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Old 10-04-2006, 06:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Upgrade or Start Over

I do high end graphics work, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
My current system is a Compaq EVO w6000 with:
(2) Xeon 2.4 Ghz processors
1 GB PC800 ECC RDRAM memory (4 x 256)
Matrox Millenium 64MB Dual channel graphics card
Maxtor Atlas 18GB SCSI drive with 80-68 pin adapter (drive C
DVD ROM (drive d
IBM 36 GB SCSI drive 80 pin (drive f
(both scsi drives are controlled by an onboard adaptec scsi processor)

I have two issues with this system
1) Seems like the hard drives are constantly reading/writing - even when I am not opening files or programs. It takes forever to open files. If I am running more than one program I literally wait 3-4 minutes to switch back and forth.
2) Both a new Dell we have with a P4 3.0 GHz processor and SATA II drive and my IMAC 1.8 GHz outperform my system when working on the exact same file.
(the Dell aand IMAC have 2GB memory, which I am sure helps)

Two questions:
1) Any ideas why my read/write is so pokey?

2) Do I spend the money to upgrade this system or replace it?
To upgrade to 2GBs of memory I am looking at about $660.
To upgrade my video card, another $200 or so
Add SATA I card (PCI slots only) and SATA drive: $175

On my favorite outlet store, I can get an P4 HT 3.2 GHz (or PD 3.0 GHz) with 4GB memory, 160 GB HD and 256MB ATI Radeon for between $850-$1100 (depending on other features)

So do I put the time and effort and mulah into this system or just get a new one?

Before anyones asks, I have defragged the drives numerous times and and I have 456 MB free memory with Photoshop, InDesign and Thunderbird open at once.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I say start over, because that thing just sounds very well different.
I would just start over.
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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yeah xenon cpus are not designed for graphics work, even you midrange iMac is better. get an entirely new system, as for your current one, it would make a good server. you can order a prebuilt, or we can help you choose parts to make a new one.
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Old 10-04-2006, 09:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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actually xeond do really well in programs like photoshop, and video editing stuff.

it must be the hadrdrives that are messing with the performance.

well how old is the system?
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The system is about 3 yrs old. Dual 2.4GHz Xeon processors, how could you go wrong?
The drives are really annoying. When I am working on big files, it seems like they are constantly reading/writing. I've had people stand in my office and go "What the **** is all that noise?"
When I have two programs open at once and switch back and forth, sometimes I think the program is locked up it takes so long to repaint.
I am wondering if it has something to do with the 68-80- pin adapter on the one drive. Or it could be the on-board controller is just poor.
I just can't believe the ECC memory for this is so expensive!
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Old 10-05-2006, 11:47 AM   #6 (permalink)
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sure it isn't a software problem? i would give a re-install of windows a try first before you start throwing money away

Quote:
yeah xenon cpus are not designed for graphics work, even you midrange iMac is better. get an entirely new system, as for your current one, it would make a good server. you can order a prebuilt, or we can help you choose parts to make a new one.
xeons actually do quite well at those applications.
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Old 10-05-2006, 09:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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could it be his graphics card?
Matrox Millenium 64MB???
Doesnt sound very good for graphic programs
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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For basic applications, I don't know if that would make a difference..
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know about other programs, but the photoshop CS2 work I have done at school doesn't seem to be too hard on your hardware. I know that our Dells have P4 3.0Ghz processors and only 512mb of RAM. Well they might have 1GB I've seen that in some of our desktops but I don't think my class PCs have them. But the point is, we all have integrated graphics but since photoshop works will stand-still images for the most part obviously, your system shouldn't be bogging down due to graphic problems.

If you were video editing and stuff, I can understand bogging down due to your video card because you are working with moving images. I'm just throwing it out there, I could be wrong.

Nonetheless OP, I'd say something's not right with your rig.
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Old 10-05-2006, 10:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This will improve drive performance.

click start-my computer- right click on each hard drive - properties - make sure both compress hard drive and allow disk indexing are unticked - click apply and OK. Next go to start-run- type 'services.msc' (withoutquotes) and hit enter. Double click on indexing service and disable it. This improves overall windows performance, but makes it slower when you search for files, which most people don't do very often and isn't worth sacrificing performance for.

Now go into device manager. start-right click on my computer-properties-hardware-device manager

Go to disk drives and right click on your hard drives, go to policies tab, make sure optimize for performance is ticked, tick enable cache writing, apply and ok.

Last thing, your pagefile could be corrupted or incorrect, so clear and reset your pagefile, this is probably your problem, if you have 2 or more hard drives pagefile SHOULD NOT be located on the same drive that contains windows & your apps & games.

Start-right click my computer - advanced - click settings next to performance - advanced- click change next to virtual memory - tick no paging file - set - apply ok & reboot.

Go back to where we were for virtual memory settings listed above.

Select the correct hard drive for your pagefile (the one without windows on it).

Set the initial & maximum to 2560 each. Apply & OK. This pagefile will ensure good performance, but it does use a little more disk space, but is what I use for all my systems.

I'm confident this will help you.

Peace.
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