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I've got an Intel i7 3770 CPU and am generally quite happy about it.

However when I am browsing the web without programs running in the background it seems to underclock itself quite a lot. This is not a real issue, but there seems to be a small hiccup (0.1s maybe) when it clocks itself higher again.

Does anyone have a similar issue? Can I change the thresholds that are being used to change the clocks?

I absolutely like that it underclocks the CPU whenever I am not around, but it shouldn't start to annoy me.

It might also be related to me using Windows 8.1, but I am not sure about that, just saying that it's a possibility.

I ran LatencyMon as suggested and got this worrying result:

enter image description here

  • I've never had this issue but it sounds like it can be caused by motherboard issues. I would recommend updating the BIOS if a newer one is available, and make sure your motherboard drivers within Windows are up to date as well such as the chipset drivers. – MonkeyZeus Nov 6 '13 at 17:29
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In the Control Panel, go to Power Options and set the current plan to High Performance. This will make the CPU stay at its highest clock speed but unfortunately it will have the side effect of making the CPU run hotter and use more power. If you want to you can you can manually tweak the maximum and minimum CPU states by editing the High Performance power plan and finding the section called Processor Power Management.

Power plan

Screenshot is from Windows 7 but it is very similar on Windows 8. Note that some machines may have manufacturer installed power management software that can interfere and reset such settings.

However, the CPU you have is a particularly fast model and I would expect it to still perform well even when it scales down to its lowest operational power state, so I don't think these power management settings are really going to help much.

I would have two theories about what could cause the issues you are having:

  • You might have one or more bad drivers causing a problem called DPC latency. This is where a badly written driver causes stalls that can manifest as breaks in sound and video and make the computer feel laggy. You can check for such issues using programs like LatencyMon although interpreting the results may not be straightforward. If you can find more up to date drivers (particularly for network adapters) it might be worth trying them.

  • It's possible you have problems with heat or power constraints and your CPU is throttling itself. You can check the temperatures using a program like SpeedFan

  • Thank you. It had always been on balanced appereantly, what a shame, it's on High Performance now and hoping that the said issues will be gone. – skiwi Nov 6 '13 at 18:04
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    The CPU you have is a particularly fast model and I would expect it to perform very quickly even when it scales down to its lowest operational power state. Your problems could be related to a bad driver causing DPC latency issues. There are a few tools for checking this issue but the one I have heard recommended, DPC Latency Checker (thesycon.de/deu/latency_check.shtml) is not accurate on Windows 8. – James P Nov 6 '13 at 18:14
  • Oh now I start to realise it... I should have definately mentioned this earlier, but sometimes Youtube vids just stop for one second (while I still hear the audio). Surprisingly I haven't had it since I just changed to High Performance, but still needs more testing. – skiwi Nov 6 '13 at 18:35
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    There is also LatencyMon (resplendence.com/latencymon) which could be worth a go for tracking down which driver is responsible. – James P Nov 6 '13 at 19:05
  • Added a screenshot of a LatencyMon run to my OP, it looks indeed worrying. – skiwi Nov 6 '13 at 21:17

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