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Poor performance - completely at a loss why

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  • Homebuilt
  • Performance
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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December 13, 2009 6:35:59 PM

Apologies for my first post being a problem... you know how it is.

I built a system some months ago which I've never been able to get satisfactory performance from - I get regular lag, slow down and pauses in all applications and games from what appears to be HDD access, but I can't tell whether it's hardware or software related.

The system is:

Gigabye UD3P
Seasonic 650w
Q6600
2GB Crucial Ballistix Tracer PC2-8500 (2.0v 4,4,4,12)
1x Samsung 250Gb SATA (windows drive)
1x Samsung F1 1TB SATA (data drive)
Geforce GTX 260
Asus Xonar D2X
Windows XP Pro SP3 AHCI

After investigation earlier in the year I found that the CPU and RAM were less than stable, so they were RMA'd and I have replacing parts, I also initally ran an Asus P5B Delux and replaced it with the Gigabyte thinking that the mobo might be to blame. I had two Seagate 500GB SATA to begin with, but those have been replaced with Samsung drives. Most recently, my Geforce 9800GTX has been replaced by a GTX 260. However, none of these hardware changes have resolved the issue.

As far as I can tell, I have the latest drivers for every peice of hardware and Windows is up to date, there are also no conflicts reported in device manager.

I have always run a virus checker, mostly Kaspersky, although more recently NOD32 and nothing has ever been reported. I have also scanned all drives with Malware bytes, Spybot and a number of online virus checkers, all of which show nothing untoward (although I'm open to any possibility)

The lag I experience is always present, but becomes more noticeable as HDD access increases - trying to do anything whilst defrag is running for example (like open My Computer) takes a rediculous amount of time, for the hardware I'm running.

Can anyone offer any suggestions as to what I should do to track this problem down, or advise on probable causes? This whole thing is making me :pfff: 

Any help is very gratefully received.

More about : poor performance completely loss

December 13, 2009 7:29:31 PM

try switching the hdd
December 13, 2009 8:19:46 PM

xaira said:
try switching the hdd


I started off with a 1TG Samsung F1 which I suspected was the problem initally and so relegated it to a backup caddy. I then tried a 500Gb Seagate which didn't solve it and now the 250Gb Samsung. I guess it *could* be the HDD to blame, but it seems fairly implausible that 3 drives in a row would suffer the exact same problem...?
Related resources
December 13, 2009 8:37:27 PM

get an app to check ur memory for errors, did you set it correctly in the bios 2.0v 4,4,4,12
December 14, 2009 7:33:36 AM

xaira said:
get an app to check ur memory for errors, did you set it correctly in the bios 2.0v 4,4,4,12


I ran Memtest standard test for 9 hours last night = 19 pass, 0 errors, so as far as I can tell, the RAM isn't to blame.

BIOS settings are:

MB Intelligent Tweaker(M.I.T.)
Robust Graphics Booster ..................: auto
CPU Clock Ratio ..........................: 9x
CPU Frequency ............................: 2.40 (266 x9)


Clock Chip Control
Standard Clock Control
CPU Host Clock Control..................: [Enabled]
CPU Host Frequency (Mhz) ...............: 266Mhz
PCI Express Frequency (Mhz) ............: 100

C.I.A.2 ................................: [Disabled]


Advanced Clock Control [Press Enter]
CPU Clock Drive..........................: 700mv
PCI Express Clock Drive..................: 700mv
CPU Clock Skew (ps)......................: 0ps
MCH Clock Skew (ps)......................: 0ps


DRAM Performance Control
Performance Enhance......................: [STANDARD]
Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P.)..........: Disable
(G)MCH Frequency Latch...................: [Auto]
System Memory Multiplier ................: 3.00A
Memory Frequency (Mhz) ..................: 1066 800
DRAM Timing Selectable ..................: [Manual]

Standard Timing Control
CAS Latency Time.........................: 4
tRCD ....................................: 4
tRP'.....................................: 4
tRAS.....................................: 12


Advanced Timing Control..................: All [Auto]


Motherboard Voltage Control CPU

Load-line Calibration Disabled
CPU Vcore….………1.32500v ..................: [Auto]
CPU Termination…..... 1.200v.............: [Auto]
CPU PLL…………………....1.500v.................: [Auto]
CPU Referen.…………....0.760v...............: [Auto]


MCH/ICH
MCH Core…………….....1.100v.................: [Auto]
MCH Reference….…….0.760..................: [Auto]
MCH/DRAM Ref.…......0.900V...............: [Auto]
ICH I/O……………….....1.500V.................: [Auto]
ICH Core…………...……1.100V..................: [Auto]

DRAM
DRAM Voltage ……....1.000v................: 2.00v
DRAM Termination .…0.900V................: [Auto]
Channel A Reference 0.900V...............: [Auto]
Channel B Reference 0.900V...............: [Auto]

Advanced Settings
Limit CPUID Max. to 3....................: [Disabled]
No-Execute Memory Protect................: [Enabled]
CPU Enhanced Halt (C1E)..................: [Disabled]
CPU Thermal Monitor 2(TM2) ..............: [Enabled]
CPU EIST Function........................: [Disabled]
Virtualization Technology................: [Disabled]
December 14, 2009 9:37:12 AM

reinst windows maybe, im at a loss
December 14, 2009 9:38:23 AM

maybe its not the hdd, but the hdd power connector, get a psu and test?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 14, 2009 10:01:18 AM

It sounds as if your harddrive is running in PIO mode. Check it's status in device manager.
December 14, 2009 12:30:33 PM

xaira said:
reinst windows maybe, im at a loss


I'm at a loss too! I've lost count how many times I've reinstalled Windows, I've even tried using different (original) XP discs.

xaira said:
maybe its not the hdd, but the hdd power connector, get a psu and test?


Maybe, although I used to run a Powerstream 520 watt which was no different.

Unolocogringo said:
It sounds as if your harddrive is running in PIO mode. Check it's status in device manager.


It definately does, but HDDs are running in AHCI mode.
December 17, 2009 6:31:47 AM

After doing some (well, a lot) of reading around possible causes, I tried plugging the windows drive into a different SATA slot. Since then the machine has been much quicker, but if it slows down again I'll switch out the HDD for a new one. Again.
!