For questions concerning computer, or computer-related, performance. Please include metrics in your questions.

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44
votes
16answers
82k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows 7 freeze or slowness?

A machine is described as being "really slow" or "freezing". How can I troubleshoot/resolve this issue? What should be the first steps to take?
26
votes
2answers
48k views

How to diagnose slow booting or logon in Windows 7?

When I start my PC, it boots into Windows (Windows 7 32-bit) quite happily, I login and the main Windows screen appears. At that point, however, the system is extremely unresponsive for up to 5 ...
36
votes
5answers
10k views

What is the proper way of debugging a slow Windows installation?

You know the drill - you've been asked to check why your cousin's computer is running slow. I was right there yesterday. Being a Mac user since 2007 I haven't really dug deep in Windows internals in ...
28
votes
10answers
7k views

Why does hardware get slower with time?

Why does hardware get slower with time? I have been a PC owner since 1990 and every computer I have had in my life became really, really slow after 3-4 years (even with a full system-reinstall). It is ...
25
votes
12answers
8k views

Reclaiming disk space on Windows

A lot of disk space is taken up by a default Windows installation in various temperory and backup data that may never get cleaned up on its own. Eventually you realize that the large multi hundred ...
22
votes
3answers
7k views

Confirming that Windows 7 is using SSD optimizations

Took the plunge and installed Windows 7 on my computer. Even better, I installed it on my new Intel x25m (got to love that SSD goodness.) Vista was known to thrash, throttle, and otherwise wear out ...
14
votes
4answers
16k views

How to control RAM / swap usage

Is there a way (application) to control RAM / swap usage policy at application level. I have some applications that I use all the time and I want them to stay in RAM all the time and there are also ...
25
votes
6answers
22k views

How can I log my hard drive activity by program?

I am using Windows XP and am looking for a utility that can tell me the percentage of hard drive activity a program is using. Basically, I'm looking for something like Task Manager and its ability ...
18
votes
2answers
8k views

How can I identify the culprit of my slow Windows shutdown?

My computer is taking a very long time to shutdown. How can I identify the culprit? I don't want to wait minutes for my computer to shutdown... Is there a program I can use to track how long it ...
3
votes
7answers
2k views

What are the best free(ware?) PC performance benchmarking options out there? [closed]

I'd like to get a rough idea on the performance of my machines, so quite simply: what would you guys recommend as decent, free benchmarking software? Please specify whether your suggestions are good ...
33
votes
12answers
18k views

Any reason not to disable the Windows pagefile given enough physical RAM? [closed]

The question of disabling the Windows pagefile has already been discussed quite a bit, for example here and here and here. People continue to upvote answers that say "you should not disable your ...
12
votes
4answers
9k views

Fast VNC from Windows to Mac?

I regularly need to connect from a Windows box to an OSX box over VNC. OSX has VNC built-in as part of its "Screen Sharing" tool, but for some reason, it's much faster to connect from OSX to OSX or ...
7
votes
7answers
25k views

How to bond two different internet connections

I have two internet connection, each with 4mbps bandwidth. I want to join/merge both of them to get 8mbps speed, both routers have WLAN and LAN capability. How to Double my speed using two routers? ...
14
votes
7answers
17k views

“Task Manager” addon for Firefox?

Are there any addons for Firefox that can replicate the performance monitoring of Task Manager in Windows - seeing memory and CPU used - but for all the tabs in the current Firefox session? I want to ...
19
votes
7answers
2k views

Is defragging relevant to improving disk performance anymore?

Does it stil make much difference, now that we have much faster and larger HDDs? Generally I find if disk performance is getting too slow, it's probably because of too little free space, and the ...
11
votes
4answers
31k views

Best SSD tweaks for Windows 7 [closed]

I have seen many articles about tweaking an SSD, but many of them seem outdated, or too broad (read all Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 general tweaks). And I know that Windows 7 has been ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

How to log processes throughout workday?

Basically, I want to track which processes are running and their cpu % throughout the day to pinpoint random freezing and slowness. I would like to go in to a text file and see a log of the previous ...
20
votes
3answers
20k views

How to change I/O priority of a process or thread in Win7?

Process Explorer is able to show the effective IO priority of a given thread, but not change it. Seeing as IO priority support is a comparatively new feature, most programs don't set their own IO ...
14
votes
7answers
10k views

Does storage capacity affect hard drive performance?

I read somewhere that smaller (in terms of disk space) hard drives are faster than equivalent but bigger hard drives. How true is this? In other words, say I have two hard drives. Both are of the ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Does installing many programs really slow down Windows?

I have always heard that it's a bad idea to install lots of software on a Windows machine, and new software should always be tested in a virtual machine so as to not permanently affect the operating ...
20
votes
4answers
48k views

Windows 8 hard disk usage 100%

This is a problem I've seen described in many places: Super User (here, here, here and so on) Microsoft support forums (here, here...) The Lenovo forums have some users complaining about this too ...
11
votes
5answers
9k views

Does low disk space affect SSD performance?

I was wondering if having less than 5-10GB of free space on an SSD would affect performance. Is it specific to SSD or is it more of an operating system aspect? For example, on an Intel X-25 G2 that ...
4
votes
5answers
5k views

Firefox on Mac: Slow, slow, slow

On my Macbook, Firefox is slow. Really slow. It takes about 30 minutes to start up - when I wake up, I start it, and once I am done breakfast, it's usually done. And, it takes a super-duper long time ...
8
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I speed up data transfer between local computers on a WiFi network?

I have a router with ADSL Pentagram Cerberus 6331-42. Is it normal to have transfer speeds between two computers of max 1MB/s (not 1 Mbit)? How can I set my router up to make it faster at transferring ...
53
votes
5answers
11k views

Why are USB flash drives so much slower than solid-state drives?

From what I understand, USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are based on similar technologies, NAND flash memory. But, USB flash drives are usually quite slow, with a read and write speed ...
32
votes
8answers
5k views

Why does my computer run fast after a clean install?

I recently formatted and reinstalled Windows on my laptop. It now runs much faster. I have been doing this about once a year for the past decade. Why is this needed? I always figured this had to do ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How to measure disk performance? [duplicate]

A friend has asked me to perform maintenance oh his computer. The described symptoms point to a performance issue with the hard drive. I want to objectively confirm this suspicion by measuring the ...
33
votes
4answers
14k views

How does NTFS compression affect performance?

I've heard that NTFS compression can reduce performance due to extra CPU usage, but I've read reports that it may actually increase performance because of reduced disk reads. How exactly does NTFS ...
13
votes
8answers
30k views

Bitlocker Performance Impact on SSD

I've put a brand new SSD into my work computer and my IT department wants me to use BitLocker. I read one of the other threads on BitLocker performance on standard harddrives, but I was wondering - ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

Can SSD raid be faster than ramdisk?

So a typical ssd will have a read speed of 250 - 500 mb / second. And a ram will have about 10x than that. My question is: Can 4 ssds with raid-0 be faster than a single ram memory block for some ...
9
votes
2answers
880 views

Why would an incorrect password attempt take a lot longer to process than a correct one?

The most prominent place I've noticed this is when SSH-ing at work, but I feel like I've observed this behaviour elsewhere too. When I try to log into Linux servers from my Windows desktop at work, ...
8
votes
3answers
287 views

How to get the most out of laptop battery life of a Windows PC?

I'm a big fan of portability and battery life. I want to take the most out of a single recharge. Any tips to accomplish that? Things on top of my mind: Voltage reduction (with RMClock, any better ...
5
votes
1answer
6k views

SandForce controller SSD Garbage Collection for systems without TRIM support

Mac OS X does not seem to support TRIM, the command that tells SSD drives they can reuse a block. This means, after a while of usage, writing over much of the SSD, performance degrades. Since waiting ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

Tools to find bottlenecks in hardware configuration

I'm thinking of upgrading my notebook and I want to find the tightest bottlenecks in its hardware configuration to target my money in the most efficient way. So what software tool can you recommend to ...
1
vote
3answers
423 views

When do you know you need more ram?

My current system is: intel core i5-750 quad core 4gig ram 1600 600gb 7200rpm HDD running on windows 7 When I look at the performance monitor my memory rarely goes above 50% of total memory usage. ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Does partitioning a hard drive give a performance gain?

Back in the day you could gain some performance by partitioning your hard drive to several partitions: Pagefile OS and Apps data There was some debate regarding the order of the drives as the ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Why does it sometimes take a long time for windows to shutdown?

I'm not sure if this is a programming question exactly, but it does affect my work quite a bit. I have a project I'm working on where a program has to perform certain tasks on startup. The project ...
44
votes
10answers
42k views

Speed of TrueCrypt whole disk encryption

I'm getting a new development laptop soon, and I'm thinking of using TrueCrypt to encrypt the whole disk. What kind of performance drop can I expect? 10%? 30%? More? Also, assuming the workload has ...
31
votes
3answers
64k views

Linux: find out what process is using all the RAM?

Before actually asking, just to be clear: yes, I know about disk cache, and no, it is not my case :) Sorry, for this preamble :) I'm using CentOS 5. Every application in the system is swapping ...
35
votes
8answers
36k views

Does Windows ReadyBoost have a meaningful impact on performance?

Does Windows ReadyBoost technology, available in Windows since Vista, have a meaningful impact on performance? Are there well-known benchmarks that compare systems with, and without? Does the speed ...
15
votes
1answer
7k views

Google Chrome is slow to localhost

For some reason Google Chrome is slow when I'm working against localhost. I had the same problem in Firefox 3.5 but I changed some IPv6 setting in about:config which fixed the issue. I think the same ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a way to know what program slow down startup?

Is there a program that can be installed to be able to know what program take time to load at startup of Windows?
13
votes
4answers
17k views

On Mac OS X how can I monitor what is using my internet connection?

I've got a relatively limited broadband connection (I live miles from the nearest exchange) and from time to time net access (but nothing else) slows to a near crawl. I know from a bit of monitoring ...
25
votes
7answers
6k views

How can I simulate a slow machine in a VM?

I'm testing an AJAX-heavy web-application. I develop on a new Mac, but I use VmWare Fusion (currently 3.1.2) to test in Windows XP, using IETester to simulate older versions of IE. This lets me see ...
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the Intel i7 offer real improvement over its predecessors? [closed]

As the questions title asks, do the new processors from Intel offer real, as in noticeable, improvement over the previous quad core ones? What does the i7 actually offer that is new or is it simply a ...
14
votes
2answers
33k views

Good OS X Hard Drive Benchmark

What software can provide some insight on the performance of the hard drive in my MacBook Pro? I would be interested in both sequential and random read and write performance. This is in the context ...
10
votes
4answers
20k views

Does overheating cause a computer to slow down?

It's a pet peeve of mine that people leave the tower of their desktop computers in the small enclosed cabinet part of computer desks. I've heard that heat issues can cause problems with PCs, but is ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

How to stop Firefox on an SSD from freezing when using the search box or submitting a form?

Firefox usually freezes for about a second whenever I search for something from the toolbar search box, when submitting a form, or when clearing the search box history. I suspect it has something to ...
4
votes
6answers
8k views

Can someone explain RAID-0 in plain English?

I've heard about and read about RAID throughout the years and understand it theoretically as a way to help e.g. server PCs reduce the chance of data loss, but now I am buying a new PC which I want to ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Can I “hibernate” a program?

Yes, I know that hibernate usually applies to a computer. (Hibernate her meaning saving program memory in disk and being able to restore it in a consistent manner.) However, hibernating a program ...