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Old 01-02-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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Default How to speed up Windows

A slow computer is generally like that because it is lacking resources, be it hard drive space, memory or processing power. There are general things you can do to alleviate these problems, and there are also specific things that can be done for different versions of Windows,none of which require money or extra hardware, just time and a little reading.

There will also be links to programs to download. These links can be found at the bottom of the guide in the Download Links section. Where there is a link, words will be highlighted in RED

Contents:
  • General Fixes
  • XP Specific Fixes
  • Vista Specific Fixes
  • Win 7 Specific Fixes
  • Download List

General Fixes

First step should always be to get rid of all of the useless stuff that you have on your system, rather than work around it, which would make the clean up process less efficient and more time consuming.

If you are running XP, go to:

Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs

If running Vista / 7

Start > Control Panel > Programs & Features

Wait for the list to load and go through each of the programs and uninstall all programs that you do not use.

Quote:
Tips:

DO NOT uninstall programs if you do not know what they do, first find out if they can be removed without causing problems with your system. Don't just leave them though, as can potentially just be wasting space and resources.

If you have an OEM system (One built by Dell, HP, Gateway, Acer etc) these nearly always come with useless pieces of software such as help suites or start guides. All of these can go, they are never required for the system to run and just waste space.

If you have not used a program for more than 2 months, you do not need it. If you may need it in future, back it up with all saved files and uninstall it, you can always install later, but until then, it is just slowing you down.

If you are running a firewall/antivirus program that you have to pay for, such as Norton, Panda, McAfee etc, these will generally be bloated with features you don't need and fancy interfaces which will be slowing your system down. Uninstall them and replace them with either Avast! or Avira. For higher spec computers, this isn't totally necessary, as there should be enough spare resources for the difference in speed to be negligible. For older or slower systems however, it is recommended to replace the security software with the lighter freeware, because the performance difference will be much greater
2. Go through all of your files/folders, ordering and tidying them up. By ordering them, you will find files that are outdated and no longer needed and can be removed, as well as making your file system much more efficient, so it takes you less time to find what you need. The computer doesn't have to be slow for tasks to take a long time to do, it can be thanks to your inefficiency that things take longer than they need to.

3. Download, install and run Ccleaner. It is a program which gets rid of all cookies, temporary files, just the junk that you don't see.

4. Download and install Defraggler. The ]defragmentation software that comes with Windows isn't very good. There are paid suites that can do the job much better than free ones (If you are willing to spend money, I recommend O&O defrag), however the free ones are much better than the Windows ones.

Quote:
Tips:

Run Defraggler 3 times in a row. The first time it tidies it up and gets rid of most fragmented files, the second it condenses most of the files, freeing up extra hard drive space, the third time it does a final "polish" of your system
5. Download and install Soluto. It is a program which finds out what programs load at during your boot sequence and determines which can be stopped from loading. This will reduce the boot times, as well as using less system memory as your computer loads.

XP Specific Fixes

1. Disable Indexing Services.

The search feature of Windows XP, which is used by very few people, is sped up by the Indexing Services. It is a small program, but it uses a lot of system memory. Even if you do use the search feature a lot, it is still uneccessary to have it enabled. To disable it:

Go to Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs
On the left, click Add/Remove Windows components
Uncheck Indexing Servies and click next

It is now disabled.

2. Remove Display Extras

If you do not mind having a less fancy looking system, removing display "extras" can save a lot of resources

Right click My Computer
Click the Advanced Tab
Click performance tab and then click settings
Untick everything except for:

Show shadows under menus
Show shadows under mouse pointer
Show translucent selection rectangle
Use drop shadows for icons labels on the desktop
Use visual styles on windows and buttons

3. Disable Network Files/Printers

Whenever you open My Computer, or any other Explorer Window (for example, My Documents) it searches for network files and network printers automatically, which can cause a sometimes substantial delay. To remove this:

Open My Computer
Click the Tools menu, then Folder Options
Click the View tab
Uncheck the Automatically search for network folders and printers check box
Click apply
Restart your computer.

They are now disabled

4. Optimizing your page file.

Every system uses a technique called paging to save on memory space. This where it will dump certain data that hasn't been used for a long time from memory to a reserved space in your hard drive. As more data is put there, the page file in your hard drive must be resized, which uses processing power that could, and should, be used for other things. To alleviate this issue, you can make the size of the page file fixed. To do so:

Right click My Computer and click Properties
Click the Advanced Tab
Click the settings button under performance
Click the Advanced Tab
Under Virtual Memory, click change
Highlight the drive containing your page file and make the initial Size of the file the same as the Maximum Size of the file.

If you have 512MB of memory or less, make the maxiumum size 150% of the amount of system memory. So, for instance, if you have 512MB system memory, you would make the page file 768MB

If you have greater than 512MB system memory, make the page file 100% of the system memory. So for instance, if you have 1GB (1024MB) system memory, make the page file 1024MB

The next 2 are optional, but if your system is comparable to a snail, they are essential

5. Remove your desktop background picture.

It will make the desktop a little more boring, but will free up a chunk of memory.

6. Remove Fonts.

Fonts use up a fair amount of hard drive space and resources. You can remove them all but the ones which applications need and the ones which you use regularly to free up these resources.

Go to Start > Control Panel > Fonts
Move the fonts you don't need to a temporary folder and back them up in case you need them in future
Uninstall the ones you don't need

Vista Specific Fixes

1. Disable User Account Control (UAC)

This is easily the most annoying and pointless feature ever implemented into any piece of software. It asks you if you are sure you want to do something, every times you try to do something. It not only makes things a heck of a lot less anoying, it cuts down on the time it takes to click yes I am sure, and the time it takes for the screen to fade and the UAC Window to come up.

Click Start
Click your profile picture (top right of the start menu)
Click change user account control settings.
Set it to disabled
Restart

2. Disable Windows Aero.

Aero uses a lot of system resources, especially memory and graphical processing performance. Windows Aero makes windows appear translucent and adds some fancy curved edges. To disable it:

Right click your desktop and click Personalize
Click Windows Colour and Appearance
Click Open classic appearance properties for more color options
Change colour scheme from Windows Aero, to Windows Vista Basic
Click Apply

Disable Search Indexing.

Like XP, search indexing just speeds up searching. The search feature on Vista is much, much better and more useful, but also uses a large chunk of resources like it did on XP. It may be better to ween out searches you don't need, such as your documents, music, videos etc that you know how to navigate around, and keep the rest. If you never search, then just remove everything. To do so:

Go to Computer
Right click your C:\ drive and click properties
On the general tab, uncheck Index this drive for faster searching
Select Include Sub folders and files

4. Disable the Windows Sidebar.

If you use the sidebar, disable it anyway, just stay with me for a sec and see why. To disable it:

Look at the bottom right of your toolbar, where the clock is. The Sidebar icon will be there (you may have to extend the icons by clicking the arrow)
Right click it and click properties
Uncheck the box "start sidebar when windows starts"
click ok
Right click the icon again and click close

If you want a sidebar, install either Google's or Yahoo's instead, they have the same features, but use much less resources

The final ones requires a USB stick, but gives excellent performance gain:

5. Enable ReadyBoost.

If you have a spare memory stick, you can use it as extra memory, which can give a fairly substantial performance gain. To do so:

Plug in your USB memory stick
When autoplay comes up, select the drive for ReadyBoost
If you have already disabled it for ready boost,

Go to Start > Computer
Right click your memory stick
Click enable this drive for ReadyBoost

The way to get best performance is to have a USB drive equal to or greater than the amount of system memory. So, if you have 1GB RAM, a 1GB memory stick or greater is the best option.

Win 7 Specific Fixes

1. Increase Boot Cores.

This only applies to systems with multi-core processors (dual core, quad core etc) but is easily one of the best features for improving boot times..

Open up run. To do so hold down your start key + R on your keyboard, or go to start > all programs > accessories > run
type in "msconfig" without ""
Click the Boot tab
Click the Advances Options button
Check the number of processors box
Click the drop down menu blow and set it to the highest number.
Click Ok
Reboot

2. Disable Search Indexing.

Click Start
Type in "services.msc" without ""
Find and right click Windows Search
In the startup type field choose disabled.

3. Disable system sounds.

Self explanatory, but most system sounds aren't needed or wanted by most users, but use up system resources.

Open the start menu and type in "mmsys.cpl" without ""
Click Sounds tab
In the sounds scheme drop down box, choose no sounds

4. Disable Windows Aero.

Like on Vista, Aero uses a lot of resources that can be otherwise freed up. To disable Aero:

Right click your desktop and click Personalise
Click the Windows Colour tab
Uncheck Enable Transparency
Click Open classic appearance properties for more color options
Choose either Standard or basic from the popup box

5. Disable Windows Services

A lot of services are a complete waste of resources, hogging system memory and processing time when they don't need to. Not all can, or should, be disabled, however, the services can be optimized to give decent improvements to system speed. To sort out your services:

Right click your clock in the bottom right and click Task Manager
Click the services tab
Using this table: Windows 7 Service Pack 1 Service Configurations by Black Viper
Follow the Safe column to get the best performance without affecting your system.

6. Disable Boot GUI

The Windows logo at bootup doesn't affect system performance once the system is actually booted, but can save a good few seconds on the boot time.

To do so, press your Windows key + R at the same time to open up run. Type in msconfig.
Click the boot tab
Check the "No GUI Boot" box
Click apply, then Ok and restart

The following are more advanced, optional extras. They will improve performance, however for the average user, I would put a warning out that doing this incorrectly can cause issues to arise with the system. If you follow the guide exactly, your system will improve, but any problems caused are the users fault, not mine, the guide is given as advice only.

7. Faster Toolbar Thumbnails

To make the thumbnails that appear when you hover over programs appear quicker:

Press the start key + R at the same time to open run
Type in regedit
Go to:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER
Software
Microsoft
Windows
CurrentVersion
Explorer

Right click Advanced and click New DWORD
Enter the following value: ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime
Right click ThumbnailLivePreviewHoverTime
Click Modify
Choose Decimal Base
Enter the new number in milliseconds. For instance, 500 would be 500 milliseconds, or 0.5 seconds
Experiment and find a time that you like
Click OK
Restart your computer

8. Reduce shut down time

Reduce the Windows shut down times by reducing the time it takes for Windows to shut down programs that are still open:

Press the start key + R at the same time to open up Run
type in regedit
Go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEM
SYSTEM
CurrentControlSet
Control

Right click WaitToKillServiceTimeOut and click modify
Change the value to a lower value in milliseconds. By default it is at 12000, 12 seconds.

Download List:

Note: All programs listed are 100% free of charge with out any fees.

Avast! Anti-virus: Avast Free Antivirus - Reviews and free Avast Free Antivirus downloads at Download.com

Avira Anti-Virus: Avira AntiVir Personal - Download

Ccleaner: CCleaner - Standard

Defraggler: Defraggler - Standard

Soluto: Soluto
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

Looks good. I've tried most of the stuffs discussed here but didn't have success with my xp machine. Maybe that was more related to hardware issues. Anyway why install Vista/7 if these become slow on your system? XP is still so good. Anyway nice guide. Will surely help some guys out here.
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

nice guide, thanks for the submission
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

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Originally Posted by sam207 View Post
Looks good. I've tried most of the stuffs discussed here but didn't have success with my xp machine. Maybe that was more related to hardware issues. Anyway why install Vista/7 if these become slow on your system? XP is still so good. Anyway nice guide. Will surely help some guys out here.
Windows 95 is still good, so why aren't people using it?

The reason people use Vista and 7 over XP is because Vista and 7 have more, better features and will have support for longer than XP. They also uses modern hardware better than XP does. Vista and 7 may be more resource heavy than XP, but again, XP is more so than Windows 95 is, times change, hardware improves, software requirements become greater, it is called progression. Windows XP is good, but Vista and 7 are better with modern hardware and will continue to get better and better.

Also, if you learn how to use Vista and 7 properly, they are a hell of a lot more user friendly than XP, it is much easier to do most things

@JCB, thankyou and you're welcome
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Old 01-02-2011, 11:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

At least from my experience, I've found that people with little computer knowledge love XP than Vista or 7. And personally I love XP as its simple and works great for me...
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

Quote:
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At least from my experience, I've found that people with little computer knowledge love XP than Vista or 7. And personally I love XP as its simple and works great for me...
I've had my own computer shop for about 4 years and have been around computers longer than that. I will hands down tell you that as a power user, Windows 7 beats the living hell out of XP. I would even put Vista atop XP. But it's all about knowing what you're doing. If you don't, then most likely you are better off using XP and not complaining to everyone that Vista and W7 suck. MHO.
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:13 PM   #7
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I've had my own computer shop for about 4 years and have been around computers longer than that. I will hands down tell you that as a power user, Windows 7 beats the living hell out of XP. I would even put Vista atop XP. But it's all about knowing what you're doing. If you don't, then most likely you are better off using XP and not complaining to everyone that Vista and W7 suck. MHO.
I guess I had never said that Vista and W7 suck. My point was that XP is still a good OS to have and can not be underestimated by Vista or W7. XP has got everything I want and I guess everything Vista or 7 would provide me... I had used XP for around 6 months or so and had great experience with it for my purposes. So I like XP the most among windows OS. Just my opinion and I would like to remind you I had never marked Vista and W7 as OSs that suck. :P
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Old 01-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #8
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I guess I had never said that Vista and W7 suck. My point was that XP is still a good OS to have and can not be underestimated by Vista or W7. XP has got everything I want and I guess everything Vista or 7 would provide me... I had used XP for around 6 months or so and had great experience with it for my purposes. So I like XP the most among windows OS. Just my opinion and I would like to remind you I had never marked Vista and W7 as OSs that suck. :P
From a technical standpoint, Vista and 7 are much, much better. For ease of use, it is personal preference. I still think though when you learn how to use Vista or 7, it provides so much more freedom and makes everything a hell of a lot easier than XP does
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

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I guess I had never said that Vista and W7 suck. My point was that XP is still a good OS to have and can not be underestimated by Vista or W7. XP has got everything I want and I guess everything Vista or 7 would provide me... I had used XP for around 6 months or so and had great experience with it for my purposes. So I like XP the most among windows OS. Just my opinion and I would like to remind you I had never marked Vista and W7 as OSs that suck. :P
Sorry, my "you" statements weren't meant to be directed at you, so-to-speak, but people in general. Ha. I tend to do that too often and am mistaken a lot. Hard to get that kind of verbiage across on the net.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

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Originally Posted by sam207 View Post
At least from my experience, I've found that people with little computer knowledge love XP than Vista or 7. And personally I love XP as its simple and works great for me...

also, XP uses 1.5GB of my small boot drive, Win7 and Vista use 15GB-30GB.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:32 PM   #11
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also, XP uses 1.5GB of my small boot drive, Win7 and Vista use 15GB-30GB.
Keep in mind that the average size of a hard drive was much smaller when XP was "around" so-to-speak. You were talking 20-80GB IDE drives for the most part, some intermediate level drives with 120GB or more for some, but not often. Nowadays, the average hard drive size is much larger--'cept for SSDs which are a gimmick IMHO--so the O/S can take up much more space without people caring too much.
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:04 PM   #12
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also, XP uses 1.5GB of my small boot drive, Win7 and Vista use 15GB-30GB.
As I said earlier, and as dude summed out quite well, times change. You can get TBs of space for the same price as you could have 100GB back then, everything was smaller back in the day and everything was much slower

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Keep in mind that the average size of a hard drive was much smaller when XP was "around" so-to-speak. You were talking 20-80GB IDE drives for the most part, some intermediate level drives with 120GB or more for some, but not often. Nowadays, the average hard drive size is much larger--'cept for SSDs which are a gimmick IMHO--so the O/S can take up much more space without people caring too much.
SSD's aren't a gimmick, they are easily the next big thing. HDD's are getting towards the end of their prime, they are good for storage, but for performance, SSD's get rid of the bottleneck, or rather make it much less. Secondary storage is the biggest bottleneck in every system and hard drives can't deal with that. As flash memory becomes cheaper to produce and lasts for more read/write cycles, SSD's will be the norm, and eventually hard drives will be seen as tape is now
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:18 PM   #13
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SSD's aren't a gimmick, they are easily the next big thing. HDD's are getting towards the end of their prime, they are good for storage, but for performance, SSD's get rid of the bottleneck, or rather make it much less. Secondary storage is the biggest bottleneck in every system and hard drives can't deal with that. As flash memory becomes cheaper to produce and lasts for more read/write cycles, SSD's will be the norm, and eventually hard drives will be seen as tape is now
They probably will supersede plattered hard drives, eventually. But i'm not sure we'll see them in data critical servers any time soon...
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:25 PM   #14
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As I said earlier, and as dude summed out quite well, times change. You can get TBs of space for the same price as you could have 100GB back then, everything was smaller back in the day and everything was much slower
And yet, at the time, that was the "norm". People didn't say GOSH DANG THIS IS SLOW! It was "ok". I guess it's kind of paradoxical in nature, as it's hard to imagine that from times now. Sure you can look back now and say that was ridiculously slow, but it's hard to predict how things will be in the future. If that makes sense.

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SSD's aren't a gimmick, they are easily the next big thing.
With their current price/performance ratio, unless you can justify the cost from a professional standpoint, I'd call them a complete gimmick, just like every other new product to enter the market at a price point far above the average consumer's pocket book.

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HDD's are getting towards the end of their prime, they are good for storage, but for performance, SSD's get rid of the bottleneck, or rather make it much less.
I disagree. HDDs are not at the end of their prime. In the next few years, they will most likely be used heavily as storage/slave disks. You just can't beat the price/performance ratio. For as cheap as they are in comparison, you could RAID0 some and come out just about equal to SSDs. In terms of enterprise solutions, you won't see SSDs take over for quite a long time, yet.

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Secondary storage is the biggest bottleneck in every system and hard drives can't deal with that.
1) I don't understand what you are getting at by saying "secondary" storage. What is your primary that you are referring to?

2) I disagree to some extent. There will always be a bottleneck, and for many systems it is the RAM and/or GPU, not just the hard drive.

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As flash memory becomes cheaper to produce and lasts for more read/write cycles, SSD's will be the norm, and eventually hard drives will be seen as tape is now
You know tape drives are still very prominent in some companies, right?

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They probably will supersede plattered hard drives, eventually. But i'm not sure we'll see them in data critical servers any time soon...
Bingo.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

If traditional hard drives are dead, why are we still seeing announcements like these?

Hitachi's New Hard Drive Paves the Way for 4TB and 5TB HDDs - X-bit labs

If the companies had confined them to the history books then there wouldn't be any research like this still going on. SSDs probably will catch up and take over as the popular choice eventually, but not yet.
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #16
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+1 to the two previous posts.

The SSD is a brilliantly great break-through but seriously, the plattered hard drive will get even faster before the SSD catches up.

SSD cannot beat platterd HD reliability and continuously sustained throughout.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:37 AM   #17
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With their current price/performance ratio, unless you can justify the cost from a professional standpoint, I'd call them a complete gimmick, just like every other new product to enter the market at a price point far above the average consumer's pocket book.


I disagree. HDDs are not at the end of their prime. In the next few years, they will most likely be used heavily as storage/slave disks. You just can't beat the price/performance ratio. For as cheap as they are in comparison, you could RAID0 some and come out just about equal to SSDs. In terms of enterprise solutions, you won't see SSDs take over for quite a long time, yet.


1) I don't understand what you are getting at by saying "secondary" storage. What is your primary that you are referring to?

2) I disagree to some extent. There will always be a bottleneck, and for many systems it is the RAM and/or GPU, not just the hard drive.


You know tape drives are still very prominent in some companies, right?


Bingo.
First point: You are absolutely correct that at the moment they are above the price point, but as another example, look at prices of a GTX260 when they first came out. Now, look at the prices of a HD5770 when it first came out. Different manufacturers, yes, same performance, yes, different prices, yes. Technology is always more expensive when it first comes out, SSDs will, and are, lowering in price, we are getting very, very close to the $2/GB mark now, which compared to when they first came out is nothing at all. At the moment they are for a nieche market, in a couple years time, many more will be able to afford them, and will be able to afford the newer, faster models. Production of NAND memory will become easier with new developments in construction, and they will become more reliabble, lowering prices, and making them a more viable option.

Second point: Allow me to rephrase: HDD's are coming towards the end of their prime as main drives. With in the next couple of years, SSD's will be the main with hard drives just as storage, because you are right, they are unrivalled at the moment for price/storage ratio, and a few years after that, storage on SSD's will be more than common in systems

Third Point: 1. Secondary storage is hard drives, SSD's, memory sticks, CD's/DVD's etc. Primary storage is system memory, RAM, cache etc. It is storage that isn't accessible directly by the CPU

2. I didn't say hard drives are the only bottleneck, I said they are the largest bottleneck. If you have SSD's, your system boots faster, everything loads faster, everything saves faster because the SSD, although still slower than RAM and the CPU, is a hell of a lot quicker than a hard drive. Although they are expensive, the performance gain that you see with SSD's supersedes that of spending the money on a new CPU or more memory (generally, obviously if you are on an ancient system, money would be better spent elsewhere, but on a relatively new system, Core 2 for instance, SSD is a better upgrade than going to i5/i7 CPU).

Final Point: People are still using Commodore 64's, but in the big scheme of things, it is a tiny number. The vast majority are using hard drives because of the advantages over tape. When SSD's, or whatever the new thing in storage is, a small number of people will still be using hard drives, but then you will be saying when I say HDD's are now dead "you are aware some companies still use hard drives, right?" So what, most use solid state storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remeniz View Post
+1 to the two previous posts.

The SSD is a brilliantly great break-through but seriously, the plattered hard drive will get even faster before the SSD catches up.

SSD cannot beat platterd HD reliability and continuously sustained throughout.
And that makes SSD's not the next big thing and not a gimmick how? You've pretty much just said that hard drives aren't as good as SSD's, but they won't catch on just yet because hard drives are still the "better" option and still have a little bit to improve. I agree that they are going to improve, but without increasing rotation speed, you aren't going to get much more out of them, and when you increase rotation speed, you increase power usage (making them useless for the mobile market), you reduce reliability and you increase heat/sound output.

In that final point is another reason that SSD's will take off - power consumption. They use less power than hard drives do making them a much better option for mobile devices. More and more people are choosing smart phones, laptops, netbooks and hand held devices over desktops, and because power consumption is a massive factor in the mobile market, those that produce mobile devices will be eager to get bigger and better solid state drives to improve their products and use less power.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:44 PM   #18
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

Quote:
First point: You are absolutely correct that at the moment they are above the price point, but as another example, look at prices of a GTX260 when they first came out. Now, look at the prices of a HD5770 when it first came out. Different manufacturers, yes, same performance, yes, different prices, yes. Technology is always more expensive when it first comes out, SSDs will, and are, lowering in price, we are getting very, very close to the $2/GB mark now, which compared to when they first came out is nothing at all. At the moment they are for a nieche market, in a couple years time, many more will be able to afford them, and will be able to afford the newer, faster models. Production of NAND memory will become easier with new developments in construction, and they will become more reliabble, lowering prices, and making them a more viable option.
I don't think people are arguing with you that they will eventually replace traditional hard drives as the norm. It's the timescale we're talking about, I personally think it's going to be longer than 2 years before that happens. But hey, I could be wrong - no-one really knows!

Quote:
Second point: Allow me to rephrase: HDD's are coming towards the end of their prime as main drives. With in the next couple of years, SSD's will be the main with hard drives just as storage, because you are right, they are unrivalled at the moment for price/storage ratio, and a few years after that, storage on SSD's will be more than common in systems
Two points here - very few consumer based systems have two hard drives in at present, and I doubt that will change. When SSDs make the mainstream, they're going to have to replace conventional hard drives, not work alongside them. Secondly, I just can't see them rivalling conventional hard drives on price / storage ratio any time within the next 5 years or so, there's just too big a leap for a technology that's already been out for quite a whlie (if SSDs were starting off at these prices I'd say differently, but they've already come down somewhat.) With a conventional hard drive I can get a decent 1TB drive for <£50 without any difficulty at all. Even the lowest capacity, slowest SSDs cost upwards of that and they're 32GB. That's over 30 times more expensive - if we were talking about double the price, again, I'd agree that in the next couple of years SSDs would pinch it. If I could get a 1TB SSD for £100 then that's a whole different board game!

Quote:
2. I didn't say hard drives are the only bottleneck, I said they are the largest bottleneck. If you have SSD's, your system boots faster, everything loads faster, everything saves faster because the SSD, although still slower than RAM and the CPU, is a hell of a lot quicker than a hard drive. Although they are expensive, the performance gain that you see with SSD's supersedes that of spending the money on a new CPU or more memory (generally, obviously if you are on an ancient system, money would be better spent elsewhere, but on a relatively new system, Core 2 for instance, SSD is a better upgrade than going to i5/i7 CPU).
I agree that for some users they are the bottleneck, but you can't really accurately say it's the largest bottleneck - it just depends what you're doing. If I'm shifting stuff from a fileserver over gigabit ethernet with a decently powerful machine then yes, they probably are the bottleneck. If I'm ripping / encoding video streams on the fly then almost definitely not.

Quote:
I agree that they are going to improve, but without increasing rotation speed, you aren't going to get much more out of them
Sorry, but this one just isn't correct at all - there's a variety of ways that manufacturers can (and have) increased hard drive speeds and capacities dramatically over the years without increasing the rotation speed.

Quote:
In that final point is another reason that SSD's will take off - power consumption. They use less power than hard drives do making them a much better option for mobile devices. More and more people are choosing smart phones, laptops, netbooks and hand held devices over desktops, and because power consumption is a massive factor in the mobile market, those that produce mobile devices will be eager to get bigger and better solid state drives to improve their products and use less power.
In the mobile market I actually agree with you for this reason - for netbooks and the like they make perfect sense. But where I disagree is that this will directly translate to the desktops. People who own desktops these days generally have a reason for doing so, and this reason is often at least partly for storage capacity. A 40GB drive might be fine in a netbook, but on a desktop I wouldn't put up with anything less than 1TB these days. I'm also not sure their success in the mobile market will drive hugely larger capacities, simply because larger capacities aren't really called for in the mobile market (honestly, if you're given a 1TB drive in a netbook or your phone what on earth would you put on there?)
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:13 PM   #19
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

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Originally Posted by berry120 View Post
I don't think people are arguing with you that they will eventually replace traditional hard drives as the norm. It's the timescale we're talking about, I personally think it's going to be longer than 2 years before that happens. But hey, I could be wrong - no-one really knows!
If you had the choice between a 250GB SSD and a 500GB HDD for the same price, which would you take? For the extra performance, I would sooner take the SSD. It is half the capacity, but speed wise, it is worth losing it for in my opinion. You are losing storage, but gaining a heck of a lot extra performance, and much more stable performance. SSD's don't have to be the same price as hard drives before they become the main, they can be double the price and people will get them, even if it is the slower ones, because OEM companies will say "It has an SSD, much faster than hard drive!!" and computer illiterate people will lap it up.

Quote:
Two points here - very few consumer based systems have two hard drives in at present, and I doubt that will change. When SSDs make the mainstream, they're going to have to replace conventional hard drives, not work alongside them. Secondly, I just can't see them rivalling conventional hard drives on price / storage ratio any time within the next 5 years or so, there's just too big a leap for a technology that's already been out for quite a whlie (if SSDs were starting off at these prices I'd say differently, but they've already come down somewhat.) With a conventional hard drive I can get a decent 1TB drive for <£50 without any difficulty at all. Even the lowest capacity, slowest SSDs cost upwards of that and they're 32GB. That's over 30 times more expensive - if we were talking about double the price, again, I'd agree that in the next couple of years SSDs would pinch it. If I could get a 1TB SSD for £100 then that's a whole different board game!
Very few consumers have 2 or more internal hard drives, but a lot of consumers have an internal drive and an external storage drive in one form or another, be it an external hard drive or memory stick. It doesn't have to be internal for it to be a conventional hard drive. As I say, a lot of people already have those alternative storage media, and so moving it over from one computer to another isn't an issue, they would carry on using the storage drive as they always have done and just see the computer as "faster, even if it does have less storage".



Quote:
I agree that for some users they are the bottleneck, but you can't really accurately say it's the largest bottleneck - it just depends what you're doing. If I'm shifting stuff from a fileserver over gigabit ethernet with a decently powerful machine then yes, they probably are the bottleneck. If I'm ripping / encoding video streams on the fly then almost definitely not.
Hard drives are the biggest bottleneck, regardless of the use. In actual use once things are loaded, it may be that your video card or your CPU is pinned at 100% and so is the bottleneck, but the largest bottleneck is secondary storage. To explain:

Assume you have a fairly average system:

Athlon II x2
4GB DDR3 1333
WD Caviar Blue 250GB (WD2500AAKS)

Athlon II has 33.1GB/s bandwidth
The memory has 21.2GB/s
Your hard drive has 300Mb/s

These are all theoretical numbers, but say they are only 12.5% accurate (1 8th of the number according to those figures), you are still talking about a hard drive being over a million times slower than primary storage. Samsung put 24 SSD's in RAID0 to get 2GB/s throughput and the difference is ridiculous. It is a retarded video to show it, but the tests show what happens when you unlock more potential from the memory and CPU:

[video=youtube;96dWOEa4Djs]
Quote:
Sorry, but this one just isn't correct at all - there's a variety of ways that manufacturers can (and have) increased hard drive speeds and capacities dramatically over the years without increasing the rotation speed.
I understand you can change other parts, tweak parts, add parts etc, however the largest performance gain you see is by making the platters spin faster. Look at the biggest performance gain seen in the last few years from hard drives - the Seagate hybrid drives (momentus XT) which added solid state memory along side the hard drive. the only drives that come close to it are the 10-15k drives. You can squeeze out extra performance, and one day maybe get SSD performance (modern day SSD) out of a 7200RPM or less drive, but by then solid state drives will have left hard drives in the dust. There is nothing, at least in the forseeable future that will improve the performance of hard drives to the point that they will hold off solid state storage for any length of time.

Quote:
In the mobile market I actually agree with you for this reason - for netbooks and the like they make perfect sense. But where I disagree is that this will directly translate to the desktops. People who own desktops these days generally have a reason for doing so, and this reason is often at least partly for storage capacity. A 40GB drive might be fine in a netbook, but on a desktop I wouldn't put up with anything less than 1TB these days. I'm also not sure their success in the mobile market will drive hugely larger capacities, simply because larger capacities aren't really called for in the mobile market (honestly, if you're given a 1TB drive in a netbook or your phone what on earth would you put on there?)
The potential in mobile devices is probably greater than in the desktop industry. It will indirectly affect the desktop sector. As innovations in design and production are made for the the mobile market, these will be implemented into the desktop sector. Also, because they will be used more, initially, in the mobile market, desktop solid state technology will get money for R&D from the mobile device sales.

Think of it like AMD and Nvidia get money from people buying their very low end graphics cards and integrated graphics which then goes into the R&D of their higher end cards, people with the other needs (in this case the need for less power consumption in mobile devices) fund the R&D of the niche high end market, improving performance and lowering the prices
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:55 PM   #20
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Default Re: How to speed up Windows

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If you had the choice between a 250GB SSD and a 500GB HDD for the same price, which would you take?
Yes, but you're talking about double the price / storage ratio which, as of yet, is miles off. As I said in my previous post:
Quote:
With a conventional hard drive I can get a decent 1TB drive for <£50 without any difficulty at all. Even the lowest capacity, slowest SSDs cost upwards of that and they're 32GB. That's over 30 times more expensive - if we were talking about double the price, again, I'd agree that in the next couple of years SSDs would pinch it. If I could get a 1TB SSD for £100 then that's a whole different board game!
Quote:
Very few consumers have 2 or more internal hard drives, but a lot of consumers have an internal drive and an external storage drive in one form or another, be it an external hard drive or memory stick. It doesn't have to be internal for it to be a conventional hard drive. As I say, a lot of people already have those alternative storage media, and so moving it over from one computer to another isn't an issue, they would carry on using the storage drive as they always have done and just see the computer as "faster, even if it does have less storage".
You can't equate external hard drives and memory sticks to internal drives - with memory sticks especially people use them as a convenient method of data transfer, not a larger backup in case the smaller drive goes down! Besides, do you really think it's a good idea to entrust all your files to an external hard drive that might be bashed around or a memory stick that might be lost or broken? And sorry, but there's a reason large drives are often provided with PCs - people need the storage capacity! True this isn't always the case, but if anything it's becoming more the case as fewer people that just need the computer for a few word documents and email are migrating to netbooks and laptops. Generally speaking, people that see the need to buy a desktop these days won't be able to put up with a 40GB drive. I know I sure wouldn't, I've just got way too much stuff to fit on one!

Quote:
Hard drives are the biggest bottleneck, regardless of the use. In actual use once things are loaded, it may be that your video card or your CPU is pinned at 100% and so is the bottleneck, but the largest bottleneck is secondary storage. To explain:

Assume you have a fairly average system:

Athlon II x2
4GB DDR3 1333
WD Caviar Blue 250GB (WD2500AAKS)

Athlon II has 33.1GB/s bandwidth
The memory has 21.2GB/s
Your hard drive has 300Mb/s

These are all theoretical numbers, but say they are only 12.5% accurate (1 8th of the number according to those figures), you are still talking about a hard drive being over a million times slower than primary storage. Samsung put 24 SSD's in RAID0 to get 2GB/s throughput and the difference is ridiculous.
Sorry, but your understanding of a bottleneck is just plain wrong, it's not just the slowest component in the machine. Yes, in loading applications up and copying files around, as that video shows, the hard drive is the bottleneck. But how much time using your PC do you spend doing the above tasks? Comparatively not much at all. When you're playing games for instance, the hard drive is barely in use and definitely not the bottleneck, it'll most likely be either the graphics card or CPU. Otherwise we'd all be swapping out our hard drives with SSDs and seeing frame rates shoot up by a factor of 10!

Even by your own definition it doesn't stand that the hard drive is the bottleneck - it'd be the DVD drive which on average will read data at around 20MB/s. So should we all be investing in super fast DVD drives to make our computers run faster?

Quote:
I understand you can change other parts, tweak parts, add parts etc, however the largest performance gain you see is by making the platters spin faster. Look at the biggest performance gain seen in the last few years from hard drives - the Seagate hybrid drives (momentus XT) which added solid state memory along side the hard drive. the only drives that come close to it are the 10-15k drives. You can squeeze out extra performance, and one day maybe get SSD performance (modern day SSD) out of a 7200RPM or less drive, but by then solid state drives will have left hard drives in the dust. There is nothing, at least in the forseeable future that will improve the performance of hard drives to the point that they will hold off solid state storage for any length of time.
You're arguing a bit of a moot point here, of course conventional hard drives will never have the speed of SSDs, I never stated they would. Your statement that they wouldn't get "much more out of them" without increasing the rotation speed was my point, no they'll never be lightning fast but they can still increase relative speed without ramping the rotation up to 50k rpm!
Oh and those hybrid SSDs are actually nowhere near as fast as they claim to be in real world use, a number of real world benchmarks have shown the conventional, faster spinning drives are the better option.

Quote:
The potential in mobile devices is probably greater than in the desktop industry. It will indirectly affect the desktop sector. As innovations in design and production are made for the the mobile market, these will be implemented into the desktop sector. Also, because they will be used more, initially, in the mobile market, desktop solid state technology will get money for R&D from the mobile device sales.
It will fuel it somewhat, but perhaps not as much as you think. If the money's in the mobile device sector, then that's where the R&D will be focused (what's the point of taking money from that and focusing it on a less compelling market?) So it really all hinges on whether the advances made in the mobile sector are relevant to desktop use. If the advances are in capacity, sure. And capacity / price ratio will slowly and surely increase, I've no doubt about that. But I'm not sure it'll actually advance that quickly since I'd imagine more of the research would be put into performance increases, reduced power consumption and improved manufacturing efficiencies (these things being more critical to the mobile market.)
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