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Background:

We have a C# solution with 49 projects and it uses VS2005 SP1 (didn't upgrade to higher version due to old version of Syncfusion 4.x lib). The project uses Ant with ISharpCode zip library for packing components and much of the build time is used here. I usually built it in my office PC and home PC. Due to my recent modification in project to support win7 x64, one of the team member (lived in USA) complained that it is slower than ever and took about 7-10 min.

So, I tested it in my office and home PC. Here are the PC specs and build times – a full rebuild of all attached projects:

For mobility and faster build than my office & home PC, I've bought a

Both PCs (not laptop) had multiple IDE running (not building anything). And both PCs and laptop have Avast Antivirus and Comodo firewall installed (sometime affects the build for the first time). It should have taken less time than core i3 system.

My old office PC (replaced by i3) with Pentium Dual Core 2.6 GHz 2GB RAM and Win7 x86 ultimate used to take about 2 min 25 sec to build another almost similar project (47 projects attached). Upon my request, I'd been given core i3 machine which took the same project (^) to build about 1 min 46 sec.

These things were considered to buy Core i7. But I'm disappointed.

Is there any specific reason for the slowness?

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migrated from stackoverflow.com Sep 25 '11 at 11:48

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It is the core speed on the i7 letting you down. It would have been ok if you had the quad core model. –  Lee Armstrong Sep 25 '11 at 10:49
    
In newer versions of VS you can enable parallel builds (IIRC new feature in 2008), this would allow use of multiple cores which would certainly help at the compression (and other CPU bound) stages. –  Richard Sep 25 '11 at 11:00
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Maybe the crapload of Dell software that your computer came with are making it slow? The first thing I do when I buy a new computer is to install a fresh copy of Windows to ensure that all the garbage is thrown away. Once you do that you could start working with your computer. –  Darin Dimitrov Sep 25 '11 at 11:46
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I think your bottleneck here is disk I/O. In my experience laptop disk controllers and seem slower than their desktop equivalents. Also laptops often ship with 5400RPM disks which are fairly pedestrian devices. I'd focus there to try and solve your performance issues. Maybe a SSD would help aleviate this. I'm also going to migrate this to super user because I don't think this issue is specific to Visual Studio. Also the guys there live for this kind of problem solving so you're more likely to get a better informed answer. –  Kev Sep 25 '11 at 11:48
    
@Kev: The hard disk model is Seagate ST9500423AS 7200RPM [link]( hdsentinel.com/…). –  MARK002-MAB Sep 25 '11 at 14:08
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Laptop hard drives tend to be slower than desktop hard drives. Compiling is disk intensive.

Because VS2005 has no support for parallel compiles within a project, you're only compiling on one core. Per core, the 2630QM is only about 11% faster than the 540.

So basically, there's no reason it should be any faster.

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I agree with Kev, it'll be the disk. Check them with HDTach or some HDD benchmark utility.
A solution (a software's complete source ... be it java, C#, C++) consists of a lot of small files.

HDDs are slow to read them.
The solution?
If it's a laptop: Get a WD Black Caviar (7200rpm high-performance laptop drive).
Or if you can afford it, get an SSD. (Smaller, but high IOPS.)

If it's a desktop PC: SSD > 10,000RPM Raptor > 7200rpm black caviar (WD) > 7200rpm drive ... and so on.

A 7200rpm black drive won't be as fast as an SSD (sequential read/write), but it is STILL a huge boost compared to a normal 7200 or a 5400rpm laptop drive.

(ps.: I'm not a WD fanboy, I just don't know any other company who would make such "high performance" drives. If they exist, feel free to edit my answer, post them in my comment.)

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In Bangladesh, it is currently the highest available Core i7 laptop since most people buy core i3/i5. So, there isn't much choice. –  MARK002-MAB Sep 25 '11 at 14:14
    
Core i3 and i5 can both outperform i7. Nowadays it's just a number, a marketing thing, nothing more. I know, I have an i7. Don't care about that number, check for reviews, for benchmarks. (But again ... the problem is the disk, not the CPU.) –  Shiki Sep 25 '11 at 21:51
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