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

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1answer
1k 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
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
30k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
18k views

Does a USB hub affect performance?

I have two devices I want maximum throughput and latency with (MIDI drums and MIDI keyboard for example.) Would connecting both to the same USB port via a hub effectively limit the maximum data ...
9
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
9
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7answers
14k 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
3answers
24k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

To what extent is size a factor in SSD performance?

To what extent is the size of an SSD a factor in its performance? In my mind, correct me if I'm wrong, a bigger SSD should be, everything else being equal, faster than a smaller one. A bigger SSD ...
9
votes
1answer
13k views

What is the performance cost to running Bitlocker?

BitLocker encrypts the entire hard drive. I run Visual Studio and build projects much of my day. How much will BitLocker slow me down? (dual core laptop with 3GB of RAM).
9
votes
2answers
13k views

What happens if I use RAM of a faster speed than the CPU supports?

Looking at the Intel E3-1230v2 CPU, under Memory types it says "DDR3-1333/1600". My question is, in what way does the CPU limit the RAM speed? What would happen if I put in a DDR3-2133 RAM chip ...
9
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
6k views

Google Chrome briefly hangs before rendering a new tab

Whenever I want to switch to a tab other than the one that is being rendered, Chrome hangs for about 2 seconds before rendering the new tab. This occurs whenever a new tab has to be showed, such as ...
9
votes
3answers
370 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
7answers
8k 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
5k 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
5answers
12k views

Why does Firefox cause high-CPU-usage “spikes” every few seconds?

When I start Firefox, I have no problems for a while, but after a couple of days, CPU spikes start to occur. During a spike, Firefox freezes and then stops. Spikes occur every seven to ten seconds, ...
8
votes
7answers
12k views

New I7 CPU has very low Windows Experience Index

Two new laptops that contain an INTEL CORE I7-2920XM CPU have a Windows Experience Index score of 3.8. This laptop (a brand new Dell Precision 4600) responds very slow in various Office programs. ...
8
votes
6answers
72k views

Windows 7 running slowly with low CPU usage and memory

I have a relatively new (under 2 yrs old) Windows 7 machine. It has 9GB of RAM, and an i7 core CPU (930 @ 2.8GHz w/ 8 CPUs). After about 8 months since a clean install, I noticed my computer was ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Why are apps so slow initially when switch to them, even though I have free RAM?

On my Windows 7 (64-bit) PC, when I have a few resource hungry programs going, and half a dozen others, when I switch to an app that I haven't used for a while, it takes a long time to respond and I ...
8
votes
2answers
15k views

Running a VM off a USB 2.0 Flash Drive - Mac/Parallels/XP

I use a MacBook Air as my primary machine, and the 128GB SSD means space is precious. To save about 10 GB, I've been running Parallels with a Windows XP VM off an external USB hard drive, which ...
8
votes
3answers
2k 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
8answers
2k views

Is there any way to make Mac OS X Spotlight only index the file names and not the contents?

I do understand that the point of Spotlight is to look inside files, but it also returns file name matches, and that's what I need most of the time. Besides, Spotlight is running so absurdly slow on ...
8
votes
5answers
9k views

Over gigabit connection, Teracopy does 31MB/s, but Windows 8 does it at ~109MB per second?

I got my brain-melting first taste of Gigabit networking today, between my 2011 MacMini and Windows 8 Pro desktop connected via Cat.5e to Linksys WRT320N(sporting dd-WRT). After making sure that the ...
8
votes
4answers
10k views

Why do file copy operations in Linux get slower over time?

I have 12 ~200 MB files. Copying one of them to another drive takes 20 seconds. When I try to copy all of them at once, it first says it's going to take 5 minutes, then it keeps slowing down into the ...
8
votes
3answers
17k views

What's the typical performance of Windows File Sharing (SMB) on a gigabit ethernet network?

I've recently set up Windows file sharing over a gigabit ethernet network (I'm not using jumbo frames) with a Samba server and a Windows Vista client. I've done a few file copies, but the maximum ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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
288 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
1answer
1k views

How to move a file from one location to another on the disk?

I want to move a specific file (for example a binary .exe) that occupies a specific low offset (physical position) on my HDD to a lower offset (external edge of my HDD). From what I know I can't do it ...
8
votes
3answers
845 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
3answers
5k views

What's the difference between 8 MB and 16 MB Cache on a hard drive?

I'm looking to replace a dead hard drive in an older notebook. The current (bad) hard drive is a Toshiba 60 GB 5400 RPM HDD with 16 MB cache. It's very difficult to find replacement ATA-100 notebook ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Visual Studio Performance problems when writing XAML

I've dealt with Visual Studio performing terrible for too long now. Now I'm past the point of being emotionally broken and need help. I can't figure out how to fix the issue of the Visual Studio ...
8
votes
3answers
14k views

How to correctly partition usb flash drive and which filesystem to choose considering wear leveling?

Two problems. First one: how to partition the flash drive? I shouldn't need to do this, but I'm no longer sure if my partition is properly aligned since I was forced to delete and create a new ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

netem for Mac OS X to emulate network latency and dropped packets

I'm looking for an open source/free network emulator tool that I could use on Mac OS X, to simulate a slow network connection, limited bandwidth and other network characteristics such as dropped ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does Chrome group my tabs in processes and how can I stop it?

I noticed that in Chrome, it groups all the tabs into one renderer process, at least for me. This is a problem because that makes Chrome really slow from having 150k of RAM to sort through. Is there ...
8
votes
5answers
4k 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
1answer
4k views

Linux: CPU core shutdown instead of sleep state

In Linux you can shut down CPU cores (or physical CPU's) with echo 0 > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu1/online Assuming that the hardware fully turn off the CPU and cuts power to it would it not be better ...
8
votes
2answers
186 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
6answers
2k views

Utility to optimally distribute files onto multiple DVDs?

I have a bunch of media files which I want to record to DVD, but since each DVD only fits 4.5GB, I have to find the optimal way to organize the files to use the minimum number of DVDs (otherwise the ...
8
votes
2answers
193 views

CPU-adaptive compression

Let assume I need to send some data from one computer to another, over a pretty fast network... for example standard 100Mbit connection (~10MB/s). My disk drives are standard HDD, so their speed is ...
8
votes
2answers
8k views

How to decrease the CPU usage when running Virtual Box?

I am facing an issue with 100% CPU usage under my system when running VirtualBox. Here are some further details: My System Information: CPU 1 name: Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T2310 @ ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

When should I activate the “launch folder windows in a separate process” option?

In folder options -> view, there's an option that's off by default called "Launch folder windows in a separate process". I'm on windows-7, but I know this capability has existed since at least windows ...
8
votes
1answer
2k 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, ...
8
votes
0answers
308 views

How do I evaluate an SSD caching solution for home desktop use? [closed]

I've got a 30GB SSD that I would love to start using as a cache for my larger HDDs. I primarily want to improve apparent performance for general desktop use. I do the occasional massive DB migration ...
7
votes
6answers
867 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
5answers
4k 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
2answers
889 views

Windows Hibernation increases startup/shutdown speed

A few weeks ago, I installed AVG PC TuneUp on my Windows 8 laptop. It recommended that I disable hibernation - this would increase performance. From that point, start-up and shut-down became ...
7
votes
6answers
14k 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
1answer
1k views

HDD performance spikes

I have a Dell Precision T1700 I purchased for about $1500 almost a year ago. I am having some moderate hard drive issues. I think it's not as fast as it should be. Booting seems quite long considering ...