CPU usage spiking to100% after buying a new PSU

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by FakeFx, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    CPU usage spiking to 100% after buying a new PSU

    Hi. I need help...

    My system's PSU went bad, and I just bought a new PSU to replace it. According to the place I bought the new PSU at, the 5v circuit died (they tested it). I used to have an Enermax 420w PSU, and I replaced it for an Echo Star 680w PSU (specs here.) I know, it's not the best quality, but I needed the PSU urgently so I could get back to work - otherwise, I can't make money to repair the system!

    Well, now that I installed this PSU, I'm getting very random CPU usage spikes when browsing the internet (using Firefox 2.0), when I watch a video, or when I do anything 3D related (such as a game, or DirectX's internal tests). I reinstalled the video card drivers, and the motherboard chipset drivers... and I still get the same problem.

    Could this be caused by the cheapy PSU? I checked the voltages in the bios and they're not ... right. (+12v shows as +11.6v, and so on.)

    My motherboard is an Abit NF7-S, running an Athlon XP 2500+. Thanks for looking at my question. :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2007
  2. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    Apart from that PSU being totally crap, it should still be ok for your system, tho I wouldn't even consider trusting such a unit. But that apart, try running a spyware/adware check, there migh be some malicious little buggers running in the background eating your cpu time. Just a thought.
     
  3. Steven Hone

    Steven Hone Paolo the Gun

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    Maybe your old PSU spiked the CPU/MB
     
  4. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    eclap:
    I doubt it. Why (or how) would spyware install on my system during the one week downtime?

    Steven Hone:
    How could I check to see if that happened?
     

  5. Makalu

    Makalu Ancient Guru

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    Does your motherboard have a 4-pin CPU power connector?
     
  6. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    Yes, it does.
     
  7. Makalu

    Makalu Ancient Guru

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    hmm ok well I don't know why the CPU would be running at 100% (I'm assuming you've looked in the Task Manager to see if any processes are using it all). I can't rule out that something was damaged when the last psu flaked out either, but it might have something to do with the fact that your CPU gets it's power from the 12v rail and your "new" PSU is designed for CPU's that get their power from the 5v rail. It's an older design and that's why you see the 3.3v and 5v current ratings so high in the specs...higher than the 12v. It's being cross-loaded a little bit, not a lot because your system doesn't require a lot of juice on any of the rails but it requires more power off the 12v more than the 3.3 and 5v and that's not what that design expects to see. Anyway when a unit doesn't handle a cross-load it causes the rails to not produce as much current and/or voltages to jump out of spec. Unfortunately the BIOS volt readings aren't reliable enough for troubleshooting, but if you can get your hands on a multimeter then you might want to measure all of the positive voltage rails and see where they are at. Or get your hands on another psu :)
     
  8. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    I'm gonna contact the store that sold me this and see if they will accept a return. And I'm gonna purchase a new Enermax PSU; the one I had before worked like a charm for years, they're cheap and pretty good for the price, anyway. :)

    Oh, the tasks that suck up so much CPU time are Firefox and Windows Media Player / Media Player Classic. Games and programs that make heavy use of the video card also spike the CPU usage. Windows also told me there may be some problems with my RAM when I rebooted the system this morning, which was odd...
     
  9. Makalu

    Makalu Ancient Guru

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    sounds like a good plan to me :) If the GPU isn't getting proper power it's possible that it's not working right and the CPU is trying to pick up the slack. RAM is sensitive to power problems too, so hopefully the Enermax will solve your problems...let us know :)
     
  10. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    Well, I got myself an Enermax PSU, really good quality... but the CPU spikes are still there. Firefox now only goes up to 50% instead of 90, which is an improvement...

    I tested the RAM and it's fine, and I doubt the CPU got fried too, so I'm starting to think the video card is damaged. Problem is, I don't know how to check.

    Does anyone have any idea how to test that? :)
     

  11. Renegade8100

    Renegade8100 Ancient Guru

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    i got the same problem a year ago, was after my gf was lookin at porn on my pc.
    i contracted a trojan that sneaked in n was downloading mass crap(replacement dll's and drivers). in the beginning i got random 100% spikes but maybe that was just me.
     
  12. bigpipe

    bigpipe Watson Guru

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    You think your PS causes your cpu to run at 100%?



    I mean this in a nice way so please don't take it wrong.
    People have a tendency to search for the most complicated explanations for the simplest problems.
     
  13. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    It's not spyware, it's not a trojan, and it's not a virus. I haven't had a virus on this system since the MSBlast problem a few years ago. Nobody uses this system but me, and I doubt the virus or whatever installed itself after two weeks of downtime.
     
  14. Makalu

    Makalu Ancient Guru

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    well if you've got known processes (firefox) that are consuming cpu time while it's idling then i'd consider reinstalling them and if that doesn't change anything then maybe your windows installation is knackered. I thought this was another case of cpu maxed out and nothing in the process list accounting for it. Not much you can do to check if the GPU is causing this other then to try another known good one.
     
  15. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    Oops, bigpipe, I didn't see your reply until now.

    I checked several forums, and lots of places said that the CPU spikes could've been caused by the PSU I bought (the Echo Star one) because of low +12v power, so I got this new one instead. Now that I'm seeing that the problem is still there (albeit less than before), so I'm thinking the blown PSU damaged my video card somehow.

    Edit: And don't worry about me taking your comments the wrong way. I know, it seems silly to think that the PSU is causing the CPU surges, but that's why I'm asking, to be sure I'm wrong and to find out what is causing them. :)
     

  16. Renegade8100

    Renegade8100 Ancient Guru

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    the psu cant cause 100 loads on the cpu (that i'm aware of) when the cpu isnt gettin enough power, the pc shuts off or you get a bsod.

    video card being damaged isnt the problem because one its not connected to the psu, and 2 damaged video cards don't result in increased load.

    this is probably the result of bad writes/errors while the psu was giving out.. probably corrupted a few drivers or dll's. it seems to be the only logical explanation if your system is clean and hardware is sound.

    grab the XP cd and do a recovery mode repair. works like a charm
     
  17. FakeFx

    FakeFx Member

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    I think I'll just reinstall XP from scratch, instead... but thanks for the advice.
     
  18. Renegade8100

    Renegade8100 Ancient Guru

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    good luck
     
  19. Makalu

    Makalu Ancient Guru

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    well I'm not saying that I think this is the problem he has, but a bad PSU can output over specs as well as under and that can overload any circuitry. Video card is connected to the psu thru the slot and I've heard of a malfunctioning video card making the CPU work harder (it was just the 2-D that was bad on it) apparently in an attempt to make up for the dodgy GPU. But anyway, yeah repair/reinstall Windows is allways a good idea to try.
     
  20. bigpipe

    bigpipe Watson Guru

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    Hey I'm glad you took it the right way.:cheers:

    Your cpu can only run code, programs feed it code. Power supply supplies power not code. therefore....

    As stated above if you had bad power to cpu you would have errors, lockups BSOD restarts ect.
    If you are just seeing very short duration spikes durning internet or very lite load conditions It's probably nothing to worry about.

    If you seeing it during gaming thats the way it should be, a well coded program will use all available resource to run it's self at the fastest possible speed.
     

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