Lag and hard drive spin-up time very high

Feb 8, 2019
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Lately my computer has been lagging when gaming, I assumed the heat was causing thermal throttling, at first it only affected high-performance games but now all are being affected. During nominal running it's OK.

I just noticed by main hard drive spin-up time has increased to 6983 ms. There are no other indicators of failure according to the SMART attribute thingie: https://imgur.com/R92El33

Should I replace the drive? Is it entering failure mode?
 
6 seconds to spin up is certainly not out of line for a spinning drive that has gone to sleep....

As for 'lag', test your games in off-line/singleplayer mode; many misinterpret having high FPS overwhelming their connection bandwidth and/or a jerky server as something wrong at their end; if something is wrong with your CPU and GPU, it will happen in single player/offline mode as well...

HWMonitor run for a few minutes in background prior to starting your game will show your CPU temps, so we will know if your CPU is throttling....; it will show peak temps obtained...

If your experience is fine in single player, try adjust your connection settings within the game (LAN, Cable, DSL) slightly downward, and/or capping your FPS to 60 fps, so that your chosen server is not trying to contend with 150-200 fps, etc, depending on the game.....
 
Feb 8, 2019
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I run almost all of my games offline, CPU and GPU temps never go above 70degrees C, I've personally refit the cooling system and redone the thermal contacts for optimum cooling. This lag has been coming on across everything over the last 2 months, at first I thought it was another stupid Windows update messing with my machine. It seems to be getting worse, though, and I've been lowering setting after setting to no effect (I can't find any settings to lower any more). It doesn't effect low-performance/old titles but Fallout 4, Stellaris, Halo SPV3 etc are all degrading, particularly Fallout 4.

Could it be unrelated? Could it be my graphics card slowly dying, for instance? Also, my secondary hard drive has a 2458ms spinup time.
 
Is your idle CPU usage relatively normal? (Some malware will suspend/hide itself when you open task manager, for intance!) Looking at processexplorer from MS might show if any mysterious processes are running; additionally, a quick pass of Malwarebytes ANtiMalware never hurt anyone, and, it might be nice to have a reasonable expectation of being malware-free, but, of course not everything is detected these days...)

If HWMonitor shows no CPU/GPU temp issues, and normal clock speeds achieved, and, fresh driver installs have not helped, at some point, if this is just a 'glitched WIndows/hung driver fiasco', you will have to decide if a full 'nuke and pave' might not be the fastest solution to test...(gather all chipset/GPU drivers ahead of time, and, if you think a failing drive that might be an issue, try another one, or, install OS and an infected game to SSD)

WIndows installs to spinning hard drives are NOT fun, granted....; the process is as exciting as watching paint dry! (Contrast this with a 4 min full install from USB to a 960/970 EVO)

 
Feb 8, 2019
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Malwarebytes came up clean, I scanned both hard drives, as thorough as custom settings would allow. I've also scanned both hard drives thoroughly with my pre-installed free antivirus, also clean. I have however noticed that when idle the CPU use is elevated; nothing dramatic but it's stochastically higher than normal, and some of the CPU usage is rendered in red (isn't that some deeper code part of the OS consuming resources???).

I replaced my RAM, increasing from 12 to 16GB 2-3 months ago... The cards are rated for higher than my motherboard's max bandwidth, they're all matched etc and the dual-cycle thingemie was working OK when I first checked it, could it be RAM-related??
 

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