Question PC sudden performance drop, stalling, freezing etc.

Nov 9, 2019
G'day everyone! First of all I want to say that your community is excellent, whenever I had an issue with my PC this forum was my first Go To. Big thanks to all of you in here.
Unfortunately I have encountered an issue that I cannot solve and I am at my wits end. Hopefully you can help me once more.

My systems specs:
Windows 10 64bit Home
M/B : Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING 5, ATX, Z97, DDR3, SATA, HDMI. 2xPCie-x16
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K, LGA-1150, Quad core 3.5GHZ, 6MB
RAM: HyperX Fury DD3 Black, 1600MHz, 8Gb, CL10 DIMM (Kit of 2x4Gb)
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 970 4Gb, PhysX, CUDA, PCI-EXPRESS 3.0
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 2Tb, SATA 6Gb/s, 64Mb cache, 7200RPM, 3.5"
CASE: CoolerMaster Storm II Advanced gaming
PSU: Corsair CX 750M, 750W

The system was put together by me in 2016, I have been using it since then with no problem at all. The main uses are - Gaming, Internet browsing, Document editing with MS Office, Video and Image editing with Adobe's Premiere and Photoshop respectively.
As I said I have been using it with no major issues, and even though its almost 4 years old I never experienced a performance issue in any way.
That being said, it has been 3 days now that I am experiencing stalling, temporarily freezing, delayed input, audio playing while video or animation is frozen, and occasionally choppy audio.

Below I give some specific examples for each app:
Browsing - I use both Firefox and Chrome, there is delay when opening a new tab or page, stalling and temporarily freezing when typing in the search bar or when pressing the right mouse button for the submenu, occasionaly while watching a video in YouTube seems pretty much ok, when pressing to pause/unpause it there is a delay of a few secs.
Video - Sometimes, not always, there is a delay between audio and video, its minimal but it's the first time that I've seen it.
Gaming - I play offline games mostly, but I am experiencing problems that you usually find in online games when your connection sucks e.g. lag between audio and animation, failure to load animation and icons, stuttering, freezing when selecting menu items, input lag, also in conversation boxes the audio , when available, takes more time to load than usually.
Document editing - lag input, freezing momentarily while typing and changing sentence, freezing when using copy/paste command, freezing when selecting menus.

I have updated drivers, windows are up to date, did a clean boot and had the same issues with minimal improvement, did a disk check, memory check, virus and malware check, deleted temp files, opened the case and clean everything as much as I could, applied new thermal paste on CPU (just in case), removed all unnecessary and unused programs.
Still no improvement, I am considering to perform a clean OS install but since it will take much time and I will propably lose some of my work, I want to make sure every other option is exhausted.
Any help and insight would be appreciated. Thank you and sorry for the long post.


There are three Window's tools that may prove helpful:

Task Manager, Resource Monitor, and Process Explorer. (You may need to download and install Process Explorer via Microsoft's website.)

Use one tool at a time to observe system performance during each of four examples you list. Just leave the tool window open but dragged to one side of the other.

Work and game as normal. May be that some bottleneck or other conflict will show up. Just be methodical with the testing and observation.

Noted that you cleaned the case. Did you also reseat all cards, cables, RAM etc. to ensure that all are fully and firmly in place?

Lastly, consider that the three year old PSU may be nearing EOL (End of Life). It may simply be no longer up to fully meeting the current power demands. Falters from time to time with varying consequences.


Jul 1, 2017
Hi there.

I posted a similar thread this summer with similar issues. I found that it was my harddrive, and from what I've gathered it's hard to actually run tests for finding those faults, I sure couldn't find anything wrong with it.

I did however, whenever the freezes would happen, hear my regular HDD make reading sounds, even though it was completely empty. I removed it and it got better and now I don't have any freezing. I actually tried to add it again to store some things and the freezing resumed once more. Removed it again and the result was t he same, no freezing.

So if any of those harddrives you have are not SSD's try to remove them if you can and see if that helps ;)

Here's my thread for reference:
Last edited:
Nov 9, 2019
Thank you both for your reply, I decided to do a Windows reinstall, so I could see if there is any difference. There is some minor improvement.

There are three Window's tools that may prove helpful:

Task Manager, Resource Monitor, and Process Explorer. (You may need to download and install Process Explorer via Microsoft's website.)
While using the Task manager as Ralston18 suggested I noticed that my system disk (the seagate) was jumping between 30% and 100% active time constantly, and whenever a freeze would happen the average response time of this disk would spike up to 4000ms, 5000ms and even more. Even when the PC was idle the disk fluctuated between those values.

After reading ejfimp88 thread i downloaded Seatools to check the disk. But it passed all the tests, so it was no help.

Is it normal for a system drive to have these values?
Even now that I am typing here I get sporadical freezes. even when I move windows in my desktop. Could it be a HDD issue and if so, why doesn't show in the tests?

Lastly, consider that the three year old PSU may be nearing EOL (End of Life).
I considered that power supply may be an issue, and I am waiting for a borrowed functioning unit to arrive this afternoon so I can test it. But other than that I am still blind as to what may have caused this.