Re: Need help with slow computer

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Paul, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Paul

    Paul Guest

    Jack wrote:
    > I have an old Compaq Presario 5000 that is running on XP. It has an
    > Intel Celeron Processor that is 1.1 GHZ and I have increased the
    > memory to its max which is 512 Mb of SDRAM. I have defragged and run
    > Ad-Aware. I run C Cleaner often. When I run Task Scheduler, I often
    > find that the memory is loaded. I frequently find 2-3 versions of
    > iexplore.exe. Skype takes some space but I have to leave it in memory
    > so I can receive calls from my daughter overseas.
    > Are there any suggestions of how I can get it to run faster and more
    > efficient? Thanks for any help

    Open Task Manager.

    Under the Performance tab, look at "Commit Charge".

    Right now, mine is "Total=281688 K", and "Peak=346396 K".

    If I owned only 512MB of RAM, that would fit and run
    at full speed. I've only been booted for a few minutes,
    which is why my Peak is so low.

    If the Commit Charge was larger than the physical memory,
    then chances are some of your processes would be paged out
    to disk. And that kind of thing, slows down the operation
    of the machine.

    If the L1 or L2 cache is disabled on a processor, that can
    make it dog slow.

    If the IDE interface is running in PIO mode, instead of
    DMA mode, then any activity that uses the disk, will also
    be very slow. Programs will be slow to load. If the machine
    needs to page, that will be extremely slow too.

    On older computers, sometimes the fastest way to run a disk,
    is to use a separate PCI IDE card. Some older computers run
    DMA mode, but do it at a max of 66MB/sec. With a PCI card with
    IDE connectors on it, you can probably get 100-110MB/sec if
    the disk is fast enough. I got a 500GB disk the other day, that
    will do 125MB/sec (I benchmarked it), and that means you can
    now find disks which will run the PCI card solution to 100%.

    Other than those kinds of things, you'd use Task Manager, to
    see if any process is using a large percentage of the CPU.

    My AV scanner, used to scan every file that my other programs
    were attempting to access. And that can affect your perception
    of speed. On modern computers, the traditional hard drive
    interferes with everything, and is definitely the slowest element
    of the system. You can get some improvement, by using an SSD,
    but for the price of a good one of those, you could easily buy a
    used computer which is faster than the one you've got.


    To benchmark your disk subsystem, use the free version 2.55 of HDTune
    from . It has a read-only benchmark, and an older disk
    like my collection of IDE disks, will have a benchmark graph starting
    at 60MB/sec and ending at 40MB/sec. If you have a very modern disk (such
    as the one I bought a couple weeks ago), then it is possible to get more
    from the disk. But if the disk is a few years old, those are the normal
    sorts of numbers you'd get.

    To benchmark the processor, you can use SuperPI. These are benchmarks
    run collecting 1 million digits of the math constant PI. I selected
    some results which are as close as possible to the stock operating
    speed of the 1.1GHz processor.

    2min 49sec 650ms Greece NIKOSE Pentium 3 Celeron 1.1A Ghz Tualatin @1136MHz

    3min 4sec 270ms Poland mak888 Pentium 3 Celeron 1.1A Ghz Tualatin @1166MHz

    You can get the benchmark program here. You unzip it and run the EXE.
    A menu allows you to select "1 million digits", and then the benchmark
    will start. You can then compare your execution time, to the two
    results listed above. One reason for differences between machines,
    is the setup of the RAM. If a user had CAS2 RAM, that would make a minor
    speed difference, compared to using CAS3. Chances are, your system runs
    the RAM at 100MHz, which is one reason the memory subsystem doesn't
    have a lot of bandwidth to spare.

    If your results were radically different, and much slower, you might
    suspect the L1 or L2 cache is disabled.

    Paul, Feb 23, 2010
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