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How do you determine if the CPU or RAM or DISK is the bottleneck on Windows 7? Visual Studio is crippling my system and I want to find the culprit.

I tried running perfmon but there are what seems like hundreds of possible metrics. Which ones should one use to get the best idea, are there other options to determine this out there? I picked ones that sounded good, but who really knows.

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I'm no expert on this tool, so I won't make this an answer, but you might look into XPerf. It's RIDICULOUSLY powerful. –  Shinrai Jan 28 '11 at 23:58

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The quick answer to this question would be: If you have excessive amounts of "page outs", you are running out of memory. A few page outs will be normal, but the second your machine uses up all free memory, your page out count will start increasing all of a sudden as it starts putting demand on your page file. If you have continuous 99/100% CPU utilization (a flatline graph) when in Visual Studio, you might be limited by your CPU. Within performance monitor, you can monitor your disk activity (throughput, disk read/write) and which specific applications/services are demanding the most activity to determine if they are grabbing all your available bandwidth.

You can run multiple instances of Performance Monitor if you would like, but start monitoring during your normal work routine and see if you can catch a trend.

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