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Old 06-16-2020, 06:24 PM   #1
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Default Dell laptop question

I have a Dell Inspiron 1521 laptop with an AMD Turion(tm) 64 X2 Mobile Technology TL-58, 1895 Mhz, dual core processor which has 4 gigs of RAM with a SSD running Windows 10.

I first installed Windows 10 when the beta period was nearly over and the computer was quite fast.

As of a little over a year ago I noticed the computer getting somewhat slower to the point when in Google Chrome it is nothing for the computer to go to 100% CPU usage fairly easily ans usually when the computer is fully booted it goes to 100% usage much easier.

Web pages take a bit of time to load, videos tend to not play as good ETC...

Is that due to a Windows update or is that just a Chrome update making it require more resources to do the same things?

Is it slower due to no battery attached?

Is it something else?

I really would like this laptop to be fast again as I put some money into it and hate to see it wasted.

I did a search once and I can get a faster processor, but I'm nor paying what the going rate is as it's rather expensive and I doubt that will really do much for the speed.
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Old 06-17-2020, 03:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

All of the above are possible slowdown culprits. However, since the CPU is showing high usage, first try another browser than Chrome because it is known to have high CU use on low RAM computers specially with some combination of plugins.

As for the battery, by default laptops use power plans specific to power used. Search for "power options" in the Win10 search bar and check it out. You can edit the plans there. But this is not a likely problem for now since the CPU can already reach 100%. If it does with the battery only, it's probably not the problem.

See what you find and come back to help you further.
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Old 06-17-2020, 03:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

How big is the SSD? How full is that SSD? You could do with more RAM although I think that particular model can only have a maximum of 4 gig. If the RAM can be upgraded I would go for another 4 gig. The size of the SSD is important because if it is getting nearly full that will slow things down. Hard drives, whether SSD or mechanical slow down because junk builds up. When stuff is deleted only the file headers are deleted. The rest of that file is left behind until that part of the HDD is overwritten. Computers are pretty stupid devices in the grand scheme of things and even though the ones and zeros that make that file are not used the computer still goes ahead and reads those ones and zeros. As time goes on those ones and zeros build up. The computer goes ahead and reads all the ones and zeros even though they are now defunct. Okay it does do that job very quickly but it still takes time to do it. Consequently as time goes on the computer slows down.



There is a time latencey associated with SSDs as well. I cannot remember exactly what that entails although I seem to think it does involve some slowing down of an SSD as time as it gets older. I could well be wrong on that point but someone should be able to explain that.



I reinstall my computers every six months or so which I know is a pain in the backside but it works for me. As long as your personal files are backed up you shouldn't have any problems.



Also malware and viri can cause slowdowns. I use Malwarebytes free and Windows Defender wich comes with Windows 10. Of course as Windows is updated then more microsoft junk is added to your computer and that can slow your computer down.



And last I do believe that one or more updates have caused slowdowns. Again I haven't experienced that so I don't know the details. Hopefully sombody else does.


Another processor in a laptop is a bit of nightmare in my opinion. That is an old computer, technologically, and I think that if you are thinking along those lines perhaps putting that money towards a new computer would be preferrable.
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Old 06-17-2020, 06:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
All of the above are possible slowdown culprits. However, since the CPU is showing high usage, first try another browser than Chrome because it is known to have high CU use on low RAM computers specially with some combination of plugins.
I'll try another browser this afternoon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
As for the battery, by default laptops use power plans specific to power used. Search for "power options" in the Win10 search bar and check it out. You can edit the plans there. But this is not a likely problem for now since the CPU can already reach 100%. If it does with the battery only, it's probably not the problem.

See what you find and come back to help you further.
Power settings are set for maximum performance settings.

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Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
How big is the SSD? How full is that SSD?
500GB and it is I'd guess less than 25% full

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Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
You could do with more RAM although I think that particular model can only have a maximum of 4 gig. If the RAM can be upgraded I would go for another 4 gig.
Yep it can only handle four.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
The size of the SSD is important because if it is getting nearly full that will slow things down. Hard drives, whether SSD or mechanical slow down because junk builds up. When stuff is deleted only the file headers are deleted. The rest of that file is left behind until that part of the HDD is overwritten. Computers are pretty stupid devices in the grand scheme of things and even though the ones and zeros that make that file are not used the computer still goes ahead and reads those ones and zeros. As time goes on those ones and zeros build up. The computer goes ahead and reads all the ones and zeros even though they are now defunct. Okay it does do that job very quickly but it still takes time to do it. Consequently as time goes on the computer slows down.
Would be nice if Windows also deleted the file contents

Quote:
Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
There is a time latencey associated with SSDs as well. I cannot remember exactly what that entails although I seem to think it does involve some slowing down of an SSD as time as it gets older. I could well be wrong on that point but someone should be able to explain that.
Perhaps it does slow down some with age. I don't know either.

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I reinstall my computers every six months or so which I know is a pain in the backside but it works for me. As long as your personal files are backed up you shouldn't have any problems.
I haven't really had a need to do that thankfully as it is a pain.

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Also malware and viri can cause slowdowns. I use Malwarebytes free and Windows Defender wich comes with Windows 10.
I use Norton 360.

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Originally Posted by pete.i View Post
Of course as Windows is updated then more microsoft junk is added to your computer and that can slow your computer down.
Agreed there. I honestly believe that with the easily availability of affordable computer power, programmers tend to get sloppy with their code rationalizing that people will just buy more computer power.

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And last I do believe that one or more updates have caused slowdowns. Again I haven't experienced that so I don't know the details. Hopefully sombody else does.
I tend to agree that updates can and do slow computers down.

I do know there was one update maybe a year ago that fixed something with Intel processors which tended to slow them down slightly, but mine is AMD so it wouldn't be affected.

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Another processor in a laptop is a bit of nightmare in my opinion. That is an old computer, technologically, and I think that if you are thinking along those lines perhaps putting that money towards a new computer would be preferrable.
If the best processor I can run in the laptop was a reasonable price I'd definitely try it just to see how much of a difference it makes, but I think it's a relatively popular processor with people who run older laptops so thusfore it's somewhat expensive or shall I say it's more than I am willing to pay for it.
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Old 06-17-2020, 07:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

Chrome also uses too much RAM.


You can always click Ctrl+Shift+Esc to get the Task Manager and remember to click More Details to see all processes. See how much RAM is used, regardless to what app.


Also, if you are using Win10 64-Bit, 4GB is little for it. Either way, Task Manager above will clarify the RAM point just as it does CPU point from before. 8GB is recommended. When the RAM is used up, the storage is used. This is affected by the SSD and the CPU. Normal SSD is fast, but still light years behind RAM speed Accessing storage uses CPU too.


If I were you and don't have important stuff that prevents resetting Win10, I would go for it at this point. Only at this point. I don't let Win10 get to this point to begin with.


The laptop is old, but should be fast enough for such normal use.
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Old 06-17-2020, 08:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

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Chrome also uses too much RAM.
Happens no matter how little or long chrome has been running.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
You can always click Ctrl+Shift+Esc to get the Task Manager and remember to click More Details to see all processes. See how much RAM is used, regardless to what app.
I've done that and Chrome is definitely a big user, although I'm maybe at a max of 75% if I have several pages open in Chrome for some time.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
Also, if you are using Win10 64-Bit, 4GB is little for it. Either way, Task Manager above will clarify the RAM point just as it does CPU point from before. 8GB is recommended. When the RAM is used up, the storage is used. This is affected by the SSD and the CPU. Normal SSD is fast, but still light years behind RAM speed Accessing storage uses CPU too.
I agree about 8 gigs, but the laptop was so fast even with 4 gigs until maybe a year ago. Something changed that caused a performance hit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Smart_Guy View Post
If I were you and don't have important stuff that prevents resetting Win10, I would go for it at this point. Only at this point. I don't let Win10 get to this point to begin with.
I could, but I have a lot of programs and such installed and would have to reinstall it all.


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The laptop is old, but should be fast enough for such normal use.
Agreed as it once was fast.

In fact I used the key from a Windows 7 defunct laptop (HP with the motherboard damage issue some of their laptops were known for) to put 7 on the laptop to get the free 10 upgrade and 7 ran slower than 10 did.
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

I keep a old hard drive that is still good for file backup. I update it with new files and have a different ssd on top of the main ssd. When it starts getting there major updates I wait till it gets the new systems installed then see how it acts. If slower I dump that drive and format, install new fresh copy of windows and restore the programs and it usually speeds right back up again. My specs are 4 core amd and 8 gigs of ram. Ssd 250gb and a 50 ssd for backup files and i use my old disc drive that is 10000 rpm and 250gb for my main back up drive. So far that has worked for mine. I don't think you need a third drive but it's easy to use Acrois true image to back up my drive. Try Crystal disk mark to check ssd speeds. It is free for both of them. If you really want to see how good your speed is, try Cinebench. If you do try the crystal disk mark, do it first and the Cinebench then try the acronis with a old drive to see if that work and then try after you wipe the drives, and after reinstall of All programs try the crystal and Cinebench. Made a bunch of difference. Especially after a new os is installed by microsoft. Mine almost doubles speed!!
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Old 06-17-2020, 12:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

Here is my test. My computer is several years old with the old ddr2+.

Mine is slower for times as i need to do a new backup. Microsoft just did a new system upgrade and always slows mine down. Let us know how it goes.

CrystalDiskMark 7.0.0 x64 (C) 2007-2019 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World: https://crystalmark.info/
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

[Read]
Sequential 1MiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 229.716 MB/s [ 219.1 IOPS] < 4558.71 us>
Random 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 29.515 MB/s [ 7205.8 IOPS] < 137.24 us>

[Write]
Sequential 1MiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 212.043 MB/s [ 202.2 IOPS] < 4936.63 us>
Random 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 43.379 MB/s [ 10590.6 IOPS] < 92.92 us>

[Mix] Read 70%/Write 30%
Sequential 1MiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 221.380 MB/s [ 211.1 IOPS] < 4731.24 us>
Random 4KiB (Q= 1, T= 1): 31.963 MB/s [ 7803.5 IOPS] < 126.59 us>

Profile: Real
Test: 1 GiB (x5) [Interval: 5 sec] <DefaultAffinity=DISABLED>
Date: 2020/06/17 12:39:44
OS: Windows 10 Professional [10.0 Build 19041] (x64)
Attached Files
File Type: txt CDM_20200617123944.txt (2.1 KB, 1 views)
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Old 06-17-2020, 01:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

If your computer used to be faster, then there is no reason why it shouldn't be as fast now, if no major changes were made.

Chrome could get slower if you have many add-ons that cause it to slow down when you use it.

Regarding SSDs and "true" file deletion, that's not really relevant. SSDs don't get slower when they are full. HDDs might, because you start using the outer parts of the drive, which casue the search time to be longer. So, even if there is "junk" in your SSD, it shouldn't be slower.

CPU usage being high is not really surprising, since it's a pretty old unit.

The only thing I can think of is that you have too many add-ons installed in Chrome that are causing it to use more CPU.

Since the problem is that old, there is no way to know for sure what's causing the abnormal slowdowns, because you can't really trace changes made that far back.

If it's not add-ons, it could be malware, or more specifically adware. If your computer is infected with adware, the proxy settings are usually changed by the adware and it may cause your browser to slow down. Also malicious extensions may be causing the problem.

I would suggest trying a different browser too, not because Chrome is too heavy on resources, but because you may have modified it over time and those tiny modifications add up and end up slowing down everything related to them. As an example, if you use an ad blocker, your pages may take longer to load simply because there is an extra step that must be completed to load the page (a.k.a. blocking ads). The same would go for most extensions, some affecting individual pages (such as ad blockers), and some affecting the browser altogether (for example, a password manager).

Also, having antivirus software doesn't prevent your computer from getting infected, if you don't use common sense.

So, to summarize, this is what I recommend:
  1. Use another browser that has similar resource consumption as Chrome (such as Firefox), but without any add-ons. If that's slow too, then add-ons are not to blame.
  2. Scan for malware (MBAM should do it).
  3. Update drivers (Windows Update should do this automatically, but just in case).
  4. Remove software you don't use, or at least prevent it from loading automatically and running in the background.
  5. Try https://www.oo-software.com/en/shutup10. This program should allow you to disable all the garbage features Windows 10 has to offer. Use it with care.
  6. If nothing makes a difference, then reinstall Windows. (This would be pointless if your computer was never faster than it is now in the first place. The same goes for all the previous recommendations.)
  7. Since you only have 4GB of memory, I would recommend you use 32-bit versions of Windows, since there is no real benefit to using 64-bit versions if you only have 4GB of memory, because you can't address more than that.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

I seem to remember reading where 32 bit versions could not address the full 4 gigs of RAM.

Far as I know the extensions are the same as they were when I first used Windows 10.

Pretty sure I don't have malware or adware as I stay on top of making sure my computers are protected.

In all my years using Norton 360 I've only had two minor things get through and that was on an XP system and it only changed a few icon pictures.

When I noticed the computer being slow first thing I did was scan for virus and malware using Norton and also malwarebytes.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

32-bit can only "see" and utilize 3.5GB of RAM, period. This includes any video RAM in that total.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:37 PM   #12
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32-bit can only "see" and utilize 3.5GB of RAM, period. This includes any video RAM in that total.
Exactly why I use the 64 bit Windows 10.
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Old 06-17-2020, 09:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dell laptop question

I forgot to tell how to find out the if it's 64-Bit when I mentioned it.


Simply right click on your "This PC" then Properties. It should be there in the System section. Or go to Windows setting thru the gear icon in the Win logo menu.



Unlike Mac, Windows still has memory leak. It could cause apps to hold RAM and never release it all when closed. But that's another story. However, do you get the problem upon starting up or after sometimes? Filling Windows with apps could be reserving (if upon start up) or holding (if after sometime) RAM at some point making Windows use Pagefile (storage for RAM).


It is common to have fresh installed Windows work great for some time then slowing down later specially on low specs.


Keep in mind that such problems are difficult to diagnose without seeing the computer. Good luck!

---------- Post added at 05:46 AM ---------- Previous post was at 05:44 AM ----------

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Exactly why I use the 64 bit Windows 10.

You found out already?


The extra 0.5GB won't help much in lengthy usage on an old installed Windows filled with apps.
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Old 06-18-2020, 10:43 AM   #14
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Yes I installed the 64 bit version of Windows 10.
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