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I recently built a new computer and am encountering a slight problem.

Occasionally while gaming, my display will freeze for a second or two, during which the sound will keep skipping/repeating like a broken record. This happens infrequently, but can have a serious effect on my performance when it happens, since every second counts in competitive gaming. I've experienced this while playing Spiral Knights and Portal 2, which otherwise run @ 60 fps while set to maxed visual settings.

Does anyone have any advice as to how I can go about making changes/optimizing in order to prevent this problem from occurring?

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closed as too broad by OrigamiRobot, kotekzot, Frank, kalina, KatieK Oct 21 '13 at 16:17

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It would help if you tell us what graphics card you are using, what drivers you have installed and if you have overclocked anything in your system –  Sandeep Bansal Apr 22 '11 at 12:03

4 Answers 4

First you should find out if there isn't a program causing these freezes. I discovered recently, after installing Visual Studio, that a background process from SQL Server was writing to disk every few minutes and causing similar issues.

Windows' Performance and Resource Monitors can be very helpful: you can use them to monitor CPU and disk activity while you game and check if there are any misbehaving processes. Microsoft has a tutorial on them on TechNet.

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Are you using dual-GPU video card? It seems such configurations (either a stock dual-GPU card or a SLI/CrossFire setup) can produce infrequent freezes as either GPU can fall out of sync.

Another problem might appear when using weak or low quality power supply unit (PSU). A 460GTX-class video card combined with quad-core CPU requires around 450-500W quality PSU. Lack of power might produce occasional freezes, crashes or even reboots.

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Check to see if your video driver is crashing and restarting itself, I had this issue on my laptop with similar symptoms. Open up windows event manager and check the error logs.

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This might be a problem with system interrupts or DPCs spiking, which would indicate a poorly written driver. You should try running DPC Latency Checker or even better yet, LatencyMon to see if you can pin down the spikes. LatencyMon will pinpoint the processes giving the most problems - they may be things you can alter, disable, or otherwise do without. (Sadly, the usual solution to a crummy driver is "just don't use it" - I've seen tons of wireless drivers that will cause a spike like this every 5 minutes or so, unfortunately.)

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