Ok, so this one has me very puzzled I've never, ever had this problem before until recently, I'm beginning to think I'm hitting a bus bottleneck or something.
But let's get started shall we. Let's break down iTunes first.
The main program is installed here: C:\Program Files (x86)\iTunes
The library which music is played is here: R:\iTunes Active Radio Stream\Music (This is my external)
My RAM use is roughly about 40%ish with just iTunes, if FF or MS Office join the party it spikes to 60 - 80%
My CPU usage is around 20%ish doing nothing iTunes paused and FF not rendering webpages or anything. This is where things get interesting.
My CPU when itunes is playing but FF is just open but not doing anything barely moves an inch but as soon as I start loading webpages and scrolling my CPU raises it's clock form 784Mhz to 2.8GHz and stays there until FF is closed regardless of overall activity on the CPU. In fact just using FF cuases my CPU to use its "turbo" and lock in at the 2.8GHz. As far as iTunes flipping out? Running explorer makes it glitch in laymen terms anything that requires CPU headroom or access/seeks on the primary C Drive, it makes iTunes flip.
I have 3GB of ram and 2.8GHz cpu at full bore out dual core die.
If I'm running itunes all by itself and maybe working only in explorer with minimal low level folders it does alright but I get into those thicker denser areas then things get interesting.
I'm not putting any money into this thing, if its a bottleneck from hardware so be it, if its something more serious like miscontact with the CPU socket/bus or failing RAM, or corrupted installation files in the software code then let's get that fixed.
I'd much rather not live on my ipod and get to enjoy my computer :)
Thanks guys! If you have more questions about loads or perimeters I'll try to reply but just ask!