Memory vs CPU Horsepower

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Memory vs CPU Horsepower

Postby Deep Sea » Mon May 26, 2003 11:02 pm

Memory vs CPU Horsepower

Reads like the title for one of those endless discussions that never seem to be solved.

Going through the pictures I took of the Hut Saturday and putting some of them into my favorite wordprocessor I remember a conversation I had with another forumite last week on memory making the machine faster, and I said not really, but yes really and only to a certain extent under some circumstances.

The machine I use is a fast machine but it was still becoming sluggish processing through those pictures, several hundred of them and some as large as over 2 megs apiece.

Task manager to the rescue. A quick click on the performance tab revealed that the machine was only consuming about 170 megs of ram at best and the real bottleneck came as no surprise, the CPU Usage History real-time graph was indicating that the CPU usage was pegged at 100% for most of that duration, hence the slowdown was in the fast CPU rather than in the memory.

500 megs of RAM is optimum for most usages except for the heavy gaming addict. The remainder of it loafs along wasted most, if not all the time, plus wastes the money you may have spent to reach new heights with your PC.
Always with an even keel.
-- Allen
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Deep Sea
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Postby Gene DeMambro » Tue May 27, 2003 2:24 am

It also depends on how much the chipset can cache. My old Micron could only cache 64Mb at a time. Any memeory above that is wasted. And to make matters worse, Windows loads programs into the high memory first, which slows down system performance.

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Location: Weymouth, MA US of A

Postby Deep Sea » Tue May 27, 2003 12:03 pm

What Price Speed

That's absolutely correct, Gene, I'm glad you brought that up. With memory prices being cheap these days people with older computers are falling for it.

You have a unique situation with that P4PE motherboard as well, gene.

When you get the 3Gig Pentium chip and bring up the Taskmaster dialogue box, the graphics display will show two CPUs. That is not a mistake because that chip thinks it is two when plugged into the P4PE, this is what hyper threading is all about. My hyper threading shuttle went out for service on Saturday, but I'll post a picture of the remaining Shuttle as it sits being reconfigured with the two SCSI drives I removed from the larger PC on wheels that I sold to GEM.

If you want to talk about fast, or speed, then try SCSI. everything is like instant on, and I love it!

Hold on to your money if you are considering SATA because it'll be a year or two before they come close. WD has a 10,000RPM SATA in the works and some companies are taking advanced orders for it. It has about a 5ms access time, almost half if standard fast EIDE drives and rivals 10,000 RPM SCSI [midrange] drives. The regular SATA drives are only a little faster than EIDE drives and cost almost as much as SCSI.

SATA is still future and time may come to pass when they become faster than SCSI unless SCSI gets even faster.

The real future will be in non-volatile solid-state disks. I have a 1Gig chip in my digital camera that I keep plugged into my computer when I'm not using the camera for software development to write scratch files to and to keep the current source code on, and I'll tell you, that’s =fast=!

There is a physical limitation to hard drive spindle rotational speeds, and the faster they get the hotter they get. Solid-state disks, on the other hand, use virtually no power, have no moving parts to break down or hinder speed, and are small.


Sorry I didn't get to show you the Shuttles when you were over to the house a few weeks ago, Gene. The one below is temporarily configured to the max until my hyper-threading shuttle comes back from the shop when then it'll host the two SCSI drives you see temporarily sandwiching a pair of highlighters. The fans to the right blow air through that space provided and under the bottom of the lower drive as well, also propped up on a highlighter, because 15,000 RPM drives are real cookers.

Inside the box is a 120Gig WD IDE with 8-meg buffer and is slow by comparison as well as a CD-RW drive being replaced by the external Firewire CD-RW, also in the picture, to make room for the quiet three-fan assembly which I will make ductwork out of manila folders to direct the air across the top of each SCSI.

The cabling to the right, wrapped in a piece of green duct tape, attaches to my DSL/Cable modem and network router, and comprises my network hardware configuration. The little beige box in the rightmost lower corner is an external telephone modem plugged into the PC as well and used in emergencies for when cable goes out.

[On another post, either in the women's or Glasheen's forum I wrote about a few simple things that I may do for large-scale emergencies, and I guess having a live modem ready to go can be construed as part of my emergency preparedness theme.]

Always with an even keel.
-- Allen
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Deep Sea
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