Facing a strange problem

Quartz quartz at sneakertech.com
Thu Aug 18 02:41:14 UTC 2016

> <<
> What's your CPU activity/frequency/clocking doing when this happens? Is
> there any other correlation to CPU activity? Is there a correlation to
> holding the mouse button(s) down?
>  >>
> I know no way of generating CPU stats. If you can give me the
> command[s], I can run them to get suitable output for CPU activity.

I meant more just general CPU utilization and/or power management. If 
you run 'top' while mousing around, does the CPU activity spike when the 
noise happens? Do you have power management stuff installed/enabled such 
that the CPU underclocks when not under load?

> There is no relation to clicking the mouse button; the only clear
> relation is to mouse movement - specifically, hovering and moving among
> the categories in the Gnome applications menu. At that stage, the mouse
> cursor tends to remain glued for 1-2 seconds to the old category and the
> noise becomes most disturbing till the time the new category gets
> populated. I have no idea why moving among the categories has become so
> painful; on my old hardware, this was never a problem.

Mouse lag is often due to interrupts, which may be an I/O problem. I'd 
be interested for you to check what 'top' is saying at that point.

Basically, what we're trying to do here is narrow down if the noise 
seems related to CPU activity, graphics activity, disk activity, or 
something else.

> Yes, the Radeon chipset is part of the new motherboard, which is of a
> new model entirely. The noise with the old hardware was similar but not
> exactly the same; but equally disturbing. The more I think, I am
> inclined to believe it is the PSU

Unless you have super human hearing it's unlikely that two boards of 
different models will make a similar noise like that. If you're not 
using any other PCI cards or other devices, it pretty much has to be the 
PSU or SSD since those are the only things common to both setups 
(besides mouse/keyboard and RAM, all of which are very unlikely to be 
the culprit).

> current PSU was part of a fairly expensive Cooler Master cabinet
> purchased 4 years ago. To be frank, I have no way of knowing for certain
> now whether the PSU was part of cabinet as shipped by CM, or was a cheap
> one installed by the folks who assembled my system then.

If it's a legit PSU, it'll have been certified by the Underwriters 
Laboratories for safety and such. Look for the UL/RU marks and find the 
reference number (it usually starts with a capital "E" followed by a 
bunch of numbers). You can look this number up on UL's site and see who 
the PSU was registered under. Usually that's the company that built the PSU.


If it's not certified then that means it's a grey-market import from 
China; throw it out.

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