1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 1, 2013 8:46 AM by Diego_Intel

    CPU performance is intermittent


      Hi all!


      Well, I have a Dell XPS 14 (specs below) and I've been having problems playing media on it for a while. Videos, being on YouTube, VLC or Media Player Classic or even music on iTunes or MusicMonkey, always find a way to stutter. With videos, the sound rarely lags, but on the audio softwares, the music sometimes stutters. However, that's not the big thing here. I recently acquired a game on Steam (Deus Ex Human Revolution) and when I played it for the first time watching the cutscenes was impossible. They ALL stuttered heavily. It was 2-3s of playback and 1-2s of nothing... Thinking it might have been a problem with the game or whatever, I downloaded something much simpler (PS 1 emulator + Final Fantasy 7) and tried playing it. To my surprise, the results were exactly the same. During the cutscenes, heavy stuttering.

      Willing to solve the problem, I downloaded softs like "Process Explorer" to analyse what was going on. So I ran these together with the emulator and what I was able to find out was that the CPU and the GPU usage, while there was no cutscene, was around 25%. However, when the cutscenes began, this number started oscillating between 25% and 0%. In other words, while the CPU and GPU usage was high, the scenes were flowing, but, as soon as the numbers dropped, the cutscenes stopped also. Therefore, every cutscene was a very painful process of intermittent playback.


      I surfed the net nonstop for the past few days and I found a suggestion somewhere, which was to disable the Intel Speedstep tech on the BIOS. I did that yesterday and, surprisingly, it worked like a charm! Everything was fast, from windows simplest processes to gaming (even Deus Ex). BUT, I made the "mistake" of shutting down the notebook and today, after turning it on, I couldn't play anymore because of the SAME issues. Even with the Speedstep STILL disabled.


      So here I am... What can I do guys? Is there a solution? Do any of you have the same problem?

      By the way, the system is virus-free (according to Microsoft security essentials), defragmented (smart defrag), clean (ccleaner) and properly up-to-date regarding drivers.



      Dell XPS Studio L401X

      Intel Core i5 M460 2.53GHz

      4GB de RAM

      Intel HD Graphics + Nvidia Geforce 420M

      HD: Toshiba 640GB

      Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate Edition

        • 1. Re: CPU performance is intermittent

          Enhanced Intel(R) SpeedStep(R) technology would only lower the processor frequency when the system is idle, this is done in order to save power (specially when running through battery). So, if there is a high processor usage such as during gaming or video playback, it should remain at the stock speed.

          Still if disabling this helped you while troubleshooting the problem, you may try updating the system BIOS and check on the power settings of the operating system to set everything as always done. Furthermore, be sure to be using the latest codecs for video and audio files.

          If the problem with the processor persists, you should check with DELL so they may run diagnostics on this system and determine if there is a hardware problem with your computer.