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Low CPU usage / any bottleneck?

Last response: in CPUs
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June 20, 2010 4:46:33 PM

Hi there..
I've got this little "problem"..

I bought a new computer a year ago..
It's a great machine, games run perfectly smoothly, even a new ones..
The system response is perfect..
The system is stable..

BUT...

When I rip a video, unrar a huge files, run a test Java program for searching a prime numbers etc.., the CPU runs near to 20, 30%, hard-disk is nearly unused, there is enough of RAM..
Where is the bottleneck for program, which divides a numbers in the 'infinite' cycle?

I don't want to wait two hours for converting a video to lower format, when the video is long hour and a half..
I can play a Fallout 3 or Metro 2033 over it smoothly and this is driving me mad! :) ) Why is this? Why I can play a games over it perfectly meanwhile I have to wait for it..

Is it a Windows 7 64bit "issue"? Or is it a some kind of system 'load balancing' feature? :D 
Is it a problem of specific application? BUT when i program something, i never handle this "hardware" level.. so how can it be "written badly"?

Just for sure - when I run a CPU benchmark, it takes 100% load, so there is a bottleneck in my situation and it's not a CPU..

My expectation is just simple. I bought an expensive hardware so i want to search a prime numbers by dividing quicker :) )
Thanks for any ideas!!

Take care,
Josef Svoboda



here is my machine:
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QuadCore AMD Phenom II X4 905e, 2800 MHz
MSI 790FX-GD70 (MS-7577) (updated bios)
Kingston 2x2GB DDR3 1666 MHz

ATI Radeon HD 4800 Series (1024 MB)

ST31500341AS (1500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA-II)


Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
DirectX 11.0

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June 20, 2010 5:22:23 PM

when you rip a dvd, your dvd drive is working very hard. no matter how expensive your drive is, dvd drives are slow. so you can have the best copmuter in the world, and it wont make much of a difference.
also, why did you buy a $e@g@t3 hard drive? you should have bought a WD :) 
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June 20, 2010 5:27:50 PM

sorry, i wrote "When I rip a video" - i should write "When I convert a video".. the video file is on my HDD..
it's not important, what specific task is it..
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June 20, 2010 5:41:01 PM

then its the hdd throughput being too low. most people dont realize that the hdd DOES make a difference in the performance. well, anyway...
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a b à CPUs
June 20, 2010 5:45:09 PM

HDD limitations is a big one. And I believe some coding limitations also won't use a CPU to 100%...?
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June 20, 2010 5:47:49 PM

but i wrote that the HDD is not the problem.. HDD is used very slightly.. I can start copying a huge file (or a big amount of a small ones), playing games etc.. .. but converting the video / unpacking rars / java programs ARE NOT slower..

I just don't know what is the bottleneck - cpu is hanging around, hdd is slightly reading, there is enough of RAM, enough of disk space.. .. and i can play a game over it and i don't see ANY visible performance drop in it, while the video is converting or any other high perf. process is running.
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June 20, 2010 5:56:43 PM

Let me give you the simplest example with prime numbers..
I wrote a program in Java.. this program takes number from one to infinite and test every of this number to primality. As the tested number rises up, the test takes more time..

So - if i want to see, which numbers from 1 to 1.000.000.000 are prime numbers, i have to run this program for 20 minutes..
But the CPU usage is around 30% all the time..

Why it's not 90-100%? It could be done in five minutes :( 
And this is the same with converting videos, packing, unpacking.. ...
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June 20, 2010 6:06:56 PM

ad to converting videos - the original video has 4 GB (some HD).. i'm converting it to 700 MB file.. it takes 2 hours.. and CPU is max 30% all the time.. how can be the hard-drive the bottleneck?
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June 20, 2010 6:08:20 PM

exactly. if the cpu isnt maxed out that means the cpu isnt the bottleneck. i vote that its the hdd
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June 20, 2010 6:14:06 PM

Your software is obviously not written to use more than the 30% it's already using, so its your software not your hardware. Plus if you used 100% of your CPU you wouldn't have any resources left to run the rest of the system so you'd be practically unresponsive during the operation.

I use a lot of Adobe software and the Media Encoder there doesn't go above 40% on all 4 cores.

Also, the Phenom II isn't fantastic at video encoding which will also add to your encoding time. If you do a lot of encoding then you really should go Intel i5 or i7.
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June 20, 2010 6:22:22 PM

so you think this is a software limitation?
so i'm not dealing with hardware bottleneck in my situation?

yeah, i work with Adobe as well..
but i thought that this is the thing that operating system has to solve (separation the load to cores, managing RAM etc.)
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a b à CPUs
June 20, 2010 6:29:11 PM

If you software won't use more than 30% there's nothing Windows can do to tell it otherwise.

So yes, it's a software limitation.
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