Question Is HPET at fault for image freeze or what else could it be ?


Jan 20, 2021
Hi there! Two months ago I bought a second hand kit consisting of:

  • i5 9400f + stock cooler
  • 2 x 16 GB DDR4 Corsair
Previously to buying the kit I tested out remotely the RAM with memtest86 for 8 hours. After that I used Cinebench 23 for testing out the CPU for 30 minutes of stability testing for single core. The result I got was around the same value cpu-money shown for i5 9400 f (Cinebench 23). The temperature was normal. Hence, both tests ran succesfully.

This are the specs for my PC. The SSD and the PSU (Corsair RM550X Gold, 550W) were new. I borrowed the GPU from a friend - XFX R9 270x.

Since I bought the kit, while using a fresh Windows 10 Pro 64, BIOS mode, every 2-3 weeks some programs would slow down to the point the image would freeze up completely, without any BSOD screen. In some cases the image freeze would come together with a deafening buzzing of the speakers at maximum volume. The only way to recover was either power off or restart. After system power up there was no crash dump to be found.

XFX R9 270x went through a PSU frying while at that friend, but it seems the GPU wasn't affected by it, as it ran without any problems on a completely different system of that friend.

I've noticed that the latest CPU-Z (2.0.51 x64) version came with a lag when the window is dragged around. This has been noticed with 3 fresh (trial versions) installs of Windows 10 Pro 64, BIOS mode, Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 64, UEFI mode and Windows 11 Pro 64, UEFI mode. After some searching related to this lag in CPU-Z I came across people saying that HPET could be responsible for this lag. At this point I was thinking HPET was also responsible for the image freeze I kept getting. Hence I followed up some tutorials for disabling HPET completely within Windows, which I managed to. But what I couldn't disable was HPET within the motherboard, since it doesn't have this feature.

Prior to disabling HPET within Windows I ran a couple more tests, namely:

- testing out RAM for 36 hours

No problems regarding RAM.

Cinebench 23:
  • test throttling single core: 10 minutes
  • test throttling multi core: 10 minutes
  • test stability single core: 30 minutes
  • test stability multi core: 30 minutes
The result I got was around the same value cpu-money shown for i5 9400 f (Cinebench 23). The temperature was normal. Hence, both tests ran succesfully.

- testing out VRAM for 30 minutes, for 95% of the memory

No problems regarding VRAM.

Conclusion: the image would freeze up, even if all tests were successful.

So far I haven't managed to test out if HPET is responsible for this. Before I'd go for that, I wanted to get your opinion on this, as it would be a lengthy process.

The 3 Windows I used were on up to date regrading updates, including optional updates. Drivers were installed from the official sites. The mobo and GPU are on the latest BIOS. SSDs are on the latest firmware. I forgot to mention, I used a second new SSD for testing, as well.

I have also used an Nvidia GeForce 9500 GT (this GPU has never been in any system where the PSU fried up, so it should've been working well) for testing out W10 Pro 64, BIOS mode. Unfortunately, last night after disabling hardware acceleration in Chrome and getting into fullscreen on Twitch, the image froze up yet again.

A friend has a completely new system with W10 64 Pro UEFI, Segotep 500W power supply, which uses an i5 9400f, with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Super, and with a somewhat similar mobo, also from ASUS (Asus PRIME H310M-R R2.0), for which CPU-Z also lags, but never had any crashes.

In my mind, so far, it seems the mobo is at fault.

Where do you think image freezing could come from? Is it HPET? What else could it be?
Or which components could you exclude as being responsible for this problem?
Or what would you advise me to do next?

Thank you!


I noticed that if the XFX R9 270x was not positioned at a 90 degrees angle on the motherboard, the monitor wouldn't receive any signal. On the other hand, with that friend that I borrowed the XFX from, the GPU seemed to work even if the angle wasn't quite 90 degrees on his mobo.