Questions tagged [performance]

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

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443
votes
8answers
75k views

Why don't websites immediately display their text these days?

I've noticed that recently many websites are slow to display their text. Usually, the background, images and so on are going to be loaded, but no text. After some time the text starts appearing here ...
216
votes
9answers
105k views

Is there still a reason to choose a 10,000 RPM hard drive over an SSD?

For anyone who's serious about storage performance, SSDs are always the fastest solution. However, WD still makes their 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor hard drives, and a few enthusiasts even use enterprise-...
190
votes
9answers
27k views

Why does emptying disk space speed up computers?

I have been looking at a bunch of videos and now understand a bit better how computers work. I better understand what RAM is, volatile and non-volatile memory, and the process of swapping. I also ...
158
votes
15answers
249k views

How can I produce high CPU load on a Linux server?

I’m currently in the process of debugging a Cacti installation and want to create CPU load to debug my CPU utilization graphs. I tried to simply run cat /dev/zero > /dev/null, which works great ...
117
votes
9answers
299k views

Linux: find out what process is using all the RAM?

Before actually asking, just to be clear: yes, I know about disk cache, and no, it is not my case :) Sorry, for this preamble :) I'm using CentOS 5. Every application in the system is swapping ...
110
votes
9answers
163k views

How to measure disk-performance under Windows?

I'm trying to find out why my application is very slow on a certain machine (runs fine everywhere else). I think i have traced the performance-problems to hard-disk reads and writes and i think it's ...
108
votes
9answers
46k views

How much space to leave free on HDD or SSD?

In the informal (i.e. journalistic) technology press, and in online technology blogs and discussion forums, one commonly encounters anecdotal advice to leave some amount of space free on hard disk ...
97
votes
5answers
63k views

Why are my games slower on battery power, even with the power plan set to High Performance?

My laptop is capable of running most games on high settings at decent frame rates. However, if the power cable gets unplugged while I'm playing, the game immediately starts slowing down, even if I'm ...
95
votes
12answers
81k views

Should I disable swap file if I have lots of RAM or should I move it to a virtual RAM drive?

Imagine I have tons of RAM. Let's say 64GB. That's a lot for even gaming PCs. Now the default location of a pagefile in Windows is on the main OS drive, be it HDD or SSD, which are faster in general, ...
93
votes
22answers
140k views

Why is my SSH login slow?

I'm seeing delays in SSH Logins. Specifically, there are 2 spots where I see a range from instantaneous to multi-second delays. Between issuing the ssh command and getting a login prompt and between ...
93
votes
7answers
11k views

Does a computer use fewer resources when programs are minimized?

When programs are minimized in Windows 7, do they use less memory and CPU than leaving them maximized?
92
votes
2answers
44k views

Is there a way to identify the busy (CPU-consuming) tab in Firefox? [duplicate]

Sometimes there's a nasty, guilty, CPU-hogging tab in Firefox that's maxing one of my CPU cores and making the whole browser sluggish. I'd like to find it and close it. Sometimes I get lucky, but ...
85
votes
10answers
29k views

Are computers with more RAM potentially faster if not all memory is usually in use?

Let's say I have a computer with 16 GB of memory. If my computer is usually only using about 4 GB and never reaches 8 GB, is it any faster than a computer with only 8 GB of (the same type of) memory? ...
85
votes
5answers
202k views

Troubleshoot High CPU usage by the “System” process

I have noticed that from some time my system is freezing and its probably caused by the high CPU usage which is caused by the system process. All applications I'm running is the Skype, TeamSpeak and ...
79
votes
4answers
35k views

Why is piping 'dd' through gzip so much faster than a direct copy?

I wanted to backup a path from a computer in my network to another computer in the same network over a 100 Mbit/s line. For this I did dd if=/local/path of=/remote/path/in/local/network/backup....
76
votes
17answers
205k views

How do I troubleshoot a Windows freeze or slowness?

A machine is described as being "really slow" or "freezing". How can I troubleshoot/resolve this issue? What should be the first steps to take?
76
votes
3answers
248k views

Windows 10 high memory usage (unknown reason)

A few days ago I updated my PC to Windows 10. However, after some use my PC started to slow down until it was impossible to use – it was due to high memory usage. After a restart, everything came back ...
76
votes
23answers
9k views

Why does Microsoft Windows' performance appear to degrade over time?

Windows XP/2003 and earlier (can't attest to Windows Vista, but I suspect it's the same) all appear to become more sluggish over time as applications are installed and uninstalled. This is not a ...
74
votes
13answers
152k views

How can I produce high CPU load on Windows?

For testing purposes I need to generate high CPU load on a Windows Server 2003. I cannot install any software but have to make do with what Windows provides. What would be the best way to achieve ...
72
votes
3answers
9k views

Why are smaller capacity SSDs slower?

I was reading this Tom's Hardware article on testing SSDs and came across the following claim: With SSDs, performance varies by capacity point. Smaller drives tend to be slower than larger ones, ...
70
votes
13answers
17k views

Is there a reason to keep Windows' primary partition / drive C: small?

In my jobs almost two decades ago, IT experts would keep the size of Windows' main partition (C drive) extremely small compared to the other partitions. They would argued this runs PC at optimum speed ...
65
votes
6answers
19k views

Why are USB flash drives so much slower than solid-state drives?

From what I understand, USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSDs) are based on similar technologies, NAND flash memory. But, USB flash drives are usually quite slow, with a read and write speed ...
65
votes
3answers
40k views

Why did adding memory significantly increase gaming performance on an AMD APU?

To be clear from the beginning, this is not a problem. This is just something that I really want to know the secret behind. System specifications CPU: AMD A10-6790K 4.0 GHz GPU: AMD ...
63
votes
9answers
17k views

Why have CPU manufacturers stopped increasing the clock speeds of their processors? [closed]

I have read that manufacturers stopped concentrating on higher clock speeds and are now working on other things to improve performance. With an old Desktop machine with Intel® Xeon® Processor E3110 ...
55
votes
6answers
9k views

Why can't old PCs view modern sites? [closed]

The reason for this question is that many times clients, friends and parents ask me why their perfectly working old PC cannot be used online anymore. I am looking for a good answer to those people ...
55
votes
7answers
44k views

How does NTFS compression affect performance?

I've heard that NTFS compression can reduce performance due to extra CPU usage, but I've read reports that it may actually increase performance because of reduced disk reads. How exactly does NTFS ...
54
votes
5answers
23k views

What is the proper way of debugging a slow Windows installation?

You know the drill - you've been asked to check why your cousin's computer is running slow. I was right there yesterday. Being a Mac user since 2007 I haven't really dug deep in Windows internals in ...
51
votes
4answers
17k views

NVMe ssd: Why is 4k writing faster than reading?

I have a Samsung 960 Pro 512 GB SSD on NVMe with PCIe Gen.3x4 running. I use the Samsung NVMe Driver 2.0.0.1607. The SSD is running fine. However, I don't understand why the writing of 4k is faster ...
50
votes
3answers
115k views

Is it faster to have four times 2 GB or two times 4 GB of RAM with a dual-channel mainboard?

I'm building a Core i7-860 system which supports dual-channel memory (up to 16 GB in four DIMMs), my target is 8 GB. From the performance perspective, is it better to have two times 4 ...
49
votes
1answer
20k views

Why are there many processes listed under the same title in htop?

Can anyone explain to me why there are sometimes 10 or 15 processes with the same title and "stats" listed in htop? I'm guessing there are multiple threads running - but that many of them obviously ...
49
votes
11answers
49k views

Speed of TrueCrypt whole disk encryption

I'm getting a new development laptop soon, and I'm thinking of using TrueCrypt to encrypt the whole disk. What kind of performance drop can I expect? 10%? 30%? More? Also, assuming the workload has ...
48
votes
10answers
9k views

Which malfunctions cause old computers to slow down and crash?

I've had a few computers of my own break after a few years of use, and I've seen computers owned by friends and family do the same thing. They either slow down (even running the original software ...
46
votes
5answers
49k views

Quickest way to merge snapshots in VirtualBox?

I have vdi with quite a number of snapshots taken from it - say, 50 or 70 snapshots. I want to have one plain vdi with a current state. These snapshots take way too much disk space and are not needed ...
44
votes
8answers
129k views

TiWorker.exe - Very High CPU Usage

I have a laptop running Windows 8. Although it originally ran well, it started having very bad performance issues. I decided to perform some research into the topic. Opening up Task Manager, I ...
43
votes
3answers
87k views

How to diagnose slow booting or logon in Windows? [duplicate]

When I start my PC, it boots into Windows (Windows 7 32-bit) quite happily, I login and the main Windows screen appears. At that point, however, the system is extremely unresponsive for up to 5 ...
41
votes
4answers
30k views

How badly do SSDs degrade without TRIM?

SSDs have been out for a few years, and have seen all kinds of usage patterns. Windows and Linux support the TRIM command, with Mac OS still trailing behind here. Update (2011): It appears OSX Snow ...
39
votes
7answers
19k views

How important is having 64-bit programs on 64-bit OS?

I recently upgraded to 64-bit OS(Windows 7) from my old 32-bit version. I noticed that while several applications are available in 64-bit(e.g. DC client, Tortoise SVN, Graphics driver), many are still ...
39
votes
8answers
42k views

Does Windows ReadyBoost have a meaningful impact on performance?

Does Windows ReadyBoost technology, available in Windows since Vista, have a meaningful impact on performance? Are there well-known benchmarks that compare systems with, and without? Does the speed ...
38
votes
11answers
12k views

Why does hardware get slower with time?

Why does hardware get slower with time? I have been a PC owner since 1990 and every computer I have had in my life became really, really slow after 3-4 years (even with a full system-reinstall). It is ...
38
votes
4answers
63k views

What is the cause of a high CPU usage of 'system and compressed memory' in Windows 10?

There is an observation to be made for Windows 10 on my laptop running with 24G memory available, and 2.5G used. There is no 'memory pressure'. Other questions have looked at memory consumption (...
36
votes
4answers
8k views

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

Why, for example, would a 2.66 GHz dual-core Core i5 be faster than a 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo, which is also dual-core? Is this because of newer instructions that can process information in fewer clock ...
36
votes
2answers
260k 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 ...
36
votes
1answer
134k 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 ...
35
votes
7answers
37k views

Why is my computer really slow despite having a considerable amount of free memory?

I have a Lenovo g560 3-4 years old, Intel i5, with 2GB ram and with a Geforce 310M. It always had some issues during startup or when starting a new program, but recently it just went crazy. From the ...
35
votes
13answers
24k views

Any reason not to disable the Windows pagefile given enough physical RAM?

The question of disabling the Windows pagefile has already been discussed quite a bit, for example here and here and here. People continue to upvote answers that say "you should not disable your ...
35
votes
1answer
69k views

How to increase VLC RAM buffer for offline files?

I would like to configure VLC player to preload a significant portion (like a hundred megabytes or so) of a video file from the hard disk to RAM before playing it. Is this possible?
34
votes
2answers
4k views

Why is it faster to restore applications from System Tray than from the Taskbar?

Some applications, don't actually exit when closing them. Instead, they keep on running the background. Applications known for this are Discord Telegram Desktop Steam When in this state, trying to ...
34
votes
1answer
14k views

Why is the Alpine Docker image over 50% slower than the Ubuntu image?

I noticed that my Python application is much slower when running it on python:2-alpine3.6 than running it without Docker on Ubuntu. I came up with two small benchmark commands and there's a huge ...
34
votes
9answers
45k 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 ...
33
votes
8answers
12k views

Why does my computer run fast after a clean install?

I recently formatted and reinstalled Windows on my laptop. It now runs much faster. I have been doing this about once a year for the past decade. Why is this needed? I always figured this had to do ...