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Athlon 1400 vs P4 1.7ghz, LOAD TIME question

Last response: in CPUs
October 6, 2001 6:39:49 PM

See, everywhere benchmarks are about performance, such FPS, stuff per sec, or others, but never have I gotten an answer on normal loading times.
My question is to compare (KEEP IN MIND: This is an example to compare not exact terms): If a P4 1.7ghz takes 30 seconds to load, FROM the moment you see the BIOS screen, with the Mem test and drive detecting, to the Windows Splash screen, to the desktop where all programs have loaded from startup, including systray icons and you are ready to start using the PC, HOW many seconds would the Athlon 1400/266 take? I guess the system info would be P4 1.7 with 256RDRAM, the other with 256DDR PC2100.
I just wanna know if it also outperforms the P4 in terms of loading time.
October 6, 2001 7:32:36 PM

Probably no difference at all, load time isn't bottlenecked by the CPU, but by the hard drive.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
October 6, 2001 7:32:36 PM

Probably no difference at all, load time isn't bottlenecked by the CPU, but by the hard drive.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
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October 6, 2001 10:16:20 PM

Yes that would be controled by the hdd speed, and to a smaller extent the motherboard's post time.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
October 6, 2001 10:16:57 PM

If you are interested in loading time, I have seen windows xp boot in less than 20 seconds.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
October 6, 2001 11:46:13 PM

You're all kidding me right?
I mean my uncle's P4 1.7ghz loads WinME absolutly fast, but if it's the HDD only, it's not possible. My other uncle on his P3 733 with WinME takes more and both have 7200rps drives. I am sure that at some point the processor is something there. I mean if my P2 350 was upgraded to TB1.4 I HIGHLY doubt it wouldn't load any faster, I mean come on! Mine takes like 30 seconds only at the DOS screen, and more on the Desktop loading! Also I wanted to include an example in games: Say to load a level of Quake 3 on the 1.7, it took 5 secs, the TB1.4 would take how much?
I just want to know if loading times are better on it or not, or is it benchmark stuff that counts...

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Eden on 10/06/01 07:54 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 6, 2001 11:53:37 PM

Are they both ATA100 Hard drives? Do they both have motherboards that support ATA100?
I'm sure the processor does have some effect, but I doubt you'll notice the difference between a Pentium 4 1.7Ghz and a T-Bird 1.4Ghz.

"Ignorance is bliss, but I tend to get screwed over."
October 7, 2001 12:02:32 AM

It could also depend on whether your BIOS is set to enable IDE DMA mode on boot. If it's not, expect your boot times to rise quite a bit.

As for me, don't even ask for my boot times. With ten drives and six SCSI devices to detect and two EPROM-bearing cards, my boot times are quite long when compared to almost anything else out there. I fix that problem by just not rebooting for months at a time. :wink:


"/join #hackerz. See the Web. DoS interesting people."
October 7, 2001 12:09:30 AM

Well the processor does affect load times but it's not related to GHz, it's related to cache efficency. If you have a very effective on-board cache (like the Athlon and to a lesser extent, the P4, then loading isn't a problem). You see loading is very redundant! A lot of files are executed multiple times. With a good amount of RAM and processor cache, this wasted time is minimized. That's why disabling L1 and L2 cache makes the computer take forever to load Windows.

So yes, the CPU does affect the load times, but to a very small extent. However, a P3 733MHz with an 2 7200RPM ATA100 Hard drives in a RAID will probably load faster than a 1.4GHz Athlon with a 5400RPM hard drive.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
October 7, 2001 12:12:44 AM

between scsi and ide hdd which one boots faster?

:cool: :eek:  :redface: :frown: :lol:  :mad:  :eek:  :smile: :tongue: :wink:
October 7, 2001 12:21:55 AM

Hmm, that really depends. If you have a slow processor but a SCSI hard drive, then on that computer, the SCSI hard drive would load faster. On faster computers, SCSI will still be slightly faster than a single IDE hard drive (assuming you have a modern SCSI drive). However an IDE RAID will probably load faster than a single SCSI drive.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
October 7, 2001 12:32:17 AM

my system used to startup in 23 seconds.

<font color=red>umtqyvutkhgjvqffpcvpgrgtfocpgnnchvtcwqjvgepgjyoqthgtqhgtgjvtgdogogt....74pqkvcngxgt</font color=red>
October 7, 2001 12:52:32 AM

That's pretty fast!!! Which OS are you running and what are your system specs?

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
October 7, 2001 5:23:27 AM

also depends on how much crap one has to load
win98 was very fast to begin with untill stuff was loaded, and win2k seems to take its time regardless of how much stuff i have on :) 

Religious wars are 2 groups of people fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.
October 7, 2001 7:41:03 AM

No I am not kidding you, cpu speed is a part but a small part of it(unless it is a bottleneck ie <300mhz).

Saying one drive should be as fast as the other based on 7200 rpms alone is like saying a 1.4ghz p4 is as fast as a 1.4ghz tbird. Some 5200 rpm drives do VERY rell versus some 7200 rpm drives. Platter density has alot to do with it as well. So the fact they both have 7200 drives means little to their absolute relative performance.

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
October 7, 2001 11:10:15 AM

load times depends on many factors including:
(not in order either)
1. processor speed
2. mobo boot speed & peripheral detection
3. HDD speed, cache fragmentation
4. operating system location, size, type of operating system, fragmentation, number of apps to load on startup

so in reality the processor speed may well effect the overall load time, but a processor half the speed of a p4 1.7 may whip its buttocks if its using a faster drive, different OS and nicely compact and defragmented.

Religious wars are 2 groups of people fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.
October 7, 2001 5:53:49 PM

Now that's better, I now know more of how startups are affected.
I'd like to supply some info, maybe you could give me more help too:
Yes my PC is a bottleneck: P2 350mmx, 128ram(although it didn't help boost much, compared to my old 64mg ram only)512kbL2 cache with i440BX. Mobo is Abit BH6. Primary Master drive is 5400rpm Fugitsu 6.4gb (what can you do, it's old!) but secondary one is 7200rpm 15g Maxtor which has to work at 5400 for the Master. I didn't switch their ranks because the secondary is the one for me and my bro, while the other is a small 6.4 for system and main programs. I do know that Defragmenting often helps startups, which I will start back soon. The things to load in DOS are mainly the sound card, CDROM and CDRW, some other little things and some from the Autoexec.bat .
Now with all that it still takes around 30 seconds on the Windows Splash screen and until it switches to Desktop. The BIOS screen with Mem test and stuff is optional and is also long since it has to test 128ram on a slow PC.
Now I am more than sure that the TB1.4ghz will be faster, for sure, cuz I know my friend who was on a K6 333 with 128 ram, took a while to load, but told me that upon a P4 1.7, it barely took 5 seconds on the Win98 splash screen. I am sure that my PC will be much faster. Now from the info collected, say the whole time my PC takes to finally arrive to the desktop is approx 2:30min, about how much would it be reduced? Say it was also well defragmented often.

I appreciate the feedback, now I'll sleep less dumb today!
October 7, 2001 6:07:57 PM

On a 1.4GHz Athlon with an IDE RAID, it would probably take 20 seconds total to start Windows Me or XP.

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
a b à CPUs
October 7, 2001 6:36:37 PM

Boot times aren't necessarily a good gauge of overall system performance except to someone with a very intimate knowledge of the particular hardware and OS configurations. It's much easier to just use the popular benchmarks of the day.

Does anybody remember the Tom's review of a solid state drive? That made me drool, but it seemed interesting that it didn't really cut much time off of bootup. I forget all the details, but it seemed like the results applied at the time. Tom should do more money is no object reviews like that. That was really cool.
October 8, 2001 12:11:16 AM

lets see now *thinkin cap on*

your p2 350 will effect your overall boot time thats for sure... how much is debatable.
i found that going from 64 to 128 mb ram reduced boot times a little... but it was most noticable playing games and stuff.
more ram is certainly better (to a point)
the operating system can occupy a significant chunk of memory, around 64 for win98/me and around 100mb for my copy of win 2k.
so if i had 128mb of ram (which i dont) my hard drive may well start swapping before the OS is even loaded! thats bad for fast startups.

that 6.4gb 5400rpm drive will really be hampering the bootup time... if you insist on using it as your boot drive, move windows and program files to the start of the drive and keep it regularly defragmented.
what i also do with any windoze version i have used is to terminate and prevent from loading ANYTHING i dont use... task scheduler, soundblaster system tray gizmos, eax icon, antiviral TSR's... the lot.
so when i bootup win2k all i have is the speaker icon, my cure for cancer monitor and program, geforce tweak & overclocking utility and motherboard monitor.

moving on... you had a wrong comment in there.
your 7200rpm drive does run at the speed of your slowest drive, it will always run at 7200rpm!
however if it is a newer ata66 or ata100 drive you are undoubtedly running it on a ata33 drive interface with a 40wire ata cable... thus the drive will only have a max transfer rate of ata33... somewhat hampering it from attaining max performance.
however, it WILL be significantly faster than your 5400rpm drive.
i did the same a while ago. p2-300, ata33 interface, and i hooked up a ibm 60gxp ata100. while it didnt perform to its max, it still spanked the old drive for performance. (faster spinning, higher data density, more hdd cache, faster reads & writes, lower seek times)

so i suggest if you can make the 15gb drive your boot drive. thats the best thing u can do with your PC to make it boot faster.

next up... dos... dos??? whats that??? lol (been using win2k for too long now)
try to keep your autoexec & config as clean and small as possible. let windows handle as much as it can.

just remember the more stuff you have on windows the slower it goes. im talking about both stuff that loads into memory AND total number of available games/apps etc. they all ad to the, no. of folders, files & icons & registry size and complexity that widnows has to look at.
invest in some program that optimises the registry too. norton utilities is pretty decent for that, if you use win98.

right... fingers worn out... must stop

Religious wars are 2 groups of people fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.
October 8, 2001 1:06:49 AM

eek! your w2k takes almost 100mb? sweet sassy molassy. sorry i'm just a freak like that though, after i install i trim all the unnecessary services and things. i have it down with no errors or anything to 59mb.
October 8, 2001 1:26:06 AM

well i have to admit win2k does load alot of files im none to sure about... u know... the ones that CANT be terminated from the task manager.

and course cure for cancer takes up 15-20mb by itself.

not to worry really with 512mb of PC150 sdram

Religious wars are 2 groups of people fighting over who has the best imaginary friend.
October 8, 2001 2:11:54 AM

The ide raid bios adds ~10 seconds to boot time, I know from experience. 35 seconds was my record with my old raid array.(which has been torn down sadly)

"The Cash Left In My Pocket,The BEST Benchmark"
October 8, 2001 2:16:42 PM

My Celeron 550 o/c'd to 850 on a BX6R2 with a Maxtor 30gb @ 7200 (only 128mb ram)takes exactly 28 seconds from power on (cold boot) through free mouse action (no more hourglass) on a win98 setup that has been running for more than a year. This includes manual sign on to my home lan (three machines). I started timing as soon as I saw anything on the monitor (initial post) and stopped timing when the hourglass disappeared.

Note that this is not a RAID setup and the server is my daughter's celly 600/900, not this machine. This machine does have a DVD, CDRW, TV card, SBLive, ISA hardware modem, ISA NIC, two printers, scanner, etc attached, so we're not talking about a stripped out mini-box.

There is nothing in the autoexec.bat nor config.sys. The hard drive is routinely defragged/optimized used Norton speedstart and the registry gets the occasional optimization, also using Norton about twice a year. All Norton routines are run manually when ever I think about it.

My Windows directory suffers from bloat, all 663mbs, and my swap files (160mb min/max) are located on the D Drive where nothing else resides except the IE 6 Tempoarary Internet files (set to 88mbs). The single hard drive has been partitioned into six logical drives.

When I read about people taking more than sixty seconds to boot cleanly, I can only presume that DOS drivers are being loaded, and no serious cleanup of the Windows Startup group has been attempted. I start Windows with nothing else running but Systray and Explorer. Anything that I want to run gets started through the Program Group when I want it and only then.
October 8, 2001 2:34:59 PM

word. luckily i got a new motherboard with ata100 onboard. before it took me a lil over a min to boot/reboot. between vid card, raid, ata100 controller. but if we're talkin about memory tests too, well it would be closer to 3.5-4 min. that box had 768mb. this new one has a gb. i let it do it's thing one time when i first put it in, after that i quick boot.
October 8, 2001 2:43:58 PM

well, I have 4's in my home, the SLOWEST booting is the fastest pc, its not just the cpu, theres allsorts to consider, a LAN card slows it down immensley, as does the vid card, next time you reinstall windows, check the boot time before and after installing your drivers. I used to have a little program that reported the times various drivers/processes took to load, I'll see if I can find it.

Next time you wave - use all your fingers
October 8, 2001 5:22:33 PM

and both have 7200rps drives.

Where did you find 7,200 revolutions per second hard drives?

<font color=green>I post so you don't have to!
9/11 - RIP</font color=green>
October 8, 2001 5:57:32 PM

yo, I'd love to have one of those. 60 times the performance!

AMD technology + Intel technology = Intel/AMD Pentathlon IV; the <b>ULTIMATE</b> PC processor
October 8, 2001 7:23:17 PM

THIS is where I wanna know more of, how do you manage to disable the autoexec.bat and config.sys without probs?
If I was to go disable those two from loading,in msconfig, I am sure something will pop up with problems!
However once I had some unknown problem where it didn't detect CD-ROM drivers (saw it on DOS screen after Win98 splash, to see what has loaded so far) and it was quite faster, I'd say much has skipped, so I do know what takes time or not. Still I mean by PC is old, its sound card is ISA, video card is Voodoo 3 2000, not even put in AGP slot (it isn't anyway although it seems betta on AGP). So how do you mean to let Windows load all drivers? Other than that, I just scanreg /fix scanreg /opt my system, it was faster now, however it's the standard speed when I first got the PC, so just basic load time, which is almost 20 seconds on Win98 splash. And I will start doing a lot of defrags this week to make startups on desktop faster and my new progs and games faster. Man it's been more than half a year I haven't defragged!!! 192 days exact.
It will be a fest, but at least it'll be much cleaner now.
All in alldoes anyone know how to boost all that DOS config.sys/autoexex.bat loading without probs?
Now I know my question was in base about if upgrading this slow PC to a TB 1.4ghz will boost load time, so I think to many you all agree it WILL be faster, I will also add it up to 256DDR RAM.
October 8, 2001 7:45:36 PM

However once I had some unknown problem where it didn't detect CD-ROM drivers

Win95 and up don't need them. It's 16-bit drivers for DOS only.
All in alldoes anyone know how to boost all that DOS config.sys/autoexex.bat loading without probs?

If you run <b>Win98</b> or <b>WinME</b>, run <b><font color=blue>msconfig.exe</b></font color=blue>, choose <b>Selective Starup</b>.
Why would you want to do that?

:smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
October 8, 2001 8:30:59 PM

I have found out that at least Win9x boot time has nothing to do with machine performance: it might be very quick on slow machine and very slow on fast one. My brother's P150/64Mb RAM boots into freshly installed Win95 about 20s. I can't tell how long would my duron700 load windows cause I don't have any M$ software inside my rig. I have tested W2k on 486/66, it took about 20 minutes before login screen appeared and about 10 min. before you saw start menu after logon. Those fancy menu fading effects look specially cool with Trident 9000 video card: you could actually see how pixels were drawn one by one :)  If I get WinXP in my hands, I try to install it into 486, too, and let you know how it runs: M$ said that it will be considerably faster than W2k :) 
October 11, 2001 5:16:47 AM

Sorry Eden....I was out of town. If you're concerned about potential startup troubles when you remove everything from your autoexec.bat and config.sys files, just go Start>Run>and type SYSEDIT

Save your existing files as autoexec.bak and config.bak by using the file dropdown menu. Then delete everything in the config.sys & autoexec.bat files and save them as empty files.

Should you encounter any difficulty during startup, you can always boot into safe mode and rename originals which you had saved as *.bak files back to their original suffixes.

You would only need anything in these files if you were running old DOS games and everything being equal,if that's what you like to do from time to time, just create a games boot disk.
October 11, 2001 8:39:32 PM

Well the only thing that is remotely DOS, is the Zsnes Super Nintendo Emulator, which opens an MSDOS window once run. So does that mean that MSDOS programs, run in Windows, not Shutting down to MSDOS, would cause probs then?
October 11, 2001 9:04:33 PM

Windows should load the appropriate drivers in a DOS session opened in Windows. So you should have no troubles removing the contents of your config.sys & autoexec.bat.

Look, you can worry this to death or just try it out. If you've saved the files as I advised earlier, it is very easy to recover if you encounter troubles. I suspect that the vast majority of users on this message board have nothing in their config or autoexec files unless they're running a scsi setup.

Presuming that you try this and are succesful; you should also clean up your network protocols which usually are the root of the the greatest delay while booting. Unnecessary or duplicate protocols will create long delays as the system continues to poll for proper connectivity. If you suspect that you need assistance in this area, you will have to advise whether you use broadband or modem and what protocols you have installed at present. That info can be determined through your Control Panel settings.
October 11, 2001 11:41:13 PM

Yeah I will try it. About the network thingy, I did have a long hang delay, but it was an IP assigning thing to my DSL internet, which was later fixed.
Well since WinME doesn't load these two files anyway I think I can safely do so in 98SE. Finally, why can't I simply uncheck both files to be loaded in msconfig, instead of following your technique, which imposes file renaming and safe mode stuff!