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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Tools for finding PC-performance bottlenecks




    TOP STORY

    Tools for finding PC-performance bottlenecks


    By Fred Langa

    That old saying, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link," has its Windows analogue: "A PC is only as fast as its slowest subsystem." You can use Windows' built-in performance-monitoring tools to detect which of your PC's major subsystems could be causing slowdowns.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/top-story/tools-for-finding-pc-performance-bottlenecks (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    New Lounger
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    I do not see any mention in this article of graphics performance, much less what tool(s) there may be to improve that performance yet my Experience Index clearly confirms what I already knew from slow program response, system-wide freezing, even program crashes when editing images or viewing websites that contain video elements whether I am viewing the video or not, with any image I may be editing at the time often destroyed rather than reverting to the last saved version--graphics performance (4.3) is an issue with the next lowest score being Gaming at 5.1, memory at 5.5, hard disk at 5.9 and processor [Intel i3] at 6.0, but with a laptop, my options so far as replacing components are limited. As my "business graphics" consists strictly of historical documents to make them easier to read whether viewed on a monitor or printed to paper by removing noise and perhaps even soiling, adjusting brightness & contrast, then reducing them to black & white images, it is unclear to me how important/significant specifically 3D performance may be for my needs and I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in "gaming". Perhaps my experience is too atypical?

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  4. #3
    Ken Kashmarek
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    Thanks for the info on Resmon for Win7. I have hit a problem that actually goes beyond the capabilities you pointed out.

    After first boot each day on my 32-bit Win7 system (fully patched), when I bring up Firefox (latest release and all levels before that), then go to the Wired News site, the entire desktop locks up for 30-60 seconds. No mouse, no keyboard, nothing updated on the screen.

    Today, after reading your article, I brought up resmon, and move the display window such that I could see the 4 graphs operating without overlapping my Firefox window. I brought up Firefox, let it get completely up with the home page (MajorGeeks), then clicked on my link to Wired News.

    Same result...with the addition that resmon was also locked up for the duration, with no chart updates until Wired News responded (the web site comes up, displays the web page, but the desktop today was locked for about 40 seconds). The graphs did not show any issues that stood out once they started to show new data.

    Somewhere in the Wired News web page, there must be a script running, and it does so in a fashion tha effectively locks up the entire computer for the duration of that script run or whatever it invokes.

    After this intial lockup, Wired News behaves normally for the rest of the day.

    One item that relieved this pain was to clear ALL cookies before opening Wired News, and for that one time, it did not lock up (similar circumstances, first boot of the day).

    Anybody with any insight to offer?

    Having resmon lock up during the Wired News hang, tells me there is something truely amiss with that web page on first hit each day after booting.

  5. #4
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    If your hard drive is FAT-formatted (e.g., FAT32), consider converting it to NTFS, which is usually faster
    Oh, really now. I suppose it's not entirely beyond the realm of possibility that someone could be running Vista/7/8 on a FAT32 drive, but you'd have to go so far out of your way to do so that you'd probably have a pretty good reason for doing it. (With the built-in tools, XP couldn't even create FAT32 partitions larger than 32 GB!)

  6. #5
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    alfred.gif
    What me worry?

    PerfInf.jpg
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  7. #6
    Ken Kashmarek
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    "What me worry?"

    You don't indicate what version of Windows that performance report comes from, but I expect it is Win7 since that selection can't be made from Win8.

  8. #7
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Kashmarek View Post
    ...You don't indicate what version of Windows that performance report comes from, but I expect it is Win7 since that selection can't be made from Win8.
    Win7 Pro 64bit.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
    AMD FX8120 (8-core @ 3.1GHz) CPU, Gigabyte GA-990FXA-D3 motherboard, 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1866MHz RAM, ATI-AMD Radeon HD6770 PCI-E VGA, 480GB Kingston SSD, 2TB Seagate SATA3.0 HDD, ASUS DVD/RW.

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Kashmarek View Post
    You don't indicate what version of Windows that performance report comes from, but I expect it is Win7 since that selection can't be made from Win8.
    You can still run it from command prompt though: Find your Windows Experience Index scores in Windows 8.1

  10. #9
    Ken Kashmarek
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    I went to my Win8.1Pro install and was able to obtain the experience scores using the command prompt route.

    I also tried that on Win10 Technical Preview. The data collection part worked, but the display part did not (only showed zeros for results). These must be labeled differently in Win10.

  11. #10
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    Fred,
    Just wanted to say Thanks for letting me know about the Reliability and Performance Monitor for Vista.
    Now I have something other than Task Manager to occupy my time as I scratch my head over why the pc does what it does.

  12. #11
    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    Coochin, I got it downloaded via save as image, I'd like to "reverse-engineer" that, and apply some fixes to my 5.9 rating
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
    http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forum...-Technologies/

  13. #12
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    Ken, I am running latest Win 10 preview (10041) and resmon shows all the details I was expecting.

  14. #13
    Ken Kashmarek
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    @PCGeek:

    I think improvements are to be expected, yet Microsoft continues to "push" different ways to obtain certain results, thereby bring some confusion to the user community (the performance numbers are easily accessible in Win7, have some clouded access in Win8, and return somewhat disguised as resmon in some versions of Win8 and maybe Win10).

    However, in certain areas, Microsoft is making no pretense about confusion. As a result of a couple of changes due for the golden master production release of Windows 10, I have removed Win10TP from my environment and will not be installing it for any reason. One particular item is that they collect data about your use of the technical preview, but refuse to let you provide feedback unless you acquire a Microsoft Account and sign up for the development program cycle of Win10.

    For Win10, Microsoft has announced their plans to put Windows Hello and Passport on the production release, something not yet in the Technical Preview versions. This will require face recognition for new computers, and alternatives for other computers without biometrics (I suspect those alternatives may be as invasive as face recognition, maybe even more so).

    I suspect the data collection about your use of Win10 will remain in the production version release.

    Further, Windows 10 will require use of active UEFI. While their statement is such a requirement will be left up to the hardware vendors to turn on or off, there is little doubt as to what path those vendors will take. My Win7 UEFI equipped computer runs UEFI as a BIOS equivalent since it is dated in a period of time when Win7 systems were being delivered with UEFI on-board but not activated (Win7 did not support the capability provided later by the Win8 Boot Manager). My fear (firmly grounded) is that if I installed a production Win10 on this computer (remember, incentivized by being offered as a "free" upgrade), is that the UEFI feature will be made active, which will effectively disable multi-boot and possibility of installing an alternative operating system. It is known that the computer management feature of UEFI is able to fully communicate on the network and view the content of all attached disk devices.

    I don't need any of this on my home computer. It is effectively social re-engineering of users, something that is wildly successful with smart phones, and being migrated to PCs to close the loop on full influence, intimidation, and control of the populace.
    Last edited by Ken Kashmarek; 2015-03-25 at 12:24.

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