Question Random freezes in Gaming (Windows 10)

Jun 12, 2019
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So, I know this has been asked many, many times. Yet I tried all the options given to me on this forum and other sites without any good result.

Alright, here we go again. Whenever I play a game, and something new happens in the game (so I assume the game needs to change data or something),
it freezes for about one or two seconds before continuing normally. The CPU usage spikes to 100% during that time, but back to a normal value afterwards.
I don't really play hardware-intensive games - in fact, most games that could be hardware-demanding are played with low settings, so I don't really understand where the issues come from.
Everything else works fine, it's literally just while playing games and it's extremely frustrating.

Here are the specs:

RAM: 8 GB with 7.85 GB usable
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 (4 GB DDR5 VRAM)
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630
HDD: Toshiba MQ04ABF100 with 1 TB space (around 55% used)
SSD: Intel SSDPEKKW256G7 with 256 GB space (currently about 15% used)

OS Name Microsoft Windows 10 Home
Version 10.0.17763 Build 17763

System Manufacturer Acer
System Model Aspire A715-72G
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8300H CPU @ 2.30GHz, 2304 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 8 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date Insyde Corp. V1.19, 7/13/2018
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 8.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 7.85 GB
Available Physical Memory 3.67 GB
Total Virtual Memory 11.8 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.67 GB


Here are some of the fixes I already tried, with absolutely no results or fix to the problem. Those are not everything I already tried - but I will inform you if you mention a method I already used.
System Restore
Moving games from the HDD to the SSD
Checking both drives for errors (they turn up 100% fine with no faulty sectors, no matter which program I scanned them with)
Increasing APM with CrystalDiskInfo
Freeing up space
Disabling Windows Defender
Changing the main GPU used to the NVIDIA card
Running CHKDSK for both drives
Updating Drivers, Uninstalling/Reinstalling Drivers

At this point I doubt it's a hard drive issue, but I can't figure it out for the hell of it. So any further advice or methods to solve this problem for good would be welcome.
Also, this is important, this is a laptop, so switching parts is not an option for me, and upgrading is far too expensive, plus I only recently acquired this thing. So buying anything new is out of the question before that suggestion comes up.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Use Task Manager and Resource Monitor to observe system performance.

While in Task Manager take a look at the Startup tab. See what all is being launched at start up. Problem could be some buggy or corrupted background app trying to update, backup, or phone home...

Boot up and just watch for awhile using just one or the other; i.e., Task Manager or Resource Monitor. Learn how to navigate within the tool and what information is being presented. In your case you will want to initially focus on CPU activity.

After awhile slide the window to one-side and game as usual. Watch for some application, service, or process that starts taking up CPU % - i.e., the spike. Graphical representations may help you spot the jump.

You can click the column headers to sort and present %'s from high to low or vice versa.

Remember while observing the intent is to discover the culprit and not necessarily win the game.
 
Jun 12, 2019
4
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10
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Use Task Manager and Resource Monitor to observe system performance.

Boot up and just watch for awhile using just one or the other; i.e., Task Manager or Resource Monitor. Learn how to navigate within the tool and what information is being presented. In your case you will want to initially focus on CPU activity.
Already monitored that. The only thing jumping up in usage are the games themselves which simply does not make sense as everything runs completely fine otherwise.
Any special app that could drain (Windows Defender etc.) is already disabled. Steam and Discord, which are running in the background, show no change in usage while the spike occurs.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Recently acquired: how long ago? New or used?

Laptop power is listed at 135 watts but the model number was not a complete match...

May have been okay at first but perhaps PSU has deteriorated over time and cannot keep up with the load imposed by gaming.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
To test the PSU you will need a multi-meter and know how to use it.

The following link presents the overall "how-to":

https://www.lifewire.com/how-to-manually-test-a-power-supply-with-a-multimeter-2626158

Fairly straight forward for a desktop.

A laptop is going to be more difficult. Do you have a knowledgeable family member or friend who could help?

Look for the laptop's maintenance manual - good chance that you may find the manual online.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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To test the PSU you will need a multi-meter and know how to use it.

PSU is fine too after running checks with some help. One new detail I can note is that I can hear a slight whirring sound whenever the spike occurs, as if something is getting restarted on the spot. Any other ideas that may cause the issue?
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Whirring sound: Can you pinpoint the location? Likely a fan, possibly the HDD.

Are you able to see any system temperatures?

Task Manager should present the App or Process consuming CPU resources. Remember to click the "CPU Header" to sort the % so that the higher values will be at the top of the list. (Note the small up or down arrow to the left of the value. The arrow direction indicates the sort order.)

(Task Manager Note: Remember to check the Startup tab. Some app may being launched in the background and continually grabbing for CPU time.)

Resource Monitor works in much the same way. The graphical representation may make it easier to identify the process or service causing the spikes.
 

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