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I'm pretty sure that my computer is slower than it should be and it has been that since a got it.

For instance it lags a lot in Counter Strike Source. And yes I've installed all the newest drivers.

And it doesn't matter what OS I uses. I've tried both Windows, Linux and FreeBSD and it's slow in all of them.

So what could this be? Is there something wrong with the hardware? And if, then what could it be?

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Have you also updated your BIOS? I had terrible performance before updating; after that it felt like a new computer. – alex Mar 26 '10 at 20:37
Hardware-Specs would be nice to see. – Bobby Mar 26 '10 at 21:03
Sorry. I forgot that. My computer is a HP dv5 1037eo. I'll go ahead and try to update the BIOS. – paldepind Mar 26 '10 at 21:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You need to start with a computer that's nominally identical (same motherboard and processor, the same specification of disks etc). Then run some benchmarking tools with the same operating system build on each.

If the figures come up significantly different (more than say 5% to 10%) then you know that there is something odd with your computer. That could be anything from poor connection on a cable, to poor cooling, a problematic power supply... You'd really need to replace things one at a time (or swap them with something similar from another system) to find the fault.

If you can't find something identical, swap things one at a time (start with things you've got to hand that you know are good).

If you haven't already, check all the BIOS settings, particularly things like the RAM settings, are correct. Check too things like any thermal sensors to ensure that your system isn't being throttled because of heat.

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Thanks. But what it's not possible to get another computer identical to my own? – paldepind Mar 26 '10 at 21:13
Change pieces out until the situation changes. – Broam Mar 26 '10 at 21:44

You probably have a hardware bottleneck. I consigned a box to the recycling bin when I found out that there was some serious issues with certain AMD chipsets and nVidia video cards (this was years ago--the board had an AGP slot.)

Turns out that there was some serious errata with that combination that only let AGP run at 1x without errors.

Found out about it in the Linux dmesg.

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By "lagging in Counterstrike" do you mean, that your ping is too high? This is probably not caused by your computer hardware but by your internet connection.
This could be caused by either your ISP providing you with a crappy connection in which case you can't easily do anything against it. Or it may be caused you connect to your router by WLAN instead of ethernet (cable). In this case you can try connecting via cable and see if it's still lagging.

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I meant lacking in a local game. My computer wasn't even connected to the internet when I was testing Counter Strike. It's also slow in other games and other demanding programs like GIMP. – paldepind Mar 27 '10 at 8:58

Many software packages install utilities or services that run in the background. For instance they may check for updates. These don't take up much CPU time by themselves, but as you get more of them the system can slow down. There are many utilities that you can run to see what's executing. I like Autoruns. Be careful when disabling programs. If you don't know what the program does, find out before you disable or remove it.

Your virus scanner may be part of the problem. As more viruses are found the virus scanner has a bigger list to check when scanning a file. I did a rebuild of a PC a few years back. I installed an older virus scanner then updated it to the latest definitions. I was surprised how much slower it ran after all the updates were applied.

Many CPUs will slow down if they get too hot. If dust builds up on the heat sink or blocks the vents on the case the CPU doesn't cool off as well. Cleaning things out can help.

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I'm using very lightweight programs on my computer and only a few essential daemons is running in the background so I'm 100% sure that us not the problem. – paldepind Mar 27 '10 at 9:02

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