Questions about optimizing your computer to take up less boot time, application launch time, download time, etc.

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89
votes
12answers
10k views

If RAM is cheap, why don't we load everything to RAM and run it from there?

RAM is cheap, and much faster than SSDs. It's just volatile. So why don't computers have a LOT of RAM, and on power up, load everything to the RAM from the hard drive/SSD and just run everything from ...
32
votes
3answers
163k views

Speed comparison between USB 2.0, USB 3.0 and SATA and Firewire

Which is fast, faster, fastest? I would appreciate a slowest to fastest list including USB 2.0, USB 3.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 and eSata.
30
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do HDDs mostly have the same speed as 5400, 7200, 10000 RPM?

Why do hard disk drives mostly have the same speed? They are mostly 5400, 7200, 10000 RPM. Why not 6000 or 8000? Is there any reason or benefit for having those speeds?
28
votes
10answers
3k views

Does speed enhancement software actually work? [duplicate]

Here on the Internet, we see many ads promoting software products which can enhance your Internet speed. I wonder, how could this be? Imagine that you are using a 1 Mbps Internet connection, and the ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Do disabled Firefox extensions make Firefox slower?

Do disabled Firefox extensions make Firefox slower? I know that extensions make browsing slower, but what about extensions that are disabled and not in use?
20
votes
8answers
14k views

Do harddrives slow down with age?

My (windows based) laptop is coming up to six years old now, and it still has semi respectable specs - Core 2 Duo 2.6ghz, 1gb Ram, 500gb HDD, 256mb ATI graphics card. Although the hardware is on its ...
18
votes
3answers
64k views

Quickly Empty Trash in Mac OS X

Emptying the trash in OS X can be a long process, especially If you have lots of items (like me). This is after 5 minutes: Is there a way to quickly empty the trash, or make the process a whole lot ...
17
votes
7answers
7k views

why is nautilus slow?

I'm wondering why Nautilus is very slow when opening a directory containing lots of files. My /usr/lib dir for example has 1900 files and it takes approximately 5+ seconds to show everything. It has ...
17
votes
11answers
69k views

How long would it take to transfer 1TB over USB 2.0?

This might be a completely stupid question because it is conceivably highly dependent on the respective disk speeds. But I am thinking that there is a speed cap that is specific to USB 2.0 that would ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it faster to have two smaller hard drives or one big one?

Assuming that the drives all have the same RPM and overall same specs except for storage space, would it be faster to install two hard drives together or just one larger one in a computer?
16
votes
3answers
12k views

Do USB or PS/2 keyboards respond faster?

Do USB or PS/2 keyboards respond faster in terms of end-to-end input latency, keystrike to character appearing on the screen? Related: Under either connection, is the time between keystrike to ...
15
votes
4answers
25k views

How to make 7-Zip faster

I normally use WinRAR over 7-Zip simply because it's faster and only a little less efficient with compression. I did a few tests on different filetypes and sizes comparing the 7-Zip and WinRAR default ...
14
votes
3answers
778 views

Why is the download speed slow in the early seconds?

When you download a big enough file, you can see that in the early seconds, the download speed increases to finally reach its mean value. Why?
14
votes
2answers
593 views

Why are newer generations of processors faster at the same clock speed?

How come, for example, a 2.66 GHz dual-core i5 will be faster than a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo (also dual-core)? Is this because of newer instructions that can process information in less clock cycles? ...
13
votes
6answers
19k views

Why is my DSL connection so slow, when my neighbor's is much faster?

I've just moved into a new house (new for me; the house was built in 2006). I've purchased DSL service through AT&T, paying for speeds "up to" 768 Kbps downstream / 384 Kbps upstream. My issue ...
13
votes
5answers
20k 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 ...
12
votes
8answers
73k views

What's the maximum typical speed possible with a USB2.0 drive?

I'm getting only 30MB/sec between my computer and a USB drive, despite the fact that USB 2.0 supports 480Mb/sec (or 60MB/sec) transfers. (Therefore, I'm only getting half the rated speed) Is there ...
12
votes
2answers
17k views

How do I get better USB transfer speeds in (X)ubuntu?

When I connect my USB 2.0 drive to Xubuntu and try to transfer large files, transfer speeds are good at first but drop after a few seconds to 1-2 Mib/s. From what I read, the fast transfer at the ...
11
votes
7answers
25k views

Is it safe to use RAM sticks with different frequencies?

I have two RAM sticks: one 533 MHz and one 667 MHz. Is it safe to use both of these in the same system?
11
votes
4answers
21k views

Why has my Mac become so slow? (And how do I start to answer that?)

Over the past few months, many things on my MacBook Pro have become unbearably slow. Often application switching or opening a new tab in Chrome will take up to 10 or 15 seconds. Obviously, no one ...
10
votes
2answers
4k views

Does burning a DVD/CD slower help assure it will not have errors?

If I have 16x speed DVDs and I burn them at 12x or 8x speed, does this help assure the data burnt to the disc will not have errors/flaws?
10
votes
3answers
343 views

Is there a software that can index the contents of the registry for quick lookups? [closed]

Searching in the Windows registry can be ve------ry------ lo----ng. Is there some tool available that can index the contents of the whole registry, or contents of a single hive, such that fast ...
10
votes
1answer
236 views

Why is deletion speed in Windows periodic often?

Just out of interest, what is the reason for deletion times to be periodic often? In Windows 8, the deletion dialogue window shows deletion speed in a diagram. If there is no reason, of course that ...
9
votes
3answers
41k views

Why does my Internet slow to a crawl unless I reboot my router every few days?

A few weeks ago, I noticed that my Internet connection had slowed down to a crawl. I waited a few days hoping it would go away on its own, but it didn't get better. So I asked this question about how ...
9
votes
7answers
289 views

Positive effects of a OS re-install

I have a slow computer, and I can uninstall unused applications, empty the cookies, scrub the registry, do a disk cleanup, and do a defrag, but it is still just kind of slow. If I do a Windows ...
9
votes
3answers
17k views

How can I slow down the framerate of a Flash game?

I am trying to play an Adobe Flash game in my browser. The only problem is that it is too fast for me. I know it would be "cheating", but I would enjoy the game more if I could play it at a slower ...
8
votes
4answers
6k views

How to make torrent downloads faster?

In windows Vista Home Premium x64 using uTorrent, how can I make the download(s) faster? EDIT: What are recommended settings for QoS?
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Cable modem speed test

Are the popular speed tests (cable, dsl, etc) that are available accurate? if so, how? Also, it seems that they only measure download speed of one file and not responsiveness, latency, robustness, ...
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
4answers
4k views

Why Windows right-click new is so slow?

Why most Microsoft Windows systems have a slow right-click context menu new option? For those who don't know what I'm talking about, right-click in any blank space inside a window and choose new ...
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
5answers
2k views

Why are network speeds measured in Kbits/sec instead of KBytes/sec?

Why is network throughput measured in KBits/sec? It seems like it would make more sense to have it in KBytes/sec. You'd avoid angry users, and save a lot of headache converting between the two. Is it ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Why does starting up while cold make a laptop run slowly until I restart it after it's warmed up?

I have a Dell Latitude D520 that lives in my car all the time. Please don't ask about that part, or suggest that the laptop should live indoors. I know this, and I would if I could. Anyhow... I ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Standard SD card and Micro SD card with adapter; same speed?

I'm going to buy a new SD card to be used in my car's audio player. What I would like to know is, if I buy a micro SD card with adapter, will it provide the same read/write speed as a standard SD card ...
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Make 7-Zip extract an archive directly to a directory

Whenever I extract an archive using 7-Zip, it performs a two step operation. First it extracts the contents of the archives to a temporary folder, then Windows copies the files from the temporary ...
7
votes
7answers
3k views

Are SSDs worthwhile for software development? [closed]

I have a MacBook with 8GB of RAM and a 500GB 7200rpm hard drive. I write software for a living. I am contemplating getting an SSD Drive, but I am unsure about the performance. Do SSD drives really ...
7
votes
3answers
8k views

Does it make sense to put your operating system on a SD card?

A friend suggested putting the whole operating system on a SD card, arguing that access time delays where much shorter than a regular hard drive, which needs to spin up first. Wikipedia, however, ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Temporarily disable Javascript for inactive Chrome tabs (except for whitelisted urls) - until active again?

I often am researching stuff, and need lots of tabs open but Chrome can get very slow. I notice that often memory seems to be increasing for chrome processes - even ones I am not interacting with. I ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Can I speed up cygwin's fork?

I came across a post discussing the speed of forking in Cygwin, giving an expected 'fork rate' in Windows XP of around 30-50 per-second (link) I've got a Core 2 duo (1.79GHz) which I would expect to ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Is there a way to play iTunes U files at 2x speed?

I'd like to keep my iTunes U audio files organized in the iTunes U category in iTunes; however, I can't seem to do that AND find a way to open the option to play at variable speeds for these audio ...
6
votes
1answer
663 views

Why don't computers work at the speed of light? [closed]

Pretty simple question. Computers are made using electronics which uses electricity which I presume travels at the speed of light. If all the components are connected at this speed, why does my ...
6
votes
8answers
16k views

How do I check speed of my RAM?

How can i know the RAM speed of my laptop? it's an Asus K40IN-VX128 How do I make sure if the frequency is 667MHz or 800MHz, I was thinking of an upgrade.
6
votes
5answers
21k views

What is more important for speed: Processor Speed or RAM? [closed]

I am about to buy a desktop, I narrowed it down to two choices, both are virtually identical (even in terms of price) but one has 4 GB of RAM and a 3.7 GHZ CPU the other has 8GB of RAM and a 2.7 GHZ ...
6
votes
7answers
699 views

Moving files in a local network - would compressing improve speed?

I am moving some 20Gb within my local network (100 Mbit/sec). The files are from a typical Linux desktop system. Would compressing them using Tar\Gzip and then sending them improve performance? ...
6
votes
6answers
5k views

Can I reduce the CPU speed of my MacBook when on battery?

I've got a MacBook with a Core 2 Duo CPU. I've got CoreDuoTemp installed which can show the current speed of the CPU. It appears to always show: Mini : 1.0 GHz Maxi : 2.0 GHz Current : 2.0 GHz I ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Possible cause(s) of slow transfer on home network?

I have the following home network setup: ZyXEL P-2602HW-D1A Router Ubuntu 10.04 Server: Ethernet card 100Mbps, directly connected to router Configured with SFTP server Windows XP Professional SP3: ...
6
votes
4answers
23k views

How to tell if an empty PCI Express slot is 1.0, 2.0 etc? (general test, or enquiry command, not refer to spec)

Is it possible to run a test on an empty PCI Express slot to definitively determine that the slot is PCI Express 2.0 or not? My reason for asking is to see if I get the most out of USB3.0 with my ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

What does the MHz of RAM really mean?

Countless of times I've heard and read that RAM-memory can have different speeds - denoted as MHz (e.g. 1066 MHz). However, what this frequency really is has never been explained to me and I'm having ...
6
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
815 views

Why is HDD in a DVD-ROM slot slower on Lenovo 3000 laptop?

So I'm about to upgrade my laptop (Lenovo 3000 N100, 0768-49G), got my SATA HDD caddy for the DVD-ROM slot, but whenever I'm putting an HDD or SSD into it, the read speed falls to only 30 MByte/s, ...