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Advice on upgrading a custom-build PC

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I asked the HUKD community about advice on building a custom-build PC around 18 months ago, and it worked out brilliantly. Now, I'm looking to upgrade and wanted advice on what would be the most cost-… Read More
KratosGunner Avatar
1m, 3w agoPosted 1 month, 3 weeks ago
I asked the HUKD community about advice on building a custom-build PC around 18 months ago, and it worked out brilliantly. Now, I'm looking to upgrade and wanted advice on what would be the most cost-effective changes to make.

Current specs: i5 4690k @3.5Ghz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti, multiple SSDs, Windows 7 64-bit.

Current problems: PC has started running a lot louder than usual, and a tad slower. CPU anywhere from 20%-80% just running Chrome, and it freezes on certain webpages (with no viruses, no clutter).

What I use it for: 8hrs a day, primarily running Chrome (usually around 20 tabs spread across 4 windows) plus Word/Excel. Around 75% of the time, I like to have a second monitor on for video (Sky/BT/NBA Pass stream).

Would replacing the CPU be the best option to improve performance? Or perhaps replacing/adding a second Graphics card just for the second monitor (both 1080p)?
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KratosGunner Avatar
1m, 3w agoPosted 1 month, 3 weeks ago
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Best Answer
If it's noise that's the main problem, get an aftermarket cooler - your CPU may be slow because it is overheating.

I'd recommend the Hyper 212 X (or evo)

Edited By: MFT01 on Feb 26, 2017 23:03: added info

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#1
32bit and 16g ?
#2
If it's noise that's the main problem, get an aftermarket cooler - your CPU may be slow because it is overheating.

I'd recommend the Hyper 212 X (or evo)

Edited By: MFT01 on Feb 26, 2017 23:03: added info
#3
browneyone
32bit and 16g ?

My bad - it's 64-bit.
#4
MFT01
If it's noise that's the main problem, get an aftermarket cooler - your CPU may be slow because it is overheating.
I'd recommend the Hyper 212 X (or evo)

Ah, I see. I completely overlooked that, but seems fairly obvious now due to room temperature and location of PC.

Thank you for the recommendation too :) Fairly cheap potential fix!

I have this case - I assume the fan would attach to that vent on the side panel (image 5)?
#5
what exactly is loud ? if it is stock cpu cooler i agree with MFT01 get an aftermarket 1 and just overclock the cpu for more speed
#6
KratosGunner
MFT01
If it's noise that's the main problem, get an aftermarket cooler - your CPU may be slow because it is overheating.
I'd recommend the Hyper 212 X (or evo)
Ah, I see. I completely overlooked that, but seems fairly obvious now due to room temperature and location of PC.

Thank you for the recommendation too :) Fairly cheap potential fix!

I have this case - I assume the fan would attach to that vent on the side panel (image 5)?
no image 5 is for a case fan , he's telling you to change the cpu fan the 1 on top of the cpu attached to the mobo
#7
wozukSilencer
KratosGunner
MFT01
If it's noise that's the main problem, get an aftermarket cooler - your CPU may be slow because it is overheating.
I'd recommend the Hyper 212 X (or evo)
Ah, I see. I completely overlooked that, but seems fairly obvious now due to room temperature and location of PC.
Thank you for the recommendation too :) Fairly cheap potential fix!
I have this case - I assume the fan would attach to that vent on the side panel (image 5)?
no image 5 is for a case fan , he's telling you to change the cpu fan the 1 on top of the cpu attached to the mobo

Oh ok, thanks for clarifying. Yeah it's just the stock CPU fan, so hopefully this new one will make a big difference.

Really appreciate the help from both of you.
#8
Eh?

Reformat the PC, get a better cooler and upgrade graphics card if you want, pennies to sort this issue.
#9
Get yourself a water based cpu cooler, then upgrade your gpu, and do a fresh install with win 10, I found it faster than 7,
#10
I had the exact same system.


First OC your cpu to 4.5ghz and get the 1060 4/6gb GPU
#11
You've got a problem somewhere, it's not insufficient performance that's causing this.

It could be failing hardware or it could be a software bug, it's hard to judge remotely.

When you say '20-80%' performance running chrome can you elaborate on that. If you leave the chrome window sitting there for, say, 30 seconds then it is reading a constant 20%? Do you have the problems with chrome shut? What about with it minimised?
#12
EndlessWaves
You've got a problem somewhere, it's not insufficient performance that's causing this.
It could be failing hardware or it could be a software bug, it's hard to judge remotely.
When you say '20-80%' performance running chrome can you elaborate on that. If you leave the chrome window sitting there for, say, 30 seconds then it is reading a constant 20%? Do you have the problems with chrome shut? What about with it minimised?

The figure displayed on Task Manager is always between 20-80%, but it doesn't seem to be based on the activity. For instance, it may say 40% when I've got several high-intensity web pages open, then 60% after I've closed all of them for a few minutes. For that reason, I think it may be to do with poor cooling, as suggested above.
#13
Get an aftermarket cpu cooler, give it all a clean and get rid of the dust.

Upgrade to W10 and add a new GPU and you are good to go.
#14
can you screenshot your task manager to see where your system resources are going, download cpu-z or other temp reading software to see if the cpu is throttling by overheating also how much disk space do you have left on your primary ssd? if you can answer some of these it should make it easier to narrow down your problem

Edited By: conorlynn7 on Feb 27, 2017 03:10: typo
#15
KratosGunner
EndlessWaves
You've got a problem somewhere, it's not insufficient performance that's causing this.
It could be failing hardware or it could be a software bug, it's hard to judge remotely.
When you say '20-80%' performance running chrome can you elaborate on that. If you leave the chrome window sitting there for, say, 30 seconds then it is reading a constant 20%? Do you have the problems with chrome shut? What about with it minimised?

The figure displayed on Task Manager is always between 20-80%, but it doesn't seem to be based on the activity. For instance, it may say 40% when I've got several high-intensity web pages open, then 60% after I've closed all of them for a few minutes. For that reason, I think it may be to do with poor cooling, as suggested above.


This sounds like a virus to be honest. May be worth doing a full virus sweep and use something like spybot for malware.


You can also download free CPU temp checkers to see if there is overheating. Stock CPU coolers are louder than aftermarket coolers but this seems to be a new issue.
#16
Format the PC and re-install win 7, that PC is already really overpowered for your use. You'd just be throwing more money at a problem and gaining nothing. Graphics card won't improve anything, CPU is already more than enough for gaming or video editing/decoding, nevermind browsing the web/video playback. Maybe more ram could help as Chrome is pretty un-optimised, but that would only be if you're used ram is constantly 90% plus.

You pretty much definitely have something dodgy on the PC from the symptoms you've described.
#17
Are your SSD healthy and not too full?
#18
Get a Better cooling system
#19
Rebuild the OS
#20
Rebuild the OS
#21
You don't need to upgrade anything for the usage you describe. For me the first place I'd be looking is the CPU temperature. Has the system got quite loud? Fans constantly running? There are many programs for monitoring CPU temperature. It could be dust build up inside the case, something simple.

You could have some kind of malware or programs running you don't need on start-up.

I'd rule the CPU temperature out then run a disk clean up. If things don't improve then I'd reinstall Windows.
#22
Your pc is what alot of people use to game on. It's definitely not you having a lack of performance.

You need to do a fresh install of Windows. Whether be 7 or 10. A back ground application is making your system work harder than it needs to.
I would assume the fan noise is because the fan is working harder to keep the over working CPU cool. So fix the first bit and should fix the second. I would open it up and make sure it's not full of dust just in case if you feel ok to do that
#23
KratosGunner
EndlessWaves
You've got a problem somewhere, it's not insufficient performance that's causing this.
It could be failing hardware or it could be a software bug, it's hard to judge remotely.
When you say '20-80%' performance running chrome can you elaborate on that. If you leave the chrome window sitting there for, say, 30 seconds then it is reading a constant 20%? Do you have the problems with chrome shut? What about with it minimised?
The figure displayed on Task Manager is always between 20-80%, but it doesn't seem to be based on the activity. For instance, it may say 40% when I've got several high-intensity web pages open, then 60% after I've closed all of them for a few minutes. For that reason, I think it may be to do with poor cooling, as suggested above.

An overheating CPU won't cause usage to increase as far as I know.

Well, the lower clockspeed might cause task manager to calculate the percentage of use differently, I'm not sure, but even if that's the case it won't cause the normal 0-2% idle use to jump to 60%.

It certainly won't cause higher usage in idle than under load.

Unfortunately you're using the old Windows 7 so task manager doesn't give CPU clock speed which is the first thing to get reduced when it overheats. You also don't have Windows reset available so you'd have to reinstall manually.

Which processes does task manager show the high CPU usage for? There's a CPU time column available that's the total amount of time dedicated to a process, I'm not sure if it's enabled by default though.
#24
Not sure if anyone else has written this, but your CPU shouldn't be using 20-80 percent of its power on chrome. Perhaps it needs new thermal paste or better cooling.

I run a i3-4150, don't use chrome much, but firefox is always under 20 percent even with 20 tabs!
#25
Current specs: i5 4690k @3.5Ghz, 16GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GTX 750Ti, multiple SSDs, Windows 7 64-bit.

What motherboard (and bios version) are you currently using? As high CPU utilisation can be caused by motherboard driver and hardware issues especially Windows 7 & 10. Although without further information it's difficult to rule this out, or investigate further. Also could you state the PSU (Make & Model), and other peripherals and components inside or attached to the computer.
#26
Replace the Stock Fan with a AIO. Stock fans will always get louder as the cheap bearings wear in, shame on you for putting a stock fan on a K rated CPU you cheapskate. Backup your chrome bookmarks etc, then uninstall and completely remove all trace of Chrome before reinstalling.

Sounds like your system is just struggling with a very corrupt version of Chrome :)

Edited By: kester76 on Feb 27, 2017 13:21
#27
All great suggestions above but let's get down to some down hardcore computer maintenance if the above doesn't help..

What porn sites and add blockers do you use? Do you just google porn? You probably have a virus.
#28
Thanks, everyone. I'll be opening up the system to clean it and replace the CPU cooler. Should that fail to make any improvement, I'll reinstall Windows.

Judging by your comments it seems my graphics card is OK for dual 1080p screens, so I won't add/upgrade.

Re: Win10 - that's a no-go unfortunately. I used it on a laptop for a year and didn't like it.

Re: a virus - multiple full PC scans over the weekend, nothing found. Since build, the PC has been used exclusively for work (which entails reputable sites only), video streaming via legal paid-for services, and previously light gaming via Steam/Origin.
#29
KratosGunner
Thanks, everyone. I'll be opening up the system to clean it and replace the CPU cooler. Should that fail to make any improvement, I'll reinstall Windows.
Judging by your comments it seems my graphics card is OK for dual 1080p screens, so I won't add/upgrade.
Re: Win10 - that's a no-go unfortunately. I used it on a laptop for a year and didn't like it.
Re: a virus - multiple full PC scans over the weekend, nothing found. Since build, the PC has been used exclusively for work (which entails reputable sites only), video streaming via legal paid-for services, and previously light gaming via Steam/Origin.
I think you need to rethink how you use chrome, opening too many tabs isn't a good idea as you're running multiple instances of chrome at the same time. If these are running flash,javascript and addons then you're going to be hammering a quad core system. Remember that the system is multitasking and chrome won't always stop non selected instances from running.

http://www.techverse.net/how-to-troubleshoot-google-chromes-high-cpu-memory-usage/
#30
As others are saying other than the fan for noise and possible throttling there should be little needed to upgrade in your system for your described usage.
There are 3 sides to approaching what you are describing.

The one touched on by nemesis is making sure your system and firmware is upto date. Nemesis gave the example of motherboard and bios but you should check all devices for firmware updates. E.g.you mention you have ssd's- any 840 Samsung by any chance? Reason for asking is these were known to drop off the performance due to a firmware issue on older data - fixed by a firmware update. (This would manifest it with the drive queue growing and system becoming less responsive)

Second is to make sure you have your system setup to best leverage how you would like to use it. With multiple ssds I am guessing you have os and apps on these and storage on slower. What is the swap space like - could you optimise that by setting it to a static maximum needed? Look up resource monitor and guides to use.

The 3rd element is a process of elimination. On startup what do you have initiating and running in the background (run msconfig) - you mention chrome - does the same occur if you use Firefox or opera without chrome? (This will eliminate chrome and extensions you may have added - of course will not help on specific sites).


Edited By: Bertz99 on Feb 27, 2017 22:39: Typos

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