Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Nvidia 610i Ethernet controller and 100% CPU usage

3/11/2010: I never had any more issues after not using the Nvidia tool to overclock the GPU. The issue was that when returned to normal clock speeds, somehow the CPU usage and audio problems were still there. If you have these problems, stop using the tool or just reboot to reset everything.

Aarg. 10/20/2009. I REALLY think this is fixed. I think it was the Nvidia performance tool that you can get from Nvidia to allow overclocking your GPU. Why it affected networking and/or sound, I don't know. I was only changing the GPU and video card RAM settings. Perhaps that was corrupting either something in software or in hardware in the board. I just transferred a test file at 20Mbps over my internet connection with no pops in audio. Comcast if you're wondering. My PC has been on for days, so it's not something that creeps in apparently.

(I'm marking this fixed! Read on for the troubleshooting log.)

Barring this issue which appeared to be driver related anyway, I still think this is a good cheap solid board. I have the AMD version of this board running XP home and it's nearly 100% rock solid. I've had a bit of goofiness the past few days but I think that was due to just a game app and the fact I hadn't cleaned it out (dust=heat) in a while. So I did that. No lockups, just a weird issue once or twice.

I have the BE-2300 and a 9600GSO in the AMD based board. A very cheap World of Warcraft setup. The 9600GSO cost me less than $40 after rebate.

Update 10/8/2009: I guess it wasn't fixed, but I got the IDT Audio drivers from ECS here.

I downloaded those because my mic didn't work. Those are pretty nice drivers and seemed to have solved my high cpu usage. I think there was some sort of conflict going on here, even though Device Manager says there wasn't. Formerly, I just had the stock Vista (32 bit Ultimate) drivers.

I think I'm getting slightly higher framerates in WoW with the sound hardware acceleration.

Update 9/18/2009: Updated again. Ok I think I Really REALLY finally fixed this. I simply downloaded and installed the latest drivers for the 610i/Geforce 7050 chipset drivers from Nvidia. Then I downloaded the latest video drivers. Now I can play an HQ youtube video in one window and a normal quality in another window without overloading the CPU. No audio popping either.

This is a Celeron 430 single core CPU overclocked from 1.8Ghz to 2.4Ghz. Fairly low end. But it runs Vista Ultimate pretty well with a Geforce 7200GS in the PCI-E slot.

With the two videos playing, and the GPU overclocked at 525 core / 710 RAM frequencies, I show maybe 80% cpu usage, usually 65% or so.

Overclocking the 7200GS is easy with Nvidia's utility; with no fan on it runs hot but stable.

This is a decent World of Warcraft rig. I have 4 gigs or RAM in it. Obviously I skimped on the rest.

Update 9/2/09: I found a junk location in the indexing options that appeared to be related to a program I installed. I removed it from being 'indexed' and it appears to have fixed the problem. (It was something like \\~/2_ò). In other words, Vista was trying to index a non-existent gibberish network share. Strange. Yes, I have anti-virus software installed.

The clue is that explorer.exe will use a lot of CPU while it is indexing your files for the search feature. I think the network traffic that also caused the cpu spikes may have been caused by the indexer looking for the non-existent share on the network. That's my theory for now.

Old Things I tried that did not work completely.
Update: Not solved. Partially improved by lowering the top of memory under 4Gig to 3Gig in the BIOS. Before it was 3.25 and my video card is turbocaching 1.3 megs. I'm not sure if that is a problem or not, as it's shared memory and I've got to research how that's addressed. Stupid 32 bit addressing limit!

I've preliminarily solved this. I have this chipset on an ECS 7050VT-M motherboard with Vista Service Pack 2 (SP2) .

It's a Celeron 430 overclocked to 2.4ghz, an Nvidia 7200GS sometimes overclocked, sometimes not. Corsair memory.

To sum, SP2 didn't help, tweaking various settings didn't help, etc.

In the end I just replaced it with an old Realtek 8139 chipset PCI card I had lying around. Now I have a very low 20something % CPU usage while streaming high quality Internet radio, and at worst a spike to 75% CPU while using to check overhead.

A worst case of about 80% CPU usage for HQ youtube streaming video in fullscreen AND the internet radio.

It does a pretty good job with Netflix streaming too. A little jerky, but it's not a CPU issue.

Good luck!
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