Jul 13, 2009

How to Really Speed Up Computer

When I was buying my laptop all I had in mind was performance. I wanted to have core2duo, 2 Gb of ram, discrete graphic card and Vista operating system. I thought with that specs, especially with core2duo, my laptop would fly with speed. And finally when I got it I had a terrible experience. Laptop was sooooooo slow like it was running celeron processor! I knew Vista was not the fastest operating system  but I tweaked it and removed all unnecessary applications and services…. but performance was not much better. Which component was causing this?

 computer-ram   Processor      SamsungF1HardDrive

I knew processor was fast and it could not be the bottleneck because task manager showed utilization between 5-15%. Ram could not be guilty for there were 2 Gigabytes. Maybe video card. Not a chance because nvidia 8400 gt was deffinitely capable of running vista. Than there were too options left. Operating system or hard drive. Vista was definitely partialy guilty but not that much. If the code was badly written-with many turning instead of less coding lines, processor would probably take the burden and utilize more. But it did not. It was merely working. So the only thing that remained was hard drive. And I was right.

Do not take me wrong processor is important, but by far the slowest computer part is HDD. So I went for it and bought new faster 7200 rpm hard drive. Than I noticed much faster performance and application launch time. And I remembered a sentence I read somewhere: “computer is that fast as the slowest component inside”. And the slowest part was Hdd. Processor is much much faster, ram approximately 30 times faster than hdd, video card has multi processor-core, but Hdd…. that fellow is slow.

I also find misleading hdd vendor information where thay state that e.g. hard drive can sequentially read or write at a rate of 100 Mb/s.  Yeah, but what about in real world. Divide that number by 10 or at least by 5 and now you get the real picture. Most of hdd-s can boot for example xp operating system at a rate between 7-10 Mb/s. Now this is not 100 Mb/s is it? Not at all.

So the next time I am going to buy laptop, I will definitely have in mind fast drive, probably solid state drive and not quad-core processor. Nowadays everyone(e.g.intel and other banchmarking companies) emphasizes the importanance of cpu and tries to convince us that new cpu with fater fsb and second-data level cashe is going to make miracles in speed and that we definitely need it……Well that is all good but with slow hard drive it will not make much difference. Cpu will be taking “vacation” anyway if it does not get enough and fast all the data to work on.  Just imagine ferrari on traffic-jammed highway. It can not go any faster than a truck can, right?

So if you want to speed up computer, my advice is to invest your money in faster hard drive or even SSD drive instead in cpu. You will be surprised how much faster your computer can be. I was! Please also take in account that this is general guidance in most every-day situation, when you also meet basic hardware  requirements for certain operating system. If you are an advanced user it makes sense to upgrade cpu and ram as well but still not that much as upgrading HDD.

6 comments:

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