Recommendation for Utility to Measure Performance

I'm increasingly seeing XP SP3 32-bit computers that are slow, even after they are confirmed to be free of adware, rootkits, viruses, and the like. All updates and service packs are in place. The only complaint is that the computer is slow. Very slow. According to Task Manager, the CPU is running above 20 or 30% most of the time.

Can someone suggest a way that I can quantify the performance in real numbers? I'm running out of options except to do a rebuild.
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  1. one of the reasons a computer can be slow is that you have installed service packs and updates. the up dates don't make it go faster. the updates make it go slower.
    another reason is that there are too many applications installed, not enough RAM memory, multiple mismatched security applications.
    another reason is that you have a single core processor. the single cores don't have enough cache memory to handle a lot of the newer demands and streaming, playing video, etc...
    another may be that you do not have enough free space on a hard drive...whatever the reason if you have an older single core machine, it's probably a good excuse to rebuild.
  2. I would also be interested in this, for similar reasons.

    Maybe a benchmark that doesn't focus primarily on hardware, but measures the system as a whole? Hardware, operating system, software, settings, etc. combined.

    Is there such a program that can quantify overall system useability objectively to compare different systems?
  3. Is there really no such thing?

    Do all benchmark type programs only focus on hardware?

    Or is this the wrong forum to ask?
  4. I've had luck speeding XP up with a few free softwares.
    Advance System Care FREE from is one. It does a good job of cleaning the registry and lots of other stuff. And the puchased version does an even better job. I just let it do whatever it wants to do, and have never had a problem.
    Their SmartDefrag (also free) uses a different approach to defragging and really helps.
    Good Luck,
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