Question PC Really slow when downloading large content

Sep 3, 2020
6
3
15
Hi,

I'm having an issue with my PC whenever I'm downloading larger games from Steam, Rockstar, Epic Games etc. I have a 1TB SSD (not m.2) where I have windows installed along with all my games and any other files that I need. I've gone through various steps to try and alleviate this issue but so far nothing has worked. Whenever I start a download, my whole PC lags really bad. It takes an age to load new pages on chrome, and I have to wait ages if I want to open up a new program. It is absolutely fine when the download finishes though and I'm really confused as to what is going on.

I'm looking at buying an m.2 SSD with a read speed of around 3200mb/s and a write speed of 2000mb/s but I don't want to spend the extra money on something like this if another 'normal' SSD will stop this problem.

My PC Specs are:
Intel i5-9600k 3.7GHz
MSI Gaming Z 2060 6GB 1850MHz
16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200MHz
Asus ROG Z390-E Motherboard
Corsair H100 CPU Cooler
Corsair Vengeance 650W PSU
WD Green 1TB SATA SSD

Any Help is appreciated as I'm quite confused now! Thank you
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2020
1,738
1,230
3,080
What have you tried already? In as much detail as possible.

Or else we'll get people suggesting things you already did, and you needing to say you already did it, which wastes everyone's time.

When downloading, what does task manager show for usage of network, and CPU cores? Are any of the cores at 100% load? If task manager only shows overall CPU load, right click the graph and change it to show logical processors.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kieren1510
Sep 3, 2020
6
3
15
Sorry, should've speculated more. When downloading my CPU tends to stay around 20 - 30% according to task manager although it can spike up to around 80 - 90% at times. Considering I only have 1 SSD and no other form of storage it is quite full (around 100GB free at the minute from 1TB), hence why I think this may be the issue (hopefully). It seems to take quite a while to allocate space on Steam but I'm not sure why.

What I've tried is the obvious reboot the system, that didn't work. I found a thread a while ago that suggested trying to change the system time. I'd go further into detail with that one but unfortunately I can't find that thread and can't remember what I actually did (I did revert the setting back to factory after changing it too). I'll upload a screenshot of task manager and resource monitor showing my disk when allocating file space on steam and another one of it downloading too.

Screenshot - https://ibb.co/NKcP4X7

Screenshot Downloading - https://ibb.co/d78c2s9 (DISK)
https://ibb.co/mbrKbbV (CPU)

Thank you for the help so far!
 
Last edited:
Feb 17, 2020
1,738
1,230
3,080
Does this only happen when downloading via game clients?

What about if you download a large file like, say, the Ubuntu ISO

And what are your download speeds?

Also:
When downloading, what does task manager show for usage of network, and CPU cores? Are any of the cores at 100% load? If task manager only shows overall CPU load, right click the graph and change it to show logical processors.
What do the graphs look like per logical processor?
And what processes are using the CPU when downloading?

Needless to say, you should have all other programs closed and not be running any games when doing these tests

I am not sure, maybe @Oussebon will correct me, but could it be the SSD is losing performance when there's less than 10-15% free space? Maybe that's the issue here?
It's very possible. Some drives lose a lot of performance when full, and game updates can involve a lot of disk activity.

It does look like there is a lot of CPU usage going on too. You'd expect that for some game updates, but not for a single large file.

Which is why I suggest testing a non-game download like a single large file (to see what, if any, difference it makes to CPU and SSD workloads and the responsiveness of the PC).

I've seen some issues where high usage of the network can put a single CPU thread up to 100% load and also make the system almost totally unresponsive.

So, keen to explore both storage and CPU usage here. Though we could do one and then the other if easier.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kieren1510
Sep 3, 2020
6
3
15
It does tend to be worse with game clients, Steam is hands down the worst culprit. I've downloaded the file you suggested and again taken screenshots of the CPU usage by Logical Processors and it felt fine (Chrome was very quick to respond and my PC felt no different than usual). I'm fairly certain it is just game clients causing the issue.

My download speeds according to Speedtest are currently 323Mbps down and 30Mbps up with 2ms of ping. I tend to download games at around 30 - 60Mbps on Steam, Epic Games, Rockstar etc. I did forget to say that sometimes on Steam, the downloads will go from 30Mbps to 600Kbps, not sure if this is relevant though.

Screenshots:
https://ibb.co/LnTv3Rk (Steam CPU Processes when downloading)

Thank you both for your help too!
 
Aug 25, 2020
97
74
120
Do you use XBox Live? If not, disable or uninstall it. I notice it was using 11% CPU and could possibly be conflicting with Steam—which was using 35%.

Can you uninstall anything big, eg another game? 100GB free should be enough, but I'd be antsy with that—who knows how much of that Windows and other background processes are reserving.

It does look like the SSD is at the center of the issue, so anything you can do to help it is worth a shot—empty recycle bin, delete temp files, clear some of the caches…
 
Sep 3, 2020
6
3
15
Do you use XBox Live? If not, disable or uninstall it. I notice it was using 11% CPU and could possibly be conflicting with Steam—which was using 35%.

Can you uninstall anything big, eg another game? 100GB free should be enough, but I'd be antsy with that—who knows how much of that Windows and other background processes are reserving.

It does look like the SSD is at the center of the issue, so anything you can do to help it is worth a shot—empty recycle bin, delete temp files, clear some of the caches…
Yeah, I use Xbox for Forza. You make a good point though, I didn't have it open when I took the screenshots so it was running in the background. I've deleted a few things and I have 133GB free at the minute. I'll do a disk cleanup, although I'm fairly certain it does it automatically, and see if that helps.

I'm starting to need extra storage now too, and I've seen a budget m.2 SSD on amazon that I might tryhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZZYWTBP/ref=crt_ewc_title_srh_1?ie=UTF8&smid=A1S41JW81H0D20&thhttps://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07ZZYWTBP/ref=crt_ewc_title_srh_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A1S41JW81H0 if its any good?
It's called:
Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High Performance Solid State Drive R/W 3200/2000MB/s

Thank you for the help
 
Last edited:
Aug 25, 2020
97
74
120
I'm starting to need extra storage now too
I would get a HD in your situation, and move all your data onto it—that'll free up a load of space on your SSD, which you can then use only for OS, programs and games.

You can get 2-4 TB HDs for very reasonable prices these days. There isn't much benefit having your data on a SSD, a HD is fine.

My current setup is:
256GB SSD for OS & programs;
1TB SSD for games;
4TB HD for data.
This works well for me because it makes imaging my C: drive very quick—I do it monthly before the Microsoft 2nd-Tuesday updates. I do normal backup of my 4TB data HD onto an external backup drive.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts