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Dedward;

I was able to do a good amount of research on your hardware, BIOS, and your software. I got the information from a combination of Microsoft Technet and MSDN, from community blogs for your software and the support sites for the software I was not familiar with. There are about three distinct levels of corrections and tuning that may have to be preformed. I suggest that we approach each level one at a time since they fixes rely on the previous problems to have been mitigated before any benefit from the next level will actually work. the levels involve:
  1. There are severe bottlenecks in your system which need to be opened
  2. There are serious contentions for system resources which will need operating system, System services, and program contentions tuning.
  3. If needed we might have to start playing with memory management and Processor Affinity tweaks. If we have to get into this level things can get very complicated as tuning for one kind of operation can easily have negative effects on other operations. This could mean setting up different hardware configurations and different logins ,each with different settings depending on what portion of the work flow you are in. An example would be the different processor affinities and memory/buffer settings that would be set up for rendering vs using the browser, email, and Word Processing in a given session. My "gut" feeling is that this level wil wind up to being of minimal value (small return on investement)after we have successfully gone through 1 & 2.
Lets hit level 1 since you have just done or are in the process of reloading the system anyway. Since you are at this step it would be of great benefit to set up in 64 bit mode, since 32 bit mode can only address 3 Gb (3.245 actually) of memory and inevitably there will be large and significant gains possible by. if your motherboard can take it, bringing the system up to 6 Gb of memory.

Before we start tweaking We need to, if you haven't already shut down unneeded Services, Unneeded auto startups, Shut down the Vista eye-candy,and tune virtual memory You need to ensure you are disconnecting from the web turning off the Communications boards, shutting down print spooling and shutting down anti virus when rendering He also needs a second physical drive preferrably with 10,000 rpm spindle but a 7,200 will suffice for cost.

Problems and inter relationships in level 1:

Memory:

A ) Vista will load up to just over 1.5 Gb into active memory
B ) Your applications with buffers, cues, and system overheads appear to be capable of asking for up to 1.5 Gb of memory.
C) We have yet to count in the additional memory requirements required for whatever services are running, any other programs, any large driver such as the nVidea drivers and software, Communications stacks, and process inter communications. Plus we have yet to allow for the inevitable program "memory leaks" for which Photoshop is notorious and which all programs are guilt of to one degree or another.

CONTIBUTION TO SLOW SYSTEM: Given these three facts you are going to be doing VERY HEAVY paging


You only has 1 Hard drive with 2 partitions. So the paging, scrap files, temporary files , program calls, dll loads the entire system is bottlenecked and at the mercy of the disk controller all bottle-necked and at the mercy of the hard drive so I can only imagine what that looks like when you are rendering !

So here are the first two changes which should give you a major performance increase

1) Get at least one more hard drive, two if you have room and get at least 7200 rpm spindle speeds. use your first drive to the operating system and Program installs ( this could be your original drive.

On Drive 2 put your user directories (documents, music, media files, rendered work and files ready for assembly) and this will also be where we place the Virtual memory file.

The 3rd drive will be used for all the temporary and work files for graphics and videos or 3D working directories. This drive will require constant de-fragging

With the additional disks in place You can now re set the Virtual Memory to starting size of 6 Gig and ending size of 6 Gig and put it resident on the 2nd drive.

Turn on Pre Fetch on drives 1 and 2
We have now taken care of memory issues, severe disk bottle necks and l a lot of system resource contentions

There are a few more things that might be possible but I have to know what the BIOS will allow you control over.

When this step is done we will re run bench marks, with out knowing exactly how bad things were previously, I would estimate at least 25 to 34 % increase

Check back with any questions,
-Ed
 

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well thats pretty extensive. how about we run the benchmarks now? I have a program to run it,but do you have one to suggest? another thing.This is a 32bit os, but I think its designed for 64.Can I just load a 64bit os and see if it works or is there a test we can do before I try the 64bit route? Also, thanks for the help so far.Your fingers must get tired typing all of this.I assigned a different driver for photoshop and moved its directory to my external hard drive.That worked wonders.
 

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dedward wrote:
well thats pretty extensive. how about we run the benchmarks now? I have a program to run it,but do you have one to suggest? another thing.This is a 32bit os, but I think its designed for 64.Can I just load a 64bit os and see if it works or is there a test we can do before I try the 64bit route? Also, thanks for the help so far.Your fingers must get tired typing all of this.I assigned a different driver for photoshop and moved its directory to my external hard drive.That worked wonders.
Your good to go, your CPU is 64 bit. Why not go ahead and run some benchmarks. This would be a good time to establish a nemchmark I usually recommend which one based on the cooling capabilities of the system. If you have a Q6xx family 775 form factor chip running is a plain vanilla HP Mini Tower with the stock CPU cooling, I would run (any program will do - the free version pf3D Mark Vantage or Sandra lite 2003.sp3 and focus your probing on Throughput , page and/or swap fie load/performance We know up front that the CPU will be loading past 100 % I ( and you) want to avoid overheating the CPU , cooling is not a priority with HP in that form factor Iwould also install Speed Fan to monitor the S.M.A.R..T. temperature monitors. Let me know if you run into any problems, If you run into any issues fitting the hard drives in. Our goal is to have the Swap file rw sized and moved, the new drives installed and Pre-fetch on for drives 1 and 2... I am anxious to see how much of an improvement the benchmarks will show !!!!


ps Good idea on the on the photo show , that is exactly the kind of dramatics we are looking for. When the apps, paging files. buffers are all settled in and properly distributed accrosson 7200 rpm ( or whatever you decide ) internal Hadrd drives. and all thet Data isn.t trying yo squeeze through the same small path , we will have this licked !!!!
 

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dedward wrote:
I installed windows 7 64bit this morning.I didn't think this would work, but so far the system is running fast.I'll get cs4 and poser loaded and see what happens.
Hello Dedward !

I just noticed your post, It has a word I like... "fast" !!

I'm glad to hear win 7 went in without a hich, How are things now.. are we still going strong ? or have we slowed a little. It also just registered the fact that you loaded Photoshop on an external drive, I assume it is a USB connection so there is some great news for you ! When/if you upgrade to an internal 7200 rpm Hard Drive you will be looking at a potential increase in data transfer speed between the hard drive and the controller (before it is piped out to the data bus) will be realistically 65 - 70 times faster. Theoretically it is 100 time the speed but reality does have a place in expectations.And in the whole picture, realizing that sort of increase will depend om how "fast" the drive is itself , one of the main reasons behind recommending at least a 7200 rpm spindle speed.

Specifications USB and SATA ii and III
The theoretical maximum data rate in USB 2.0 is 480 Mbit/s (60 MB/s) per controller and is shared amongst all attached devices.
The second generation Serial ATA signalling speed is 3Gbps (which corresponds to 300MB/s) and the third generation signalling rate will be/is 6Gbps (which corresponds to 600MB/s)

Keep plugging away, I'm here if needed. By the way, if you need to reach me during my work day when I am intermittently connected to forums if at all , send an e-mail to [email protected].


Enjoy
-Ed


 
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