Memory use and performance issues

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by david manvell, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. I’m having some memory use or performance issues I think. Let me try to
    explain.

    I have a fairly powerful desktop with decent hardware all around. System
    specs:

    Dell Precision 670 Workstation
    Running Windows Vista Ultimate x64.
    All latest service packs etc.
    2 Xeon CPUs 3.2GHz (2 logical processors each). So 4 logical processors each
    running at 3.2GHz
    6Gigs ram (2GB+2GB+1GB+1GB) DDR2-400 Registered ECC Memory Module.
    2 Ultra320 SCSI controller and drives
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT (512 MB) video card running two 24†monitors.

    My Windows Experience Index scores:
    Processor: 5.0
    Memory (RAM): 4.7
    Graphics: 5.9
    Gaming graphics: 5.9
    Primary hard disk: 5.9

    Things to note:

    1. With my system rebooted and no programs running I am already using
    2.8Gigs of my 6Gigs ram. I must have a lot of processes and services started.
    I have no idea which ones to shut off.

    2. Considering my other computers have Processor and Memory scores of 5.9
    and they have much slower and lesser number of CPUs and not even 64 bit I
    suspect my RAM issues is slowing down my processors. I should have 5.9 for a
    processor score.

    3. My Memory (RAM) score is very low (4.7).


    Here is a list of the processes and Services running on my computer:

    http://members.cox.net/dmanvell/Processes.jpg
    http://members.cox.net/dmanvell/Services1.jpg

    So what can I do to free up some of this memory being used (What processes
    or services can I shut down)? Can I speed up my RAM somehow? Is there
    something in my bios that is not turned on or can the RAM be replaced with
    faster RAM? It seems really poor that just booting up my computer alone is
    using almost 3 Gigs of ram. With my system just sitting and idling, my CPU %
    use is between 0 and 1 %. No memory faults are being detected either.

    Processor Intel(R) Xeon(TM) CPU 3.20GHz x 2
    Memory (RAM) 6.00 GB
    Graphics NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
    Gaming graphics 2558 MB Total available graphics memory
    Primary hard disk 93GB Free (279GB Total)
    Windows Vista (TM) Ultimate

    System:
    Manufacturer Dell Inc.
    Model Precision WorkStation 670
    Total amount of system memory 6.00 GB RAM
    System type 64-bit operating system
    Number of processor cores 2

    Storage:
    Total size of hard disk(s) 1348 GB
    Disk partition (C:) 136 GB Free (137 GB Total)
    Media drive (D:) CD
    Media drive (E:) CDCD/DVD
    Disk partition (F:) 711 GB Free (932 GB Total)
    Disk partition (J:) 93 GB Free (279 GB Total) <--Windows installed here.

    Graphics:
    Display adapter type NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
    Total available graphics memory 2558 MB
    Dedicated graphics memory 512 MB
    Dedicated system memory 0 MB
    Shared system memory 2046 MB
    Display adapter driver version 7.15.11.7813
    Primary monitor resolution 1920x1200
    Secondary monitor resolution 1680x1050
    DirectX version DirectX 10

    Network:
    Network Adapter Intel(R) PRO/1000 MT Server Connection
    Network Adapter Microsoft Tun Miniport Adapter
     
    david manvell, Oct 18, 2008
    #1
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  2. So what can I do to free up some of this memory being used (What processes
    On this specific question: don't try. Vista, unlike it's predecessors,
    makes much more use of any available RAM by preloading all sorts of stuff
    into memory, including applications which it "expects" you to use (based on
    your previous useage patterns - Superfetch).

    This memory is instantly released if an application requires it, so it isn't
    causing you a problem. Indeed, it is actually helping you by speeding
    things up.

    Remember: empty RAM is wasted RAM. You've paid for it, so let Vista use it
    to improve your user experience.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Oct 18, 2008
    #2
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  3. david manvell

    DDW Guest

    To the OP: disregard that instruction, because it's wrong.
    If the user disables the loading/starting of unneeded services and
    programs then there will be just that much MORE RAM available for
    system use.

    Thus: it's worth trying.

    DDW
     
    DDW, Oct 18, 2008
    #3
  4. david manvell

    Mark H Guest

    Initially, the amount of memory limits the WEI:
    <256MB limited to 1.0
    <500MB limited to 2.0
    <512MB limited to 2.9
    <704MB limited to 3.5
    <960MB limited to 3.9
    <1.5GB limited to 4.5
    There are more, up to 5.9

    Then comes bandwidth: MB/s
    While you're CPU is fast, the memory may be bottlenecked when compared to
    your CPU output.
    WEI compares what the CPU can produce on the data bus to what the memory can
    take in.

    Lastly, latency:
    Is your memory all working at the same speed? Or, are portions waiting for
    the other sticks to catch up?
    This is crucial when you have more than one stick: all memory should be
    identical in it's ratings (even so much as made by the same manufacturer.)
    If not, each stick will perform slightly differently and timings will be out
    of alignment. Three of the four sticks will be waiting for the fourth. Do
    you have the sticks in the right slots to support dual channel mode?

    Go to: C:\Windows\Performance\WinSAT\DataStore
    Open the most recent file with MS Word
    Look for Memory Metrics.
    I have a score here of 5.9
    Memory Metrics: 9015
    Memory: DDR2-800
    Latency: 5 (Four matched 2GB sticks)

    While I have 8GB memory, going further into the file I find a section
    labeled Memory and it reports I only have 7GB. (See table above. I think
    <6GB is the limit for 5.9) If you recall, x86 machines are limited to about
    3.2GB due to hardware addresses using the rest of 4GB. Either this happens
    on a x64 machine also, or I have something else going on here. (My video
    card shares 2GB.) Point is, you may have less memory available than you
    think. Is it all available?

    Go a little further in the file and find: System Memory Bandwidth:
    This is comparing CPU and memory bandwidth.
    I get 9308 MB/s (average)
    Each CPU is producing 4650 MB/s (average)
    I have 2 CPUs
    Since the total CPU output is equal to the Memory Input, my current
    bottleneck is my CPU.
    CPU rating: 5.6
    (Note: I have a dual core 3.2Ghz. Same speed as yours, less
    cores.)

    Looking at these metrics will tell you where your bottleneck is on your
    computer resulting in the low rating.
    I would suspect:
    Memory not matched.
    Memory in wrong slots for dual channel.
    CPU bandwidth > memory bandwidth
     
    Mark H, Oct 18, 2008
    #4
  5. david manvell

    Ian D Guest

    The reason for your low CPU and RAM scores is because your
    machine is built on server and workstation specs, rather than general
    use desktop specs.

    The Xeon CPU's will not rate as high as Core 2 CPU's at the same
    speeds. My 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo rates at 5.3 in Vista Ultimate 64.
    The Xeons will shine at Autocad, Photoshop, etc., but will not
    perform as well at gaming, etc.

    Also, 800MHz RAM should score 5.6 or higher, but you are using
    registered ECC, which is lowering the bandwidth. Error checking
    reliability has a performance cost. That's why high speed gaming
    PC's don't use buffered or ECC RAM. Very few desktop
    motherboards take ECC RAM.
     
    Ian D, Oct 18, 2008
    #5
  6. If the user disables the loading/starting of unneeded services and
    Fair point, although the amount of memory you really save is tiny. Have you
    actually tried it? How much did you save?

    What I should have said is that Vista's apparently higher memory useage is
    mostly due to the better way it manages memory than XP (that is, it doesn't
    aim to minimise it's footprint, which would reduce its performance
    unnecessarily).

    Thanks for the correction.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Oct 18, 2008
    #6
  7. david manvell

    DDW Guest

    I have don't remember exactly, but I seem to recall that I gained
    somewhere between 10% and 15%. It was 6 months ago... I disabled
    every possible service using Black Viper's recommendations (not the
    "safe" ones), and also all the unnecessary startup items. Number of
    running processes dropped from the upper 50s to 45.

    When I did that, I had just installed Vista on an XP machine and only
    had 1G of RAM so I thought anything I dumped would help. Now I've got
    3G and don't even worry about it.
    DDW
     
    DDW, Oct 18, 2008
    #7
  8. The O/P has 6 gig of RAM. Do you think he really has a worry?

    I don't.
     
    Richard Urban, Oct 18, 2008
    #8
  9. david manvell

    DDW Guest

    Nope. Not even CLOSE.

    DDW
     
    DDW, Oct 18, 2008
    #9
  10. Nope. Not even CLOSE.

    So I was right, then: don't try.

    SteveT
     
    Steve Thackery, Oct 19, 2008
    #10
  11. Do you know if I can change out the type of ram i have or the CPUs? or do I
    have to use the ones they spec?
     
    david manvell, Oct 20, 2008
    #11
  12. david manvell

    Ian D Guest

    Personally, I wouldn't change anything. You have a superior spec'd
    high performance workstation, built for productivity and reliability,
    (ECC RAM). It just doesn't match up with the way Vista calculates
    it's performance index. Big deal!

    You could upgrade to faster memory, but considering it's ECC RAM
    and 6GB, that would not be worth the cost for what you would gain.
    In actual usage, the CPU index difference between 5.0 and 5.9 would
    hardly be noticed.

    In my previous post I was explaining why your machine scored lower
    in the indexes, not saying there was anything wrong with its specs.
     
    Ian D, Oct 20, 2008
    #12

  13. I reran the windows experience index after installing this latest video card
    and saw some improvement. I'm now at 5.0 with processors and 5.9 with
    everything else. I'm surprised changing the video card affted it.
    Unfortunately I am still seeing low framerates in World of Warcraft.

    Here is my assesment file:

    http://members.cox.net/dmanvell/2008-10-19Assessment.WinSAT.xml

    I will look and see what the rating is on all my ram. Iirc I originally had
    2 one gig ram sticks and then I went and added 2 two gig ram sticks (For a
    total of 6). I think all the memory in this computer is 400 speed. Can you
    put faster memory in a computer? Or will it slow it down to the same speed as
    the others? Can these CPUs be changed out?
     
    david manvell, Oct 20, 2008
    #13
  14. Personally, I wouldn't change anything. You have a superior spec'd

    This whole thing started actually because of World of Warcraft. I originally
    had a video card NVIDIA 8800 GT and was not getting the best framerates when
    playing. usually somewhere around 15-30 while running 1920x1200 with all
    stuff turned on high. So i went and got a better video card NVIDIA 9800 GX2.
    No improvement. I called NVIDIA and the said its most likely the wrong card
    as WoW doesn't play well with SLI and those two GPUs are slaved together via
    SLI. they suggested i get a single GPU video card. So returned those and got
    a NVIDIA GTX 260. Still Now I'm gettign framerates of 20-35. Maybe a sliught
    improvement but no where where i should be. Called NVIDIA and they said I
    should be seeing a absolute minimum of 60-90 framerate.

    We went over tons of stuff (Drivers and settings) and they can't find any
    reason that my framerate is so slow. They said even with my original card or
    the 9800 I should of had faster. They suspect something is wrong in Windows
    itself. Something is bottlenecking it. They suggested uninstalling anything
    in windows I don't really need and just doing a general performance
    improvement on the whole system and if that did not work to reinstall windows
    as it's been installed for several years now and maybe something has just
    snuck in there that's bottlenecking it.
     
    david manvell, Oct 20, 2008
    #14
  15. david manvell

    Ian D Guest

    I'm confused. Are you talking about the Dell Xeon workstation with
    64 bit Vista Ultimate, in your post of Oct 18, or a different machine.
    WoW is a game that's more GPU than CPU intensive. On the other
    hand, flight sims such as MS FSX are very CPU intensive. FSX
    would thrive on your two dual core Xeons.
     
    Ian D, Oct 20, 2008
    #15
  16. I'm confused. Are you talking about the Dell Xeon workstation with
    yes same system. After work the work applications get turned off and then
    it's time to moonfire some mobs. Just hard to do so with a lousy frmaerate.
    that's why NVIDIA (Video card manufacture) is confused. those games are very
    GPS demanding and for me to have one of the most powerful video cards out
    there and to still be getting really bad frame rates, they suspect something
    is wrong with my system.
     
    david manvell, Oct 20, 2008
    #16
  17. david manvell

    Mark H Guest

    Pertinent details:
    Your video card is now processing what your CPU was doing for graphics. This
    relieves both CPU and main memory, but not your data bus.

    VideoMemBandwidth = 41599 MB/s

    Your memory is reporting only 4 GB available. Like me, your video card is
    eating 2GB of shared memory. I thought this would lower your memory score,
    but it did not.

    Memory:
    Bandwidth = 3640 MB/s (Mine was 9015 @ 800Mhz)
    Total Physical
    Size 6GB
    Bytes 6372450304
    AvailablePhysical
    Size 4GB
    Bytes 4610347008

    CPU:
    Bandwidth = 3505 MB/s (Mine was 9308 and gets a 5.6 rating)
    Now this one is a little perplexing because WEI only tests each CPU, not
    each core, and the information that leaves the CPU (actually hits the data
    bus) is far less than what the individual cores are capable of. I hope that
    makes sense. Based on this, I'm not sure I'd give this score a lot of
    credence.

    Disk Drive:
    Bandwidth = 108 MB/s

    Video:
    SharedSystemMemory 2145648640

    I would check your motherboard manual to see if you can support faster
    memory, but likely not. If it can, keep in mind, all your memory will run at
    the slowest rated stick. Your video card far outpowers your CPU, so check
    nVidia and Blizzard sites for specific patches related to World of Warcraft.
    (Your drivers appear up-to-date.) No matter how fast your video card is, the
    data must eventually hit the data bus in some form and that will not be
    faster than your FSB or disk drive. (So your CPU doesn't have to do all the
    graphics calculations, but whatever is being calculated must be sent to the
    video card and RAM.)

    I think your ratings are stellar. As Ian pointed out, you are setup as a
    server. To get the scores higher is going to cost you a motherboard, CPU and
    memory change. Not sure it's worth it for a number. You will have to decide
    if it's worth the additional frames/sec. But, if it's not stuttering, what's
    the point.
     
    Mark H, Oct 20, 2008
    #17
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