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

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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
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
76k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
11k views

How come my Intel 520 180GB SSD performs extremely poorly?

I recently installed a new Intel 520 series 180GB SSD in my brand new MacBook Pro. The system is as follows: Model: MacBook Pro 15-inch, Late 2011 (MacBookPro8,2) Processor: 2.4 GHz Intel Core i7 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Is possible to overclock a SSD?

Anyone already had tried to or knows if it is possible to implement in some way an overclock an SSD (or get the same benefits by tunning some parameter on an SSD)?
10
votes
8answers
5k views

Disk operations freeze Debian

I have just installed Debian testing on my new desktop and I am not very happy with performance - when I perform a disk intensive operation, e.g. upgrade packages in the system, everything seems to ...
10
votes
4answers
13k views

What's wrong with disabling the Windows page file?

People say that you always need a page file, and that it will increase performance, but my Windows 7 is set to run without a page file. I simply don't understand why people say this - I have 6 GiB of ...
10
votes
4answers
563 views

Why are there different clockspeeds and timings on RAM?

I don't consider myself a novice when it comes to building computers or computer hardware in general, but I've never taken the time to fully understand RAM. Can somebody tell me why there is a need ...
10
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
369 views

Does downloading/copying files simultaneously promote fragmentation?

Does writing more than one file simultaneously to a hard drive partition promote fragmentation? Would these files be written interlaced on the hard drive? Examples: Downloading several files ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Want Visual Studio 2010 stop using the drive when there's lots of RAM in Windows 7 64 bit

I will be upgrading my system to use 16GB of DDR3 RAM in a Windows 7 64 bit and Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate. CPU will be 6 cores 3.2Ghz. I do lots of compiles/day and my goal for VS is to show a web ...
10
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I interpret the Memory numbers in Windows Task Manager?

Physical Memory Total Cached Available Free Kernel Memory Paged Nonpaged
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Extremely slow internet speed after reinstall

I have recently had a hard drive failure so I was forced to reinstall my OS (Windows 7). After a fresh install, I noticed the internet speed became extremely slow (~15 minutes for downloading a 20MB ...
10
votes
0answers
296 views

Which windows XP services can I disable without major consequence? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What Windows services can I safely disable? I want to disable some Windows XP services to make PC run faster. I am not going to be using the PC for anything complex, but ...
9
votes
8answers
306 views

System performance myths [closed]

What are examples of advice on system performance, maintenance or upgrade that don't actually provide benefit or can actually result in detrimental changes? As examples: Zapping the PRAM on a Mac ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Flatmate uses torrents, will this slow the internet connection?

I share the internet with two other people and I know one of them uses utorrents and is constantly downloading. When her computer is off the internet is substantially faster, would this be because of ...
9
votes
4answers
8k views

Does Adblock slow down Firefox?

You might have heard of the Adblock extension that has a massive list of URL filters to block out adverts from most websites. Does this slow down Firefox, considering that for every little image and ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

Speeding up Visual Studio 2008 with Resharper

Are there any good tips for speeding Visual Studio that are purely software based? I already have fast HDDs, a lot of RAM and a powerful CPU. Despite all this, VS2008 is slow. I use it mainly for C# ...
9
votes
5answers
22k views

How to speed up Windows 8 on Samsung laptop?

I just bought a Samsung Series 5 notebook, with Windows 8, but I found it unreasonably slow to reboot and install updates. Last night I waited for 1h30 for it to install 1 update and reboot, when I ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Bash completion makes bash start slowly

Starting a bash on my ubuntu system takes about 2 seconds. If I remove loading /etc/bash_completition in .bashrc it starts without delay. Of course I don't want to give up completition and I don't ...
9
votes
2answers
5k views

In the Resource Monitor of Windows 7, what does the “disk queue length” really mean?

In the Resource Monitor of Windows 7, what does the "disk queue length" really mean? (View larger size) In addition, what does the green area and blue lines stand for, as well as the response time ...
9
votes
6answers
13k views

Is there an optimal setting for the number of CPU cores exposed to a VM?

VirtualBox, and possibly other VM software, allows the user to specify the number of CPUs exposed to the VM. In my particular case, I have a dual core CPU, with Windows 7 64-bit running natively, and ...
9
votes
1answer
978 views

Why can Vim open large files faster than some other text editors?

When opening large log files (well, not that large, but 80mb is still a lot of text!), I've always used Vim since it loads them almost instantly. Other text editors like Notepad, Notepad++, etc will ...
9
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
9
votes
7answers
13k views

Any reason not to disable Windows kernel paging?

So I'm planning on eventually going to 2 GB (mobo max) RAM from 1 GB, and I want to disable kernel paging once I do, because I've heard it can give a performance boost (and that I believe). Any reason ...
9
votes
4answers
3k views

Is (Ubuntu) Linux file copying algorithm better than Windows 7?

Windows Copying is a real mess ever since Windows Vista. Even Microsoft claims they've improved the performance, from a user perspective, it's not quite visible. Even with single file the copying ...
8
votes
7answers
6k views

What does the percent CPU mean?

I am watching my CPU percent utilization by a process. How does a process use only 50% CPU? Doesn't a process use 100% then 0%, then 100%? Its not like every other instruction is a different program.
8
votes
4answers
3k 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?
8
votes
2answers
814 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
2answers
4k views

Best Linux for a single application & fast boot? (also How-to?) [closed]

I'm looking for a way to run Celtx,a screenwriting software on a Linux Distro and nothing else, no bluetooth, internet/WiFi, media, games, nothing, not even a desktop. Just boot up the OS and Bam! ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

In Windows 7, is there a way to know how much memory a service is using?

In windows 7, is there a way (by using common interface or a custom utility) to know how much memory a specific windows service is using ? It seems most services are hosted by svchost.exe processes ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

What is causing hard drive grinding?

My windows (XP) hard drive grinds a lot and it negatively affects the performance of other applications. I have plenty of RAM and have already verified that this hard drive activity is not page file ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Is it a good idea to have the operating system on a solid state drive?

There is something I don't quite understand. I know a SSD helps with OS load times, but I'm not sure if all this boost is only noticeable/interesting when booting, or gives an all around considerably ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

Is ext4 more expensive than ntfs?

I have just converted an NTFS partition to ext4, however the total space seems reduced from 421G to 415G. Where did the 6G go? And, the reserved space is grown to 199M in ext4, much larger compared to ...
8
votes
2answers
817 views

Virtual Machine optimizers [closed]

I have read a discussion about musthave Windows software. User esabine addend a link to Scott Hanselman's tools list. One of the tools Scott was writing about was an optimizer tool for VM’s. - ...
8
votes
3answers
285 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
679 views

Compiling the Linux kernel

Just for the learning experience, I have recompiled the Linux kernel with different options, installed and booted from it. It was both instructive and straightforward. However, I was overwhelmed by ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I reduce the size of Windows 7, and its CPU and memory usage?

My Windows 7 setup uses around 16GB while Windows XP only needs around 4GB hard disk space. Seems weird. I use Windows only for gaming so I don't need a lot of stuff they have to offer. What is the ...
8
votes
4answers
23k views

AFP, SMB, NFS which is the best data transfer protocol?

I have a computer with large hard disks running Gentoo. I have to serve med/big files via a wired network to Apple devices (all of them running OS X). Which protocol is the best for the following ...
8
votes
2answers
180 views

Why has 'cat' this strange time behaviour?

I'm using cat to pipe different files into one big file. The number of different files varies, from two files up to ten, but the total size of all files is always the same (a couple of GB). My ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

How to measure actual USB3 port speed?

Not all USB3 ports are created equal. I have a friend who develops embedded hardware that interfaces with USB chipsets. He told me that most USB chipsets that are slightly faster than USB2 (480 ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

How can I find out what is using the hard disk? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicates: hard drive activity by program? What is causing hard drive grinding? Once or twice a day my computer starts writing significantly hard to the hard drive, the HD led ...
8
votes
3answers
321 views

Very poor performance on GTX460, clock speed constantly high?

I'm running Windows 7 (64Bit) with GTX460 Nvidia graphics card. I used to get great performance on every single game I played, including latest titles such as Battlefield 3 and Tribes Ascend. I ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Performance of Multiple RAM Sticks Compared to Single Sticks

It's no secret that using two physical drives gives better performance than two partitions on the same physical drive; because there are two devices, they each have their own platters, head, caches, ...
7
votes
6answers
835 views

Default Windows 7 Install: What to change to make it faster?

I remember there were guides for Windows XP on all of the unnecessary services and things that you could turn off in a default install to make the system a bit more 'snappy'. Is there such a guide ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it possible to use a server to play games?

I am curious on whether I could slap a high end video card into a server and use it as a high end gaming machine. The server is a HP DL360 G5 with x2 Intel Quad Core Xeon processors, 16 GB of RAM and ...
7
votes
5answers
3k views

MacBook Pro for Windows development via virtualization. Performance?

I am a Windows/Web developer by profession and I have been considering a MacBook Pro as a replacement for my current development machine. I am impressed by the build quality, the uni-body construction ...
7
votes
6answers
10k views

RAM speed: How does it impact performance?

How important is RAM speed for computationally expensive tasks like gaming, video encoding, video editing, graphics software (Photoshop/Sketchup)?
7
votes
2answers
27k views

Should I install my operating system on my SSD or HDD?

I'm currently deciding whether to install my Operating System on my SSD (solid state drive) or HD (hard drive). Will I be having programs on the HDD and the OS on the SSD or vice verca? Which will ...