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Z170M-ITX/ac System Interrupts high CPU usage

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Rick540 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 8:17am
I just built a new PC with a Z170M-ITX/ac motherboard. On both Windows 7 and Windows 10 the processes "System Interrupts" and "System" are eating up about 50 percent of the CPU (6600K). I ran the Windows Performance Toolkit and the results came back as it being attributed to ACPI.SYS. I understand that this has to do with sleep and power functions. For a day or so, putting the PC to sleep or starting from a cold boot would prevent the high CPU usage, but now nothing will solve it. I'm at my wits end. I've tried everything and nothing will fix it. I tried both the newer 1.20 BIOS and rolled back to the 1.10 BIOS but neither helped. I've tried removing all the hardware one piece at a time, trying different drivers for everything, Installing Windows 7 and 10 multiple times, and again, nothing will work. The only thing left that it could be is the motherboard.

Looking online it seems that this is a somewhat common problem across many different kinds of systems with solutions that may or may not work. As for me, I've about had it and am ready to get a new board. If and when I do, I plan to take a hammer to this one. For years I was loyal to ASUS, but this time around I went with ASRock to save a couple dollars and now I'm really regretting it.

Any ideas to try and get this problem fixed?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote parsec Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 9:46am
I don't have an immediate solution or fix for your problem, since I've never encountered it in an ASRock forum or experienced it myself. So I'll be asking questions about things you may have already checked or done. I know you are sick of dealing with this, so please remember that we don't know what you've done to diagnose this problem.

Two quick FYIs: Yours is the first post I've ever seen about this problem for any ASRock board. There is a new UEFI/BIOS version for your board, 1.30 that you can find below, although if you've tried the 1.20 UEFI without any change, 1.30 likely won't change anything as well.

http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z170M-ITXac/?cat=Download&os=BIOS

When you install Win 7 and Win 10, what drivers do you NOT install?

What monitoring tool is telling you that those two Windows services are using ~50% of the CPU resources, Task Manager?

If you check Device Manager, in System Devices, there are at least two entries for ACPI devices. Ever look at those?

Did you ever run from a system CMD prompt (Admin) the msinfo32 system information too? In its Hardware Resources section, you'll find several categories of potential information and clues about that problem. The Components section has a Problem Devices section, and the Software Environment has a Services section that might also provide clues. The last entry in that section is Windows Error Reporting, that again may have useful information.

Ever check the Windows Event log, among others, for entries that might reveal the problem?

When a CPU is under a constant ~50% usage load, it will be at a higher temperature than at an idle, low load condition, regardless of the CPU cooler. My point is that level of CPU usage will be detectable by the CPU temperature.

If we are using the UEFI/BIOS UI, we basically know what the CPU temperature will be; somewhat above the  post Windows boot idle temperature, right? While in the UEFI UI after about 15 minutes, if the board itself is causing the high CPU usage, maybe you would see that reflected in an increased UEFI UI CPU temperature. That would tell us the board is likely the problem, and an RMA or replacement is necessary. Otherwise it could be a software or driver issue.

Is there any driver(s) that you install that are the same version in Win 7 and Win 10? For example, Intel recently removed the IRST version 14.5 driver from their download pages, apparently due to several major bugs. That driver version was supplied by most if not all mother board manufactures with their latest boards.

I understand that you are very frustrated by a difficult problem, which may be impossible to fix IF there is something wrong with that board.

But your experience with one board from a different manufacture should not be an indictment of that manufacture is general, or even one model of a mother board from that manufacture. I've been posting in ASRock forums for almost four years and have never seen a post about your problem. I've also used ASRock boards of every Intel CPU/Chipset generation since the 7 series was released. That is nine different ASRock boards, and none of them have this problem. They all work fine to this day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick540 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 10:13am
Thanks for the reply. As for the BIOS, I meant 1.30 not 1.20, so I've already tried that. Driver wise, the problem is there right after installation of Windows 7 or 10 before I install any drivers at all.

One interesting thing you mentioned is the CPU temperature while in the UEFI. It is right around 35-40c while in the UEFI. In windows when the problem isn't happening and the CPU isn't being loaded down, it idles at about 22c or so. This leads me to believe that it's happening independently of Windows and maybe it's not exclusively a Windows issue. I' m just puzzled as to why the problem (sometimes) goes away when I cold boot or put the PC to sleep for a few seconds and wake it back up.

After a lot of reading on the Internet, I found a forum where people who owned Macs with Windows installed had the same issue I'm having. Putting the computer to sleep and waking it back up made the problem go away. However, Apple released a firmware update that fixed it.

On a side note, and I don't feel that this is the cause of my problem, but when I built the PC my CPU heatsink (a 92mm Zalman) simply wouldn't fit no matter which way I turned it. One way was hitting the PSU, one way was covering the CPU power, one way was hitting the RAM, and the other way was hitting the chipset heat sink. I'm an experienced PC builder and if it matters was a metal fabricator for over a decade. Anyway, I finally just decided to remove the chipset heatsink and removed two rows of the heatsink fins. A picture is below. Long story short, an RMA to Newegg or ASRock isn't possible, I'm stuck with this thing now.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick540 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 11:18am
I forgot to add that I discovered it was ACPI.SYS by doing a trace with the Windows Performance Toolkit. Both Task Manager and Process Explorer report up to 50% CPU constantly.

Tried removing ACPI devices in device manager and Windows just installs them again after rebooting. I've tried disabling all the hardware possible in Device Manager as well to no avail. I never installed Intel RST either since I have a large enough SSD this time and don't need it with this newer PC.

I just got done completely tearing the whole PC down and it did no good. I think I'm just going to order the Gigabyte G1 ITX and call it a day. I've been on this constantly for almost 3 days now and I've had it. Enough is enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 3:19pm
Hi there, ACPI.sys or "Automatic Configuration Power Interface" is responsible for throttling the CPU in the event of high thermals or faults. I am sorry to hear you are having a bad run of luck with your system. Given everything you have tried and the fact that your thermals are far from high I am inclined to think that there is some issue with the way the system is utilizing the CPU, possibly misaligned pins or a UEFI related issue. I have encountered this problem on older, well used systems in the past and it has almost always been as a result of dust buildup and high thermals so my usual list of fixes won't be of any use to you. All I can suggest, as you are planning to replace it with another board anyway, is to take a close look at the pins in the socket as well as any marks they have left on the CPU itself and see if any were misaligned. If that is all as it should be then it is likely there is some sort of defect on your board.

Good luck with the replacement, I hope it resolves your issue. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick540 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 3:39pm
Thanks for the reply. The board has found a new home. MY TRASH CAN.



Edited by Rick540 - 21 Sep 2015 at 3:52pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Xaltar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 4:43pm
lol, satisfying isn't it LOL

Sadly it happens sometimes, I have had issues with all the major brands over the years. In the end it just comes down to bad luck. Hopefully your new board runs as it should.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick540 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2015 at 4:49pm
I kind of wish I hadn't modded the heatsink but oh well. I could have returned it to Newegg for some money back. I'm not rich by any means. But then again I didn't foresee a total hardware failure. I've built my own PCs for myself and others for the past 12 years or so and never had a problem like this. You win some and lose some I guess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arcades Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 6:44pm
Hello Forum.
I bought a h170m-ITX/ac (with a i5-6600k) and I have the same exact problem: this behaviour is happening with Windows 7 64bit and Linux 4.2.x 64bit.

I have an ACPI interrupt storm from IRQ 9. In Linux I can just disable it and get rid of the problem but Windows is a severe problem.

If I do a cold boot I am not facing it while if I have another reboot the problem faces and I have two cores at 50%.

I build my computer and it's a few days old, I still have to properly finish to configure it so, right now, having the problem just on reboots is not a problem but I fear in future this problem can appear again.

I updated the BIOS to version 1.30.

I think it's a motherboard issue but can anyone help? Maybe I can investigate a little more but I'm a bit stuck right now.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick540 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Oct 2015 at 8:06pm
Do what I did...

Get an ASUS.
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