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View Full Version : PC Speed gloaters: explain.


Nipsy
Mar 22, 2003, 09:07 PM
Okay, there are a bunch of you who claim how much faster the PC is in raw computational power (which I'll agree with), but explain this to me:

I recently upgraded my PC. My Dual Pentium III 500 gave up, and I decided to build a speedy box. I got an NForce2 (Epox 8RDA+), 1GB dual channel PC2700 CL2 RAM, and an Athlon XP2100+. Two ATA133 7200RPM HDs (fresh Windows XP Pro install, data).

The thing is still dog slow. For all the crap spouted here about Wintel speed demons, how is this possible? The sluggish perfomance of XP is like molasses. WinRAR and FSRAID still bring the machine to its knees. 'My Computer' windows still take 5-10 seconds to draw when Nero is doing a burn....

Help. Prove your points. I want this machine to be reasonably fast, but as it sits, it is proving how bad the Windows bloat has become.

MacAztec
Mar 22, 2003, 09:26 PM
Whats your graphics card?

I cant think of anything else. Because...

My school has like some cheap P3 1GHz machines (school quality=cheap crap) and they run Win XP. They run it fast too. Faster then my computers at home (macs).

And thse machines probly cost em like 300 dollars a piece.

LethalWolfe
Mar 22, 2003, 09:40 PM
all you drivers up to date? Bad RAM maybe?

Honestly, there must be a problem somewhere 'cause I built my GF a PC for Xmas w/an Radeon 8500 LE, AMD 1800+, 256meg PC2100 (I think)RAM on an ASUS A7N266-VM mobo (orginal Nforce) and it is quite snappy running XP.

Anyway, beefy hardware can only do so much when you are running a bloated MS OS. ;)


Lethal

taeclee99
Mar 22, 2003, 09:50 PM
Make sure you install the updated chipset drivers for the nforce 2 board. It might make a difference.

FelixDerKater
Mar 22, 2003, 09:53 PM
XP likes the Intel chips over AMD chips.

bousozoku
Mar 22, 2003, 09:55 PM
Go into the display control panel. Click on the performance tab. Eliminate anything that says fade or slide. Performance will be much better.

ddtlm
Mar 22, 2003, 10:51 PM
Nipsy:

Clicking in "my computer" is hardly a benchmark. I get hung up there a lot waiting for CDs to spin and stuff like that.

FelixDerKater:

XP likes the Intel chips over AMD chips.
That is essentially irrelevant.

LethalWolfe:

all you drivers up to date? Bad RAM maybe?
Bad RAM causes crashes, not slowdowns.

MacAztec:

Even the most pathetic graphics card should be fine for 2D stuff. Even a crappy 500mhz, i810 integrated shared-memory graphics machine at work has snappyness in some ways that my vastly more powerful Mac doesn't.

Catfish_Man
Mar 22, 2003, 10:53 PM
Originally posted by MacAztec
Whats your graphics card?

I cant think of anything else. Because...

My school has like some cheap P3 1GHz machines (school quality=cheap crap) and they run Win XP. They run it fast too. Faster then my computers at home (macs).

And thse machines probly cost em like 300 dollars a piece.

That's really weird. My school has a few cheap P3 1GHz machines and they're slooooooooow (Win2000). Seriously, they feel like my old beige G3 233 w/10.1, it's awful. Even the P3 500Mhz Win98 machines seem faster. Luckily, I have one of the few 1.7GHz P4s in the school for my programming machine (it's crap, SDRAM, integrated graphics, etc... but it's got a reasonably fast processor) :) It's almost as responsive as my dual 867 at home.

Nipsy
Mar 22, 2003, 11:24 PM
Originally posted by ddtlm
Nipsy:

Clicking in "my computer" is hardly a benchmark. I get hung up there a lot waiting for CDs to spin and stuff like that.



I realize it isn't a benchmark, but it should not take 5-10 seconds....ever.

The graphics cards is slow (GF2MX), but plenty for me, as I'm not gaming.

As far as stuff like benchmarking, SiSoft Sandra tells me it is fast. It plays multimedia a bit better than the PIII rig did.

What I really wanted was a speed up in the OS, and gruntwork. This machine does boring things, like working video off my ReplayTV, archiving programming newsgroups into databases, etc.

What's frustrating is that after spending my whole Friday night going to the recommended system (by hard OCP), it feels just like the Dual PIII. Slow.

And it makes me wonder about all the PC trolls who come here, hit caps lock, and tell us how much faster their machines are. This is certainly an OS dog compared to my Dual 867. It multitasks poorly, and it never seems to even utilize the available processor (30-50% seems like a ceiling for many tasks).

I believe the speed is there somewhere, but it seems crippled by the OS.

Nipsy
Mar 22, 2003, 11:27 PM
I've done everything in the MoBo manual regarding drivers, and cycled through Windows update (11 times).

I have yet to turn off all of the eye candy, as primarily my problems seem processing related, and not graphics related (two instances of WinRAR take 30 minutes to do two cds, one instance takes 3).

This seems to be the key:
"Anyway, beefy hardware can only do so much when you are running a bloated MS OS."

However, I still expected one 2100+ to be noticeably faster than 2 PIII 500s.

MrMacMan
Mar 22, 2003, 11:57 PM
First, overclock everything.
2ed burning a CD any doing anything in XP makes everything go slower.

Run some real proformance tests and we will tell you if they are in decent range.

Edit: Win 2000 > XP by far.

Nipsy
Mar 23, 2003, 12:09 AM
Originally posted by MrMacman
First, overclock everything.
2ed burning a CD any doing anything in XP makes everything go slower.

Run some real proformance tests and we will tell you if they are in decent range.

Edit: Win 2000 > XP by far.

Well, I bought this thinking it would feel snappy for a while, and I could overclock it later. May accelerate that schedule.

Great benchmarks are useless if my real world speeds for the things I do remain in the toilet. SiSoft Sandra thinks it is performing as it should...other recommendations? Is there some evil service turned on which is limiting me to half my processor?

Also, I need XP on this machine. I have Win2K on a 500MHz laptop which feels faster...

ddtlm
Mar 23, 2003, 12:33 AM
Nipsy:

And it makes me wonder about all the PC trolls who come here, hit caps lock, and tell us how much faster their machines are.
Whats the cause of all this bitterness? Is it possible your view is clouded? I've never had a problem with these PC troll types but I have, on many occasions, had run-ins with irrational mac defenders.

This is certainly an OS dog compared to my Dual 867. It multitasks poorly, and it never seems to even utilize the available processor (30-50% seems like a ceiling for many tasks).
Sounds like the problem is not the processor.

two instances of WinRAR take 30 minutes to do two cds, one instance takes 3
This is the sort of symptom I'd expect from hard the hard disk being the problem. Processors don't have slowdowns like that from running two processes, but hard drives do, when their seek head has to spend all its time jumping around doing different things instead of tending to one read or one write. I should also add that if you have set things up so that you have both master and slave devices on IDE channels and you are trying to use both devices at once, then you will suffer a slowdown.

Nipsy
Mar 23, 2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by ddtlm
Nipsy:


Whats the cause of all this bitterness? Is it possible your view is clouded? I've never had a problem with these PC troll types but I have, on many occasions, had run-ins with irrational mac defenders.


Well, I'm a little upset. I've plopped $400 on upgrades, and I can do no more work. Based on the number of people who come to MacRumors, and complain that:
OS X is slow
PCs have more GHz
PCs are fast
XP never crashes
etc.

Not that I take them at their word, but I was hoping that modern hardware could make it a bit more useable. I expected things to be roughly on par with my Dual 867. As it is, I'm only going to see performance improvements if I take up gaming?


Sounds like the problem is not the processor.


Sure doesn't seem to be. However, I seem unable to peg the processor even when doing non disk tasks....is there some tweak that limits processor usage that I don't know about?


This is the sort of symptom I'd expect from hard the hard disk being the problem. Processors don't have slowdowns like that from running two processes, but hard drives do, when their seek head has to spend all its time jumping around doing different things instead of tending to one read or one write. I should also add that if you have set things up so that you have both master and slave devices on IDE channels and you are trying to use both devices at once, then you will suffer a slowdown.

Well, my drive setup is as follows:
Channel 0:
Master - Boot partition (Windows), programs & docs partition (My Documents and Program files).
Slave - Slow DVD/CDRW
Channel 1:
Master - 120GB data drive
Slave - Fast DVD/CDRW

PCI/IDE RAID Channels 0 & 1:
Empty

Both drives are 7200RPM, less than 6 months old, and the Windows partition is a fresh install yestersay...

ddtlm
Mar 23, 2003, 01:04 AM
Nipsy:

Hmmm, your setup looks OK to me, and is pretty similar to my own PC (I run win2k). I mostly play games on it these days, though. :) Anyway, good luck with finding a solution somewhere... I can't help you, it seems.

CrackedButter
Mar 23, 2003, 06:59 AM
Install Linux and see how that handles your hardware, rather than find fault with the HW try different SW.

Nipsy
Mar 23, 2003, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by CrackedButter
Install Linux and see how that handles your hardware, rather than find fault with the HW try different SW.

As I stated above, I need to run XP on this machine. I also stated several times that I suspected Windows was the culprit. I don't doubt that the HW is fast (as I mentioned in the first line of the thread).

Here, I'll rephrase:
Why is Windows XP on an NForce2/Athlon 2100+ (now 2700+) just as slow as Windows XP on a Dual PIII 500?

Even with overclocking (lots of it [and took only 8 keystrokes]), the 'My Computer' window still takes 5-10 seconds when doing anything (but not burning). File handling is slow as molasses, etc.

The machine is working (I managed to get 130 frames processed per second in Virtual dub, compared with my former 12-16), but the OS is dog slow.

As I've said, this machine needs to run XP, so I need to know if XP can be made snappy, or if I should just resign myself to the fact that it will forever feel like an ugly 10.0?

Independence
Mar 23, 2003, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by Nipsy
Okay, there are a bunch of you who claim how much faster the PC is in raw computational power (which I'll agree with), but explain this to me:

I recently upgraded my PC. My Dual Pentium III 500 gave up, and I decided to build a speedy box. I got an NForce2 (Epox 8RDA+), 1GB dual channel PC2700 CL2 RAM, and an Athlon XP2100+. Two ATA133 7200RPM HDs (fresh Windows XP Pro install, data).

The thing is still dog slow. For all the crap spouted here about Wintel speed demons, how is this possible? The sluggish perfomance of XP is like molasses. WinRAR and FSRAID still bring the machine to its knees. 'My Computer' windows still take 5-10 seconds to draw when Nero is doing a burn....

Help. Prove your points. I want this machine to be reasonably fast, but as it sits, it is proving how bad the Windows bloat has become.
how strange. my 800 mhz PC performs well with those applications, even when i was running windows xp (when the hardware problems aren't causing the system to crash and burn).

edesignuk
Mar 23, 2003, 07:34 AM
Try turning off all the WinXP eye-candy.
Right click on 'My computer' and select 'Properties', then go to the 'Advanced' tab, and hit the 'Settings' button in the 'Performence' area, turn off all the crap and you should get things responding much better. Hope this helps :)

cubist
Mar 23, 2003, 07:39 AM
Windows has some aspects which are poorly programmed and are always slow, regardless of processor. "My Computer" is one of them. It doesn't matter if you have a 30GHz processor, it takes at least 10 seconds, and possibly a minute or more.

Startup: During startup, Windows incorrectly shows an arrow cursor when, in fact, it is not ready to accept any commands. Double-click on something, and nothing will happen for 30 seconds or more.

Printing: You can crash almost any Windows application by trying to print when a network printer is out of paper, or busy, or not turned on, or any of several other conditions. Printing on Windows is painfully slow in any event.

But these (and many others) are inefficient software, poorly coded parts of the operating system. They don't indicate that you have a slow computer. On a PC, everything can be fast except for the OS.

Nipsy
Mar 23, 2003, 07:54 AM
Originally posted by cubist
On a PC, everything can be fast except for the OS.

Perhaps I just have to accept this.

I allowed for some bogging down on the PIII Dualie, blaming it on the age of the processors.

I had really hoped that the Athlon would make the OS 'snappy'.

I'm still at a loss at to why RAR and PAR operations are sooooo dreadfully slow, but having spent the whole weekend on the transisiton, and having it running steadily, I'm ready to walk away and get some damn sleep before the sun comes up.

Especially now that Windows Explorer has decided to crash whenever I invoke 'Folder Views'.

I hope in 5 years OS X has gained enough ground that all software is readily available for it, and I can banish these Wintel boxes from my life forever.