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Once-a-minute lag spikes

3186 Views 8 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Kit-Karamak
I've just finished building a computer.
I installed Windows XP, downloaded my drivers to the factory-new hard drive and put music and games on it.

I was surprised to find out that my games and audio would lag, hiccup and stammer.
I tweaked ram speed, I removed the motherboard sound card drivers, I ran memtest 3.5, I played with everything I knew how to do, which isn't much.

Right now, I'm having the least amount of Hiccups from when I started. However, they occure like CLOCKWORK.

I've done a lot of troubleshooting and note taking. For example, I ran a song with and without the Nvidia spinning logo test (used to check for jagged lines). The audio hiccups coincide with the video hiccups. So, I started doing more tests. I would wave my bluetooth mouse from left to right until the next hiccup happened... it would cause the pointer to float briefly...

It happens during games, during full load and during no load... it doesn't matter. It happens when the only application open is Windows Media Player. It happens when NOTHING is open. I've tracked it on the TASK MANAGER and included two screen shots.

They line up - one with audio and one without audio... as you can see, they line up perfectly and happen exactly 61 seconds apart. (I learned this by watching the time counter on the audio files that played).

On my two core processor, the hiccups only affect the second core by 1%.
On my first core, however, each hiccup causes a 16% spike. While playing music, it causes a 24% spike. While using the Nvidia spinning logo program WITH audio, it causes a 26% spike, but ALWAYS every 61 seconds.

I've tried different audio files at different bit rates. Nothing makes a difference. I've tried changing the timing on my RAM, but the hiccups are still at 61 seconds.

Could it be my power supply? For some reason, I thought that would cause random power fluctuations, not precisely timed ones... I've considered running my system with only ONE stick of ram, then doing it again with ONLY the OTHER stick of ram... But have not yet tried it. Initially, I thought it was the ram, but now I'm starting to think otherwise.

I've watched my process list, but it shows system idle at 99 and, every so often, 'system' will pop up for a second and use '01'. It does NOT show ANYTHING during these lag spikes; I do NOT see any change in processes or their values DURING each spike. I can only monitor said spikes with hardware- IE: by listening to audio, watching video and watching my CPU usage tracking graph.

HOW can I pinpoint this problem? How can I correct it? WHAT cycles every 61 seconds?
Should I be concerned with my processor? I've only JUST done a fresh install - I see no movement in applications or processes, only processor usage and hardware usage.

Thanks in advance...


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Not to try and force my topic back up to the top or anything but... after a day, it's five pages back and I've not received any responses... So I'm going to try again...

A different forum suggested it could be my motherboard BUT I received this motherboard from someone else and it never did this to them. This is a consistant, precise problem... every 61 seconds everything hiccups - the processor, the video, the audio... everything.

I need some suggestions - what could be causing such an occurance?? has anyone else ever experienced anything like this? I've tried EVERYTHING... driver rollback, update, different sound and video cards, ram in different arrangements, different amounts, single and dual channel, I've tried different power supplies now, as well... I tried different hard drives, removing and reinstalling my card reader drive, two different wireless cards (Linksys wmp300N and Buffallo 300N) and upgraded to the latest chipset drivers for the Motherboard.

Could it be the OS?? Would THAT be capable of cycling something every 61 seconds? I' not sure, but I don't think so... I pulled up the BIOS and I watched the clock... every 61 seconds, the numbers on the bios clock flutters because it's visual movement. It's something but I don't know what...

I could really use some feedback on this odd occurance, IF ANYONE is UP for a CHALLENGE, please help! :-O
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Try clicking the Ptocesses tab and sort the list by CPU usage with most usage at the top (you may have to use the View > Select Columns option if it is not there).

A better option is Process Explorer:

Using it, click View on the toolbar then System Information. When a spike occurs, hovering the mouse over it will cause text to be displayed in the graph showing what caused the spike.
Using it, click View on the toolbar then System Information. When a spike occurs, hovering the mouse over it will cause text to be displayed in the graph showing what caused the spike.[/QUOTE]

It says the DPC, deferred Proceedure Calls. it uses between 16 and 19 % each time, every 61 seconds :-O


So how, uh, do I fix that? I've never had that problem in the past.
I haven't had this problem so my knowledge here is weak. If you double click on the "Deferred Procedure Calls" line in the Taskbar type display, and then the Image and Threads tabs, maybe a clue.
Frank4d said:
I haven't had this problem so my knowledge here is weak. If you double click on the "Deferred Procedure Calls" line in the Taskbar type display, and then the Image and Threads tabs, maybe a clue.
They show blank in the threads tabs and "n/a" and "not available" path and otherwise empty on everything on the IMAGE tab.

But on the performance graph tab, shows the 61 second spikes...

I'm not sure which of my devices could be causing this...

I suspect that my video card driver or the card itself is causing these DPCs to call attention to the processor every 61 seconds... but... I'm not yet sure... and don't want to go tearing everything out again just to test it... and having a video card is the whole point of this system... gaming, lol.
::SCREAMS:: okay... I'm reinstalling Windows... if this problem persists... you'll hear from me again >_>

I can't really get help from all the different forums I've tried... I got juuuust enough help to figure out what's wrong but now how to fix it... heh.

So... I'm off to reinstall. Something I wanted to avoid. wah.

I finally found the problem.

Unfortunatly, my BUFFALLO 300N Wireless Card is the culprit. I've tried EVERYTHING else and it hiccups once every 61 seconds as soon as I reinstalled it, during the fresh Windows install. I lost a *lot* of information on my secondary hard drive during this re-install, paranoid that it could be something more sinister... 52 gigs of information - some of which dated back as far as 1997.

Needless to say, I'll be an advocate for tried-and-true brands, such as Linksys, D-Link and NetGear in the future.
Okay, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I was incorrect to flame Buffalo. yes, the card WAS at fault, but it was the Windows Zero Point blah blah wireless bit that didn't GET ALONG with the card.

I sat on hold from 2:45 am to 3:15 am, a half an hour, waiting for BuffaloTech to answer their phone... but when they did, their tech support was VERY knowledgable, intelligent, soft spoken and friendly.

Sadly, the problem solved itself by installing Buffalo's client. How odd.

Unfortunatly, now I'm running 89C on my processor after leaving it on for over an hour to install drivers and such... one headache after another.

I swear, I'm going to get a heat sync the size of Rhode Island for this thing, then I won't have any problems.

I mean, seriously, my basement is normally 66F... I've run nothing but this computer for an hour and it's now 79F in here... I have my own, free, space heater here... and it's got a thermaltake case with 4 fans, I'm not overclocking anything... One headache after another... at least the thing runs lag free now... sheesh. Just the same, it shouldn't be running at 190+ F. that's way too high. Looks like I need a bigger heat sync. :( More money :(
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