Windows Vista forum

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Where has all my CPU gone?!

by Ishkuk / January 24, 2008 12:51 AM PST

I have an AMD Athlon64 6000+ (3GHz) X2 with 4GB RAM, and 8600GT etc. with Vista Home Premium. When running NOTHING WHATSOEVER except for start-up programs (PCTools ThreatFire, avast! antivirus, Google Talk, Skype, Windows Sidebar, Atomic clock sync, ObjectDock) and on a fresh boot with no-one else logged on, my computer is using *at least* 55% of the CPU power.

I've checked in Task Manager (in admin mode) and System Idle Process is using most of the CPU power. This would be all OK, as you would expect Sys Idle Process to surrender that power when a program asked for it, but it seems not.

When I have WMP11 open (and I'll usually have Firefox open too), the CPU randomly peaks, causing the music to jump. I check in Task Manager - Sys Idle Process is still top, but the Microsoft music decoder (I can't remember the exe name) is on about 10% CPU - not explaining the 45% hike!

I am temporarily using RealPlayer, but I do prefer the interface and OS integration of WMP, and it has all my playlists! I have tried suspending ThreatFire and closing Object Dock with no result.

Is there anything else I can do?



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What I did...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2008 12:55 AM PST

Turned off Aero, turfed the sidebar and UAC. Much better.

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It worked before though!
by Ishkuk / January 24, 2008 1:37 AM PST
In reply to: What I did...

I've had this for a few months now, and it's only just started doing this, and I've had Aero all the time. I could cope without the Sidebar, but UAC is a neat security feature that I could do with and Aero is why I got Vista instead of XP!

I'll try it anyway though.


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by Ishkuk / January 24, 2008 2:01 AM PST

It might have reduced the problem slightly - 50% CPU instead of 55% - still a big problem though!

Thanks anyway,


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Use task manager to find what it is.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 24, 2008 4:52 AM PST
In reply to: Nope

Also, put the desktop background to a solid color to avoid "an issue."

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by Ishkuk / January 25, 2008 12:47 AM PST

As I say in my original message, I have tried to use Task Manager to find out what it is (Show processes from all users is ticked!) and it simply shows that System Idle process is using 80-90% of the CPU!

I have changed the background colour to black, but no avail.

Thanks again,


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"System Idle process is using 80-90% of the CPU!"
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2008 12:51 AM PST
In reply to: Nope

System Idle should use that much when the machine is idle. Let's hope you are not asking to reduce this.

-> Gloves off!!! I won't rewrite this. System Idle is where all "spare" cpu cycles go. It's proper and let's not waste time discussing this?

Gloves on...

Hope this helps you understand it.


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I know
by Ishkuk / January 25, 2008 12:58 AM PST

The trouble is, it doesn't seem to drop when a real program wants to do something, so it uses around 50% of the CPU power even when some other program really needs that power!

I don't mind System Idle Process using every last Hz of my processing power so long as it stops using it when I'm starting Photoshop!


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AHA!!! Now I see more clearly.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2008 1:05 AM PST
In reply to: I know

You have one of the nice DUAL CORE CPUs. Most software will only task or suck the life out of one of the COREs.

-> Here I have a nice Core 2 Duo and the only time I max it out is during video rendering to DVD. The rest of the time I enjoy the nice smooth operation since the "spare" CPU can handle the other chores.


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What's changed then?
by Ishkuk / January 25, 2008 1:09 AM PST

Trouble is, I've had this PC for several months now, and it's only in the last week or so that it's started doing this...

I'm going to try using the System Restore utility to go back to before installing TweakVI which I think *may* have *slowed down* as opposed to *speed up* my PC as it was meant to Grin

I'll keep you posted on if it works...

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That's a new clue. ....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 25, 2008 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: What's changed then?

There are some gamers that CLAIM that setting the affinity or disabling the dual core back to single improves some game play. I won't debate this but we do need to keep track of what we tweak in case we let too much air out of the tires.


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TweakVI is not to blame
by Ishkuk / January 25, 2008 2:52 AM PST

I've System Restore-d back to before the TweakVI install to no change. However, this has de-indexed (or maybe added some files?), so not really an accurate test - yet! On the other hand, this indexing doesn't seem to take up more than a few % CPU, so overall there is not much difference.

By the way, I am now using Resource Monitor to monitor the performance. It seems much better, but is it just a bit of eye candy (the kind of thing that I fall for - aaah! Aero).



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What the hell?!
by Ishkuk / January 30, 2008 6:17 AM PST

Thanks for all the help guys, but it seems to have fixed itself! Touch wood!


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Try this.
by dhrwfan / January 30, 2008 6:23 AM PST

Take out 1 GB of ram and see what happens...

I'll bet anything it runs as fast as lightning on 3 GB's of ram..

Let me know...

Good luck.

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OK, but...
by Ishkuk / January 30, 2008 6:28 AM PST
In reply to: Try this.

I'll try it when it's out of warranty

Thanks anyway


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