My desktop computer has more RAM and more CPU than my laptop, but is three times slower than the laptop.

  • both are brand new Windows 7 installations
  • from how I understand the rating, my desktop seems to have problems with windows aero, so I took it off but the speed increase was not great

Why would my desktop computer be so much slower? What could be causing this?

Desktop computer (slow):

Time to start Visual Studio 2010 and create new WPF project:

  • with Aero theme: 85 seconds
  • without Aero: 72 seconds

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Laptop (faster):

Time to start Visual Studio 2010 and create new WPF project:

  • with Aero theme: 32 seconds
  • without Aero theme: 32 seconds

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4 Answers 4


Simple -

Celerons suck!

(If you are a developer, Power user or actually need performance)

Celerons do the job when you do not need performance and want the benefits such as low cost and low power (I use one in my NAS as it never goes above 20% usage).

Also, the fact is, You can never compare ghz for ghz, the generation makes a big difference, for example, my 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo laptop is about 5 (if not more) times faster than my 3.0ghz Pentium 4 desktop.

For your information, the cheapest (in production) Core 2 CPU is around £80, where as the cheapest Celeron is around £25.

What they do is basically get the mainstream CPU and rip out a lot of the features such as cache and other algorithms that give the mainstream CPU its "Umph"!

If you want to do a detailed comparison of what one CPU has and the other doesn't, I recommend you use CPU-Z

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The Core Duo might have a slower clock speed, but it's much, much more efficient. It's the better processor by far.

If you'll notice the actual subscores from the windows ranking thingy, you can see the laptop FAR outranks the desktop in CPU power.


CPU is rarely an issue for Visual Studio, disk I/O performance is far more important.

This is probably a disk i/o throughput issue...fragmentation or something else. Start off with a quick scan with hdtune or some other disk utility to see how access times etc differ between the two disks. Once a low level I/O issue has been ruled out by hdtune performance metrics, check for fragmentation.

(I'm assuming you have checked that there are no backend services; ngen/indexing/etc keeping the machine busy?)

...or do you by any chance run norton antivirus or some other malware on the slower desktop machine..?

  • Both machines are new Windows 7 installations. I ran the disk defragmenter on the slow machine and it says the disk is 2% fragmented, so I don't think defragmenting it would improve the speed too much. One difference is the slow machine is running Microsoft's antivirus software: microsoft.com/Security_Essentials, I'll check that. Oct 25, 2009 at 15:15
  • Try switching off "real time protection" in the MSE settings and see if that makes a difference...
    – KristoferA
    Oct 25, 2009 at 15:20
  • I turned off "real time protection" in MSE and the above test was 70 seconds: no noticable difference. Oct 25, 2009 at 15:52

Might be the Celeron chip vs the dual core? Celerons in my experience tend to be very slow.

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