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Windows XP cold boot time
< 30 sec 20%  20%  [ 7 ]
30 - 45 sec (design goal for XP = 30 sec) 26%  26%  [ 9 ]
46 - 60 sec 31%  31%  [ 11 ]
61 - 75 sec 9%  9%  [ 3 ]
76 - 90 sec 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
91 - 120 sec 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
more than 2 min 3%  3%  [ 1 ]
it doesn't boot at all 6%  6%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 35
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 Post subject: Windows XP cold boot time and optimization
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 3:56 am 
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I was just wondering how fast everyone's machine here boots from the moment of pressing the power button to the blue screen of login (or desktop display if no login is required).
Microsofts' 'Design Goals' for XP, is for a PC to boot in 30 seconds. My new Conroe system takes at least twice that amount of time to boot.

To find out what your cold boot time is, you should Turn Off the PC, rather than Restart (wait ten sec; then turn the power back on). After that get back to silentpcreview to submit this poll :wink: .

Along with your boot time please mention your main components e.g. motherboard, CPU, memory, HDD. Also, feel free to advice on how to speed up the cold boot times.

I will start off. Without optimization it took 90 seconds to get from pressing the power button to the desktop and an additional 110 seconds to start up all processes. Which is ridiculous with a P5W DH, E6600@2400 and 7200 rpm SATA, 2 GIG memory. My previous systems' start-up time was 62 sec. The poll is about winXP boot time so I voted between 61 and 75 sec.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:21 am 
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I used the same ASUS P5W DH for the Conroe system for a friend and the mainboard takes very long to boot up. About 30 seconds just detecting USB-devices (why???) and an overall slow boot up.
Just did a test with my SN21G5 SHuttle XPC (Opteron 146, 1GB RAM, 300GB SATA HDD and OnBoard-Video):

41 seconds till I see the login screen! after that
15 seconds to load everything so the hdd is going idle
the BIOS needs maybe 15 seconds till I see the XP boot-screen

And I could better this time, because I had Windows Vista (Beta) installed on this drive and I have to choose to load the "old" Windows XP instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows XP cold boot time and optimization
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 5:33 am 
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GreenRay wrote:
Also, feel free to advice on how to speed up the cold boot times.

Disable unused hardware in BIOS (do you use FireWire?).
Disconnect unneeded hardware, esp USB devices (I had 10 seconds delay while using ATI remote RF receiver, I mean while not using it, but having it simply connected).
Experiment with different hardware drivers (if possible).
Disable (or set startup to manual) unneeded services in XP (how often you use Help'n'Support?).
Configure network properly (are you connected to other MS networked computers? Do you have router?)
Allow all needed services to start automatically.
Clear prefetch folder (next boot will be slower, subsequent boots somewhat faster).
Disable unneeded startup items (Autoruns is very usable at this).
Don't use all-in-one antivirus suites (Kaspersky, Symantec, F-Secure).
Remove game protection drivers after you have finished with that particular game.
Defragment your hard drive (with good defragmenter, able to reorder system files at boot time, like Raxco PerfectDisk).
Set pagefile limits properly.
--
I can't test cold boot time just now (some video conversion is running). I'll update my post, when possible.
Update:
BIOS time (up to multiboot menu): 17sec
Entire boot time (including previous): 55sec
Full startup (including startup progs): 70-75sec

AMD Athlon XP 2800+, Abit NF7, 1GB DDR333, Radeon9800 AIW, USB keyboard, USB/PS2 mouse (in PS/2), USB card reader, 3xHDD, DVD


Last edited by Arvo on Sun Nov 05, 2006 2:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 04, 2006 7:02 am 
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Location: Plymouth, MI
Well my desktop gets me to the login screen at about the 45 second mark, usable desktop at about 60 seconds. Athlon FX-55, 2GB, boot drive is WD Caviar WD800JB.

My laptop, surprisingly, bests this. Login screen at about 35 seconds, usable desktop at about 55 seconds. P3-1.2Ghz, 512MB, Seagate Momentus 5400.2 60 (only 5400 rpm).

Hmmmmm....of course the desktop is much more heavily loaded with peripherals and boot software (though still pretty light compared with how much junk some people load at startup).


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 3:35 am 
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Rincewind wrote:
I used the same ASUS P5W DH for the Conroe system for a friend and the mainboard takes very long to boot up. About 30 seconds just detecting USB-devices (why???) and an overall slow boot up.

I've heard this many times, and i'm thinking of RMA. Some folks state that the slow POST is due to the RAID driver installed. I am not sure because I have RAID disabled and not installed any RAID driver.

psiu wrote:
Well my desktop gets me to the login screen at about the 45 second mark
ATM, after a bit of tweaking, my timings got worse: from 90 to 105 sec. amazing really. :shock:

Arvo wrote:
Disable unused hardware in BIOS (do you use FireWire?).
Disconnect unneeded hardware, esp USB devices (I had 10 seconds delay while using ATI remote RF receiver, I mean while not using it, but having it simply connected).
Experiment with different hardware drivers (if possible).
Disable (or set startup to manual) unneeded services in XP (how often you use Help'n'Support?).
Configure network properly (are you connected to other MS networked computers? Do you have router?)
Allow all needed services to start automatically.
Clear prefetch folder (next boot will be slower, subsequent boots somewhat faster).
Disable unneeded startup items (Autoruns is very usable at this).
Don't use all-in-one antivirus suites (Kaspersky, Symantec, F-Secure).
Remove game protection drivers after you have finished with that particular game.
Defragment your hard drive (with good defragmenter, able to reorder system files at boot time, like Raxco PerfectDisk).
Set pagefile limits properly.
--
I can't test cold boot time just now (some video conversion is running). I'll update my post, when possible.
Update:
BIOS time (up to multiboot menu): 17sec
Entire boot time (including previous): 55sec
Full startup (including startup progs): 70-75sec


Some good hints there. I've tried out most of them but it does not seem to affect my POST times, although some improvement is noticeable in getting the pc in an useable state more quickly (starting up processes). Can you tell me how to allow all needed services to start automatically?

Now most of my pc's boot time is consumed by a slow POST. It takes about 60 sec, after that windows is loaded in aprox. 45 sec. So it is not really windows thats causing annoyance (and needs optimizing) but more so the slow POST caused by the motherboard.

In search to improve things I updated the BIOS to 1503 from 1407; disabled all unnecessary BIOS options but nothing seemed to reduce load times. Its getting worse; sometimes up to 2 min or more to just get past the POST messages. Often it just 'hangs' and seems to have difficulties finding IDE devices.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 6:18 am 
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Location: Estonia, EU :)
GreenRay wrote:
Can you tell me how to allow all needed services to start automatically?

First you need to find out, which services are really needed. After that you have to go into Admintools>Services and set their Startup type to Automatic.

What services are needed depends much on network configuration. Usually I disable MS networking components in Network Connection properties (I don't use MS networking in home environment), then I mark most of services startup to Manual (excluding kernel audio, WMI and some other essential things), then restart, reopen services control applet and look, what services were started. Assuming that these are needed ones, I change their startup to Automatic.
Of course there are some exceptions (some services will be started unless explicitly disabled). Actually all this needs some experimenting and understanding, what for each service is needed.

Like you said, this affects only latest phase of booting, not POST or hardware initialization.

Quote:
Now most of my pc's boot time is consumed by a slow POST. It takes about 60 sec, after that windows is loaded in aprox. 45 sec. So it is not really windows thats causing annoyance (and needs optimizing) but more so the slow POST caused by the motherboard.

In search to improve things I updated the BIOS to 1503 from 1407; disabled all unnecessary BIOS options but nothing seemed to reduce load times. Its getting worse; sometimes up to 2 min or more to just get past the POST messages. Often it just 'hangs' and seems to have difficulties finding IDE devices.

60sec POST and getting worse? Doesn't look normal to me. Maybe some cabling is loose, SATA cables tend cause problems sometimes.
BTW, I'd experiment with enabling RAID controller (no need to assign drives to it) - maybe BIOS is searching for it.

Unfortunately I can't help much with motherboard/BIOS problems, they are usually unique to specific mobo :(

edit
Some more tinkering:
- remove all removables, including disks in CD/DVD drives, USB memory sticks etc
- change boot order in BIOS to start from HDD (you can change it afterwards, if you need boot from CD)
- disable floppy seek in BIOS (if you have floppy drive :))
- force update ESCD in BIOS (this is usually recommended after each hardware reconfiguring in BIOS)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:05 am 
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I haven't tested cold boots, because it's irrelevant for me, cause I run my comp 24/7. I always have tons of programs loading at start up, so it's not optimized anyway. But I did time out my restart time, couple of months ago, when I was installing some hardware and installed some drivers.

I used Irc and event manager to time the process. It took 66 seconds from the time I disconnected irc to restart the computer, login on my computer and thenn connect to my server. From the event log stopped event it took 40 seconds to reboot, log and have all my services up and running. So I assume my cold boot time would be ~40 seconds, POST definately takes most of that time.

Btw I also have a feeling that power supply has something to do with boot times. I swithced from Nexus NX-4090 to Seasonic S-12 couple of months ago and I think it slowed my boot time maybe 1 or 2 seconds. The Seasonic seems to have a small delay before it starts powering the hardware. I haven't done any timing, so it's only based on my feeling. I might be mistaken.

Athlon x2 3800+, 1gb of memory, Raptor 150gb.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 05, 2006 1:25 pm 
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WinXP doesn't boot at all on my computer 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:24 am 
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Boot times have always been a bit of an annoyance for me.

As of now my machine boots in 18 seconds, from when I push the power button to where I can use the machine.

A few of the background programs I run take another 5 seconds or so to get started after that, but aren't really needed for anything (though they don't substantially slow anything down.)

This is using WinXP and xoblite, with my antivirus set to not automatically start.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:47 am 
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Mar. wrote:
Boot times have always been a bit of an annoyance for me.
As of now my machine boots in 18 seconds, from when I push the power button to where I can use the machine.
A few of the background programs I run take another 5 seconds or so to get started after that, but aren't really needed for anything (though they don't substantially slow anything down.)

That must be a record! What are your specs especially what motherboard are you using?

I have improved the POST time by ignoring/disabling the Hardware Monitor options in the BIOS (Q-fan and temp/RPM readings) except that of the CPU. Speedfan still regulates the fans accordingly. I now have a WinXP boot time of 35 sec; POST is very quick now (2 sec).
Not quite 18 sec but acceptable. However Speedfan and all other processes still takes a while to initiate, 105 sec in total.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:11 am 
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7secs to the beep.

36secs to login screen, pre-beep seconds included.

7secs from login screen to apps loaded.

Overall, too damn slow. Though i think i coud shave off ten seconds with some tinkering.

Oh and the above times do not take into consideration that i have to open up the case to start the machine. Maybe i should enable power on by keyboard... :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:28 pm 
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GreenRay wrote:
I have improved the POST time by ignoring/disabling the Hardware Monitor options in the BIOS (Q-fan and temp/RPM readings) except that of the CPU. Speedfan still regulates the fans accordingly. I now have a WinXP boot time of 35 sec; POST is very quick now (2 sec).

Wow!

Must make note to me - add HW Monitor tweaking to BIOS optimizing checklist :) Another note - buy some newer mobo to myself for experimenting :P


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:33 pm 
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Arvo wrote:
GreenRay wrote:
I have improved the POST time by ignoring/disabling the Hardware Monitor options in the BIOS (Q-fan and temp/RPM readings) except that of the CPU. Speedfan still regulates the fans accordingly. I now have a WinXP boot time of 35 sec; POST is very quick now (2 sec).

Wow!

Must make note to me - add HW Monitor tweaking to BIOS optimizing checklist :) Another note - buy some newer mobo to myself for experimenting :P
:D

And you might want to add a note to your shopping list, not to buy an experimental board, like the p5w dh. There are much cheaper boards like that. If you like a surprise sure its a great board, its fully packed with those, a great bundle :lol: . Like my earlier clocked POST time is fluctuating somehow, from 2 to 10 sec now to 60 sec with Q-fan and the like enabled.

Anyways I'm off checking out this autoruns program you posted to narrow down the list with processes.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:35 pm 
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Microsoft Bootvis is very good for finding out what happens during startup. It makes it so easy to see exactly which driver (for instance) that causes the delay.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:53 pm 
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P5W DH boot times improved a lot with the latest BIOS (1503).

I didn't see mentioned above: reduce the IDE detection time. I use 10 sec.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:54 pm 
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Wow, my computer is slower than I thought. Time to reformat...

0:00-0:27: POST
0:27-1:01: Windows loading (to the appearance of desktop)
1:01-3:04: Startup programs

I'm shocked, especially by the length of time it takes to load the startup items. Maybe having MS Office and Open office starting simultaneously isn't such a good idea...

I'm sure that much of the performance hit comes from the fact that by startup drive is full, and with so many competing programs it just thrashes there for ages.

Other points of interest:

Firefox takes 15 seconds to load with seven open tabs.
Thunderbird takes 12 seconds to load.

Combined, they take much, much longer.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 10:29 pm 
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Im not using XP, Im using Vista.

On a cold boot the pc does memory test, so that adds another 5 seconds.

Otherwise the pc boots and is ready to use in under 30 seconds.

Its a pentium D 805 with 2 gigs of RAM.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 11:11 pm 
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i haven't optimized mine for a while, programs like sisofts sandra and daemontools add drivers that load at boot-time (hum, when i think about it sandra loads a couple of services, not drivers).

13s post
25s xp boot 'til login screen

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amd a64 3200+ at 2.3ghz
samsung hd080hj sata
2x512mb

regards, kent.


Last edited by kentc on Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 12:11 am 
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Devonavar wrote:
Other points of interest:

Firefox takes 15 seconds to load with seven open tabs.
Thunderbird takes 12 seconds to load.

Combined, they take much, much longer.

Single core I guess?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 1:52 pm 
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Location: Free Union, VA, USA
XPC Zen
XP Pro SP2
512MB RAM
On board IGP
Celeron 2.66 running @ 2.84
Not connected to a network
3 USB devices, ext HD, printer, mouse
Built in IR disabled, NIC disabled

15 secs to post
+34 secs to usable desktop

49 secs total


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 5:11 pm 
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Devonavar wrote:
Wow, my computer is slower than I thought. Time to reformat...

0:00-0:27: POST
0:27-1:01: Windows loading (to the appearance of desktop)
1:01-3:04: Startup programs

I'm shocked, especially by the length of time it takes to load the startup items. Maybe having MS Office and Open office starting simultaneously isn't such a good idea...

I'm sure that much of the performance hit comes from the fact that by startup drive is full, and with so many competing programs it just thrashes there for ages.

Other points of interest:

Firefox takes 15 seconds to load with seven open tabs.
Thunderbird takes 12 seconds to load.

Combined, they take much, much longer.

Do you have 2GB of RAM? If not, you should...
Using AHCI will enable NCQ which will noticeably speed disk access if your drives support it.
And of course, get a dual core. Any dual core with 2GB will seem lightning fast compared to any single core...
Finally, Diskeeper 10 with IFAAST rearranges your files based on usage; it's pricey but does keep your system from slowing down over time.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 6:16 pm 
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cmthomson wrote:
Do you have 2GB of RAM? If not, you should...
Have you done timing on boot times with 1gb vs 2gb? I think you would find, that there is practically no difference.
Quote:
Using AHCI will enable NCQ which will noticeably speed disk access if your drives support it.
Actually NCQ makes the drive faster on some situations (multitasking and other heavy I/O situations)and it will slow it down in other. And not all the NCQ implementations are equal. Some are much worse then others. But one there's one good thing on NCQ no matter what, it should lower the seek noises at least to some degree, because the drive heads move less.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 07, 2006 7:42 pm 
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GreenRay wrote:
Mar. wrote:
Boot times have always been a bit of an annoyance for me.
As of now my machine boots in 18 seconds, from when I push the power button to where I can use the machine.
A few of the background programs I run take another 5 seconds or so to get started after that, but aren't really needed for anything (though they don't substantially slow anything down.)

That must be a record! What are your specs especially what motherboard are you using?


Nothing particularly special.

San Diego 3500+, 1.5 GB of RAM in single-channel mode.

Mobo is an Abit AN8 Ultra. Basically every feature I don't need is turned off.

Regular hard drive, 7200 RPM, no RAM disks or anything like that.

XP is a bit stripped as well.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:10 pm 
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cmthomson wrote:
Do you have 2GB of RAM? If not, you should...
Using AHCI will enable NCQ which will noticeably speed disk access if your drives support it.
And of course, get a dual core. Any dual core with 2GB will seem lightning fast compared to any single core...


I have 2 GB of RAM and dual core. I didn't notice any change switching to either.

Firefox and Thunderbird are entirely disc-bound, and I don't have SATA drives, so I can't use NCQ. What I really need to do is get a bigger drive so my boot drive isn't so fragemented...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:39 pm 
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I suspect NCQ will only have an effect if the request queue for the drive is 3 or more requests long. This will presumably only happen with 3 I/O intensive processes/threads reading simultaneously, which will almost certainly only happen on a server.

Switching to dual core will have very little effect unless you use a specific program that might benefit, perhaps a game that does physics calculations in a separate thread or whatever. It might help with serving intensive games like Battlefield 1942, or doing video encoding or such. Discounting special cases, dual core is pretty much moot.

As for memory, it depends on how much your programs require. It is probably true that some new games can benefit by having >1GB memory which may mean slightly less swapping or load time, but probably hardly noticeable. Certainly some heavily laden servers use >1gb memory. As somewhat future-proof (don't hold your breath), I think 2GB would be sensible in a new machine, but I wouldn't consider it a drastically needed upgrade generally (until Vista).

We should all be wary of the word 'better', it is one of my least favourite words. Whenever someone says something is 'better', they usually don't go on to explain why. 'Better' is used in place of an explanation and when told that one must decide whether to trust the person without hearing any explanation at all.

So I don't readily take anyone's word that something is better sans explanation. I've been burned too many times.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:52 am 
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vertigo wrote:
I suspect NCQ will only have an effect if the request queue for the drive is 3 or more requests long. This will presumably only happen with 3 I/O intensive processes/threads reading simultaneously, which will almost certainly only happen on a server.

Agreed. According to storagereview.com tests, NCQ in desktop scenario usually doesn't increase performance.
I can imagine that using p2p programs in background and running some disk intensive program in foreground may benefit from NCQ - but I've not seen tests about such usage, neither have I SATA drive to make such test myself :)

Quote:
Switching to dual core will have very little effect unless you use a specific program that might benefit, perhaps a game that does physics calculations in a separate thread or whatever. It might help with serving intensive games like Battlefield 1942, or doing video encoding or such. Discounting special cases, dual core is pretty much moot.

I don't agree. Even if you're using just single program at a time, overall windows usage will become smoother. If you're using antivirus or any other highly demanding background service, dualcore is noticeably better. If you're using some special programs, like VirtualPC or VMWare or you want convert some media in background, then dualcore is a must.
What about games, then more and more games will benefit from multicore processors. No serious gamer won't buy singlecore processor anymore, game makers are pretty aware of this :)

Quote:
As for memory, it depends on how much your programs require. It is probably true that some new games can benefit by having >1GB memory which may mean slightly less swapping or load time, but probably hardly noticeable. Certainly some heavily laden servers use >1gb memory. As somewhat future-proof (don't hold your breath), I think 2GB would be sensible in a new machine, but I wouldn't consider it a drastically needed upgrade generally (until Vista).

I don't agree. In addition application memory consumption, tehre's always some system memory need, most noticeably for system cache. There are many programs, benefitting directly for 2GB memory, eg: new games, video/3D/image manipulation software, development tools, database utilities. And of course Vista will be happy on 2GB :)
What about upgrading - you should watch for you PC memory consumption after running all your main and demanding applications. If you've got 1GB of memory and peak memory consumption doesn't go over 1GB, then you don't need 2GB. If peak goes over 1.2-1.5GB or more, then 2GB will make system faster. "Fractional" sizes of memory (1.5GB etc) make no sense.

Quote:
We should all be wary of the word 'better', it is one of my least favourite words. Whenever someone says something is 'better', they usually don't go on to explain why. 'Better' is used in place of an explanation and when told that one must decide whether to trust the person without hearing any explanation at all.

So I don't readily take anyone's word that something is better sans explanation. I've been burned too many times.

Agreed. That's why I attempted to explain my thoughts here :)


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:25 am 
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I'm in the unbootable category. It's fine when it's warm, so I returned to folding 24/7. I restart fine about once a week, but once it's cold it fails to boot for 15-20 minutes. It hangs at one point or another. Tighting down all the screws that hold the motherboard to the case will cause a permanent failure.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:57 am 
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My BIOS sequence adds about 10-15 secs to the boot process so my actual windows boot time is around 35 seconds to usable desktop.

If your BIOS is detecting USB devices at POST then you need to disable the option to seek out USB legacy devices (usually Asus mobos or any new American Megatrends BIOS) - I have a card reader and the BIOS would autodetect each slot at POST which was a menace as it took an extra 15-20 secs sometimes just in POST so I disabled USB legacy detection at the BIOS level and all is fine now.

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