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

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14
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5answers
12k views

Why is my /dev/random so slow when using dd?

I am trying to semi-securely erase a bunch of hard drives. The following is working at 20-50Mb/s dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda But dd if=/dev/random of=/dev/sda seems not to work. Also when I ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

SSH is slow to make a connection

I just installed Ubuntu 11.10, and whenever I try to SSH into my servers it's very slow. Before it displays the password prompt, it can take between 40 seconds and 60 seconds. I use: ssh ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it slower to copy two files at the same time than to copy one after the other? [duplicate]

My boss was saying it takes longer to copy two files at the same time than doing one and then the other because the hard drive has to keep switching the head between the two locations on disk. Is this ...
14
votes
8answers
28k views

Why is VNC on Windows so slow?

In a test, I could stream a full HD movie across our network from my friend's computer, no problem. It's as fast as I could want. But VNC is painfully slow. We've tried Real VNC and Tight VNC, I've ...
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
7answers
16k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
31k 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 ...
14
votes
2answers
77k views

What is svchost.exe (LocalSystemNetworkRestricted) when I see it in the Resource Monitor in Windows vista and why is it slowing me down?

Sometimes, when my computer is frozen and just about unusable, it seems that the cause is some heavy background processing. Sometimes, I can catch who is using all my disk-bandwidth using Resource ...
14
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does HDD activity slow the whole System down (on Windows 7)?

If I copy a large amount of data from on drive to another (physical) drive my whole system is running slow. I am using Windows 7 64bit version on an Intel Core 2 Duo 3 GHz. This is the situation: ...
14
votes
3answers
2k views

What to put on a MacOS X SSD?

This question clearly doesn't have one answer, so here are few assumptions: I want to add an SSD to my Mac, let's say a MacBook [Pro], with the primary goal of speeding up my workflow. The hard disk ...
13
votes
14answers
43k views

What's the fastest way to transfer files between 2 computers? [closed]

Let's say that I have 80Gb of data to transfer from one computer to another. What's the fastest method to transfer that files? Network transfer? DVD Recording? Copying in a pen drive? Removing one ...
13
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
19k views

What regulates Intel SpeedStep CPU throttling? Can I get some control of this on Windows7?

I’m trying to get a big virtual disk file compressed (using WinRar) before I go home today, but my CPU frequency keeps merrily going up and down between the nominal 2.8 GHz and a measly 800 MHz! The ...
13
votes
4answers
44k views

Windows 8 extremely high disk usage and slow IO

Problem After upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8 Professional, there seem to be a few disturbing problems. When I have the Task Manager open, I sometimes notice the disk usage climbing to 50, ...
13
votes
4answers
2k views

Why is a single thread spread across CPU's?

I'm just curious why the scheduler constantly moves an app between CPUs, rather than keeping it on one. It looks a bit silly to have 4 cores at 25% rather than one at 100%. Does it has to do with ...
13
votes
1answer
919 views

Why are start-up times faster on Windows 7 than on XP? [closed]

Reading a hotter question Why are start-up times faster on Windows 8? There is a great answer there by ClickUpvote, which shows some design differences that makes 8 faster: Difference between win7 ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

How can I verify that my SSD is performing as it should?

EDIT: Okay, so I've no idea what caused the change, but after trying loads of different things to work out what was wrong, I've rerun the WEI (about the 4th time in total) and the score has jumped to ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

Increase page file or buy RAM?

I've a 10+ year old XP PC which surprisingly still works however one of the 256MB RAM finally died. Now I am left with just 256MB. As expected the PC became slower however when I tried to increase the ...
12
votes
4answers
534 views

If a task takes 10 hours on a 1GHz processor, does it take 5 hours on a 2Ghz processor?

If a task takes 10 hours on a 1GHz processor, does it take 5 hours on a 2Ghz processor? Or am I oversimplifying the issue?
12
votes
8answers
26k 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 - ...
12
votes
3answers
4k views

Bad NTFS performance

Why is it that NTFS performance is so lousy compared to, for example, Linux/ext3? Most often I see this when checking out (large) source trees from Subversion. Checkout takes around 10-15 minutes on ...
12
votes
4answers
15k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
6k views

if we do not use any wallpaper on desktop will it increase performance of windows?

if we do not use any wallpaper on desktop will it increase performance of windows?
12
votes
7answers
2k views

Which PC components make the biggest impact on your compile times for Visual Studio?

Which PC specifications have the biggest impact on your compile times? Disk? Clock speed? Number of CPU cores?
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Does opening a lot of tabs in Google chrome cause a performance issue?

I have heard that each tab in a Google chrome is a separate process. So if any tab crashed it won't be affected to the whole browser. So if you open so many tabs there will be as many processes in the ...
12
votes
6answers
67k views

Does Windows 7 run acceptably on a 1 GB RAM Atom netbook?

Does Windows 7 live well on a 1 GB RAM Atom netbook? It's hard for me to try before I buy at the moment, so any advice from those that are already running Windows 7 would be appreciated.
12
votes
2answers
528 views

The Windows Registry - Why (and Where) Does It Exist?

Was talking to a friend about the registry, and realized I couldn't remember the issues Microsoft was trying to solve that brought it into being. I know it had something to do with too many different ...
12
votes
4answers
16k views

How to increase performance of Remote Desktop

How can I increase performance of Remote Desktop on windows XP sp3? A better network connection is not an option, this is for at work. I have suggested a network upgrade to my boss and it is not in ...
12
votes
9answers
33k views

How does the USB 3 speed compare to eSATA? [closed]

Will the full speed advantages of the future USB 3.0 be negated by the fact the most HD being mass produced are SATA 3? If so, what would you suggest a person do? For performance reasons, I go with ...
12
votes
6answers
13k views

Why does GIMP start up so slow on my machine?

Is there any way to speed up GIMP's startup time on Windows Vista Home Premium 32-Bit 1.6 [Dual] Intel Processors? On XP [different computer], it loads in less than 3 seconds. On Vista, it takes 20 ...
12
votes
4answers
18k views

Setting process priority everytime it is launched?

My work computer experiences a lot of slowdown, so I want to do what I can to make sure the stuff I need to be response actually is responsive. For example, I run Pidgin, which loads everytime I ...
12
votes
3answers
3k views

Do SSD hybrid drives perform better than HDD + ReadyBoost flash?

Seagate has released a product called the Momentus XT Solid State Hybrid Drive. This looks exactly like what Windows ReadyBoost attempts to do with software at the OS level: Pairing the benefits of a ...
11
votes
6answers
19k views

Super slow opening my downloads folder

I have an exe file in my download folder that I half downloaded through utorrent (it's not piracy, a legit file from people who use bittorrent to distribute large files). I think I tried to open it ...
11
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the technical reasons for the gradual degrade in performance of computers over time

In over 10 years of using computers I noticed that as the years go by their performance starts to degrade, and not as a result of winrot. Even if you re install Windows its improvement in speed still ...
11
votes
4answers
894 views

Are faster processors hotter?

Let's take the Intel Core 2 Duo P7350 and P8600 for an example. Both have a 3MB cache and a 1066MHz FSB, but the P7350 runs at 2.0GHz, while the 8600 runs at 2.4GHz. Is there a tradeoff between heat ...
11
votes
13answers
28k views

Why does Adobe Acrobat scroll so slowly, and what can I do about it?

I often am forced to view long PDF documents either in browser or out of browser. When I'm forced to use such documents, it's always frustrating, because whenever I scroll the document, the viewer ...
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 ...
11
votes
6answers
15k views

Samba vs. NFS: Performance

I've got a choice of setting up Samba or NFS on my Linux based NAS ( nslu2 running OpenDebian ). Does anyone have performance related stories comparing the two options ? Are there tuneup tricks ...
11
votes
5answers
8k 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it worth buying SSDs for a RAID?

Im seeing people using SSDs for RAID-0 and getting excellent improvements in read/write rates. But now there is a good opportunity to acquire another SSD Force Corsair F60 identical to mine. I'm ...
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Best way to optimise disk performance in OS X

As the question suggests, does anybody have any tips in increasing disk performance in OS X Leopard?
11
votes
4answers
8k 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
625 views

What is overclocking the system?

I have heard this term many time and would like to know what does it exactly means?
10
votes
12answers
1k views

RAM, Processor, L2Cache, Etc. - What gives you the most “Bang for your buck”?

I am not a hardware person when it comes to computers so when I buy a new one I just pick the one with the biggest numbers, but I know I am most likely wasting money. If you're going to purchase a ...
10
votes
2answers
5k views

Will using a 10/100 router stunt gigabit switch speeds for an internal network?

I have a 10/100 Verizon router. 3 computers are connected to this via Ethernet. I'd like to put a gigabit switch between the computers and router to enable gigabit speeds on the intranet. If the ...
10
votes
7answers
1k views

USB vs. FireWire for external hard drives

For external hard drives in this question, I'm referring to traditional HDDs; the kind with spinning metal inside of them (no RAM or flash-based super-high-performance hardware): Is there a ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

Vim configuration slow in Terminal & iTerm2 but not in MacVim

Ideally, I want to use Vim from Terminal or iTerm2. However, it becomes unbearably slow so I had to resort to using MacVim. There is nothing wrong with MacVim, however my workflow would be much ...
10
votes
5answers
15k views

Can dual monitors make my PC slower?

I've noticed my PC (win-xp) seems to be running slower. (e.g., I'm getting jitter when watching video) Recently, I upgraded a monitor (larger) and expanded the size of the desktop to take advantage ...
10
votes
3answers
75k views

Minimize file size of Microsoft Word documents

What are the best ways to ensure a small filesize for Microsoft Word documents when starting from scratch reduce the size of existing Microsoft Word documents using only tools available in the ...