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PC lag . CPU , GPU , or something else??

aSimpleNick

Junior Member
Mar 26, 2018
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0
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Bought pre-built dell PC in Q3 2012. Started having lag issues last September. After playing almost any game for a while(15-20 mins) , the screen and sound would start freezing/stuttering for about a second every minute or so and this would continue to happen even if I closed the game( example -while watching a video) . Only fix was to restart the PC everytime it occured. I found a quick way to trigger the lag = look at smoke in video games(when somebody throws a smoke grenade or something). Things I've already tried:

-Ran a bunch of scans(Malwarebytes , Malwarebytes adwcleaner , Reason Core Security) and quarantined anything they considered dangerous
-Cleaned my PC for the first time ever in the last week(I thought temps had something to do with this lag)
Went from ~80 degrees celsius both CPU and GPU to mid 60s for CPU and low 70s for the GPU.
-Checked HDD health on crystal disk info , it showed perfect health.

PC specifications : GTX 660 , 8gb ddr3, and i5-3450

Yesterday , I noticed something strange:
The GPU core and memory clocks would drop to ~300MHz everytime the freeze/stuttering happened. I had an old GT 640 lying around and decided to install it . So far , I have yet to experience the same kind of lag I faced before. Is there any way to confirm that the previous GPU(GTX 660) was faulty and it is not the under-utilization of the CPU(due to a much weaker GPU) which is causing my PC to run fine now?I don't want to get a new GPU only to find that the lag has returned :(

Please help!
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
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Probably the best thing you could do is do a clean install of your OS, and see if that fixes your issues.

Outside of that, not cleaning a computer for almost 6 years probably wasn't the best course of action, as the dust could have really increased the component temperatures, and it could be that is the source of your issues. But like I said above, try a clean OS install first.
 
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ao_ika_red

Golden Member
Aug 11, 2016
1,672
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Seems like dried-out thermal paste issue on both CPU and GPU cooler. Replace them with the likes of Noctua NT-H1 or Arctic MX-5 (pick whatever cheapest as both of them more than adequate for your system).
 
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VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
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Bought pre-built dell PC in Q3 2012.
Cleaned my PC for the first time ever in the last week(I thought temps had something to do with this lag)
Just a quick FYI, you DO know that you have to regularly change your oil in your car too? Just checking.

Regular (I say six months to a year, in a non-dusty or non-pet / non-smoking environment) cleaning is essential for a PC to run in tip-top shape.

Outside of that, not cleaning a computer for almost 6 years probably wasn't the best course of action, as the dust could have really increased the component temperatures, and it could be that is the source of your issues. But like I said above, try a clean OS install first.
Seems like dried-out thermal paste issue on both CPU and GPU cooler.
Good suggestions, both of you.

Sadly, though, running a PC at elevated temps (due to not cleaning), for years upon years, can take its toll on components. They may just be "cooked" at this point, and thus, even regular cleaning from this point on, may not help. It will prevent further degradation, however.
 
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Campy

Senior member
Jun 25, 2010
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I'm assuming the temps you stated are under load, if that's the case then temps are no longer an issue. I think it's the graphics card that has developed an issue, and probably needs replacing.
 
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C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
2,260
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That the "smoke" exacerbates the lag is telling that there is an issue with one of the types of rendering associated with the graphic system (generally the card).

There are many things to try. First, remove the problematic graphic card and clean the contacts using DEOXIT. Re-insert then try some of the following:


- Read your user MB manual - BIOS section for graphics and verify the settings Try different settings.

- In device manager, remove the graphics driver (yes sounds scary) then re-boot.

- In the OS, access the graphics control panel and verify settings. Try different settings.

- In Task Manager, when running the problematic game(s), verify what other processes are running in the background. Look for stuff you do not recognize or that are non-essential as per google search and disable these to see what happens. Use the OS's performance capability to set up real-time performance tracking/measurement (eg, Disk, CPU, Ques, etc.) to help isolate excessive processing traffic areas.

A guess is that a setting or installed software or installed OS update, etc. is the source of your issue, so think about any new software applications or OS updates which were installed just before your graphics issue became noticed.
 
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aSimpleNick

Junior Member
Mar 26, 2018
3
0
1
Thank you guys for your suggestions! I will begin looking into these thing ASAP . It's just that I never heard anyone(friends/family) talk about PC cleaning and only found out it affects temp and component lifespan when this problem started occuring.

But as Campy said , what if the graphics card is just broken and needs to be replaced? How do I make sure that the CPU is working fine ? I've installed prime95, what kind of a stress test could I run to ensure that the CPU is in good condition?Again , thanks a lot for all the help guys!
 
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aSimpleNick

Junior Member
Mar 26, 2018
3
0
1
Alright guys , I updated bios from the dell website and reinstalled nvidia drivers, and it seems to working fine now. I don't know what happened but I am guessing it had something to do with the drivers. Thanks for all the support guys , especially user C1 , this guy pretty much nailed it!
 

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