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I spend a lot of my time at sites for watching online videos: youtube, gorillavid, thedailyshow.com etc. I used to watch the videos in full screen mode, and then that became very laggy. So, I started watching them with full-browser zooming. Then that became laggy. Recently, I've had to actually zoom out; otherwise, the video will lag so much that my PC locks. Could this be a symptom of my processor, RAM, or motherboard going bad? Has it, perhaps, anything to do with softwares like Chrome or the playeres the sites are using being updated?

Some quick specs: Win XP, 2 gigs DDR2-3200 RAM (max for the system), Pentium M 1.7, no vid card.

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closed as not constructive by Keltari, Randolph West, 8088, Indrek, Canadian Luke Sep 10 '12 at 16:48

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Which browser, O.S., etc. ? If it's under Windows you may try a targeted defragmentation (with Sysinternals contig or Ultradefrag, etc.) of the browser cache typically under the Application Data folder... –  climenole Sep 10 '12 at 1:14
@climenole, I think defragmentation usually slows a computer down. I've run some checks on the harddrive, and the harddrive seems to be stable. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 10 '12 at 3:55
Defragmentation does NOT slow a Windows computer down. –  user3463 Sep 10 '12 at 4:01
@RandolphWest If there is enough fragmentation, then yes, it does. However, that probably wouldn't be the primary cause in this situation. –  Force Flow Sep 10 '12 at 5:24
@Wolfpack'08 No, no: it's the opposite! The defragmentation process use a % of CPU and "slow down" your PC during this time (for sure) but the often accessed files of the browser cache give you a faster access if they are defragmented. Go ahead! :) –  climenole Sep 10 '12 at 10:21

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Remember that over time your anti-virus software, Flash, the browser you use and your OS all grow with updates and changes, while your computer's hardware remains static. Each of these will make the computer feel slower with time.

Most of the time when I profile slow computers, I find that anti-virus software is the greatest culprit, becoming more and more heavy in CPU and memory usage.

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I've found the same thing. I often try disabling my firewall to speed things up, but it doesn't make a significant difference. I've also been running the system with as few services and start-up programs as possible. I frequently sweep the registry and scan for malware. I've been thinking it possible that a stick of RAM may have gone bad. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 10 '12 at 3:56
Bad RAM usually exhibits as data corruption and BSODs. However, use memtest86+ to test your RAM if you suspect it. –  Force Flow Sep 11 '12 at 14:07
Bad RAM is also easy to test for with memtest86.com's boot CD. –  mikebabcock Sep 13 '12 at 21:04

Please specify browser and OS.
Is the behavior same with a different browser?
Zooming in on browser should not produce hangs.
Does your PC freeze at other times?

Until you update the question, take these steps:

  1. Use CCleaner to clean your PC(including browser cache and temporary internet files)
  2. Reinstall Adobe Flash Player
  3. Reinstall the browser
  4. Try a different browser(Firefox/Chrome)
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I haven't used CCleaner, but I've tried the reinstall operations. There's equally as much or more lag in FF and IE8. The zoom doesn't cause the lag, but there's a bit more when I zoom in. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 10 '12 at 3:51
Important part: is it just the video sites or everything else? e.g. try playing and HD video offline, try to run a high end game...to make sure everything is fine on hardware/driver end.. –  tumchaaditya Sep 10 '12 at 5:05
tumchaaditya, My PC doesn't freeze at other times. Thank you. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 11 '12 at 9:45

This is typically software issue, not a hardware issue. Try clearing out your browser cache.

Also, how many programs do you have running in the background? To prevent things from loading at startup, go to start > run and type msconfig. Go to the startup tab and see what's there. Most likely, you can uncheck everything except antivirus, firewall, and video driver applications. Things like Java, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Office do not need to be running at startup.

Have you run malware scans? Malware has the tendency to suck up resources in the background. Download and install Malwarebytes, update it, and run a full scan. It's usually safe to remove anything it finds.

Lastly, have you updated your chipset and video card drivers lately? Updates usually contain bug fixes and performance improvements.

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I clear my browser cache regularly. It doesn't help. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 10 '12 at 3:50
How about your temp files in C:\windows\temp, C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp (Windows vista/7), C:\documents and settings\YOURUSERNAME\local settings\temp (Windows XP), C:\documents and settings\YOURUSERNAME\local settings\temporary internet files (Windows XP) –  Force Flow Sep 10 '12 at 5:23
I haven't cleared those temp directories, but I've done the other stuff described in your answer. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 10 '12 at 6:31
Man, I tried that stuff. Still no luck. I think that the OS has just grown slower. –  Wolfpack'08 Sep 11 '12 at 9:45

It's not just cache, but also history, etc. Look up Clear Browsing Data for your browser. It's also possible that it's your Operating System. Over time, Windows itself slows down

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