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Upgraded Pc Slower Than Expected


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#1 Gains

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:09 PM

After years of running the following:

AMD Athlon XP 2600+
ECS 741GXM mobo
1.5 GB DDR RAM
Seagate Barracuda IDE HDD, 7200 RPM (40 GB)
Samsung Spinpoint IDE HDD, 7200 RPM (80 GB)
Nvidia 6800GT graphics card
Windows XP Home


I decided to upgrade to:

AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+
Asus M3N78-CM mobo
2GB OCZ DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 4-4-4-15 RAM
2 x Seagate Barracuda 80GB SATAII HDDs, 7200 RPM, 2MB cache (running side-by-side but not in RAID array)
No graphics card yet
Windows XP Home


I was expecting a major improvement in performance, but to be honest this new system doesn't seem that much quicker than my old one, and when I ran PCMark 05, I only got a score of 4900. Looking around the net I found quite a few posts on other forums from people with much lower-spec PCs than mine but higher PCMark scores.

I've tried clearing out all unnecessary files, defragging, tweaking XP as much as possible for performance (disabling all unnecessary services, disabling disk indexing, switching off unnecessary sounds & graphical features etc etc) but it doesn't seem to have made much difference.
I've also made sure that there are no malicious programs on my PC by scanning with Comodo, AVG, A squared, Rootkit Revealer and SuperAnti Spyware.

Can anybody suggest other things I could check/do? I'm wondering if maybe I could have a hardware problem, but wouldn't know how to diagnose this. I downloaded a trial copy of Hot CPU tester pro and ran this for an hour or so. It didn't turn up anything, but on the trial a lot of the tests are disabled and I wanted to ask around on here before spending money on diagnostics programs as I don't know which are best, or if I'm missing something really obvious.
I also thought that maybe my lack of graphics card could be a problem as it means the CPU has to do more work, but again this is just me guessing really.

Any help would be appreciated.

Edited by Gains, 05 October 2008 - 06:10 PM.


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#2 hamluis

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 06:48 PM

Strictly, FWIW...

I have 2 desktops (working), similar to the systems you have.

What I feel is a major difference...is that I have 4GB of RAM (DDR800) on my Asus/Athlon 64X2 4400 system.

If speed is what you are looking to perceptibly notice...you need to increase the RAM that you are accustomed to (1.5GB to 2GB is not what I would call a considerable increase). If you are not running your system in dual-channel mode, that's probably a mistake.

Another thing is that speed is relative to what is installed. If you are using the system as the "workhorse" for your computing needs...the more programs installed, the more startups you have...the less perceptible the difference.

I don't know much about PC Mark and I don't put a lot of faith in such tools...I guess that I don't treat my computers as if they are dragsters and I'm out to compete with everyone else with a faster dragster.

I just want the systems to work efficiently, which they usually do.

The fact that you have a dual-core CPU doesn't necessarily equate to faster, IMO...it equates to the ability to do more at the same time (compared to your prior configuration). Meaning that the system may now be able to do 3/4 things at once where it formerly could only do 1 or 2).

About the only thing that I could really suggest...visit some of the overclocker websites and see what tips/tricks they have in mind for those who get thrills from noting how fast (momentarily) a system might be performing.

Louis

Edited by hamluis, 05 October 2008 - 06:52 PM.


#3 Sterling14

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Posted 05 October 2008 - 07:53 PM

To add on to what hamluis said, are you using Intel integrated graphics then? If so, your pcmark will be lower because of that. Also, the Nvidia 6800Gt smokes anything Intel has for graphics. A graphics card won't really make the computer faster, but if games are running sluggish, then that would be the reason.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#4 Gains

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 03:11 AM

Thanks for the quick replies chaps.

I'm definitely not interested in the speed of my PC for the purposes of bragging rights, I just want to make sure that there's nothing wrong with it and that I'm getting my money's worth from these upgrades. I mentioned my PC Mark score Vs others' PC Mark scores just as a comparison (I thought it'd sound a bit more scientific than me just saying 'I don't think it feels as quick as it should') as it seems like a popular and trusted way to benchmark.

Sterling- in answer to your question, my mobo onboard graphics are NVidia.
Games do run pretty sluggish, but I expected that. My concern is really just the speed of 'everyday' tasks.

**Edited to say*** I think it is running in dual channel mode as both RAM sticks are identical, but is there any way to check and/or force this?
Also, my startup progs and services are already stripped down to bare minimum, so there'd be no room for improvement here.

Edited by Gains, 06 October 2008 - 03:30 AM.


#5 hamluis

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Posted 06 October 2008 - 12:11 PM

http://www.cnet.com.au/desktops/pcs/0,2390...40057380,00.htm

According to the above, Memtest reflects whether RAM is operating in dual-channel mode or not. Scroll down to Consider Dual Channel in the posted link.

Louis

#6 Gains

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:55 AM

I did some checking last night, and have verified that my CPU and RAM is working perfectly, and that my RAM is operating in Dual Channel mode.

So if I can rule out the CPU, RAM, excessive background services/processes, excessive startup programs, malware, clutter on the HDD and fragmentation on the HDD, where else can I look?

#7 Gains

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 06:29 AM

I think I've solved the problem, although I'm surprised at how simple the solution was; I'd done a lot of installing, uninstalling and re-installing various programs since building this new PC and thought the registry might have become cluttered, so I ran a registry clean/repair utility. To my (pleasant) surprise everything seems to be working noticeably faster.
I thought it might speed things up a fraction, but not as much as it has. I don't know what difference this will have made to my PCMark score, but I'm not really bothered as everything now seems to be running well.

Thanks for the help guys :thumbsup:

#8 hamluis

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:24 AM

Glad you solved it...my next guess would have been malware :thumbsup:.

I don't see where any registry cleaner would have solved anything, but...ComputerLand is a strange place, happy computing :flowers:.

Louis




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