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New laptop Task Manager surges to 100 percent CPU, 60 percent Memory


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#1 Monsey

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 11:13 PM

Hello,

 

I have a Dell Inspiron 15 that is four days old. I moved Windows 10 on to this laptop and all the downloads I have on this laptop (to the best of my knowledge) were the same as on my previous laptop.

 

I noticed at first there was a delay or slowness that I wouldn't have expected with a new machine while typing in Chrome or Firefox or even the start menu. It wasn't a complete halt, but not as fast as I thought it should be compared to my older laptop. I reinstalled Firefox, and that helped a bit. But there still was that lag, especially when bringing up a new tab in any of the browser windows (Edge included).

 

After a while, I went to the Task Manager. I noticed that the memory percentage, when idle, hands between 45 to 60 percent. The CPU can hold down around 20 percent when idle. When I open any of the browsers or open a new tab, that spikes to around or at 100 percent. If, with no other pages open, I watch a video online, it will stay at 100 percent on the CPU for at least a minute before ramping down.

 

Needless to say, I found it surprising to see this in a new laptop. There has been no real performance issue in a sense, but it just seems slower at the start and can slow more than I expect while playing a video.

 

I have run Malwarebytes (clean, twice). Same with SuperAntiSpyware. My Avast gives me no hits in terms of a virus. Troubleshooter finds nothing, as well.

 

The biggest users seem to be whichever browser is open, Task Manager, WMI Provider Host, Synaptics TouchPad64 and System Interrupts. I even uninstalled Malwarebytes (I since reinstalled) and checked the Task Manager when I opened up Firefox -- the result was a spike to 100 in CPU (it held around 30-35 after a while) when I opened the browser and memory that held around 45-47 percent.

 

So my questions are -- is this what is causing the lag time or is it just my expectations for a new laptop? Also, if this is my problem, any ideas?

 

Thanks



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#2 Monsey

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 11:43 PM

I do want to add, the laptop does not feel like its overheating or grinding. The fan is not running when this occurs, either.



#3 Stancestans

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Posted 31 October 2016 - 11:55 PM

I have a Dell Inspiron 15 that is four days old. I moved Windows 10 on to this laptop and all the downloads I have on this laptop (to the best of my knowledge) were the same as on my previous laptop. 

 

Hi. Kindly clarify what you mean by "moved Windows 10 on to this laptop". Do you mean what I'm thinking, that you actually moved the hard drive (or clone) of your previous laptop to the new laptop, thus are running the Windows 10 installation that was on the old laptop?



#4 Monsey

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 12:44 AM

 

 

Hi. Kindly clarify what you mean by "moved Windows 10 on to this laptop". Do you mean what I'm thinking, that you actually moved the hard drive (or clone) of your previous laptop to the new laptop, thus are running the Windows 10 installation that was on the old laptop?

 

Sorry, I didn't write that one well. Windows 10 was preinstalled on my new laptop. I meant that I just set up my Windows account up on the new laptop, though. So it eventually downloaded some of the games and music from Windows shop on to the new laptop.



#5 Stancestans

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 10:29 AM

Sorry, I didn't write that one well. Windows 10 was preinstalled on my new laptop. I meant that I just set up my Windows account up on the new laptop, though. So it eventually downloaded some of the games and music from Windows shop on to the new laptop.

Understood. This being a few-days-old Windows 10 computer, Windows Update may be busy searching for, downloading and installing updates. The lag you're describing is most likely due to high disk activity. Does the laptop have an SSD or HDD? Open Task Manager, observe the disk activity column. Sort the column as desired, to better capture the process responsible for high disk usage if that's the case.

 

Which processor does the laptop have and how much RAM in total does it have installed? The laptop being new does not necessarily mean it will outperform or is more powerful than the old one.



#6 Monsey

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Posted 01 November 2016 - 04:43 PM

Thanks for the reply.

 

Interesting when I looked at the disc column. Today, it changed a bit -- the disk column was in the 90 percent range 5 minutes after startup. It then dropped to 0-1. The CPU was low (15 and below) and the memory pushing 70 percent. After about 10 minutes, the the CPU remained low, the disk column went to 0 or 1 and the Memory dropped to the 50s.

 

The main usage in the disk column -- System, Google Chrome, Google Chrome Crash handler, HS Audio Background Process, Service Host: Local System, WMI Provider Host.

 

The culprits in the memory remained the same as I listed in the first post.

 

I have checked the updates a few times, and it is reading everything up to date for Windows. Though I know it could be possible it is still  searching for updates.

 

I definitely know it might not outperform the old one, so I have to manage my expectations as well. And that's one of the reason I posted was to make sure that might be the case. I've had a few laptops from work and a couple for personal use, and I know you have to get used to the styles and quirks and timing of each one.

 

Total RAM -- 4 GB with an Intel Celeron N3050

 

It is an HDD.

 

 

Thanks



#7 Stancestans

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 09:29 AM

Interesting when I looked at the disc column. Today, it changed a bit -- the disk column was in the 90 percent range 5 minutes after startup. It then dropped to 0-1. The CPU was low (15 and below) and the memory pushing 70 percent. After about 10 minutes, the the CPU remained low, the disk column went to 0 or 1 and the Memory dropped to the 50s.

 

Sounds normal to me; high disk activity, CPU and memory load as startup items and tasks are run, which should all drop when the system is done booting and sits idle. Some startup services and tasks are often delayed, hence the spike in disk activity 5 minutes after startup (login?) I also find it normal for the memory load to be about 50% when idle, for 64-bit Windows 10 on a 4GB RAM device. However, not all of that committed memory is locked for private use by the reported processes. Most processes will actually be using less (working) memory, thus freeing up shared memory for use by other more demanding processes like Chrome and Firefox. I suspected you have the Celeron N3050 variant, which explains a lot the performance caveat you are describing, especially if you were used to more powerful Intel Core i3/i5/i7 processors.

 

This being a brand new computer that came with Windows 10 preinstalled, there may be the usual OEM bloatware and lots of other trial software, not to mention Windows Store adware apps that you may not really need or want. You'll do well to review the software that came bundled with it (Control Panel > Programs and Features > Uninstall a program) and get rid of those you do not want. You can also review the startup items and disable those that aren't necessary, to speed up startup. I often disable the superfetch service (often causes high disk usage on my systems and slows them down when it's ironically meant to speed things up over time) and Windows Defender (via Group Policy) since I prefer running non-MS antivirus programs, preferably Avast, as I see absolutely no benefit in running two antivirus programs, but you may not have that option if your edition is Windows 10 Home (Group Policy is not supported). I also found Windows Defender to be more resource hungry than Avast, yet offers a somewhat basic level of protection and less features than its competitors. You may wanna stick to one AV solution just to see what impact it has on your laptop's performance. It is documented that Windows Defender disables itself in the presence of another antivirus program and vice versa, but I take that information with a pinch of salt. If that is indeed the case, then why shouldn't I just disable it permanently and use an alternative solution of my liking?

 

The integrated Intel HD graphics is more than capable of processing 1080p HD videos offline and online, provided you install or update the designated graphics drivers and hardware acceleration is enabled for your browser(s). The bulk of the video processing will be handled by the iGPU, but some of the load will still be handled by the dual-core CPU, hence the momentary spike in CPU load when watching videos online.

 

Lastly, you may benefit from disabling fast-startup (ironic huh?) and let the system have a full shutdown/reboot as opposed to the hybrid/partial shutdown. Fast-startup has been a pain for me on several systems and has proven glitchy most of the time, especially with graphics, so I've been disabling it first thing since its introduction in Windows 8. I'd rather wait for 90 seconds of startup time and have a glitch-free work machine waiting for the day's tasks that enjoy a quick 8-seconds startup and have a glitchy experience and waste more time trying to figure out what the issue is, only to find out a full boot is what was lacking for drivers to be loaded and properly function.



#8 Monsey

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Posted 02 November 2016 - 07:54 PM

I shut off Defender as soon as I enabled Avast, so I should be fine there.

 

I think I knocked out most of the bundled packs, but you never know.

 

I'll try the startup items and disable fast start and see what happens and let you know. The use seems to have calmed a bit over the past couple of days, though I still get some lag, and it still seems to drag on the videos. My roommate has a Chromebook tablet with what I heard was a weaker processor, but for the most part, it seems to be zipping past my new one.

 

Thanks



#9 Stancestans

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Posted 04 November 2016 - 02:42 AM

Let's not compare a Windows (10) notebook PC to a Chromebook. For lack of a better phrase, Google "chromebook vs laptop" to get more information, even though both are essentially laptop/notebook PCs, there are gaping differences between them in both hardware and software.






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