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Where's the bottleneck?

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January 13, 2006 5:03:16 PM

(Sorry if this is in the wrong forum... couldn't find where it might fit - feel free to move it!)

Ok, first let me say that I know I have an older system and I have limited income right now to make it better - so, taking the specs below I need some suggestions on what would help boost performance in the system...

The system is used for a digital photography and graphic design business, no gaming, but very intensive graphically for work and lots of multi-tasking (photoshop, illustrator, indesign, dreamweaver). The main lag I've come accross is viewing thubnails of photos in XP - I'm sure there are issues elsewhere. I've tried ending all background apps and taking XP to it's minimum graphic settings, it's still unbearably slow (a minute or two to load a screen full of thumbnails).

Don't know if it helps, but I downloaded the free version of 3dMark05 and got a score of 1406.

System:

P4 2.6GHZ
1GB Ram 133Mhz SDRAM
ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 128MB - AGP
20 GB IDE HD
30 GB IDE HD
Windows XP Home

Not sure what else might be useful. I've built computers before, it's been a few years though so I'm a bit out of the technology loop (got this one from Gateway years ago and added the P4 chip and ram). It seems the system should perform better than it does though...

Looking to spend a couple of hundred ($200-$300) to get me through until the spring when I hope to have saved up enough to buy something newer.

Thanks a ton for any help!

Brian

More about : bottleneck

January 13, 2006 5:15:04 PM

The bottleneck is probably your hard drive. A good example is what you stated: it takes forever for thumbnails to display.

Those 20GB/30GB drives are old and probably spin at 5400 rpm on an ATA 66 or 100 bus and have 2MB caches.

New systems have at least 7200rpm drives, large 8 or 16MB caches, and SATA150. You could theoretically speed things up with a new fast hard drive. Anything above 7200rpm w/ a 8mb cache will do.

-mpjesse
January 13, 2006 5:41:03 PM

Another massive bottleneck is your memory if that really is single-rate SDRAM and not DDR SDRAM. If your processor is socket 478, then I'd say look at getting a 'new' (to you, you'll probably get it used/refurb) motherboard that supports DDR and dual-channel memory. Then get two sticks of DDR for dual-channel operation. Look into a motherboard with the 865 chipset.
Related resources
January 13, 2006 5:55:19 PM

I would agree.
1)New HD (these are cheap).
2)As fast RAM as possible for the MOBO (look up the specs).
3) Spyware/ adware? (perhaps time for a new OS install with the new HD install?)
January 13, 2006 6:12:25 PM

Yes, reinstalling Windows on the new HDD would definitely help things.

Beware that your motherboard probably can't handle memory higher than PC133. The only possible thing u can do w/ ur memory (without upgrading ur mobo) is finding some CAS 2 PC133 RAM. (if you have a gateway the memory is likely clocked at CAS 3). You can check what the latency is using CPU-Z, which can be downloaded here: http://www.cpuid.com/download/cpu-z-131.zip

Like Silver said, if ur P4 is a Socket 478 (this is unlikely since ur mobo does SDRAM), you can get a new motherboard and better DDR SDRAM.

At any rate, run CPU-Z and it'll tell you everything you need to know.

-mpjesse
January 13, 2006 6:21:38 PM

I'm pretty sure that it would be socket 478 because I don't think that socket 423 went up to 2.6GHz. I don't even know if it went over 2 GHz. Still, I could be wrong.

Either way it seems really odd to put a 2.6GHz CPU onto a motherboard with PC133 RAM, and especially a gig of it. :?

Not that it's impossible mind you, but it does make me question whether some spec hasn't been mistaken somewhere. I think I'd sooner believe that it's a 1.6GHz Willy.
January 13, 2006 6:47:40 PM

Yeah you're right. Willamette didn't go over 2Ghz. Has to be Socket 478 then.

I forgot that Socket 478 was made w/ SDRAM slots. (i845 chipset)

-mpjesse
January 13, 2006 10:03:17 PM

Thanks for all the replies... I forgot to give the mobo specs, realized that as soon as I left the house after posting.

mobo is an Intel D845HV. Here's the specs for it: http://support.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/d845hv/sb/cs-008815.htm
It is Socket 478 and it is indeed a P4 2.6 - which is the max I could go on the board. Hyperthreading is not an option as the board doesn't support it, and I don't think the cpu can be enabled anyway (I looked into this a while back).

I've tried updating the BIOS for it and it fails every time so not sure what is up there.

I recently did a format and re-install, maybe 2 months ago and had the problems then.

As for the hard drives, not sure of the formats that is says I can get - are any of them better than what I got? ATA 100/66, Ultra ATA 33, and PIO supported.

I'll check out CPU-Z in when I get back to the house (I'm at work now).

Thanks again for the help!!
January 13, 2006 11:02:22 PM

Quote:


As for the hard drives, not sure of the formats that is says I can get - are any of them better than what I got?

Yes.
January 13, 2006 11:16:07 PM

Quote:


As for the hard drives, not sure of the formats that is says I can get - are any of them better than what I got?

Yes.

Um... great! What would that be?

Oh and I did fail to mention that these are high quality photos, 4-5MB each and there could be 10 - 100 photos in a folder, though only 20 or so on the screen at one time. But no matter the number in the folder, if the screen is full of pics, it takes a good minute or two to load the thumbnails.
January 13, 2006 11:51:18 PM

any new drives with ATA100 should be..
January 14, 2006 10:30:18 AM

Hard drives are 7200 RPM (master) and 5400 RPM (slave)

The slave has the photos on it.
January 14, 2006 11:17:50 AM

Check whether the Primary IDE Channel is running in Ultra DMA mode or PIO mode. Right Click on My Computer, Properties, Device Manager, IDE/ATAPI Controllers.

If Windows sees 6 or more CRC errors on your hard drive it automatically switches off DMA access and all disk I/O goes via the CPU in PIO mode, slowing everthing down considerably.

To reset this flag follow Microsofts guide found in: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/817472/
January 14, 2006 12:48:55 PM

Quote:
Hard drives are 7200 RPM (master) and 5400 RPM (slave)

The slave has the photos on it.


Most modern drive are 7200, but logic and mechanism make them faster than your old 7200 HDD anyway. But, the choice you did, by placing your picture on the 5400 is great. They run cooler and are way more reliable than the 7200 one, and this is good for storage. But don't remember to keep a backup on something else anyway.

When I look at your system, i would say that the whole thing is a bottle neck to modern apps..

The rather slow CPU (yes, Willamette P4 were that slow) coupled with SDRAM just make the thing slow.

Simply putting a nice 939 3000+, with the Asrock DUAL SATA2 (to keep your existing video card) and 1 gigs RAM of generic Samsung RAM(really cheap now) will make you a 3 time almost faster system, with your current HDD
January 14, 2006 1:23:54 PM

Quote:

Simply putting a nice 939 3000+, with the Asrock DUAL SATA2 (to keep your existing video card) and 1 gigs RAM of generic Samsung RAM(really cheap now) will make you a 3 time almost faster system, with your current HDD


So I'm looking at:
AMD 939 3000+ - $115
Asrock Dual SATA2 - $75
1GB DDR400 RAM - $50

spending $250 and keeping everything else will get me a significant performace improvement?

Also note, I've got a Sound Blaster Live Value and USB 2.0 PCI cards - will these go in the PCI-Express slots (This whole PCI-Express and PCI-x change has lost me)?
January 14, 2006 1:36:23 PM

When you load up that folder, check your task manager and see what the CPU and PF usage is. If the CPU is in the low and your harddrive buzzing away, then your harddrive is the bottleneck...

For the 939 set-up, you will see a great improvement in everything, but if you reuse those HD's you have, then more than likely you will still have slow-loading folders and apps.

Edit: PCI-Express and PCI-x are very very different.
January 14, 2006 2:09:36 PM

Yeah I know PCI-e and PCI-x are very different... I found the answer to the backward compatibility.

I'll check the cpu and pf usage tonight when I get home and post the results.

Ya'll are great - thanks for the help!
January 14, 2006 8:05:01 PM

That's about the same as I have here but I have 2x512 megs to have the CPU running dual channel. If you get 1 memory stick, you'll loose 6-9% performance in some benchmark, but unlikely to see a difference in real life usage.

As for HDD, they will not be as fast as new one, but the loss would be maybe less than 5%, depending of the age of it. Don,t care for the Slave 5400.. for storage, it is enough.

You'll likely not need the USB2.0 card, as the board has some but both card should work in PCI slot (not the PCI-e ones).

Just make sure that the PSU is up to the task with new component. With your current config, I'm confident a good quality 350w will be up to the task, but if you later want to upgrade the video card to a new PCI-e one, get something more like 450w good quality. I just put a nice thermaltake quiet PSU that output 430w and it is more than enough. They are not the best, but are good anyway and quiet.
January 15, 2006 5:23:09 PM

Great!

Thanks for all the help - looks like the mobo/cpu/memory is the way to go for a temp fix.
January 15, 2006 6:43:58 PM

Then, later, you could just put a nice big and fast SATA hdd in, and your 5400 in an USB2.0 enclosure that you may keep for storage and backup.

I did not see the part where you talked about the picture before, but it is sure that the 5400 don't help for the time, but the CPU should be able to transform the thumbnails faster for display which would help.

Bt this basic system should be a good base for building a nice one later when needed.
January 15, 2006 7:57:57 PM

Quote:
...(got this one from Gateway years ago and added the P4 chip and ram). It seems the system should perform better than it does though...
Dumb question: Will a new ATX mobo fit in the Gateway or does it use a proprietary size?
January 15, 2006 11:25:10 PM

Quote:
...(got this one from Gateway years ago and added the P4 chip and ram). It seems the system should perform better than it does though...
Dumb question: Will a new ATX mobo fit in the Gateway or does it use a proprietary size?

Actually I just looked at the mobo and it is a micro-ATX - 9.6"x9.6"


Hmm... so back to the drawing board :?


Also...
Quote:
You can check what the latency is using CPU-Z, which can be downloaded here: http://www.cpuid.com/download/cpu-z-131.zip

Latency is 3.0 Clocks under 133Mhz, 2.0 Clocks under 100Mhz

I have no idea if this is what you need to judge the speed and have no idea what it means...

Thanks again for the help, and I'm all ears on a cheap good Micro-ATX mobo!
January 16, 2006 7:08:44 AM

Yeah, i reckon. That old, small hard drives you have are really slow. Your PC133 SDRAM is crap too. No matter how much slow RAM you have it's always going to be slow. That stuff isn't even DDR!! (double data rate).

It'll run a treat when you buy it a nice 8MB cache hard drive (at least a UltraATA 80gig) and get faster memory.
January 16, 2006 7:54:24 AM

since a new mobo wont fit in the case have you thought of adding anoter $50 ish to the total and going for a new case with PS (i know the included powersupplys arnt great but im sure it will manage) as well to give you something to work from as you get around to fully upgrading the system :) 
January 16, 2006 11:19:48 AM

Possible explanations:-

1)
Windows XP can save its own thumbnail data in the directory (hidden file Thumbs.db).

Explorer window ->Tools menu -> Folder Options -> 'View' tab
unselect 'Do not cache thumbnails'

2)
Defrag hard drive. Better with a defragger that will arrange folders by name then files by name because that's typically the order you and windows will try to read them. eg. O&O.

3)
faster hard disk because it may be reading 100 times 4MB (400MB) with 8MB of thumbnails (especially the first time). That can be a lot of random reads depending on file structure (fragmentations, read order). It's probably 10% CPU/RAM and 90% disk IO limited at the moment. Windows may also be reading/writing metadata (eg. last access time, security info).
Old HD may be ATA33 or limited by other device connected to channel (eg. old optical drive is PIO ie. 16MB/s, no DMA). DMA allows the CPU to process JPEG's etc. while waiting for next IO. Newer HD's can read more in a single spin, more data per second sequentially, cache more from current track for future use(I assume), cache more writes before interrupting read (I assume), more random seeks per second (7200 vs 5400rpm drives, 10Krpm even better).

4)
MB limitations. south bridge (ICH2) connected to northbridge (MCH) using 266MB/s link. Uses 1.06GB/s max data rate system RAM, typical 600-800MB/s bandwidth. 3.2GB/s link to CPU (from MCH) under utilised. I doubt that the MS explorer and picture viewer are threaded enough to make use of HyperThreading. USB is v1.1 ie ~1MB/s so ext. HD is worse for this and USB2.0 isn't ideal either. Move newer ATA HD purchased above to new system when you have the money. A 250GB 7200rpm drive with 32GB of data will be faster (eg. upto double) than a 40GB drive of the same HD family filled with the same 32GB of data.
January 16, 2006 11:32:22 AM

At this rate wee_ag1 can build a new system and eBay the old one. :) 

Seriously though, a 2.6GHz P4 isn't bad, but the SDRAM is surely choking it. He could probably just replace the mobo and RAM for a lot less money, and maybe use some of that money for a new hard drive.

Though replacing the CPU does have its advantages too.

Of course then there's the question of if the new mobo should have an AGP or a PCI-e graphics slot. Replacing the graphics card would be yet more of a cost, but keeping to AGP will suck if the graphics card is going to be replaced eventually.
January 16, 2006 11:36:57 AM

When you load the thumbnail are they being read from the hard drive or a memory card? If it is from the memory card they can sometimes be painfully slow.
January 16, 2006 2:55:23 PM

Quote:
When you load the thumbnail are they being read from the hard drive or a memory card? If it is from the memory card they can sometimes be painfully slow.

It is loading from the HD (see earlier post)

Quote:
Possible explanations:-

1)
Windows XP can save its own thumbnail data in the directory (hidden file Thumbs.db).

Explorer window ->Tools menu -> Folder Options -> 'View' tab
unselect 'Do not cache thumbnails'

This has already been done.

Quote:


2)
Defrag hard drive. Better with a defragger that will arrange folders by name then files by name because that's typically the order you and windows will try to read them. eg. O&O.

I've defragged before but how do you do it to arrange folders? There's no options like that I've seen with the Windows defragger.

Quote:


3)
faster hard disk because it may be reading 100 times 4MB (400MB) with 8MB of thumbnails (especially the first time). That can be a lot of random reads depending on file structure (fragmentations, read order). It's probably 10% CPU/RAM and 90% disk IO limited at the moment. Windows may also be reading/writing metadata (eg. last access time, security info).
Old HD may be ATA33 or limited by other device connected to channel (eg. old optical drive is PIO ie. 16MB/s, no DMA). DMA allows the CPU to process JPEG's etc. while waiting for next IO. Newer HD's can read more in a single spin, more data per second sequentially, cache more from current track for future use(I assume), cache more writes before interrupting read (I assume), more random seeks per second (7200 vs 5400rpm drives, 10Krpm even better).

4)
MB limitations. south bridge (ICH2) connected to northbridge (MCH) using 266MB/s link. Uses 1.06GB/s max data rate system RAM, typical 600-800MB/s bandwidth. 3.2GB/s link to CPU (from MCH) under utilised. I doubt that the MS explorer and picture viewer are threaded enough to make use of HyperThreading. USB is v1.1 ie ~1MB/s so ext. HD is worse for this and USB2.0 isn't ideal either. Move newer ATA HD purchased above to new system when you have the money. A 250GB 7200rpm drive with 32GB of data will be faster (eg. upto double) than a 40GB drive of the same HD family filled with the same 32GB of data.

These last two seem to be the consensus as to the problem but the mobo can't handle anything better.

Quote:
since a new mobo wont fit in the case have you thought of adding anoter $50 ish to the total and going for a new case with PS (i know the included powersupplys arnt great but im sure it will manage) as well to give you something to work from as you get around to fully upgrading the system :) 

That's a lot more hassel than I want to go through unless I have to.

Aren't there any micro-atx solutions?
January 16, 2006 9:05:20 PM

The Asus K8V-MX is a micro ATX board I used and have good performance coupled wth a Sempron 3100+. it has onboard video, but also has an AGP slot. With it, only 1 dimm can be used as the memory controller is single channel. FasterSempron are available too. Or you can find some A64 socket 754 too.

There is some other motherboard that may support your CPU and use DDR memory. Since I don't built lot of Intel system, I don't have good knowledge about them.
January 17, 2006 2:38:14 AM

Quote:
The Asus K8V-MX is a micro ATX board I used and have good performance coupled wth a Sempron 3100+. it has onboard video, but also has an AGP slot. With it, only 1 dimm can be used as the memory controller is single channel. FasterSempron are available too. Or you can find some A64 socket 754 too.

There is some other motherboard that may support your CPU and use DDR memory. Since I don't built lot of Intel system, I don't have good knowledge about them.


Ok, thanks for the help... Anyone else?
January 17, 2006 5:32:56 AM

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and disagree with almost everything everyone has said...

My system is a 900mhz Duron with 640mb CL 3.0 PC100 memory

my thumbnails are not cached...

both my drives are 7200rpm - Old ones though not much cache on them at all

my thumbnails snap into place - and dont explain all of this away by saying i have a faster HD - btw all my images show the thumbs very fast - from 5mb - 30mb files...

i would bet some performance enhancing steps would solve all your problems
turn off all the animations - set the page file instead of letting windows manage it - disable uneeded services... uninstall any crappy software (this definition of crappy is mine and mine alone by the way) by this i mean Yahoo and google toolbars, hotbar - goofy stuff like this... - stop pretty much everything from loading at startup ...

there are tons of websites dedicated to these sort of enhancements, if you haven't done any of this already and dont know where to start just ask

you folks all see that this person doesnt have a completely new system and have him(or her) practically buying a new computer and saying its the absolute best thing to do, i am ashamed of all of you :p 

this isnt to say that a newer system wont help (there's a big Duh) but its not the only option

anyone bother to ask how many processes are running - what Anti Virus package is running? is there spyware software running - newer privacy and AV software can slow a slightly older system dramatically. There are other options that dont use so much system resources.
January 17, 2006 10:26:10 AM

I agree with the previous post.

I would check whether the Primary IDE channel is operating under Ultra DMA or PIO.

If its PIO, that'll be the reason for an extremely slow system...

See my previous post on how to resolve it if it is....
January 17, 2006 1:15:48 PM

I'm gonna have to go with IR as well. I'm running a 1.3ghz p4 and 512mb of rdram...and all my pic's snap in to place too. Takes about 3 sec for 30 3.0mp pictures. Scrolling down through the ones i can't see is instantanious. I even have outlook, antivirus, a ping program, and F@H running at the same time...

I recently defragged my 40gb 7200 2mb hd...i have most of my settings set to low visual detail, but it's a non-issue as my graphics card is an old gf2 series here at work, and on or off it runs the same (i just haven't changed it back...).

My rdram should be just a little faster then his sdram, and my cpu only able to do half as much work. All told, he has the better system. However...If he's running both hd's on the same cable, i believe it defaults to the slowest ATA...so if its a 5400, it's probably older, perhaps 33/66, slowing everything down... Run a PCMark 05 and tell us what the boot time is on the hd as well as the mb/s on boot (if you can, i can't remember if it lets you see both in the free version...). [edit: keep in mind you can choose which hd you want pcmark to use...]
January 17, 2006 2:26:09 PM

Sorry, but I've benchmarked a NorthwoodC being throttled by as much as single-channel DDR200, and it was downright scary how badly it killed performance. While we're probably talking about a NorthwoodB here, meaning that it needs less bandwidth, we're also talking about SDRAM, not even DDR. So it's quite possible that this poor processor is running at, oh, about the performance of a 400MHz Celeron because the memory system is bottlenecking the processor so badly.

Now, likely, there are plenty of other reasons for the bad performance too. But I feel so badly for that processor that I can't not reccomend a new mobo and dual-channel DDR for it. And certainly a used 865-based mobo and two 512MB sticks of generic CAS3 DDR333 aren't all that costly.
January 19, 2006 11:35:06 PM

Quote:
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and disagree with almost everything everyone has said...

My system is a 900mhz Duron with 640mb CL 3.0 PC100 memory

my thumbnails are not cached...

both my drives are 7200rpm - Old ones though not much cache on them at all

my thumbnails snap into place - and dont explain all of this away by saying i have a faster HD - btw all my images show the thumbs very fast - from 5mb - 30mb files...

i would bet some performance enhancing steps would solve all your problems
turn off all the animations - set the page file instead of letting windows manage it - disable uneeded services... uninstall any crappy software (this definition of crappy is mine and mine alone by the way) by this i mean Yahoo and google toolbars, hotbar - goofy stuff like this... - stop pretty much everything from loading at startup ...

there are tons of websites dedicated to these sort of enhancements, if you haven't done any of this already and dont know where to start just ask

you folks all see that this person doesnt have a completely new system and have him(or her) practically buying a new computer and saying its the absolute best thing to do, i am ashamed of all of you :p 

this isnt to say that a newer system wont help (there's a big Duh) but its not the only option

anyone bother to ask how many processes are running - what Anti Virus package is running? is there spyware software running - newer privacy and AV software can slow a slightly older system dramatically. There are other options that dont use so much system resources.


I've tried all this, same performance...

Quote:
I agree with the previous post.

I would check whether the Primary IDE channel is operating under Ultra DMA or PIO.

If its PIO, that'll be the reason for an extremely slow system...

See my previous post on how to resolve it if it is....


It supports ATA 100/66, Ultra ATA 33, and PIO (is this what you needed?)

Quote:
... Run a PCMark 05 and tell us what the boot time is on the hd as well as the mb/s on boot (if you can, i can't remember if it lets you see both in the free version...). [edit: keep in mind you can choose which hd you want pcmark to use...]


I'm downloading it now and will post the resuts when it runs.
January 20, 2006 2:10:15 AM

Quote:
Rambooster might do some help...

http://www.sci.fi/~borg/rambooster/index.htm


What does it do? The page is kinda non-descript - unless I missed something. It also seems to run in the background, won't another process just slow things down more?
January 20, 2006 2:21:34 AM

about 1,976~2,332k memory usage

http://www.sci.fi/~borg/rambooster/index.htm
click the DOWNLOAD HERE. at the yellow banner?
Try it.. It's free
download the v1.6 first
then the v2.0
RamBooster frees up Ram. This is done by forcing Windows to remove all the data that is not currently needed from the memory. :) 
January 20, 2006 2:48:21 AM

Quote:
about 1,976~2,332k memory usage

http://www.sci.fi/~borg/rambooster/index.htm
click the DOWNLOAD HERE. at the yellow banner?
Try it.. It's free
download the v1.6 first
then the v2.0
RamBooster frees up Ram. This is done by forcing Windows to remove all the data that is not currently needed from the memory. :) 


Ok, I gave it a whirl... I watched the CPU and RAM usage on the program while trying to look at the thumbnails and the CPU jumped to 100% and the RAM usage stayed at about 50%. It still took just as long for them to appear. I set the auto-optimization settings as per the help file and it isn't doing anything because the RAM is being 100% used to shoe the thumbnails.


One more interesting thing I forgot to mention about the whole thumbnail thing is that when the thumbnails finally appear they are miniature images within the thumbnail frame. Example, there will be 30 boxes for thumbnails on the screen but they thumbnail it shows is about 1/4 the size of the thumbnail frame. I hit F5 to refresh the images and they show at their proper size. Also, scrolling down to view more thumbs is just as slow as opening a new folder of thumbs and the same size issue happens.

I'm getting to the point of frustration as this computer is needed for a photog and graphic design business I'm starting. I may just suck it up and get a new system if this can't be resolved soon.

Thanks for all of your continual help!
January 20, 2006 2:48:23 AM

Quote:
The bottleneck is probably your hard drive. A good example is what you stated: it takes forever for thumbnails to display.

Those 20GB/30GB drives are old and probably spin at 5400 rpm on an ATA 66 or 100 bus and have 2MB caches.

New systems have at least 7200rpm drives, large 8 or 16MB caches, and SATA150. You could theoretically speed things up with a new fast hard drive. Anything above 7200rpm w/ a 8mb cache will do.

-mpjesse
I agree with this completely. Why is it then that we are thinking of replacing everything but the hard drives? New MB? New RAM? New CPU? Phooy!! Lakedude says get a new hard drive. I've got 3 RAPTOR 10,000 rpm drives for a reason. The rest of the system isn't that bad. Yes the rest of the stuff could be better but the hard drives are your biggest issue.

People are RAM happy. Preformance is about balance. If you slap 2 old slow hard drives in a new system they are still gonna be slow. When upgrading you want to fix the bottlenecks first. You already know this is true because you post is titled "Where's the bottleneck?". The bottleneck in your case is the hard drives (IMO).

OTOH if you are looking for an excuse to buy a new system........
January 20, 2006 2:51:33 AM

Quote:
...The bottleneck in your case is the hard drives (IMO).

OTOH if you are looking for an excuse to buy a new system........


Great! Let's explore that option... The specs for the mobo and the current HD's are listed above... The mobo supports ATA 100/66, Ultra ATA 33, and PIO - Anything out there better than what I got that can go on this system?

Someone asked earlier and the current primary IDE Channel is transfering in Ultra DMA Mode 5
January 20, 2006 3:06:51 AM

Yes 100/66 is perfect for your needs. Your "data" drive with the pics on it is your biggest bottleneck at 5400 rpm. As Mpjes-dude said any 7200rpm drive with at least 8 meg should be fine.

Searching for options.........

BTW do not get an el-cheapo Western Digital drive with a one year warranty!!!!

WD is fine but their cheap line is junk.
January 20, 2006 3:23:39 AM

WD 80 GB, 3 year, $53 + shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...


WD 160 GB, 3 year, $79 + shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Seagate 160 GB, 5 year, $81.50 + shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Seagate 200 GB, 5 year, 95.50 + shipping

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...

Anything similar to these should be fine, depending on how much storage you need and how much you want to spend. Even larger drives are not much more money. Look for yourself, just stay away from drives with a 1 year.
January 20, 2006 4:14:48 AM

Based on all that's been discussed so far, here are my suggestions:

ASUS P4P800-VM microATX motherboard (Socket 478, DDR)
2x 512MB DDR400 CL2.5 (eg. Kingston KVR400X64C25/512)
Western Digital Caviar SE 120GB 7200RPM 8MB IDE (WD1200JB)
Maxtor MaxLine III 250GB 7200RPM 16MB SATA (7L250S0)

Now, I don't know if this fits within your $200-300 budget (not knowing where you are from), however combining this with your existing hardware (less the old hard drives) and a fresh install onto the 120GB as a system drive and using the 250GB for ALL data should result in a decent performance boost. If the Maxtor drive puts you over the budget, it could be purchased later and just use the 120GB to start out on.

Configuration:
WD 120GB HDD on Primary IDE (Master) using 80-conductor ATA-133 cable
Optical Drive(s) on Secondary IDE (Master, Slave(if 2 drives))
Maxtor 250GB HDD on SATA0
January 20, 2006 5:07:46 AM

:cry:  Soory I thought that would helped a lil bit, I agree with them you better change that 5400RPM with 7200RPM HDD SATA, then buy SATA controller, and more ram. might help. :) 
January 20, 2006 2:24:50 PM

Cool! You guys are great.

I'm in the US if that helps with the pricing thing (sorry I didn't mention that) I think I'll go with the new HD right now and see how that helps since it can be transferred to a new mobo if it comes to that.

Would I get another bottleneck getting an SATA controller and HD since it is not native to the system? I image the next system would be SATA so it seems that would be the wiser choice so I could transfer to the new system.

Thanks again!

Oh, and Bulkypc07 - no worries about the program, I'm willing to try anything - especially if it is free!
January 20, 2006 3:17:26 PM

Just a little test.
Copy your files from the 5400rpm drive to your 7500rpm drive.
Then disconnect the 5400 drive. You may find the whole thing loads faster.
The problem with IDE drives on the same channel is that they will transfer data the the speed of the slowest drive.
Also try reorganizing you photos into different folders so you're not displaying so many thumbnails at once (free performance improvment).
Also are your drives formated FAT or ntfs, ntfs is much faster for large number of files in any one directory
January 20, 2006 9:07:12 PM

You can go SATA on your next system. There is no reason to go SATA unless you find a drive that you really like and that drive happens to be SATA. The mechanical speed of the drive is the bottleneck in systems that have only a drive or two. Faster bus speeds are only required when you have enough drives working at the same time to stress the bus. Servers use SCSI because they need the bus bandwidth because they are running many hard drives. Home systems generally do not need anything better than the ATA 100 you already have.


The Raptor is one of the fastest drives you can buy at a reasonable price. The Raptor has a 150 SATA interface but even at 10,000 rpm it can only muster "Buffer To Disk 72 MB/s (Sustained)". 72MB/s does not stress the SATA interface and would not stress an ATA 100 interface.
January 20, 2006 11:55:55 PM

Is that P4 support HT?
1GB of ram might help.
In HDD using 10k RPM Raptor 8) will help but way too expensive
You mentioned for (photoshop, illustrator, indesign, dreamweave)
get 10k RPM Raptor with 150GB (around $290) ouch!!!..
but if you want more and larger space pick SATA with bigger 250GB or more (Seagate,WD and others)..

:idea: 1GB of right ram will improved multi-tasking, and will run smoother
and the (7200RPM or 10K) drive will boost loading....
!