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Vista 64 Issues - Pyrotechnic Desktop - Performance Issues


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#1 conticreative

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 03:30 AM

Greetings, I just switched my main computer from XP Pro to (in a different HD) Vista 64.
One of the reasons for the switch was that I had purchased the computer with 8GB of RAM and I wanted to see what kind of performance I could get from it.

These are my specs:
Computer Systemax
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU @ 2.40GHz (2397 MHz)
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista x64
8GB of RAM (4 when I extracted these specs - I was testing to see performance)
DirectX version: 10.0

Realtek Winfast PX8600 GT HDMI(NVIDIA)
GPU processor: GeForce 8600 GT
ForceWare version: 162.22
Total av. graphics mem.:2014 MB
Dedicated video memory: 256 MB

As far as the performance issue, I am afraid I am not seeing a definite increase in performnce comparable to the XP Pro installation with just 4GB (3.25 to be exact, due to XP utilization of memory)

I am starting to woonder if there is something I can do to increase the system performance otehr than the obvious (Take out Aero, etc.) It's not the the computer is slow in handling programs, but some interface activities, such as opening and closing folders and windows, launching programs, etc. Are as fast or slower than on the XP OS.

Most recent problem:

It's actually hard to explain precisely what is going on, but I'll try my best.

With a frequency of about 4 times a day and with no apparent cause, the screen will go black. Open windows and the desktop below will flash on and off and if I move the mouse arrow over the blackened screen, parts of the interface show up only to disappear again.
The Windows taskbar, including the "Start" button move to the top of the screen, but the Vista "Start" button is also visible in the bottom left corner.

Neither the taskbar on top or the Start button on the bottom are actually functional.

This can go on for a while since it is hard for me to close windows and save my work.
If I hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete, Vista switches to the regular screen without any of the issue present on the regular desktop, but as soon as I click to open the task manager and I go back to the desktop it starts again.
Naturally, I cannot be sure it is the video card, but it seems a possibility.

I did a few Google searches and it seems to have happened to other people as well. But it's hard to tell because just describing this issue is very hard.
Anyone having similar problems?

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#2 usasma

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Posted 09 February 2008 - 08:50 AM

Performance is an elusive issue in higher end computers such as yours.

First tho' - Most likely your graphics drivers are a tad bit corrupted, and the following will help to update them:
Download the latest forceware drivers for your OS and video card (according to what I read, these are the most current: http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x64_169.25_whql.html )
Uninstall the nVidia stuff from Control Panel...Programs...Uninstall a program.
Uninstall the video card from Device Manager (go to Start and type in "devmgmt.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter)
Reboot and dismiss any "Found New Hardware" dialogs.
Double click on the freshly downloaded drivers and follow the prompts.

In most computers the big 3 performance issues are:
- the hard drive
- the RAM
- the CPU

So, that's the first place to check. Luckily Vista has a number of tools to help with this. The first is Task Manger (right click on the Task Bar and select "Task Manager". Scroll through the tabs to see what's going on inside of your system.

Next, go to Start and type in "compmgmt.msc" (without the quotes) and press Enter. Then start looking at this stuff (it's listed in the left hand pane):
- Event Viewer...Windows Logs...both the Application and System logs
- Reliability and Performance...Monitoring Tools...both the Performance and the Reliability monitors
- Device Manager
- Disk Management
- Services and Applications...Services

What are you looking for? Well, that's a bit tougher. What you're looking for is anything out of the ordinary. Scroll through them all and look for stuff that grabs your attention - then we can move on from that.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#3 conticreative

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Posted 15 February 2008 - 08:25 PM

Hello and thank you for your replay.
Aside from reinstalling the drivers I already did most of the things you outline in your kind post.
I will follow the instructions for the drivers, but since I installed the card (along with Vista 64) about two weeks ago, I am pretty sure I got the latest available from Realtek.
(By the way, my email to support returned with a notice they'll be out of the office until the end of Chinese New year).

In the meantime, I have been running some test on my Systemax workstation aside from the video card issues.
One of the puzzling problems I am facing is the performance of the computer itself.

I unistalled 4 of the 8GB I have on board and I noticed the following:

System start up is much faster, (by about 5 minutes - with 8GB takes almost 13 minutes)
I also run a test with photoshop. I created an action on a large image applying several heavy duty filters and I run it with the machine at both 4gb and 8gb.
I made sure that Photoshop was using a different HD than the one with the OS and that it was defragmented.

With 4GB the action took exactly 1:00 minute. Repeats were around the same figure (accounting for my click finger)
With 8GB the same action took 1:14 minutes. 14 seconds longer. It makes no sense.

I have just run a memory test while writing this and it found no problems.

The screen "Madness" is still present. I took a video of it with my Treo Phone but I am having a hell of a time posting it on the web. It's the only thing that could help describing what's going on with my screen.

Thank you again

#4 usasma

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 06:55 AM

I suspect that there's something gone awry in your motherboard settings (but that's just a guess). Take a look at this article for some suggestions on how to setup for that extra memory: http://www.tomshardware.com/2008/02/15/vista_workshop/

From some recent experiences at work, some experimentation at home, and a whole lot of reading - I wonder if the extra RAM is overloading your system, causing the system to work extra hard to deal with the load. FWIW - the article above states that it can actually slow things down in Photoshop.

Please let us know the exact model of your Systemax system - or the motherboard make and model if you can get it. We'll be able to look up some more info about it then and may be able to find the cause.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#5 conticreative

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 03:24 PM

Many thanks to those that are responding. The video display issue is actually more important at the moment than raw performance so I will follow the Nvidia driver instructions.
My only question is: How am I going to handle the screen while I am unistalling and installing the new drivers. Am I going to be able to actually "see" what I am doing?
I tried switching to the on board video card but all I got was a blank screen.

I created a more complete spec list for my computer and here it is:

Computer Systemax Venture VX2
Processor: Intel® Core2 QUAD Q6600 @ 2.40GHz (2397 MHz)
Memory (RAM): OCZ Vista Upgrade Edition Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (4 x 2048MB)
Motherboard: Intel DG965WH ATX Motherboard w/Gigabit LAN
HD: 250GB 7200RPM 3G SATA II Hard Drive
HD2: 750GB USB external
HD3: 500GB 7200RPM 3G SATA II Hard Drive
Operating System: Microsoft Windows Vista x64
Window Experience index 5.5
DirectX version: 10.0
Video Card: Realtek Winfast PX8600 GT HDMI(NVIDIA)
GPU processor: GeForce 8600 GT
ForceWare version: 162.22
Total av. graphics mem.: 2014 MB
Dedicated video memory: 256 MB
System video memory: 0 MB
Shared system memory: 1758 MB
Video BIOS version: 60.84.58.00.18
IRQ: 16
Bus: PCI Express x16


On paper this bad boy should be able to map the genome in an afternoon but in reality is driving me nuts.

The article you refer to is very interesting and I'll be reading it in detail. In fact, this very machine was working very well in XP pro with only 3.24GB of actual memory. When I bought it it came with 2 GB and I had purchased 4GB of the OCZ memory.

When I upgraded to Vista I first run it with the original 2GB sticks and the 4GB. The system was slower than my 10 year old Mac G3. Then I tried running it with the 2GB sticks alone and then the 4GB sticks and in both cases it run very well. Or at least much better (With the RAM mixed for a 6GB total it would take 25 seconds after clicking on the start button to get a response. Clearly something with the RAM was wrong.
So I purchased another 4GB of the same ram and that's when I realized it's actually slower with more memory.

At this point it has become a matter of principal: I can do my work with 4GB, but since I spent the money and effort, for once in my life I wanted to have a real kick ass machine.
I guess I'll have to wait for that. Unfortunately, I am a professional web developer, not a gamer, and I don't have that much time to fiddle around with my system as well as not having the same benchmarks a gamer would have.

For me to judge if the machine is running at peak condition means stability, speed opening and closing apps and documents, and the ability to run as many applications at the same time without any loss of performance.

Between the machine not performing as I think it should and the problem I am having with the display going crazy I am not very happy these days.

Many thanks again.

#6 conticreative

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 04:07 PM

Greetings again. I followed on the advice and I downloaded the drivers from http://www.nvidia.com/object/winvista_x64_169.25_whql.html .
I have a question: The drivers currently loaded are from here: http://www.leadtek.com/eng/support/downloa...600+GT+TDH+HDMI
In otehr words they are from the company that made my video card. Are these the same type drivers
What difference would there be between them? Considering that presently I am going to hell, it's not like I am loyal to Leadtek, but also I don't want to make a bad problem worse.

Thank you.

#7 conticreative

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 05:40 PM

Well, I was just messing around in the BIOS to check if everything was setup properly and I found a pretty sobering thing I did not expect:
I purchased my memory in two steps: the first 4GB set when I purchased the computer, and the second, from another vendor, a month or so ago. When I went to the vendor (Fry's) I brought with me an actual printout of my invoice to make sure I would get the same identical memory sticks. Which are:
OCZ Vista Upgrade Edition Dual Channel 4096MB PC6400 DDR2 800MHz Memory (4 x 2048MB)

I remember asking over the phone if they carried them and then I went to the store with the printout from my invoice.
When I looked at my BIOS today I discovered this:

Memory Channel A
Slot 0: 2048 MB (DDR2 667) SPD: 6.0-6-6-18
Slot 1: 2048 MB (DDR2 667) SPD: 6.0-6-6-18

Memory Channel B
Slot 0: 2048 MB (DDR2 800) SPD: 5.0-5-5-15
Slot 1: 2048 MB (DDR2 800) SPD: 5.0-5-5-15

This can't be good. Not only this forces all my memory to run at 667MGz, but according to what I read on several forums, my motherboard is really sensitive on the type of memory it uses.
Now, I can just hear Fry's saying that somehow this is my fault, it has been over a month and I am basically out of luck.
In truth, I failed to check that the package said 800MGz when I took it, but I am positive I gave them the correct info to begin with because I did not write it: I printed them from an invoice.

Thank you for your help again. I just wanted to update the thread with the new info.

#8 conticreative

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 10:09 PM

I know I am starting to sound like one of those forum posters I hate that have conversations with themselves, but this thing has just reached a new ridicolous point.

As I posted before, I discovered that my DDR was running at 667MGz. The label on the DDR claims it is a 800MGz and indeed the sticks look identical, identical part number, etc.

I went back to Fry's and I bought 2 brand new sticks, same brand, same model, same everything. I came back home, I installed them and....
They too are running at 667MGz. At this point I believe I am going crazy. Turns out this is the history of the RAM:

1st set: I bought it with the computer on the recommendation of the Tigerdirect.com salesperson. I never actually checked if it run at 800MGz. Why should I?
2nd set: Bought a month ago at Fry's. Same model and everything. This one runs at 800MGz. I know that because I had marked the original RAM even before I opened the box of the new one.
3rd set: Bought it today. Again same identical specs. Runs at 667MGz.

I should note that I have created a spreadsheet on my laptop and I proceeded as follows:

Mapped the RAM slots by inserting one DDR module at the time and checking in the BIOS the name and number of the slot.
Then I noted, for each of the 6 modules I have, the reported speed on every slot. Each time, restarting the computer, etc. Took me forever but I did not want to leave it to chance.
The results are clear: Both of the Fry #2 run at 800MGz no matter which slot they are mounted on. All of the rest run at 667MGz, again no matter where they are inserted.
Any combination of modules results in their respective speeds being displayed in the BIOS screen.

The Fry's salesperson (Supervisor) keeps on telling me that my computer is not compatible with the modules. I told him that if that was true all of them would run at 667MGz. So he says: Your motherboard is not compatible with the "Batch".
What are these? Cauliflowers? Oranges? I have never heard such bullcrap. What do I have to do to run my computer at the proper speed? What do I have to do to run 8GB on this machine?
I have been fantasizing about where exactly to place the 4 2GB modules I have now sitting on my desk (The computer is much faster with 4GB so what's the point).

I am sorry if I seem a bit on edge, but I am sure you can understand. Again, thank you for your help and if anyone has any idea of what could be going on here I would be very thankful.

Cheers

#9 conticreative

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 02:07 PM

I finally have a picture of what my screen looks like. Later I may post a series of them but in essence the display looks klike this only with different parts of it lighting up as the mouse moves around or I try to interact with the interface. And no, it's not upside down. The task bar is really at the top.

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