Question My cpu reaches 100% constantly

Mar 25, 2020
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Starting a couple days ago, my computer has been reaching 100% cpu usage pretty often for seemingly easy to run tasks. Whenever I play a game or download/update an application it reaches 100%. This causes my entire computer to lag. I have run multiple full system scans with norton 360 and have not found any viruses. I did a full computer reset a few days ago to try and fix the issue but the problem did not go away. My cpu is an i5 6500 which I bought and started using about 5 years ago. Does this sound like a virus or do you think my cpu is failing?
 

grimfox

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Jun 2, 2009
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That's weird behavior. When you say you did a full reset...you mean power cycled it? Or reinstalled the OS? What malware scanner are you using? It sometimes happens that people download malware disguised as a scanner to look for malware.

The fact that it's not always at 100% makes me think it's probably not malware. That it's going to 100% usage when it's doing a single task makes me more inclined to think that it's stuck in a low power/idle state. IE it's not boosting. What clock speeds are you seeing in HWmonitor? HWmonitor should show you the min and max, if they are both the same and both low...you have a problem.
 
Mar 25, 2020
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That's weird behavior. When you say you did a full reset...you mean power cycled it? Or reinstalled the OS? What malware scanner are you using? It sometimes happens that people download malware disguised as a scanner to look for malware.

The fact that it's not always at 100% makes me think it's probably not malware. That it's going to 100% usage when it's doing a single task makes me more inclined to think that it's stuck in a low power/idle state. IE it's not boosting. What clock speeds are you seeing in HWmonitor? HWmonitor should show you the min and max, if they are both the same and both low...you have a problem.
I completely factory reset my computer. My OS was not deleted however. Im using Norton 360, which is a paid subscription. I downloaded HWmonitor and then launched a game, my cpu usage shot up to 100% again. Here is what the clock speeds were: min: 3290 max: 3590. Not sure if this is important but sometimes when I shut down my computer for the night and turn it on the next day and reboot, sometimes my tabs from the previous night are somehow still open along with a couple programs such as discord/steam.
 
If you've got a Windows machine then the obvious thing to do is to run Task Manager or Resource Monitor, list all the processes on the system, and click on the "CPU" column to sort by CPU usage to see which task is consuming all the time...
 
Mar 25, 2020
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If you've got a Windows machine then the obvious thing to do is to run Task Manager or Resource Monitor, list all the processes on the system, and click on the "CPU" column to sort by CPU usage to see which task is consuming all the time...
Thats the first thing that I tried. When im running a game, the game uses up to 100% of my cpu. Other than games and game launchers when im updating, the only other process that gets to a decent % is system. Im really at a total loss here
 
I've seen some Intel processors stuck at only 800 MHz if chipset drivers are not installed...

HWMonitor will tell you if you are afflicted with this malady, clearly displaying clock speeds for all cores, and, CPU temps...

Naturally, some kinds of malware (crypto- miners, etc) can eat 98% of your CPU's performance as well....
 
Mar 25, 2020
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I've tried everything people have recommended and cant seem to find/fix the issue. Whenever I run an application my cpu reaches 100% usage and freezes my entire computer momentarily. Temperatures are all stable and my cpu clock speed looks normal for my i5 6500. I really am completely lost.
 

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