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 Post subject: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:02 am 
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Depending on what I do (games, videos, music, etc.), the performance begins to lag/skip/stutter/hiccup after about 30 mins to an hour. After that point it doesn't matter what I do. I can just be on my desktop moving the cursor around and I can see the same thing.

My temp solution is to restart which fixes it for a short while.

Can anyone help?

My System:
Dell XPS 630i
Windows XP SP 3
Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @2.4GHz
2 GB RAM (BIOS 1.0.13)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti 1024Mb

Links to other ppl with same problem and no responses:
http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/ ... 24728.html
http://www.techsupportforum.com/forums/ ... 49505.html


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 2:37 am 
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Welcome to the forum.

You have a really unique issue. I have rarely seen this problem, but in all the times that I have seen it, it ended up being one of a few things:

A. The motherboard is defective.

B. The GPU is overheating or defective.

C. The CPU is overheating or defective.

D: The hard drive is overheating or defective.

Your issue is extremely hard to diagnose without a professional checking the machine thoroughly. The most likely thing that I think is the problem is either overheating or a bad hard drive.

What you should check for:

Use some programs to monitor your temperatures, like RealTemp for the CPU, and EVGA Precision for the GPU temps. I do not think that your GPU is the problem, being that it is fairly new, but you never know.

Another thing to check for is hard drive clicking. If you hear a hard clicking noise (not seeking noise) then you possibly have a bad hard drive. In rare cases, the hard drive will not even make clicking noises, which makes it harder to tell what the problem is. What happens is, the hard drive basically stutters and cannot read the data, thus freezing the machine for a second until it can read it. Usually it is due to a bad sector. You can check your HDD temperature by using a free program called HD Tune. It will show your HDD temp. It usually is no higher than about 40C. My HDDs are usually around the low 30s.

My recommendation, would be to first check all your temps. For some reason, i think this is the problem mainly because it seems to happen after a half hour, which gives the machine time to warm all the components. Your CPU temps should be around anywhere from the low 30's to the high 50's or so, and the GPU should be around the mid 30's to low 50's idle.

If you do not see any temperature issues, I would then try to format Windows on your current hard disk to rule out any possible driver or software conflicts first. If it persists after a clean installation, you should get a new hard drive from a computer store near you and try to reinstall Windows on it. See if the problem disappears. If not, then you can return the drive. The only option then would be that the motherboard has a problem. This however, cannot be tested without another motherboard. At the same time, it can be the processor, but I have yet to come across this issue with the CPU being defective.

Unfortunately, the only way to figure out what is causing the problem is done through trial and error testing. I hope this helps you out. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 3:06 am 
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Thank you for such a through response. I have been monitoring my temps for the last few hours:

Image

I don't know how these problems arise. Is it normal for an overheating issue to pop up after 2 years of use and no problems?

Also, I have checked the hard drive with a WD diagnostic and it passed. There is no clicking either. I also checked my RAM with Memtest86 and it passed.


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:00 am 
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Overheating issues can arise at any time, although, your temps look perfectly normal. Typically it occurs if the thermal compound is no longer making good contact or there is a lot of dust build up.

I don't suspect the memory at all, but again, you are free to try a new set for testing purposes. I would recommend trying it nonetheless. Like I said, we will only find the answer with trial and error. I still think it might be the hard drive, because I have seen it happen where the hard drive shows no signs of an issue and passes standard diagnostic testing.

As an inexpensive repair attempt, I would definitely try a new hard drive with a fresh install of Windows to rule out program/driver conflicts and a possible HDD problem. If it does not fix the problem, you can return the drive.

If the problem persists after the hard drive is replaced and a clean install, I would bet it is most certainly the motherboard, or the processor at worst case. But I have yet to see a CPU be the issue in these cases.

You can try stress testing the CPU by running Prime95 for 30 mins or so. It will load the CPU on all cores to 100% to see if it causes a problem. If you get no errors reported from the Prime95 workers, then it is the motherboard for sure.

Let me ask you this.....when did this problem start happening? Was it after you changed hardware? Or did it randomly just start occuring?

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Alienware Aurora R4
Intel Core i7 3930K
16GB Dominator Platinum 2133MHz
2GB EVGA GeForce GTX 770 SC
Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty
512GB Samsung 840 SSD
Windows 7 Ultimate x64


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:22 am 
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Shoot. I'm super tight on money at the moment but I will try replacing the hard drive as soon as I am able. I am going to try the Prime95 in the meantime and also rollback my system to before the last updates.

This issue started out of the blue. This system has been solid for the last 2 years. Now I'm pulling my hair out tryin to fix this because I can't afford to have this thing die on me. I need it for work and school.

Update: I am now getting blue screens. Two so far in the last few hours. They have been happening as I am looking through folders to pick out what I want to backup. The gist of what they say is:
"Page_Fault_In_Nonpaged_Area......Stop 0x00000050"


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 4:42 pm 
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This might help (quick Google search):

"This Stop message usually occurs after the installation of faulty hardware or in the event of failure of installed hardware (usually related to defective RAM, either main memory, L2 RAM cache, or video RAM). If hardware has been added to the system recently, remove it to see if the error recurs. If existing hardware has failed, remove or replace the faulty component. Run hardware diagnostics supplied by the system manufacturer. For details on these procedures, see the owners manual for your computer. Another cause of this Stop message is the installation of a buggy system service. Disable the service and determine if this resolves the error. If so, contact the manufacturer of the system service about a possible update. If the error occurs during system startup, restart your computer, and press F8 at the character-mode menu that displays the operating system choices. At the resulting Windows 2000 Advanced Options menu, choose the Last Known Good Configuration option. This option is most effective when only one driver or service is added at a time. Antivirus software can also trigger this Stop message. Disable the program and determine if this resolves the error. If it does, contact the manufacturer of the program about a possible update. A corrupted NTFS volume can also generate this Stop message. Run Chkdsk /f /r to detect and repair disk errors. Restart the system before the disk scan begins on a system partition. If the hard disk is SCSI, check for problems between the SCSI controller and the disk. Finally, check the System Log in Event Viewer for additional error messages that might help pinpoint the device or driver causing the error. Disabling memory caching of the BIOS might also resolve it. For more troubleshooting information about this Stop message, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base at http://support.microsoft.com/support.

(from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/libr ... 57625.aspx)

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Dell XPS 8700 | Core i7 4770 3.4GHz | BIOS A11 | Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP1 | 16GB G.SKILL DDR3 Sniper 1600MHz | EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SC | Dell S2340M 23" IPS LED | Seasonic 650W M12II-650 | Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB | Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB | ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 | ASUS DRW-24B1ST | Logitech G100S | Dell SK-8135 keyboard | Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:07 pm 
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onyxia wrote:
Update: I am now getting blue screens. Two so far in the last few hours. They have been happening as I am looking through folders to pick out what I want to backup. The gist of what they say is:
"Page_Fault_In_Nonpaged_Area......Stop 0x00000050"

Well now, this is new. :D

Now we have narrowed it down a bit. You either have one (or more) bad RAM modules, a bad video card (highly unlikely), or a bad hard drive. Was there anything else in the error? Have you tried running the Dell Diagnostics at all? When you boot up the machine, press the Boot Menu Key repeatedly (I believe it is F10 or F12 when you see the Dell XPS Logo) and choose to run the diagnostics. See if that turns anything up.

If the Dell Diagnostics does not turn anything up, we can proceed to manual testing. While the PC is OFF, remove all your memory modules from the RAM slots. They are black and while slots. Pick one of the sticks of RAM randomly, and install it in the first black RAM slot. Use only this one stick of RAM to see what happens while you use the PC. If you continue to get errors and BSOD's, shut the PC off and try a different module one at a time until all of them have been tested. If you find a RAM stick that works, put it aside, and keep testing the rest.

If you still get errors with all your RAM sticks, I will have to say you will need to reformat the hard drive to rule out the OS issues/conflicts. If it still continues after a clean installation, you will need to try a new hard drive. There is a possibility that all your RAM sticks could have been bad, but that is very unlikely.

The other possibility is the video card VRAM (video memory). This is highly unlikely, due to the fact that your card is fairly new. But like I said, anything is possible.

Try the RAM and hard drive stuff first, and report back with results.

_________________
Alienware Aurora R4
Intel Core i7 3930K
16GB Dominator Platinum 2133MHz
2GB EVGA GeForce GTX 770 SC
Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty
512GB Samsung 840 SSD
Windows 7 Ultimate x64


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 1:44 am 
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Another strange turn of events. I rolled back to a previous restore point (about a month back) and the problem seems to have disappeared. I am going to load a more demanding game (DA2) and see if the problem turns up since it would always happen a few minutes in.


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:02 am 
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That also points to a hard drive, because you are moving data around the drive. So you might be moving files from bad sectors to good ones.

Like I said above, you won't know what the problem is unless you follow what I mentioned above. Otherwise, you will be playing Russian Roulette with your data.

_________________
Alienware Aurora R4
Intel Core i7 3930K
16GB Dominator Platinum 2133MHz
2GB EVGA GeForce GTX 770 SC
Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty
512GB Samsung 840 SSD
Windows 7 Ultimate x64


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:42 am 
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If you haven't backed up your data yet, now is a good time! BTW, if the hard drive turns out to be the issue, (Warning: shameless plug ahead) I can recommend the Western Digital Caviar Black series. :)

_________________
Dell XPS 8700 | Core i7 4770 3.4GHz | BIOS A11 | Windows 7 Pro 64-bit SP1 | 16GB G.SKILL DDR3 Sniper 1600MHz | EVGA GeForce GTX 970 SC | Dell S2340M 23" IPS LED | Seasonic 650W M12II-650 | Samsung SSD 850 EVO 1TB | Toshiba DT01ACA100 1TB | ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 | ASUS DRW-24B1ST | Logitech G100S | Dell SK-8135 keyboard | Logitech Cordless Rumblepad 2


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 Post subject: Re: Out of the blue performance lag/skips
 Post Posted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:09 am 
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m3th0d1c4l wrote:
That also points to a hard drive, because you are moving data around the drive. So you might be moving files from bad sectors to good ones.

Like I said above, you won't know what the problem is unless you follow what I mentioned above. Otherwise, you will be playing Russian Roulette with your data.


I understand. Unfortunetly, I can't afford to replace my hard drive so I'm gonna have to keep playing. :(


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