General discussion

Computer Lag Issues

Hi! I'd like some help identifying the cause of my computer lag issues and possibly identifying an upgrade to purchase. I am fairly computer literate, but I am not a computer genius. I'm looking to fix or upgrade this at minimal cost to the point where I can play a game at a reasonable (2 digit) fps and have a tab open in the background.

My computer specs are as follows:

Windows XP
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.66 GHz
3.50 GB RAM
Motherboard: Gigabyte P35-DS3L
C: 232 GB total, 113 GB free
NVIDIA GeForce GTS 250
500W Power Supply

I play World of Warcraft.

In WoW, if I am alone in a non-populated zone I get 25-50 FPS. If I join a group and fight, I get 3-8 FPS. These numbers are without anything else running on the computer. If I'm in a non-populated area and open a browser (Chrome or Firefox) my fps drops significantly as well. It drops to near nothing if I try to open youtube or pandora on the browser. If I try to raid or instance with another tab open, well I might as well forget it. There is a very tiny improvement when I play WoW in fullscreen mode instead of windowed mode.

Not only does WoW slow down when I try to run another program, the rest of my computer slows down when I run WoW. If I try to run more than one program on my computer, the whole thing seems to slow to a crawl. (Granted if I don't have WoW running I usually have something like Pandora or Youtube going in a browser tab.)

I have defragmented my harddrive. I have ran AVG and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. And, I have updated my video card drivers. I haven't been able to find any real resource hogs in my processes.

I don't believe that I should be having this much computer lag with my computer specs, but there's possibly something I'm missing. The only reason I've even gone back to this desktop is because I'm having a problem with my laptop as well. (My laptop has begun to overheat if I play WoW, watch a video, or run with a couple of tabs open. I suspect that the internal fan has stopped working and the external cooler pad is not enough and apparently there is no real fix for this.)

I would really appreciate any help with this, thanks.

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Comments
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Lots of reasons for lag.

You have an older Windows. OK for the day video card and suspect a failed fan but didn't go fix it.

-> Why not fix that fan? That seems to be the cheapest thing to tackle.
Bob

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Fan

I wasn't planning on fixing the fan because in order to get to it in the laptop I own, you have to take the entire thing apart. It would cost several hundred dollars just to fix the fan. I was hoping to pick up a processor or video card (or some other upgrade for the desktop) for around a hundred.

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I've rarely spent past 50 for a fan.
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Video Card?

I'm not really understanding your replies. I have a laptop with a good video card that games perfectly fine if there wasn't a fan issue. I'm not looking to buy a new laptop or asking questions about laptop video cards?

Are you saying you think my desktop problem is being caused by an outdated video card? Is that why you included a link?

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Sorry but

If you are discussing two machines the discussion will be hard to follow. I know I found it hard to follow.

Again, ANY fan in ANY machine has been under 50 regardless of laptop or desktop. Something's wrong if it's more than that. I consider the fan to be user serviceable in most machines. Apple laptops however tend to be nearly impossible for first timers.
Bob

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