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System Configuration & Performance

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October 5, 2010 3:44:12 PM

I didn't see a "combined" or "system" thread so hopefully I've chosen the correct place for this post. If not, please point me to the correct one.

I recently built a new machine and am disappointed in it's performance as compared to my current one. I did a lot of reading before I decided on the particular components in an effort to make the best decisions. I figured if there was a place to find out if I had something mis-configured or get other tips this would be it. Or course Windows boots pretty quick on the new one; that's about the only real improvement I've seen so far though. I know that even though it has 6 cores, the 9010T is a tad slower than the 965 but I'm confident I can increase its speed once I have things running well at defaults.

I don't use either for games. Mostly for Photoshop, Premier (and other video programs) and typical day to day desktop activities. The other day I encoded 4 videos (about 45 min each) on both machines at the same time (each having their own source files to work with) and was very surprised that the old machine did the job 3 minutes and change quicker than the new one. Same software on both. While the machines worked I used Resource Monitor just to get a feel for how things were being used. The SSD on the new machine seems incredibly slow as does the overall performance of the machine. I've done various types of reads / writes using large and small files; none of which impressed me vs. the older system.

Hopefully I've given you all the info needed. Thanks in advance for your help.

The Old (to be used to upgrade my HTPC when new is one dialed in):

GA-890GPA-UD3H Rev 1.0
BIOS: F3
AMD Phenom II Black X4 965 3.4GHZ Processor
2 x 4GB DDR3 1333 (8)
WDC 1001FALS-00J7B0 1TB SATA II HD (OS / Programs)
2 x WD 74GB Raptor SATA HDs Raid 0 (34.7 GB - Photoshop Scratch / 34.7GB Premier Scratch / 69.25GB Page File)
Plextor BDDVDR PX-B320SA SATA II DVD Drive
On-board GX-890 Graphics Display (Side Port + System)
On-board sound
Windows Vista Home Premium (SP2) 32bit
A few minor tweaks for better performance - mostly registry changes
All drivers updated
Loads of various software running for about six months


The New:
GA-890GPA-UD3H Rev 2.1
BIOS: FD
AMD Phenom II Black X6 9010T 3.2GHZ Processor
4 x 4GB DDR3 1333 (16)
OWC 120GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD - Set to AHCI (OS & Programs)
WDC WD10 02FAEX-00Z3A0 SATA III 1TB HD
Plextor BDDVDR PX-B320SA SATA II DVD Drive
On-board GX-890 Graphics Display (Disabled)
PNY NVidia Quadro FX580 (recommended for Photoshop / Premier)
On-board sound
Windows 7 Professional 64bit (clean install)
A few minor tweaks for better performance - mostly registry changes
All drivers updated to current 64bit versions
Almost no software at this point


Neither system is over clocked, though I'd like to do so on the new one once properly configured and tweaked. I've been searching for more info on configuring things for the SSD but haven't actually seen much. At this point, due to the price and lack of improvement, I'll probably return the OWC and try another brand or simply stick with a fast HDD.

Any thoughts or suggestions are appreciated
October 6, 2010 1:52:06 AM

What in particular would you have like to see an improvement from?
It looks like an almost identical (maybe identical is not the right word) system as far as performance goes, until you get to the ssds. Obviously the graphics card should help you in premier (as well as the ssd) a bunch if you have upgraded to cs5, but the clock speed was better on your 4 core (and the drop off for most programs efficiency when multi threaded is 3 to 4 with exception to professional or dedicated apps).
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October 6, 2010 4:43:25 AM

I'm looking for a few things:

1) faster boot times - got those

2) Quicker loading and faster rendering of large images via Photoshop and other imaging software. Working with large images requires substantial power when they are rendered out. Additionally the application does a lot of IO during the render phase and when loading different modules. I didn't see any improvement here.

3) Basically same thing working with video in Premier and several other video programs. Saw an actual slow down during the rendering of 4 successive 45 min videos being converted to different format

While the new CPU is .2 slower in speed it does have the additional cores and ability to automatically increase their speed as needed in certain situations. I figure once things are going well on the system I can push it to at least 3.4 (to match the old) if not higher.

The SSD doesn't show any improvement over the standard HDD in copying / moving / reading in files for processing or simply to relocate. I really wonder if the SSD I purchased is not as good as the tout it to be.

Also, the older system is running 32bit Vista so can only really use 4gb of the 8 installed while the newer one is 64bit with 16gb. While it won't all be used often, if ever, that much more should give so pretty good overall improvement.

Possibly I have unrealistic expecations on what SSDs and the upgraded hardware care really do.
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October 9, 2010 12:21:39 AM

Slightly off the thread:
Hello icgbob et al,
Can anyone tell me where to find a rev 2.1 board. It seems all the dealers don't (and don't want to) know what rev of product they're carrying.
TIA
badabing
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October 9, 2010 2:04:49 AM

I got mine at Fry's Electronics in Phoenix. I emailed a couple online vendors before purchasing and none could tell me what rev they had. I doubt they can see in their warehouses and likely couldn't tell which one out of a batch got shipped. I paid the same there as I would have gotten online so not a bad deal (except to add on tax)
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October 9, 2010 2:12:41 AM

Quick update to my original question. I've since returned the OWC 128gb SSD (they give 30 day $ back guarantee) and ordered a 256gb Crucial C300, which is a bit better drive. I'm adding in two 650gb WD VelociRaptors in RAID 0 to use for scratch, rending, etc. My actual storage is on a NAS in RAID 10 (proprietary) that serves the whole house / office so data loss is not an issue.

I found out one of the video conversion programs has a problem in that it doesn't properly use all the CPU resources so that was a big reason I didn't get the performance I expected. It was only using about 50% of the processor power and also not taking advantage of the RAM (16gb). With that much, there shouldn't be much paging or scratch data.

I suspect with the new configuration I'll get the performance I was looking for.
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