Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bronks, May 14, 2009.

  1. bronks


    My rig's a Dell/ p4 3.20Ghz with 2 gigs of RAM

    I keep it really light on programs, basically just used for trading and lightduty surfing and general use. I de-frag regularly along with regular maintenance.

    Over the past 6 mos. the CPU has been regularly maxing out 100%, even for run of the mill tasks. Example:

    I downloaded NERO ok, but when I went to install the package, it took nearly an hour with the CPU redlining almost the whole time... this seems to be happening all the time, even with the simplest of applications. And I'm not talking off the internet 'cause the applications have already been downloaded. Also with no other apps running in the background.

    So although at one time, this was a smoking fast machine, it's not so much anymore.

    I've never heard of a processor getting "tired" before, but it sure seems like the case. Do I need to upgrade?
  2. download a program called cpuz. Find out what chipset your computer has along with your motherboard info. You may be able to simply upgrade your cpu and the amount of memory you have to solve your problems unless you are really set on a whole new computer.
  3. You have a software or driver issue. Check which process is using the CPU when the machine is idle and that will lead you to the culprit.
  4. bronks


    Thanks Vtrop. I downloaded the chipset drivers from the Intel site and everything still works :D. Just to be clear, the upgrade takes care of the motherboard also right? Or do I have to upgrade that separately? Along with anything else?
  5. I had a similar problem in the past, with my PC running very slowly for same tasks but not others. I eventually discovered it was a fault with the motherboard - in particular the chipset controlling the hard drive.

    - A task that had high usage of the hard drives went very slowly and maxed out the CPU. Just doing simple tests of the hard drives indicated that the data rate from them was 1/10 what it should of been, and the CPU was basically overloaded when the hard drive was in use. On the motherboard there were four SATA hard drive sockets managed by the Intel chipset (which were the sockets in use), and two extra SATA sockets from the Gigabyte controller. When I swapped the hard drives to the alternative Gigabyte sockets, all issues disappeared.

    I don't know what was wrong with the motherboard that caused these issues, but perhaps you have something similar. Or at least it demonstrates that something seemingly unrelated to the CPU can affect it dramatically.

    - Try copying a very large file (or folder), preferably over 1 GB, and see what effect it has on the CPU - it shouldn't ordinarily max it out.
  6. bronks


    Thanks guys, it does seem to be running a bit "crisper", but I could be imagining it. Anyway Frank check this out and tell me if you see something out of the ordinary:

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  7. If you upgrade your CPU to a Core2 Duo, you probably would need a new motherboard as well, as most Pentium 4s used a socket 478, while Core2 Duos use a different socket called LGA775 (the numbers refer to the number of pins connecting the CPU to the board). But you'd be better of upgrading the motherboard anyway, as the newer ones would fully utilise the potential of a Core2 Duo.

    This would probably also mean you'd need to upgrade your RAM as well - an older Pentium motherboard may use DDR or even older RAM, while a newer board may only accept DDR2 or DDR3.

    You'd also have to check with what video cards you have - if it's an AGP it won't work, and if you have many PCI cards there might not be enough slots for them.
  8. bronks


    So there's no driver update for the motherboard itself I take it?
  9. Oh, you meant just the driver...

    The chipset firmware is the only part of the motherboard you can update.
  10. bronks


    Got it, muchos gracias compa.
    #10     May 15, 2009