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Poor Performance

Last response: in Motherboards
September 11, 2003 5:00:02 AM

PLEASE HELP! Approximately 4 months ago I finished building my PC from scratch with the following components:

- Windows XP
- Asus nforce2 deluxe
- Athlon XP 2600+
- 475W PSU (PC Power & Cooling)
- 2 512 MB Corsair 3500
- Radeon 9700 Pro
- 2 Seagate 120 GB SATA HDDs
- 2 80 GB Maxtor IDE HDDs (OS is on IDE drive)
- Samsung CD/DVD ROM
- Samsung CDRW

The system boots fine and is incredibly stable, but has horrible performance. Launching ANY application for the first time after a boot takes about 11 to 14 seconds (winamp takes 11 seconds to launch). After an app is launched and exited, launching the app a second time occurs almost instantly.

3D game performance is horrible. Games like Medal of Honor and Unreal 2 have very choppy gameplay regardless of how much I drive down the graphics.

I am running Windows XP with the latest Windows hotfixes and Asus and ATI drivers. This issue is not related to the recent Windows Q811493 hotfix problem.

To rule out hotfix/driver issues, I incrementally created OS images using ghost immediately after the OS install, and during different stages of hotfix/driver upgrades (so I have 6 images stored for recall). This performance issue(taking 11-14 seconds to launch applications) existed immediately after the OS install (and before any updates).

I'm kind of convinced this is a hardware problem, but don't know where to start (My CPU clockspeed is ~1.8X GHz).

Please help.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by JavaLawyer on 09/11/03 01:38 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : poor performance

September 11, 2003 3:48:38 PM

First thing to note, what kind of power supply do you have? With the amount of HDDs and other power hungery devices, you may not have enough. If you have anything less than an brand name PS rated at 400-430 Watts (good brand names are Sparkle, Antec) I would recommend upgrading to one. Most cases under $60 are not equipt with a powerful enough power supply. To get a decent one, you need to spend more than $100.00.

If it works for you then don't fix it.
September 11, 2003 4:10:05 PM

what configuration are your IDE devices? if you have a HDD sharing a ribbon cable with an optical drive, it could slow the disk access to such an extent that you get problems like this.

The end is nigh.. (For this post at least) :smile:
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September 11, 2003 4:39:05 PM

As I noted in the specs above, I have a 475W Power Supply by PC Power and Cooling ($200) w/ active PFC. I am also running a 1200VA UPS on the backend.

My case is a Yeong Yang YY0221 Cube Server Case ($155) with 15 device bays. I installed 7 low yield (20db) case fans (including the power supply fan) and monitor temperature very closely.

My two optical drives are a recent purchase (2 weeks ago). The problem predates the purchase of the optical drives.

IDE1 Master: 80GB HDD w/OS
IDE1 Slave: CDRW
IDE2 Master: 80GB HDD (for data)
SATA1 120GB HDD (data)
SATA2 120GB HDD (data)

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by JavaLawyer on 09/11/03 12:44 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
September 11, 2003 4:48:15 PM

Move your second IDE HDD to be IDE1 Slave, and put the CDRW on IDE2 Master.

An IDE channel runs at the speed of the slowest item on it. your optical drive will have a huge impact on that Hdd's perf.

When I was a noob, I rigged an LS120 drive to the same ribbon as my HDD. suddenly instead of booting in about ~1 minute, it took about 5 minutes, because the channel was running in PIO4 rather than ATA100.

check your drives are running in DMA mode too. (Device Manager -> disk Drives -> properties of your HDD -> check the DMA box) Can't remember if that's exactly right for XP though.

The end is nigh.. (For this post at least) :smile:
September 12, 2003 5:32:48 PM

My HDDs are in DMA mode.

Moving the optical drives will have 0% impact since the problem existed before I purchased the optical drives.
September 15, 2003 1:28:36 PM

Moving the optical drives will have 0% impact since the problem existed before I purchased the optical drives.

It's still bad practice, and WILL have a severe performance penalty if you manage to sort out whatever the actual problem is.

The end is nigh.. (For this post at least) :smile:
September 15, 2003 4:57:45 PM

I believe you are missing the point. The problem PRE-EXISTED the presence of the optical drive(s).
September 15, 2003 7:35:32 PM

Do standard tech procedure

pull out everything, leave the minimum of everything
one stick of ram if you have two or more
your video, one HD, leave all fans off besides the CPU and a rear one, even take out those CD drives that predate the problem

get it bare so that you fix your problem

if it fixes it start putting things in one by one until you find out the conflict or problem part/driver

I would do a format with this process of elimination also
and set your bios to failsafe defaults

then go at it, its what most shops do so just do it yourself instead of pay someone.

if it still happens on a clean install with default bios settings (and NO OVERCLOCKING) then you have your basic hardware to blame and need to swap out with either spare parts or friends parts

but no one here can tell you the magic fix, you have entirely to many parts involved to say for sure.
but i will promise you that you will fix it if you do all this stuff.

have a better day. :smile:

Athlon 1700+, Epox 8RDA (NForce2), Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 80GB 8MB cache, 2x256mb Crucial PC2100 in Dual DDR, Radeon 9800NP, Audigy, Z560s, MX500
September 21, 2003 12:06:02 AM

It's still bad practice, and WILL have a severe performance penalty if you manage to sort out whatever the actual problem is.
Chill man, the dude is only trying to help.
Chip death is right, you do need to get those optical drives off that ide channel. The other thing you might wanna consider (if you have the $$$) is getting another case and mobo. That way you could network everything together. If you have a problem with one box you still have at least one useable.

A7n8x dlx G Bios Agressive settings
xp1700 Paly 2x 256 Crucial 2700@ cl 2.5
ATI Radeon Sapphire 9200 WDCaviar 60gig w 8mb Cache @ 7200
"There is no magic server pixie dust."
September 21, 2003 8:30:01 AM

get rid of windows xp, "downgrade" to windows 2000. FAST and stable as anything microsoft ever put out. what versions of the nvidia ide drivers are you using? I think 2.45 is out it seems stable. Also have you set up your bios for sync operation with all the speed options enabled and maxed? Some of the bios's for that board didn't work well, I have 1.05 i think, its been working fine. I agree with the other responses, that's alot of stuff to have on your ide channel, consider throwing your hard drives on an expansion pci ultra ata 100 card or even in raid if you feel like re imaging after you install the drives again.

Personally if its hardware, you will need to go barebones and track down the problem, if its bad ram, you would see alot of crashes, if its bad power, who knows what will go on (many things), one of the hard drives could be bad, but hard to tell.

I'll stick with my first dianostic, Throw xp out the door, or at least disable all its eye candy, or just make life easier and get 2000pro and sp 4. If you are on braudband sp4 only takes a few to download. Slow file access is either a hard drive problem an operating system problem poor communication problem between lines or even a cpu which doesnt think its really a xp 2600+, again check with your bios (although i can only assume you've done this 50 times, so...)

My vote goes for trying a different operating system, even 98se if you still have a legal copy to see if the speed problems continue to exist. Only will take about a hour of your time to install and then image, probably quicker than taking every part out 1 at a time to see if its the problem. If you happen to have a copy of windows 2000, I don't think you would be dissipointed with trying it either.

"sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick"
*grabs a stick and places it into the flames; mmmm, smores*
%Think before you act would be a good motto%
September 22, 2003 2:48:24 PM

I believe you are missing the point. The problem PRE-EXISTED the presence of the optical drive(s).

I realise that, but you won't be able to tell if you've fixed the problem, because if <i>I</i> was to shove a CDROM on the same ribbon as my HDD, I would have <i>exactly</i> the problems you describe... I'm just saying you'll need to sort it sooner or later.

I think you'll have to follow kinney's advice, and dismantle the whole thing, and slowly build it back up to see when the problems re-appear. If they appear straight away with just the HDDs, Mem, Gfx & CPU installed, then it must be the IDE drivers, or the Hardware itself.

Good luck, and Happy hunting!

<font color=red>The preceding text is assembled from information stored in an unreliable organic storage medium. As such it may be innacurate, incomplete, or completely wrong</font color=red> :wink: