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Old 02-19-2007, 04:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bottleneck somewhere, or windows problem?

Hey all,

I have somewhat recently upgraded my computer a little, and reformatted.

I have a Dell Dimension 4600 configured as such:

2x 128 mb pc2700 ram
1x 256 mb pc2700 ram
1x 256 mb pc3200 ram (Arranged like this on the mobo {256 128 256 128} alternating, as it is how dell set the mobo up)
Four sticks of ram total, running paired by module size.
P4 2.8 Ghz, 133 FSB.
120 gigabyte seagate sata HDD
EVGA Nvidia Geforce 6200

The PC3200 ram is there because Dell seemed to have shipped the wrong thing. BUT, the bios/everest/cpuz/etc. all report it downclocking correctly and it is stable, also everything is running dual channel, so I don't think that is the issue.

My issue, specifically, is that most of the things I do, be it opening an FF window, My Computer or other explorer windows, etc. there is always a severe amount of hard drive tracking and a 2-3 second lag to open the windows. Once loaded, things run well, but it is the initial loading/logging in/etc. that is extremely sluggish.

I have defragged, used registry mechanic to try to improve logins/bootups, checked for viruses/spyware/etc. in which there is none, I'm generally pretty good with that.

I have adjusted my swap as recommended in one of the major topics here on TF (2048-physical ram(768)). This made no difference.

Is there a bottleneck somewhere, or is there something here that has messed up in windows? My startup processes are simply Nvidia taskbar settings and Avira Antivir. So I really don't see what is going on here. On my laptop which is a Pent. M with 512 megs of ram and a 5200 rpm HDD there is no lag opening windows and whatnot.

Thanks for any help and ideas ahead of time.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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you are dual-channeling different types of ram, this maybe the reason, also you have 2x128mb, 128mb sounds pretty old so it could be timings and such or just age, i could be wrong though.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My personal preference is to not mix different RAM. (I don't even like to mix different brands of the same speed) There shouldn't be a problem, but often there is. This may be why you experience the lag. Best bet would be to a matching pair of 512's. Or 4 matching 256's. Just my $.02.
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Old 02-19-2007, 04:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Problem being, I'd have to buy enough ram to displace the sticks in there currently, in which I do not have the money or resources.

But, as to highlight further the biggest thing I'm noticing, is the huge amount of tracking my harddrive is doing while the lag is happening, even for opening simply an explorer window. Not sure if this is related to the ram but oh well.
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Old 02-19-2007, 05:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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the hard drive could be nearing its alst leg but its hard to tell. you said it was defragged. so thats not the problem. your ram isnt good but it cant be helped cause you dont have the cash. how old is the drive? and when was the last time you reformatted?
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Old 02-19-2007, 06:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I reformatted maybe a month and 1/2 ago, and it is a relatively well maintained install.

It is the hard drive that came with my computer in '04. It sounds like a tank driving through our house when it tracks, as it has always though. (Gah, seagate) Sata 7,200 RPM 8 meg cache. HOPING that it isn't the issue, I'd be screwed, as like with the ram I'm currently not in the position to pick up another.
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