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Background:

I have a decent setup, one which you would not expect much latency:

It's a Q6600 Core 2 Quad with 4GB of DDR2 RAM Ge-force 9800 GT, and n-force 680i motherboard. Running 64-bit windows.

I just recently upgraded from 32-bit windows to 64-bit because the PC was freezing up a lot during gaming. Now, the system is micro-freezing. Every now and then it will get into a weird state where it freezes for what seems like a brief, but noticeable fraction of a second, about once every two seconds. During that fraction of a second all audio ceases to play, and the UI lags (can't move the mouse cursor). It often happens while I am gaming, but it also seems to happen even while I am loading web pages, and sometimes when nothing is open at all. My PC enters this state frequently, sometimes for a short time, and some times for a longer requiring a restart. I've tried disabling my antivirus (Avast), but the latency still occurs. Task manager does not show any spikes in CPU usage, which I'm assuming is probably because task manager becomes unresponsive when these microfreezes take place.

My guess is that it's either my antivirus (even though it's disabled), poorly-written drivers for my crazy gaming devices (cyborg RAT mouse which causes increased CPU usage for current process on my slower laptop, making it unusable, or Razer Nostromo, which has blue-screened my work PC numerous times), or some form of malware. It's also possible that my CPU is overheating.

Question:

Is there any software or means available for me to track/log the CPU usage of of the processes and services on my system to find out which one is causing the problem?

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When PC freezes have you ever tried to check the error log after reboot? –  avirk May 30 '12 at 7:08
    
@avirk I haven't previously checked the windows error log. My PC hasn't been crashing, only freezing up in short bursts. –  Bizorke May 30 '12 at 7:14

1 Answer 1

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Something like Process Explorer (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896653.aspx) will be able to give you a little history on the running processes and services.

Do you have anything that will monitor CPU and GPU temps on your system? My old PC used to freeze up a lot while gaming and it turned out to be the gfx card overheating massively ( I'm lucky it didnt melt!) . It was one of those double-wide affairs with a massive vent for the fan to blow out of. That fan had become totally blocked with dust and after blowing it free things improved massively. I used to use ATITool (http://www.techpowerup.com/atitool/) to debug this as it has a temperature monitor and an Artifact Detection mode whereby it stresses the GPU. I used that to see the massive incre4ase in temperature that a short stint of gaming produced. I believe it works even if you don’t have an ATI card.

You might also want to run MemTest32 or something similar to check you have reliable memory chips.

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Yes I installed a monitor for my CPU temp last night and I will be monitoring temp vs performance tonight to see whether there is a correlation. Thanks for the suggestions I'll let you know how it goes. –  Bizorke May 30 '12 at 15:00

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