it can't just go to no use.
-alternatively, try a boot into safe mode. maybe we can get lucky and isolate some rogue software.
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Old March 25, 2010, 12:17 PM
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Yes, try safe mode. If it consistently runs fine there, then try a program to see everything your computer loads on startup, go from there.
I suffered a similar issue, seemed the audio drivers in a laptop would just decide to eat 50% of the cpu to no end though it would only show up if displaying tasks from all users. Only did it certain boots though.
Windows updater or some other dreadful installer running in the background?
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Old March 25, 2010, 12:40 PM
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CPU usage is showing as 25 to 35% in Task Manager right now, yet System Idle shows as 98 to 99%. Core Temp is the program I've been using to see individual core usage. And yes, Task Manager is set to show processes from all users - there's nothing that adds up to the reported CPU usage.

Edit #2 appears to be repeatable - I haven't tried my cousin's laptop again today, but last night it was having functionality problems while running from the same socket as my computer.

Edit: Safe Mode won't run my sound driver, and I can't run my regular video client - but 1080p youtube videos that dropped frames before run fine, sans the sound, and Task Manager reports normal CPU usage - Core Temp will not run in safe mode however. So - what could possibly be different between the two locations that causes a regular boot up to not function properly, even with all network adaptors disabled?

Last edited by Maplicito; March 25, 2010 at 12:49 PM.
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