Forum Thread

Hardware failure?

HamSandwish 74 54 August 24, 2015 at 11:06 AM
Hey guys:

I realize this is a "hail-mary" type question but maybe one of you have experienced this:

I have a self-built PC with these specs:
Asus motherboard ( forget the model)
64 bit Windows 7 Service pack 1
Pentium R E5500
4 GB Ram
Visiontek GeForce3 64MB video card

The problem: It suddenly just started operating at about half speed (literally). After eliminating our modem as a possible culprit I assumed it was a software issue. To the point that I scrubbed the hard-drive and did a clean install. Still painfully slow.

Question #1: this issue most be hardware related then, right? The only software programs I reinstalled where Windows and the drivers for the monitor, mouse, keyboard.

Question #2: I play an occasional FPS game but use the computer daily for Photoshop. With that in mind and if you were in my position with modest funds, would you just rebuild what I have (e.g. motherboard, i5 and more ram), would you go for the always plentiful Alienware Alpha or would you just shop for a $400 desktop and add on to it as you could?

I can wait for the Black Friday deals if it will allow me to save a hundred bucks but I'd prefer to not keep working from my laptop if possible.

Any thoughts?

15 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#2
Have you checked your temperatures (particularly your CPU temperature)? It could be a thermal throttling issue.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,662 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#3
I would not bank on Black Friday, the deals just are not that great, and typically only door busters where they have 3 low end machines etc. Dell outlet sales are the way to go if you want prebuilt.

I would be doing some more diagnostics before I rule anything toast. Use Memtest to test the ram for a good couple of cycles (12-24hrs). Test the CPU temps, make sure the dust is cleaned out of the case, fans, etc, run the hard drive manufactures full test (12+ hrs).

You would see quite a bit of performance out of a new PC though, especially if you upgraded it to an ssd.. I would keep an eye out on the dell outlet for machines with coupons. I am going assume the integrated graphics on a modern i5 would be fine to play games that your geforce3 card is playing now as thats a super old chip now unless we are getting something concfused.. .
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
Joined Apr 2013
L2: Beginner
74 Posts
54 Reputation
Original Poster
#4
Quote from quotidian View Post :
Have you checked your temperatures (particularly your CPU temperature)? It could be a thermal throttling issue.
Good point, but it's (a) incredibly well ventilated (and clean inside) and (b) is just as slow even on start-up.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#5
Quote from HamSandwish View Post :
Good point, but it's (a) incredibly well ventilated (and clean inside) and (b) is just as slow even on start-up.
Ah yeah, the slow startup suggests it's probably not throttling. Perhaps it's an I/O problem. I'd check your windows system logs (through Event Viewer, I think) for errors reading from disk.

It still could potentially be heat if your heatsink has come unseated, but less likely given that you say it's immediately slow on startup.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#6
Instantly I can tell that part of your problem is trying to run Photoshop on a machine with a Pentium CPU and 4gb of RAM.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Apr 2013
L2: Beginner
74 Posts
54 Reputation
Original Poster
#7
Yeah, but the Photoshop isn't causing the slowness. It's slow even without PS installed
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Mar 2004
L11: Monkey's Apprentice
17,199 Posts
2,789 Reputation
#8
You sure all your RAM is properly installed/showing up? That'll slow things down faster than you can say...
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Apr 2013
L2: Beginner
74 Posts
54 Reputation
Original Poster
#9
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
unless we are getting something concfused.. .
Nope, no confusion - you're right on. I'll keep on eye out for the Dell/Lenovo desktop deals.

Thanks
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#10
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I would not bank on Black Friday, the deals just are not that great, and typically only door busters where they have 3 low end machines etc. Dell outlet sales are the way to go if you want prebuilt.

I would be doing some more diagnostics before I rule anything toast. Use Memtest to test the ram for a good couple of cycles (12-24hrs). Test the CPU temps, make sure the dust is cleaned out of the case, fans, etc, run the hard drive manufactures full test (12+ hrs).

You would see quite a bit of performance out of a new PC though, especially if you upgraded it to an ssd.. I would keep an eye out on the dell outlet for machines with coupons. I am going assume the integrated graphics on a modern i5 would be fine to play games that your geforce3 card is playing now as thats a super old chip now unless we are getting something concfused.. .
Totally agree with this.

If you run: devmgmt.msc - is anything banged out? Upgrade to at least 8GB RAM if using PS daily - $40 - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applic...No=9757477

Also wouldn't hurt to run a HD utility:
http://www.hdtune.com/
http://crystalmark.info/software/...dex-e.html
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Apr 2013
L2: Beginner
74 Posts
54 Reputation
Original Poster
#11
Quote from brbubba View Post :
You sure all your RAM is properly installed/showing up? That'll slow things down faster than you can say...
OMG - That's it (sort of). This is embarrassing to say but your post and morethanajews got me thinking about how much Ram I had installed. Turns out, I had 8GB installed but only 4 is showing in my system.

That 'splains everything.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,662 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#12
Quote from HamSandwish View Post :
OMG - That's it (sort of). This is embarrassing to say but your post and morethanajews got me thinking about how much Ram I had installed. Turns out, I had 8GB installed but only 4 is showing in my system.

That 'splains everything.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed.
It explains some but it doesn't explain everything. Windows 7 runs fine with 4gb of ram. After a fresh format it should be decently fast as nothing is running. This won't be the case if you have 15 tabs in chrome open and trying to use photoshop. Ram failure happens but is somewhat rare.

I would still look long and hard at the hard drive. Sounds like possible disk errors to me as well.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Feb 2008
I Love Sports
31,575 Posts
5,570 Reputation
Pro
#13
Quote from HamSandwish View Post :
OMG - That's it (sort of). This is embarrassing to say but your post and morethanajews got me thinking about how much Ram I had installed. Turns out, I had 8GB installed but only 4 is showing in my system.

That 'splains everything.

Thank you so much to everyone who contributed.
Did this fix it?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Apr 2013
L2: Beginner
74 Posts
54 Reputation
Original Poster
#14
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
It explains some but it doesn't explain everything. Windows 7 runs fine with 4gb of ram. After a fresh format it should be decently fast as nothing is running. This won't be the case if you have 15 tabs in chrome open and trying to use photoshop. Ram failure happens but is somewhat rare.

I would still look long and hard at the hard drive. Sounds like possible disk errors to me as well.
More work for me, then. Thanks again, this info helps a lot.

Quote from xxxHolic View Post :
Did this fix it?
Donno. I don't have another hunk of ram.

The computer is about 5 years old so unless I source ram for cheap I'll probably just shelve it (again)

Thanks for your help
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by HamSandwish August 24, 2015 at 04:25 PM
#15
Quote from HamSandwish View Post :
More work for me, then. Thanks again, this info helps a lot.


Donno. I don't have another hunk of ram.

The computer is about 5 years old so unless I source ram for cheap I'll probably just shelve it (again)

Thanks for your help
Take out the ram sticks one at a time and determine which one is bad...then just run the good stick..should be fine..
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard