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Processor at 100% is bottleneck


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#1
vinny_the_hack

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When processing video, my cpu runs close to 100%. Other applications also seem to drive it higher than I think it should go and for longer than it should, sometimes making multi-tasking tedious. For instance, on occasion, a simple text image crawling across the screen will keep the cpu at or near 100% for as long as the text keeps moving.

I have a 2.4 ghz celeron machine. I'm not sure, but I never noticed this problem before my motherboard blew and I had it replaced. Anyway, I'm wondering if replacing my video card will alleviate this problem. Failing that, is it possible to do a "simple" cpu swap to a pentium processor? I'm very happy with all other aspects of my machine, so I'm not prepared to buy a new one outright.
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#2
diabillic

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How much RAM do you have?
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#3
vinny_the_hack

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768 MB, but it's almost never all in use. I don't use any memory intensive apps.
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#4
sarahw

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Hi vinny_the_hack,
Celeron is another name for Budget CPU.

Download this file:
http://www.cpuid.com...z_152_setup.exe
Save it to your desktop, double click the file to run it.
Follow the installation instructions (it's only a small application -make sure you uncheck the ask.com toolbar-).
Run the program by clicking on the desktop icon.
Press "Alt" "Prt Scr" to take a picture of it.
Open MSPaint
Press "Ctrl" "V" to paste it into Paint.
Save it
Upload that file in your reply.


Also tell us what Operating System you have.

Also, when the processor is at 100%, tell us what eactly is taking up all the CPU Usage by looking in Task Manager.
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#5
vinny_the_hack

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Hi, Sarahw.

I should have learned more about Celeron processors before making the decision to buy a budget PC.

I'm running XP-SP2.

Whatever application is displaying video is the process driving the cpu at very high levels (FF, IE, WMP, etc.).

Posted Image

Edited by vinny_the_hack, 14 August 2009 - 04:49 PM.

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#6
sarahw

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Hi,
Old computers and new software don't mix too well.
As you have a 478 socket motherboard, your options for upgrade are rather limited as it's fairly old technology that has been well superseeded.
Upgrading the CPU will help slightly, but probably not a great deal. Newer apps (especially CPU intensive ones, like processing your videos) require newer hardware.

Other applications also seem to drive it higher than I think it should go and for longer than it should, sometimes making multi-tasking tedious.

Its not a CPU thats designed for multitasking. As I said, it's really a budget CPU that nowadays, is only good for internet surfing or basic word processing.

Try lowering your video card hardware acceleration.
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#7
vinny_the_hack

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Changing HA seems to make things worse, if anything. I guess I'll just have to live with a weak processor for as long as I can stand it.

Thanks for your time and effort, Sarahw.

By the way, is there a way to close or mark topics resolved?
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#8
sarahw

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Your welcome.

By the way, is there a way to close or mark topics resolved?


No, we just leave them open here. Someone may come along and offer more advice later, or have a similar problem.
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#9
Broni

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When processing video, my cpu runs close to 100%.

What do you mean by "processing"?
With weaker systems like yours, burning DVDs, editing video will yield those symptoms.
Increasing RAM to 1GB, and buying real video card (512MB of RAM) may ease those issues a bit.
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#10
vinny_the_hack

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I mean simply viewing video or any animation on the screen.

I don't think RAM is a problem. I almost never see it at capacity. I always have Task Manager up so I can keep an eye on things.

I would spring for a new video card if I were fairly sure it would help appreciably and if I knew what's compatible and how to go about it. Otherwise, I'd leave it alone. The video is fairly stable with only the occasional chopiness if I'm doing too much simultaneously (I like to multitask).
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#11
makai

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Whatever application is displaying video is the process driving the cpu at very high levels (FF, IE, WMP, etc.).

There are a lot of factors that can cause your system to run at 100% CPU. Having a Celeron is not one of them... even on a budget PC. If you're having problems with on-line video, it may be the actual website... ie, youtube... that's causing it. Many websites, due to flash content, will do this. Some content may cause this problem and some on the same site, may not. It depends on the content.

I'm unable to tell from your post if "local" video (video resident on your computer) is also bogging down the CPU. If it is, then it could be bad/damaged codecs, bad/old/damaged drivers, too many other processes running (not the cause, but may be contributing).

I've uploaded a short video HERE (link expired). Enter the code, click on "Regular Download", and save the video to your computer desktop. The file is clean, but scan it anyways. Close all other applications, play the video, and then open task manager (ctrl+alt+del) to see what the CPU usage is at. Note: Megaupload will open a popup page when you click on the "download" button. Just close the popup page.

I don't know if we can help here, but isolating your computer issue to "on-line" or "local" may give other clues.

Edited by makai, 18 August 2009 - 12:08 PM.

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#12
vinny_the_hack

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Before I do that, let me give some more details. When I play a video locally, it plays fine and WMP drives the cpu to between 25% and 65%. For some reason, the last few days seem to have made the problem viewing video from the internet much worse than it ever was. Viewing the same video on YouTube, it is very choppy and FF drives the cpu to between 65% and 95%, with minor processes pushing it to near 100% constantly. Both times, the viewing window was about the same.

It never came up, but I guess I should mention that I have a DSL connection.

Edited by vinny_the_hack, 15 August 2009 - 08:13 PM.

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#13
makai

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Believe it or not, 65-95% can be normal for youtube depending on the video being watched... especially with your machine.

I just watched THIS video on youtube and the TM results are shown below. (I don't like Britney... I just wanted a vid that would tax my laptop.)


X31 Thinkpad, 600Mhz, FSB 400Mhz, 512mb ram, Vidcard ram 16mb

[attachment=33068:X31.gif]

The TM on the left is the FF CPU usage while just watching the youtube video. On the right is with MS Word "focused" while the vid is still running in the background. Note the drop in FF CPU due to youtube no longer being in focus. The vid card doesn't have to work as hard displaying Word while it covers up the youtube vid.

Desktop ASUS with 3.2GHZ C2D, FSB 1450Mhz, 4GB ram, Vidcard ram 512mb

[attachment=33069:Desktop.gif]

Again, TM on the left is the FF CPU usage while watching the youtube video. On the right is with MS Word focused. Amazing what a new faster machine can do... basically no CPU usage either way.


I also just watched the video I uploaded to Megaupload on my X31. Again, the X31 was running at only 600mhz. Its an old business laptop, so it's not meant to do much more than word processing and Internet junk. Task Manager states WMP (ver 10) CPU usage at approx between 33-44% constantly with spiking up to 55%. When I opened FF (vid still playing), the WMP usage dropped, as it should, since FF was in focus, and the vid card didn't have to work so hard. FF usage + WMP usage at the same time eclipsed about 85-95% CPU until FF finally opened and settled down to 1-2% on Google. The vid usage then stabilized to about 21% due to FF being focused. The WMP audio never stuttered all the time FF was opening, but since I couldn't see the video, I can only guess the video also didn't stutter as the video kept playing. For reference, CPU usage on my Desktop for this video is 5%.

Its very difficult to diagnose what's "really" going on with your machine. And the gist of it is, is that your machine may be "normal" from what you describe as CPU usage. Online video will definitely burden your machine and the fact that you're on DSL may be a contributing factor... although, I don't know this for sure, as I'm on Cable, so I have no experience with DSL. On the other hand, I still have a hard time believing that your 2.5 Ghz Celeron can't handle youtube given my X31 has no problems at 600Mhz. Your Celeron should breeze by with no problems!

There may be other factors such as too many background processes, fragged up hard drive, too much trash (internet and otherwise), or a myriad of other things such as perhaps unmatched drivers (due to your new motherboard replacement), etc. You might try cleaning up your machine and defragging you harddrive, and possibly updating your drivers. Lots of work, with no guarantees!

By the way, how many processes does TM say is running on your machine right now?
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#14
vinny_the_hack

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I like to keep my fire engine clean (it's a clean machine). I regularly clean temp and internet files and defrag. I also checked my drivers shortly after the new MB was installed.

I have about 43 processes running, none of which ever consume much processor time for any length of time, FF/IE using the most. Even idle, they use about 5-10%. Everything seems pretty well normal, perhaps including the amount of CPU required by video, but viewing many of them on the internet I don't get the quality others tell me they do.

I just tried something. I viewed the same video, once on YouTube and once on Blogger using the same size viewing pane. On YouTube, it drove the cpu between 90 and 100% and it was very choppy. On Blogger, it used between 50 and 70% cpu and it played without any chopiness.

If you'd like to try the same experiment, my video is here and here.

By the way, no matter how good or bad the video appears, the audio is consistently smooth.
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#15
makai

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Yes, youtube is known for causing excessive cpu usage. It's actually the flash content, but no one has been able to nail it down yet and Adobe keeps updating flash. I know Adobe is aware of the problem but I have no idea if they care to fix it since flash is free.

I tried both of your links and on my desktop (not running my laptop right now), FF usage was 0% for the Blogger link... youtube 1%.
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