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Why is my new "fast" desktop not that fast?

I know I'm missing something but I don't know what.



11:31 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I just rebuilt my desktop with pretty fast components-

CPU- intel e8400 (45 nm, 6MB L2, 3GHz, FSB 1333 MHz)
MB - gigabyte ep35c-ds3r (FSB 1333MHz)
RAM - 2gb corsair dominator ddr2
Video - xfx geoforce 9600 gt, 512mb DDR3
Power - pc power and cooling silencer 610

New install of XP home.

In theory this thing should smoke, but it's really not. For instance, I've compared the speed of opening programs on this computer vs. some machines with t2450 or t5450 cpus running vista and they open programs faster (MS office, browsers, etc). That doesn't make any sense.

The only thing that I didn't replace is my seagate barracuda 7200.7 IDE drives. I can't imagine SATA drives would make that much of a speed difference but maybe I'm wrong.

Could it be the hard drives? Maybe a bios setting is off? Is there any sort of diagnostic or program I can run to find out it there's a problem somewhere?

I appreciate any ideas. Thanks!


11:38 pm on Apr 8, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member lammert is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

If programs are loading slow, it could be disk access. Somewhere in the BIOS it will tell you which mode is used to access the disks. Maybe the BIOS didn't switch to the fastest mode supported by the disks.

I don't know about the ep35c motherboard, but on some modern motherboards IDE is just a legacy interface to connect CD-ROM stuff but they have no full BIOS support for all fast modes anymore. They will actually perform worse (or not at all) when a harddisk is connected to an on-board IDE controller on such a modern board. In that case you should switch to SATA.

The motherboard of the latest computer I bought still technicall supports harddisks connected to my two dedicated CD-ROM ports, but the BIOS reports a harddisk connected to them as CD-ROM.


1:00 am on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have DMA enabled in bios which I think is what you're referring to.

You may be correct about the MB/IDE Lammert. The board is brand new and I figured the IDE plug was a legacy thing since there is only one of them and 8 sata 3gb/s connections. It worked though so I figured that meant things were OK.

I wrote into gigabyte support to see if they thought that might be an issue. Hopefully they'll reply.

Thanks for your reply. If anyone else has any ideas I'm all ears.


10:33 am on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

In all instances where a computer is performing badly, disable/switch-off/uninstall (or whatever) all your security software reboot and retest. Assuming it runs at a sensible speed, reinstate one item at a time (whilst disconnected from the internet).

Security software can absolutely kill performance by margins most people find almost incomprehensible. I've seen tenfold speed improvements on some operations when doing this. The most likely culprit is real-time anti-virus protection, but anti-spyware and firewall software can be just awful too.



9:30 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've figured a couple of things out. I got an IDE/SATA adapter and hooked the HD up that way. Interestingly, the IDE was about 8 seconds faster in the boot process up until windows started. Going all the way until windows was fully booted, SATA was about 9 seconds faster overall.

Opening word and photoshop was about the same (5-6 seconds) with either, although the SATA was slightly quicker.

Then I shut off my kaspersky antivirus and the difference was amazing! Word and photoshop each opened in about 1 second.

I had switched to kaspersky from nortons because it was supposed to be so much less system intensive than nortons. It didn't dawn on me that it could be having such a profound impact on performance.

I'll still need to keep antivirus running I guess, but I switched off a couple of monitoring functions (other than email and web) and it speeded thing up fairly well.

I could probably disable zone alarm too I think since my DSL router has a firewall already.

Thanks for your help!


10:33 pm on Apr 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I use AVG (antivirus only) and ZoneAlarm (firewall only, everything else disabled). I don't use anti-spyware but I'm ultra-careful. This setup give me a full-speed computer on XP but ZoneAlarm does hit performance noticeably in Vista.

If I were to choose a full package, I would go for AVG but Nod32 is well liked by members of Webmaster World.



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