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Windows 7: Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?

30 Mar 2017   #11
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

There are many wrong settings. (Memory XMP, turbo boost off, CPU ratio etc).
You must read the MB manual.
Overclock can damage your MB and CPU. It's for experts, and you're not.
I would do what Jonh has suggested. Reset Bios and start the default.
After resetting, try fist without overclock.
Enable:
- CSM
- Memory XMP
- Turbo boost

Disable:
-Secure boot
-Fast boot
-Intel Virtualization

There are many other BIOS settings, you have to look one by one.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
31 Mar 2017   #12
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
I'm wondering if the computer's back-ground-running security and monitoring programs' scanning and logging are a little too assertively set.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Layback Bear View Post
Let us take a look at msconfig/Startup and Non Microsoft Services.
You just might have a bunch of things running in the background that are not needed.
...

Jack
Hi Jack and RolandJS. Thanks for the tips. There's nothing unusual running, and I keep the system at least fairly groomed. There may be a couple of debatable item running (like nVidia's telemetry container) but it's mostly items needed to run the programs and software I use (like Adobe's junk for Photoshop and Lightroom, Steam [on demand only], SnagIt, printer and capture card items...).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2017   #13
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
i'd do a simple bios cmos reset. should be in your manual
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
There are many wrong settings. (Memory XMP, turbo boost off, CPU ratio etc).
You must read the MB manual.
Overclock can damage your MB and CPU. It's for experts, and you're not.
I would do what Jonh has suggested. Reset Bios and start the default.
After resetting, try fist without overclock.
Enable:
- CSM
- Memory XMP
- Turbo boost

Disable:
-Secure boot
-Fast boot
-Intel Virtualization

There are many other BIOS settings, you have to look one by one.
Hi johnhoh and Megahertz07. As suggested, I downloaded the manual and resetting the BIOS turned to be as easy as hitting the F6 key.

Sadly, no difference except it's now running at 0.8GHz instead of 0.81GHz. I image that's because the OC was removed. Also, before and after resetting the BIOS, it's been running consistently slow.

As recommended, I Disabled:
-Secure boot (don't remember prior setting)
-Fast boot (was already disabled)
-Intel Virtualization (was already disabled)

On Enabling:
- CSM (I was pretty tired when I did the reset and didn't notice this one. I'll look again)
- Memory XMP (Didn't try yet this time, but did many times prior: it has never stayed to being ON)
- Turbo boost (On)

My motherboard is a Z170A GAMING M7. When looking at the PDF manual I noticed a ‘Slow’ switch located on it. Curious, I Googled it to learn a little more on it (the manual indicates it’s to manually run a slow boot) and found there’s other’s out there with a Skylake and an M7 that run at only 0.8GHz.

But like all things Google, the cure has a wide range of possibilities, with one being a defective ‘Slow’ switch. Do you think ‘slow boot’ could be sticking somehow, causing it to run slow all the time?

One suggested cure is an overheating VC chip (Voltage Control??) that doesn’t show up in CPU temps. Can this be a cause? -- For giggles and general maintenance, I’m hoping to have time this weekend to get the box out to the storage shed, where I have a small air compressor, and blow it out. I haven’t opened it since I built it over a year ago and I have three long haired dogs, so I’m sure it needs blown out anyway.

I was pretty tired when I reset the BIOS last night, so I’ll go thru the BIOS again and look for CSM and try turning XMP on again and see what happens.

In the mean time, any other ideas?
.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

31 Mar 2017   #14
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

Because you are at 0.8ghz in bios, this is certainly not a windows problem. Just saying.

Your machine appears to intermittently be in MSI Slow Mode.

I recommend you not do a compressor-driven air-cleaning of your computer because a compressor may be too powerful. A can of Dust-Off is okay, but cleaning the machine out is pretty unlikely to make a difference to your problem.

First thing I'd do is re-flash your bios to version 1.H. I think this is your link. Double check so you are sure though..

Support For Z170A GAMING M7 | Motherboard - The world leader in motherboard design | MSI USA

your manual will tell you how to update bios either by using M-Flash from within bios with the new version bios file on FAT32-formatted USB drive, or by using MSI Live Update. I would try Live Update first since its easier, but if it says you are already on the most current bios then you will have no choice but to use M-Flash because just because Live Update says your version is current, that does not mean its not corrupted, so you still need to update it even if its just a re-install using the same version. Your board also has a feature called Flashback which is yet a third method to update your bios that you can do even without a cpu or ram installed. I would avoid that method for now.

Reboot with the new bios in place and hope your problem is fixed. If not, download and run HWINFO64.

HWiNFO - Download

Check the line items called Core #0-#3 Clock in the first cpu section, and Core #0-#3 (temps) and Core #0-#3 Thermal Throttling in the second section. Check current/min/max for each. If I understand the MSI Slow Mode correctly, you will report Thermal Throttling = yes when slow mode is activated, despite having low (like 27C-31C) temps.

A few others online have had to RMA their MSI Gaming board due to a faulty Slow Mode switch. I would play with the switch, booting first with it all the way to the left, then rebooting with it all the way to the right, then if that does not work, rebooting with it exactly in the middle. Run hwinfo after booting each time to see what you get.

I wonder if you disable the bios cpu thermal features that I posted about previously would cause slow mode to be disabled. Try that if you have not already.

Just as an aside, I run a z270 board with a 7700k. no gaming. 99% of my day the cpu sits at 800mhz due to intel's excellent thermal management. So even once your system is fixed, don't be surprised if hwinfo shows you at 800mhz. The key is to look at the "max" column. It should say 4200 to 4500 mhz for each core.

If all of the above fails I would definitely put in a call to MSI, as you may just have a board with a bad slow mode switch.


Attached Images
Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?-oc-essentials-slow-mode.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Mar 2017   #15
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

Does your MB has the latest BIOS?
You have to set BIOS properly before you begin with overclock, so set it off.
With a base clock at 100MHz your cores should have a multiplier of 40 and on turbo bust 42.
Your MB has a setting to allow lower multiplier when the CPU is at idle, so it's normal to have a multiplier of 8 (800MHz).
You didn't gave us the memory specks. But XMP puts memory at its factory default overclock, so it's important.
Did you install win 7 as UEFI or Legacy?/
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2017   #16
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Megahertz07 View Post
Does your MB has the latest BIOS?
You have to set BIOS properly before you begin with overclock, so set it off.
With a base clock at 100MHz your cores should have a multiplier of 40 and on turbo bust 42.
Your MB has a setting to allow lower multiplier when the CPU is at idle, so it's normal to have a multiplier of 8 (800MHz).
Hi Megahertz07. Yes, just updated to the latest BIOS last night before shutting down for the night.

Where would I find the ‘lower multiplier when the CPU is at idle’ setting at? I looked but didn’t find it. I haven’t looked at the OC setting yet…

Quote:
You didn't gave us the memory specks. But XMP puts memory at its factory default overclock, so it's important.
Did you install win 7 as UEFI or Legacy?/
Yes, I installed as UEFI.

XMP never stuck (stayed on) before when I put this box together. I tried it again with OC off (fresh BIOS) and so far it’s staying on. Maybe OCing turns it off??

I did not ever mess with memory settings; I let the motherboard do it all. All I’ve ever done is jack up the Game Boost dial.

I’ll be more than happy to supply screenshots of any specs you’d like.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2017   #17
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
Because you are at 0.8ghz in bios, this is certainly not a windows problem. Just saying.

Your machine appears to intermittently be in MSI Slow Mode.

I recommend you not do a compressor-driven air-cleaning of your computer because a compressor may be too powerful. A can of Dust-Off is okay, but cleaning the machine out is pretty unlikely to make a difference to your problem.

First thing I'd do is re-flash your bios to version 1.H. I think this is your link. Double check so you are sure though..

Support For Z170A GAMING M7 | Motherboard - The world leader in motherboard design | MSI USA
Hi johnhoh. Yes, it’s been very erratic, but for the last two days it’s been running at only 800 MHz. This morning was ‘office work’ day so I had to suffer with the slowness. Even typing a simple email was so slow that characters would sometimes take a few seconds to appear for example.

I flashed the BIOS to 1H as suggested and, while scary, it was successful. I used the M-Flash method.

Thanks for the compressed air warning.

Quote:
Reboot with the new bios in place and hope your problem is fixed. If not, download and run HWINFO64.

HWiNFO - Download

Check the line items called Core #0-#3 Clock in the first cpu section, and Core #0-#3 (temps) and Core #0-#3 Thermal Throttling in the second section. Check current/min/max for each. If I understand the MSI Slow Mode correctly, you will report Thermal Throttling = yes when slow mode is activated, despite having low (like 27C-31C) temps.
Sadly, no change. I took screenshots of the sections you mention above. I’ve had Speccy and HWiNFo running all day and they both have been showing 800 MHz .

Quote:
A few others online have had to RMA their MSI Gaming board due to a faulty Slow Mode switch. I would play with the switch, booting first with it all the way to the left, then rebooting with it all the way to the right, then if that does not work, rebooting with it exactly in the middle. Run hwinfo after booting each time to see what you get.

I wonder if you disable the bios cpu thermal features that I posted about previously would cause slow mode to be disabled. Try that if you have not already.
On BIOS settings, I still haven’t found ‘CSM.’ ‘Virtualization’ is now on and I can’t find where to turn it off. I spent probably about 20 real minutes going thru all the menus a couple of times. I didn’t go thru the OC menu however.

I also didn’t find any CPU thermal features to play with, either. I’ll look again…(this time including the OC section.) Nor could I figure out how to change fan speed operations (but then, I’ve never had a running hot problem, even in summer with no A/C.)

Today’s ‘errands’ and the like took a lot longer than expected so I didn’t get a chance to open the case and play with the switch and look for dust bunnies. I should have time tomorrow.

Quote:
Just as an aside, I run a z270 board with a 7700k. no gaming. 99% of my day the cpu sits at 800mhz due to intel's excellent thermal management. So even once your system is fixed, don't be surprised if hwinfo shows you at 800mhz. The key is to look at the "max" column. It should say 4200 to 4500 mhz for each core.

If all of the above fails I would definitely put in a call to MSI, as you may just have a board with a bad slow mode switch.
I have no idea how long the warranty is on this motherboard. Like others, I was buying parts for months before I had them all to build with. So even though I put this together early ’16, I bought the motherboard in late ’15. So I doubt I could RMA it if I need to.

I do get the power down feature at idea. My wife’s computer drops to 1.3 GHz at idle (factory Dell) on a 3.3 GHz CPU. It’s just mine has always run at 4.5x GHz all the time. Maybe that’s part of the problem..?
.


Attached Thumbnails
Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?-hw-info-64-2017-04-01_4-21-24.jpg   Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?-hw-info-64-2017-04-01_4-23-51.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Apr 2017   #18
johnhoh

Win7 pro x64
 
 

I'm staying with my faulty slow mode switch theory. Have you played with the physical switch yet? (mentioned that in earlier post)

That switch, and thermal management downclocking, are the only things within your system that can override bios settings when you are booted into the bios menu system. By that I mean if your cpu is at 800mhz within bios right after a bios flash (which loads the default setting of 4200mhz), then something is overriding the defaults, and the two options are thermal management and the slow mode switch. And since your temps are so low, it has to be the switch. If/when you get that switch placed such that your system is back to normal, take care to never move it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2017   #19
TDKMate

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by johnhoh View Post
I'm staying with my faulty slow mode switch theory. Have you played with the physical switch yet? (mentioned that in earlier post)

That switch, and thermal management downclocking, are the only things within your system that can override bios settings when you are booted into the bios menu system. By that I mean if your cpu is at 800mhz within bios right after a bios flash (which loads the default setting of 4200mhz), then something is overriding the defaults, and the two options are thermal management and the slow mode switch. And since your temps are so low, it has to be the switch. If/when you get that switch placed such that your system is back to normal, take care to never move it.
I’m with you on the Switch theory. Remember ‘pots’? As in potentiometers? I remember you’d have to occasionally flick the volume control to get the sound to come on, or twist it back-n-forth rapidly to get the crackling noise out.

Well, I’m getting that feeling here. On first boot this morning, about 2 hours ago, I went right into BIOS and, poof, it was running at 4 GHz. I didn’t need to fire up Speccy or the like as I could tell it was running fast by how quick the notification area icons popped up.

It ran fine until just moments ago when I reboot into BIOS to take a screenshot of the settings; it restarted at 0.8 GHz. And I got that ‘flick the knob’ feeling, LOL.

Any who, I found a lot of the BIOS settings I couldn’t find before in the OC settings area. Screenshot of them below.

No, I was unable to open the case yesterday as all the other things I had to do yesterday took longer than planned. It is on the top of the priority list today, however, right after I do a few things first...

In the meantime, any suggested settings I should change in the BIOS?
.


Attached Thumbnails
Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?-computer-bios-settings-apr2-17-fz1k-_1020519-editlowres.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2017   #20
Megahertz07

Windows 7 HP 64
 
 

To see the full Bios Options you must disable EZ Mode (F7) to enter advanced.

The function to change core ratio dynamically is CPU Ratio mode = Dynamic (page 64 of your manual). I would leave it at Dynamic mode. Fixed mode wont let it use low multiplier at idle and will generate a lot of heat unnecessary.

On page 63:
▶ CPU Ratio [Auto]
Sets the CPU ratio that is used to determine CPU clock speed. This item can only be changed if the processor supports this function. (should be at 40)
▶ 1/2/3/4-Core Ratio Limit [Auto]
Allows you to set the CPU ratios for different number of active cores. These items only appear when a CPU that support this function is installed. (should be at 42, 41, 40, 40)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Mysterious Win 7 Pro 64 Slowdown - Maybe Underclocking Itself?




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