XP64 usefull for me?

Discussion in 'Windows 64bit' started by Nice Bike, Oct 30, 2007.

  1. Nice Bike

    Nice Bike Guest

    Using XP pro now. I'm doing allot of large amount-file-moving from
    directory to directory. So I'm using Windows Explorer allot with cut
    and paste. WIN XP seems very slow sometimes when accessing directories
    with large amounts of files 20,000+ or so.

    So, I was thinking of installing WIN XP-64bit. Will it be faster for
    me with al the file moving and organizing I'm doing? I wont be using
    any 64bit applications per se.
     
    Nice Bike, Oct 30, 2007
    #1
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  2. If you have a suitable amount of memory (up to 4GB) and good HD(s) and you
    keep your system trim I can't see any apparent reason why your system should
    be slow. But then, I am not used to handling that amount of files at one
    time. With that kind of task, I would investigate using a script (set of
    scripts?) and run it in the background and forget about it - 64bit or not.

    The popular wisdom has it that a 64bit system is called for if you must have
    more than 4GB memory and/or must use a 64bit app.

    Personally, I have to stress the point that XP x64 handles Virtual Memory
    much better than anything else I know of. It seems quick and there's nothing
    much that can bring it to it's knees. But it is a subjective feeling. There
    are no benchmarks to support that it should be faster, but it certainly
    seems more responsive - awake - can't wait to get going!

    I have no use for more memory and I don't do any work that requires 64bit
    processing, but I love it. It is very stable and reliable, and it has an
    exemplarily decent community, but the snag is that you have to do your own
    detective-work and make sure you can have 64bit drivers for all the hardware
    and devices you mean to employ. Anything and everything that needs a driver
    now, needs a 64bit driver then! This part is still lacking, sadly.


    For all I know, I can only recommend it - if you really need it? - that is
    doubtfull!


    What is also doubtfull, is wether you should exchange your OS and install it
    on the same machine? There is much to indicate that XP x64 might be more
    demanding on the quality of such things as memory and PSU, and it very often
    needs a BIOS update. A floppy drive for SATA drivers at installation will be
    mandatory and a few more specialties.


    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Oct 30, 2007
    #2
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  3. Nice Bike

    Guest Guest

    I Love Windows XP X64 Edition Service Pack 2 So Much That I Was Able To
    Convince My Parents To Convert Over To It, Just FYI. Simply Use Avast 4.7
    Home Edition As Your Anti-Virus Program And Windows Defender As Your
    Anti-Spyware Program, And You Are All Set To Go With It, Just FYI.
     
    Guest, Oct 30, 2007
    #3
  4. Nice Bike

    Nice Bike Guest

    One of the reasons I asked about WIN XP64 is that when I click in
    Windows Explorer on a drive to explore that drive, Explorer is taking
    a long time to 'scan' thru the whole drive, every time I click on that
    drive. Especially after restarting Explorer because it sometimes
    'hangs' when it's busy with scanning a drive. I can't seem to make XP
    stop scanning drives. I've turned the Index service off already.
    Another example is when I select allot of files to move to another
    directory and right-click for 'cut', it will take ages for the context
    menu to appear, because explorer is scanning al those files again.
    This is very annoying. I am now trying other 'explorers'
    like FreeCommander. FC seems a bit faster. Not as much scanning of
    drives, but still uses some of Win Explorer's routines.
    I have 1GB RAM, and SATA II harddrives, but are connected to SATA I
    controllers on the mainboard, switching to SATA II controllers could
    yield some speed, but that would mean a new mainboard, and some $$$.

    I was thinking that WIN64 would use the 64bit CPU instructions for
    Windows Explorer, so it would be faster.
    I've read that with the XP SP3 there would be a patch for faster drive
    access that fixes the 'bug' of re-scanning a whole drive time after
    time. We'll see...

    Thanks for your quick reply.
     
    Nice Bike, Oct 30, 2007
    #4
  5. Honestly, I'm not sure it will help significantly. Here's the issue - it's
    the large number of files in the directory. If you were to take the same
    number of files, and put them in subdirectories, the process would be
    faster. Ideally, under a 1000 files per directory for best performance. (and
    each subdirectory counts as a file for that count.) So, if you have to deal
    with 20k files, then structuring your data creation/storage in a way that
    splits them up into 20-25 subdirectories would significantly improve
    performance.

    The other things that can really make a difference with large transfers is
    the quality of the NICs involved. There are GigE NICs and then there are
    GigE NICs. I've paid as little as $15 for a GigE NIC, and gotten exactly
    what I paid for. I'm currently running dual Intel server grade PCI-X NICs on
    my machine where it really matters. They weren't $15. ;)

    There are also some network optimizations that you can do that can help, and
    those are not specific to 32-bit v. 64-bit, and are best discussed on a
    networking newsgroup.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 30, 2007
    #5
  6. Well, to be blunt - on that system I very much doubt that x64 would do much
    of a difference. One observation I could make is that motherboards these
    days are not very expensive. Memory too, at the moment is down-right cheap.
    Whichever way you turn, that will help a lot. I'd say, you need 2GB of
    dual-channel memory and definitely have your HD on a compatible controller.
    You might also try and invest in a smaller, really fast HD to carry your
    swap-file.

    As it is, the system does not seem to bee well suited for present-day
    heavy-duty work. And I'm not criticising the quality. I have one six year
    old machine with an Athlon XP 2400+ and 1GB memory. It gives me full
    pleasure with it's speed and stability, but I wouldn't use it for any heavy
    stuff.

    The 64bit instruction might actually be slower since it is only used to
    access more memory than the 32bit OS can address, it is certainly not
    faster - the data-path that comes along will be the important part. Compare
    with a motorway, if all the lanes are full to beginn with, doubling the
    width with more lanes will allow you to travel faster. If the lanes are not
    filled, having more lanes does not shorten the traveling time. So, from that
    point - your system might be struggling from over-work, which the 64bit OS
    would help speeding up, but the 64bit OS would be bogged down from the
    hardware bottlenecks of that system. So, you would be having a one step
    forward/ one step back situation!

    Even so, experience tells us that putting XP x64 on an older system in an
    attempt to upgrade it, is a bad idea. If your workload demands it, buy a new
    machine targeting on that OS and you will most likely be very happy with the
    result.


    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Oct 31, 2007
    #6
  7. I should have known about the Sub's, but to be honest, I didn't. Doing this,
    that way, I assume you should be using the same kind of directory structure
    at both ends?

    I have a feeling, Charlie, that you are well aquainted with jobs of this
    kind. That there's some particular kind of data processing that calls for
    this? If anyone is doing this on a regular basis, is there a good reason why
    these files aren't generated in the final location initially?


    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Oct 31, 2007
    #7
  8. Yup, you'd use the same structure. In the very old DOS days, you're actually
    break some programs at roughly 1000 files. (but those were the days when you
    couldn't have more than 122 subdirectories and/or files in the root
    directory.) Others just got really slow. These days, it's less of an issue,
    but it's still a potential speed problem.

    One kind of operation that creates a lot of files in one location and then
    has to move them is software builds. Especially cross platform builds, where
    things may be generated on one kind of machine, but need to be stored /
    checked in to another kind. Another can be log files for individual
    processes. We used to generate a series of files for every car that went
    through the Paint Department. That file would be opened, written to, and
    closed every time it passed an antenna. And, when it left Paint and went to
    Assembly, it was became a row in the database and got stored off as a flat
    log file. Just in case. They weren't big files - a couple hundred bytes was
    all. Just a time stamp and a location for every antenna. The body didn't
    have a VIN yet, so it was assigned a number when it entered the shop, and
    that number became the file name.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2007
    #8
  9. Nice Bike

    Guest Guest

    Nice Bike,
    Try ZtreeWin (http://www.ztree.com/html/ztreewin.htm) instead of Free
    Commander.
    It is a text mode clone of the old XTree.
    I have used it as my File Manager for many years.
    Works on all OS's (excluding DOS).
    Once you get used to its speed you will never use Windows Explorer again.
    You can try before you buy.
    Carlos
     
    Guest, Oct 31, 2007
    #9
  10. how well does it handle elevation, Carlos? Do I need to start it in elevated
    mode? Or will it trigger a prompt when it needs to?
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2007
    #10
  11. Nice Bike

    Guest Guest

    Charlie:
    I use it without the need for elevation (will it be because I have UAC
    disabled?, "bad idea", I know)
    In any case you can always right click on the icon/shortcut and choose "run
    as administrator or elevated" (I am not at my Vista PC now so I can't recall
    the exact context menu syntax).
    The MOST beautiful thing about Ztree is that, being a 32-bit app, it can
    access to the real system32 folder without being re-routed to the syswow64
    one!
    Carlos
     
    Guest, Oct 31, 2007
    #11
  12. Nice Bike

    Guest Guest

    Charlie:
    The answer to your question found in ZTreeWin FAQ page:
    "Q32: Why do I get a User Account Control (UAC) message in Vista?
    In order to provide access to actual protected directories and files in
    Vista (rather than virtual copies of these directories and files),
    applications like ZTreeWin must request access every time they run.
    ZTreeWin requests the highest level privilege elevation available to that
    user. If the highest level is administrator, Vista requires the user to
    confirm this elevation with this UAC dialog (even though the user is already
    logged in with administrator privileges). The alternative is to disable UAC,
    which removes this malware protection entirely."

    Carlos
     
    Guest, Oct 31, 2007
    #12
  13. Nice Bike

    Nice Bike Guest

    I have been putting files into sub-directories for faster access,
    that's the first thing I have to do with 20,000+ files in one
    directory. Access to that directory would be horrible, until the
    numbers go down. But accessing that drive after a Windows Explorer
    restart would be slow at first, due to scanning of the directory
    structure. Even collapsing the tree, en re-opening it would be slow
    again. It must be that WIN XP SP2 bug, and should be fixed with SP3.

    The reason so many files would appear into one directory is very
    simple, have you ever unattended, over night, downloaded files from a
    binary newsgroup? There ya go!
     
    Nice Bike, Oct 31, 2007
    #13
  14. Nice Bike

    Nice Bike Guest

    Humm, I'm putting WIN XP64 aside for now.
    I have an Athlon 64 3000+ @2GHz with 1GB RAM and SATA I, obvious to
    obsolete for x64.
    This 'older' system serves me well for now, it's just the large amount
    of file accessing that's the problem.
    I actually do have a smaller HD for the swapfile.
    Talking about HD speed, I get 50-60 MB/sec with my current SATA II
    drives on the SATA I controllers, what would be the speed increase if
    I upgrade the mainboard with SATA II controllers?
    The most new games run very choppy on this system, but I don't do
    allot of gaming. I was thinking of getting, eventually, a dual core
    CPU AMD, with appropriate mainboard.
    Would Vista 64 run better then XP64 on such a system?

    Thanks for your advice.
     
    Nice Bike, Oct 31, 2007
    #14
  15. I can't predict what figure you would get with your HD, but I strongly
    assume something in the vicinity of 80, as I remember, I had 88 and that was
    pretty much the same Seagate drive.

    It's not the CPU that's your problem, rather amount of RAM and the thing
    with the HD. They are real bottlenecks.

    But check out what Charlie said about the directory structure - if he takes
    the time to mention this, you will be surprised!

    And the extra HD! Delete all partitions on that drive and first create one
    small Primary Partition (some 10 GB?) where you can put the swapfile, leave
    some swapfile space on the system drive!

    I bet you will see a real boost from those two easy steps alone!


    Tony. . .
     
    Tony Sperling, Oct 31, 2007
    #15
  16. Nice Bike

    Nice Bike Guest

    I did read what Charlie said about the directory structure, I replied
    to him saying that I already have to cut the large amounts of files
    into smaller sub-directories. I'm not familiar to this newsgroup, but
    is he the resident expert here?

    So you say that putting the swapfile in a partition of it's own will
    boost performance? I will try that! I always was under the impression
    that putting swapfiles on drivers OTHER then the systemdrive would
    boost performance. And with games more so, never put the swapfile on
    the same drive as the gamefiles.
    I'm not sure if buying more RAM for an older system is such a good
    idea. I was thinking of upgrading, then I will put in 4GB RAM.

    Thanks for the help.
     
    Nice Bike, Oct 31, 2007
    #16
  17. if it's a 32-bit app, it will NOT have access to the real system32 folder.
    It will get the SysWOW64 folder, only it will _appear_ to be the system32
    folder. Nope, I'll pass. (and yes, you should definitely not be running with
    UAC off. BAD idea.)
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2007
    #17
  18. "is he the resident expert"?

    Nope. Just one of the many here who try to help out as we can.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2007
    #18
  19. You might also look at turning off TCP Offload and TCP Tophat? But really,
    if you're going to work with this many files, your best bet is a better I/O
    subsystem.
     
    Charlie Russel - MVP, Oct 31, 2007
    #19
  20. Nice Bike

    Guest Guest

    Charlie,
    Believe it or not, I set ZTreeWin in dual window view mode with system32 on
    the left pane and syswow64 on the right pane.
    Different info was on both panes and the system32 one matched the one in
    Windows Explorer.
    A couple of months back I bugged the author of this program regarding one
    issue I had and he did mention a function he was using for reading the real
    system32 folder y x64 versions of windows.
    :)
    Carlos
     
    Guest, Oct 31, 2007
    #20
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