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Windows 7: RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry

10 Oct 2012   #1

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry

Hi all i just wanted to know whats going on with my laptop(lenovo ideapad), as i just bought the awesome guild wars 2 but after only a day of playing, the next day i played it it kept crashing in all sorts of ways(blue screens, purple pixels, blackouts etc.). okay so i dont know if the videocard is the problem, i hear theres a chance it is as ive heard stuff about nvidia being incompatible with gw2, but i also think its the ram and other stuff. ive got i7 and an 8 gig ram, i dont know how to post screenies though ive searched this stuff on google but i still cant paste the screenie i captured in paint. well these are the stuff i see on my task manager :
with only this and task manager running, i have 94 processes(i hear this is bad, is it normal to have like 10 .exe of chrome? or are they like different parts of chrome?), cpu usage at 0-1%, physical memory at 19-21%. forgive me if the details i post are quite beginner-ish, because honestly i really am quite a beginner in these things. if anyone could kindly assess my problem it would be thoroughly appreciated, thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Hello heatman and welcome to Seven Forums.

It would help to know a bit more about your computer. At the top of any Forum page click on "User CP". Then in the left column, click on "Edit System Spec". Fill in as much info as you can. A free tool called Speccy can give you the specs. As to posting a screenshot, follow the instructions in this tutorial. When describing computer issues a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Speccy - System Information - Free Download

Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums

To get a better idea of how your computer is using RAM, CPU, etc Windows 7 has a built-in tool called Resource Monitor.

Resource Monitor

An i7 with 8GB RAM should be able to handle most any game on the market today. But one problem is trying to play a game on a laptop due to heat build up. Laptops have very bad air circulation due to physical design limitations. In order to protect components, too much heat = random shut downs, BSODs, etc. That free tool called Speccy can also monitor in real time your computer temps. And it probably wouldn't hurt to use a cooling pad with your laptop.

It's also possible that Nvidia has an updated driver for your GPU. Out of date drivers can also lead to BSODs. You could check on their website if your machine has the latest driver installed.

warning   Warning
Sometimes a new driver can cause even more compatibility and usage problems. Before installing a newer driver create a restore point "just in case".

94 processes seems to be on the high side. Although I believe a lot depends on how many tabs you have open. I think each tab is considered a separate process by IE, Firefox and Chrome. A screenshot of your Task Manager could help to identify the processes that are running.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #3

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Well that was quite a challenge and hopefully I filled out all the important information that's needed. I also just finished on how to post screenies. But about the updated driver, the nvidia site requested me to get java, but the java site wasn't informative or helpful at all, and I don't know which java to download. Or should I download them all?
Also, I'm quite amazed at the community here you guys are too kind and assisting, it blows me away. I can't remember the last time I went to a "tame" community, I hope you guys don't find that offensive I actually meant that as a compliment. Ah yes and since I couldn't download the java and hence couldn't download the nvidia driver, I put the restore point to hold. Thanks again to everyone who'll help out.

Note : the CPU usage on the performance tab of the task manager fluctuates from 9-35%
when I first open the task manager. Is that normal?

Attached Thumbnails
RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic1.png   RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic2.png   RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic3.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec

10 Oct 2012   #4

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

I just noticed that these crashes started happening frequently after I had about 4 straight crashes running GW2 where I had to hold the power button as it had, well I'm not really sure what the term is but from where I'm from we call it a "hang". I just wanted to know what are the negative effects of holding the power button to close, and doing it multiple times in a day. Also, I think this has lead to affect something internal in my laptop, as I noticed that even the not-so-heavy game League of Legends(cartoony graphics, DotA style game if some of you don't know) experienced the same "hang" with the purple pixels but it only froze for a couple of seconds before resuming, unlike in GW2 it would become unresponsive and frozen wholly, and TF2 which would crash right away before I even enter the menu screen(I used to be able to reach the menu screen, now it's gotten worse before I even leave the steam loading screen I get an "unable to play" compared to the first crashes where it occurred in the menu screen).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #5

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Good job on the system specs and the screenshots!

The good news is I believe your RAM and CPU usage are in the normal range. Windows 7 has a totally different philosophy when it comes to RAM. Win 7 believes that unused RAM is wasted RAM. So the more RAM a computer has, the more RAM will be allocated to "something". It could be cached for future use, it could be applied towards the GPU, but it's gonna get used.

Figuring out CPU usage involves fortune tellers, Tarot cards, crystal balls, and the Psychic Hotline. Most of the processes have cryptic names like Apvfb.exe, VesMgrSub.exe, etc. Just looking at the name usually doesn't tell you a lot, particularly if the process can be killed until such time you actually need it. A lot of programs want to start up as soon as you start your computer. That usually means a process (or several) will also show up in Task Manager. Let's say you have a video editing program on your computer that starts up as soon as you boot the machine. And it has about 6 different processes. If you're not editing any videos right at startup, no need for that program to fire up until you actually need it.

So how do you know which processes you can kill? Google the process name, see what program it's associated with, and then decide if you really need to have it running. End result: fewer programs load when you start your computer, computer should start faster, and fewer processes in Task Manager. You can also use a utility called MSCONFIG to disable/enable things to see what effect they might have. Some folks disable everything except their antivirus and touchpad controls. Here are a couple of guides to give you an idea of what can be done:

Using msconfig

Troubleshoot Application Conflicts by Performing a Clean Startup

I do not know why Nvidia is telling you to install Java. Perhaps it needs Java for its own GPU control panel to work and you'll need the control panel to adjust various settings for your computer. I'm not knowledgeable enough on that. If you decide to install Java, it's pretty straight forward and this is the Java website to use.

Holding the power button to shut down a computer can lead to damaged or corrupt system files or worse. Here's a previous Forum thread of what a hard shut down can do.

Windows 7 unbareably slow after hard shutdown

I would strongly suggest you run a system file checker scan to see if you have any damaged or corrupt files. Run it from an elevated command prompt (option two.) If any problems are found, run the scan 3 times and reboot your computer in between each scan. I think you need to know if any system files need fixing before trying to work on the 97 running processes.

SFC /SCANNOW Command - System File Checker

Sorry for the info overload. Hope it gives you some food for thought. Post back with any other questions or concerns. Lots of tame Forum members to call upon as well as a few wild ones.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #6

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

Thank you very much, at least now I have SOMETHING to work on, rather than me worrying and panicking the whole day. And honestly, I can't think of a person who would refuse tons of information overloads that'll help them. Thanks again.
I'll probably work on these tomorrow, currently 4am. And again, thanks for taking the time to help out a clueless gamer
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

These types of laptops with i7 quad core and discrete graphics cards are well known to have heat issues.
The issues you're having are likely caused by overheating CPU and/or GPU.
You need to get a good laptop cooler.

Follow the good advice from marsmimar, and also post the idle and under load CPU core temps from Speccy or Use Real Temp.
Max CPU core temps for a laptop are generally 100C, but that's way too high in my opinion.
Any sustained temp above 90C is going to cause problems.

In the mean time, never put the laptop on any material surface like cloth, put something under the back to raise it at least 1 inch, this will allow better airflow. Be sure not to block any air vents on the bottom of the laptop.
Always monitor your CPU and GPU temps, try to bring it back to an idle before it gets too hot and crashes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #8

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

I have now begun the system file checker, I think I did it correctly but just to be sure, I'll post a screenshot.

I saw all sorts of temperatures so I think I'll just post all the temps I saw

Thanks to both of you for taking the time to help out a beginner

And my oh my these screenies really are worth a thousand words, maybe more

Edit / Update : I have googled about the new nvidia driver for my video card, and the feedback from fellow Guild Wars 2 players for version 306.97 wasn't really good, there were even some that reported it causing some minor disturbance, so I think I'll put the update on hold.

Attached Thumbnails
RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic6.png   RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic7.png   RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic8.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #9

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1

I'm beginning to think my video card was fried from all those forced shutdowns by holding the power button. Sigh. Guess it's time to put the warranty to work. I just finished my first scan and am just beginning on my 2nd.

To bring it back to an idle? To do that, I just close all programs and wait for it to cool down right? What do you think is the normal range of heat in % shown on those green bars in the task manager?

Attached Thumbnails
RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry-pic9.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Oct 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1

Hi again heatman. Your temps there look well within reason but they don't show the GPU temps. Did the scannow now complete and what was the message at the end?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 RAM and CPU Usage Inquiry

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