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Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

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Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby grab » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:14 am

My desktop PC has been suffering bitrot for some time, and last month WinXP finally turned up its toes, so it was time for a reinstall. My data lives on a separate partition (and is backed up externally) so I could just wipe the C: partition and start over from clean.

Trouble is, my WinXP install is an ancient OEM version. Being OEM, each time I need to reinstall on new hardware, I need to ring up MS and beg for an activation code. And being ancient, it also takes forever to get all the updates. This is pre-SP1, so that's a lot of updates! I don't have any old hardware or software any more, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy Windows 7. Word was that it was a bit slower than WinXP but not seriously so.

Bad mistake. See, my PC is a single-core Sempron 2800 (running at 1.6GHz) with half a gig of RAM. The poor thing now takes an eternity to start up. With nothing at all happening, 10% of the processor is being used - what by, I have absolutely no idea. Just resizing a Windows Explorer window takes 40% of the processor. Playing back a WAV file with nothing else happening at all frequently gets stutters during playback. I haven't tried running Reaper yet, but I have no great hopes for it playing ball any more.

Deep unf*ckingbridled joy. Not.

No constructive reason for posting this, I'm afraid, except to vent a bit, and perhaps to warn anyone with lower-spec machines to stick with WinXP.

Edit: I know, I know, upgrade RAM. I will do. Just a PITA to need hardware upgrades to what was a perfectly useable PC.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Frederick » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:31 am

there is a way to strip an xp install of all it's hardware specific information prior to making an image file, so you can have a universal image file (from memory this wrecks your current install, so you will need an image of that with all its drivers etc).

I used to have books on this, but they're gone, perhaps try a Microsoft engineers forum...
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:32 am

grab wrote:My desktop PC has been suffering bitrot for some time, and last month WinXP finally turned up its toes, so it was time for a reinstall. My data lives on a separate partition (and is backed up externally) so I could just wipe the C: partition and start over from clean.

Trouble is, my WinXP install is an ancient OEM version. Being OEM, each time I need to reinstall on new hardware, I need to ring up MS and beg for an activation code. And being ancient, it also takes forever to get all the updates. This is pre-SP1, so that's a lot of updates! I don't have any old hardware or software any more, so I decided to bite the bullet and buy Windows 7. Word was that it was a bit slower than WinXP but not seriously so.

Bad mistake. See, my PC is a single-core Sempron 2800 (running at 1.6GHz) with half a gig of RAM. The poor thing now takes an eternity to start up. With nothing at all happening, 10% of the processor is being used - what by, I have absolutely no idea. Just resizing a Windows Explorer window takes 40% of the processor. Playing back a WAV file with nothing else happening at all frequently gets stutters during playback. I haven't tried running Reaper yet, but I have no great hopes for it playing ball any more.

Deep unf*ckingbridled joy. Not.

No constructive reason for posting this, I'm afraid, except to vent a bit, and perhaps to warn anyone with lower-spec machines to stick with WinXP.

That PC is well behind the times. Windows 7 isn't designed to work with single core processors or half a gig of ram. I'm not sure what graphics card you have, but its very likely a museum piece also.

Since you have invested in Windows 7 perhaps its time to spend a few hundred quid and get something modern.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Martin Walker » Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:48 am

johnny h wrote:That PC is well behind the times. Windows 7 isn't designed to work with single core processors or half a gig of ram. I'm not sure what graphics card you have, but its very likely a museum piece also.

Since you have invested in Windows 7 perhaps its time to spend a few hundred quid and get something modern.

I tend to agree with johnny on this occasion

Windows 7 does expect hardware a little more recent than you have, and with an elderly PC I'd stick with an operating system of similar vintage if at all possible.


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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Parco » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:36 pm

Please detailly list the hardware configs of your windows 7 computer before everything
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:18 pm

On the old computer, I suggest you install XP one final time, go through the updates, and then take a backup image of the C: drive. Next time, restoration will be a 10-minute job! If the machine's sufficient for what you need to do on it, fine. Check the price (and feasibility) of a RAM upgrade to 1GB. I wouldn't throw TOO much money at this old war-horse, but if it's cheap, go for it.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:40 am

Exalted Wombat wrote:On the old computer, I suggest you install XP one final time, go through the updates, and then take a backup image of the C: drive. Next time, restoration will be a 10-minute job! If the machine's sufficient for what you need to do on it, fine. Check the price (and feasibility) of a RAM upgrade to 1GB. I wouldn't throw TOO much money at this old war-horse, but if it's cheap, go for it.

This will take hours and you will still have a really old, slow machine with tiring hard drives and an old power supply. Time to get the credit card out.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:10 am

Hi Grab,
I have some odd sticks of ram about the place so PM me and I give you the numbers, you are welcome to them if they work, I did not buy them!

I agree with the others, time to get a new pc but keeping the old one running on XP is a very good idea. You can network it to the new pc and amongst other things fit a monster hard drive (SATA if you can but it might be even too old for that!) and use that as a "backup, backup" for your music data on the newbey.Plus the clunker can run infernalnet and other office duties.

You say XP takes a while to load back onto the pc? Wait till you have to install W7 from recovery discs!

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:58 am

ef37a wrote:Hi Grab,
I have some odd sticks of ram about the place so PM me and I give you the numbers, you are welcome to them if they work, I did not buy them!

I agree with the others, time to get a new pc but keeping the old one running on XP is a very good idea. You can network it to the new pc and amongst other things fit a monster hard drive (SATA if you can but it might be even too old for that!) and use that as a "backup, backup" for your music data on the newbey.Plus the clunker can run infernalnet and other office duties.

You say XP takes a while to load back onto the pc? Wait till you have to install W7 from recovery discs!

Dave.

I disagree that its worth keeping it running. These old PCs aren't particularly light on electricity. Probably better off with a 1tb external drive to cope with backup duties. Uses much less power, is very cheap, portable and looks a lot nicer too!
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Thu Oct 13, 2011 10:15 am

Johnny,
In the last 3 months I have had 2 usb drives go TsU on me. One I managed to get the data off whilst it was at about -10C!
The OP cannot email and net with a 1TB external drive! Old pcs not electrically "green"? Maybe not in the days of sodding great CRT monitors but I doubt that todays' processors and hard drives pull much less power than ten years ago (the CPU might be more efficient but it is also more powerful, a 1000hp gas turbine is much more efficient than a 90hp Ford Mondeo engine but uses a stack more juice!) look at the bloody cooling plants we need in modern pcs!

Anyway, all that "wasted" heat goes into the room and cuts thy gas bill!

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby grab » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:36 am

Thanks Dave - might take you up on that. Can't remember offhand what flavour of DIMM my mobo likes, so need to check that. Equally, I might invest a few quid into general upgradeyness.

Just a shame this happened the very week when the place I'm working for went into administration, so as a contractor I'm not getting paid for September. (I'll probably get something, but it'll be too little and too late.) So need to cut down on consumption generally. Ho hum.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:18 am

ef37a wrote:Johnny,
In the last 3 months I have had 2 usb drives go TsU on me. One I managed to get the data off whilst it was at about -10C!
The OP cannot email and net with a 1TB external drive! Old pcs not electrically "green"? Maybe not in the days of sodding great CRT monitors but I doubt that todays' processors and hard drives pull much less power than ten years ago (the CPU might be more efficient but it is also more powerful, a 1000hp gas turbine is much more efficient than a 90hp Ford Mondeo engine but uses a stack more juice!) look at the bloody cooling plants we need in modern pcs!

Anyway, all that "wasted" heat goes into the room and cuts thy gas bill!

Dave.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 14, 2011 6:22 am

I don't have a "computer junk room" and I do not see that my wife's opinions have any relavence to this discussion or to you?

My point is that computers have got steadily more powerful and thus consume more energy, unlike say a new fridge where the amount of cooling needed per mtr cube has not changed but insulation materials have and so overall you get the same cooling capacity for less overall electrical input.

You only need to look at the sort of power supplies that are now available, 600,850, 1000watts and all the serious gamer kit has to have a bloody fan on it!

Then, junking a working computer (or car!) means that all that plastic and metal and the energy and feedstocks needed to make it is largely wasted in landfill.

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Parco » Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:30 am

Grab don't worry you may just wait for Windows 8 because it just need around 64MB - 128MB memory
http://networkedblogs.com/okRkB
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Frederick » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:35 am

johnny, your argument that old computers use more energy is flawed, whilst the psu won't be as efficient as a modern one (more wastage to heat), a sempron will pull about the same from the plug at idle as a modern computer (30-60w) and little more at load (probably significantly less than a modern one with it's many cores and high end graphics).

It is actually far less energy efficient to buy a new computer even if it uses less power, because the energy comsumed in transporting/making a computer component will likely never be eclipsed in the lifetime of it's usage.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:51 am

Quite so Frederick, you have encapulated neatly what I, in my clumsy way was trying to put across.

But there is a problem, The Economy Stupid (nothing personal!). If we cease or slow down significantly the manufacture of "new things" the recession will deepen and millions will be thrown out of work worldwide. Then who are we to deny the emerging nations of the luxuries we enjoy (Air conning Africa is a terrifying prospect!)? But on the other hand we are already using more than the resources of one planet!

Governments (those that give a *hit!) and Economists have had over a century to "get it right" and now have the use of some very potent number crunchers but they seem to be no nearer.

One thing I am sure of tho'. Science and technology were not responsible for the mess we are in, no, that was mostly greed and war, but abandoning S&T is not the answer. The bloody tree huggers (mostly in sunny California) will have us all freeze to death.

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby grab » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:02 am

Jeez, what have I started?!

My backup strategy is going to be slightly different. Bcos we've got a netbook (in the living room) and the desktop (in my workroom), the network drive will be the master so that we can get at the files from either. So instead of backing up data from the desktop to the network drive, I'll actually be doing it the other way around. Separately I'll also be doing offsite backup when I get a minute to set it up (probably as simple as periodically FTP'ing to a password-protected area on my company hosting which offers unlimited disk space) so I don't really need a "backup backup". Printer's on Ethernet too so I don't need anything as a print server.

I did go through a phase of hoarding old PC kit about 10 years back, and "computer junk room" fairly accurately described my workroom back in about 2003! But I think I broke that habit when I started acquiring instruments though... I'm still not sure which one my wife would rather put up with, bcos at least the PCs don't make noise late at night.

Wombat, you're right that I should take an image once everything's installed. I always mean to do that - and never do! Trouble is that installing everything is usually an iterative process as they're needed, bcos it's no-one's idea of fun. So typically it drags on for bl**dy months, and by the time I've got most of everything on there, I've forgotten about all my good intentions.

Thing is, the hard drive is about 3 years old, so not exactly worn out yet. The graphics card is no-one's idea of sophisticated, but I never play games on it so it shouldn't really need to be. And whilst the thing as a whole definitely ain't super-fast, I'm still not sure it qualifies as a "museum piece", except in terms of RAM. It's certainly no less powerful than netbooks, for instance, and netbooks seem to have no problems with Win7.

Of course new software is likely to assume more processing power available, but my 2000-issue 800MHz AMD Duron still only needed fractions of a percent of CPU on WinXP when idling. As a software engineer, it bugs me that Win7 burns through so much processing power when doing absolutely nothing. I've got damn near everything turned off, so what's it doing in the background that's using all this processing?
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Pete Kaine » Fri Oct 14, 2011 11:50 am

grab wrote:Jeez, what have I started?!

Not sure, but I've got some popcorn if you fancy some?

grab wrote:
Of course new software is likely to assume more processing power available, but my 2000-issue 800MHz AMD Duron still only needed fractions of a percent of CPU on WinXP when idling. As a software engineer, it bugs me that Win7 burns through so much processing power when doing absolutely nothing. I've got damn near everything turned off, so what's it doing in the background that's using all this processing?

Skynet is here. What you don't realize is that for every windows machine running, the is actuary an evil super computer network based in the ether siphoning off clock cycles from one and all in the biggest distributed network ever seen. Somewhere in the Nevada desert evil robotic clones are being massed produced and will be invading shortly... Please stand by.

(It's been a hard week, can I go home yet?)
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Martin Walker » Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:14 pm

Pete Kaine wrote:(It's been a hard week, can I go home yet?)

Certainly not! There's another four hours to go yet




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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 14, 2011 1:21 pm

Martin Walker wrote:
Pete Kaine wrote:(It's been a hard week, can I go home yet?)

Certainly not! There's another four hours to go yet




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I, can go home when I like! Oh! I already am!

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:57 pm

Frederick wrote:johnny, your argument that old computers use more energy is flawed, whilst the psu won't be as efficient as a modern one (more wastage to heat), a sempron will pull about the same from the plug at idle as a modern computer (30-60w) and little more at load (probably significantly less than a modern one with it's many cores and high end graphics).

It is actually far less energy efficient to buy a new computer even if it uses less power, because the energy comsumed in transporting/making a computer component will likely never be eclipsed in the lifetime of it's usage.

I think you might have misunderstood my argument. I was responding to the guy who suggested using old computers as network computers for backup; I pointed out that its a lot more space and energy efficient to use a small external drive for these purposes.

These days a laptop will do pretty much everything you need - write emails, go on the internet, record albums ...
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:16 pm

Johnny,
This (old, heard it even if you didn't say it!)guy is/was not suggesting people go "totting" for old computers! I merely meant that SINCE the OP had an old pc it made sense to use it and ONE good use is as a secondary backup, my point about usb drives being that I have had them fail,twice in 3 months but I have only ever had one internal HDD fail in 6years and that was only days old! If you have ever had serious problems with a pc you will know how vital it is to have a spare!

I think the power/greeness/tree hugging is done and dusted?

Er? And yes, a laptop can do almost everything EXCEPT run a serious music setup!Laps are also I would think even less planet friendly than big jobs? Hard to fix and batteries you know!

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:20 pm

ef37a wrote:Johnny,
This (old, heard it even if you didn't say it!)guy is/was not suggesting people go "totting" for old computers! I merely meant that SINCE the OP had an old pc it made sense to use it and ONE good use is as a secondary backup, my point about usb drives being that I have had them fail,twice in 3 months but I have only ever had one internal HDD fail in 6years and that was only days old! If you have ever had serious problems with a pc you will know how vital it is to have a spare!

I think the power/greeness/tree hugging is done and dusted?

Er? And yes, a laptop can do almost everything EXCEPT run a serious music setup!Laps are also I would think even less planet friendly than big jobs? Hard to fix and batteries you know!

Dave.

Its probably different for film composers and people who record bands, but you may be shocked at the big names who use a MBP for their main DAW! Makes sense too ... can make tunes on the plane, in the hotel, get back to the studio and hook it up to the big monitors. Keep a time machine backup and if you lose/break it you will be up and running again in a couple of hours ...
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Scramble » Fri Oct 14, 2011 4:40 pm

My new W7 build uses 1.3 Gb of RAM when it's started up and doing nothing!

So even if W7 can adapt to a smaller system by running less stuff (not sure it can do this) and using a hard drive as virtual RAM, 0.5Gb is going to be something of a challenge.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Agharta » Fri Oct 14, 2011 5:06 pm

ef37a wrote:I doubt that todays' processors and hard drives pull much less power than ten years ago (the CPU might be more efficient but it is also more powerful, a 1000hp gas turbine is much more efficient than a 90hp Ford Mondeo engine but uses a stack more juice!) look at the bloody cooling plants we need in modern pcs!
A modern computer is much more power efficient than a 10 year old PC whether it is at idle, full load or somewhere in-between.
The fact that it is also much more powerful is actually a benefit as it means that it can perform tasks quicker and therefore return to the idle state quicker which is its most power efficient state.
Modern CPUs consume less power and are more powerful so when combined their efficiency is vastly improved; well at least for Intel.
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:42 pm

Woah! You will have to give me some numbers on that one Agharta!

It is the total energy comsumption over time that matters (kilowatt HOURS)so a few watts for a long time or a lot for a short one might end up as the same amount of CO2 at the powerstation, and the keepers of said station would far rather you had a steady demand anyway.

And those kW power supplies and kickarse cooling systems are just there for the once in a decade time that the whole shebang has to work its bits off for an hour or so? But we are talking music applications here, not the CPU popping up to crunch your VAT then going back to sleep. Music systems work at the top end of the computers power capability (why laptops screw ya!) or are you suggesting that musicians buy Deep Blue machines and use 1% of them so that they never kick in full welly?

I could well have all that last wrong, not seen the numbers yet but there is still Fredericks' point that it is very unlikely that the energy and resources used in making a new pc will ever be recouped by the (possible) energy savings.

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby ef37a » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:55 pm

http://www.techspot.com/review/452-amd-bulldozer-fx-cpus/

Yeah, looks like you could run that for days on a couple of PP3s.

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby johnny h » Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:56 pm

ef37a wrote:Woah! You will have to give me some numbers on that one Agharta!

It is the total energy comsumption over time that matters (kilowatt HOURS)so a few watts for a long time or a lot for a short one might end up as the same amount of CO2 at the powerstation, and the keepers of said station would far rather you had a steady demand anyway.

And those kW power supplies and kickarse cooling systems are just there for the once in a decade time that the whole shebang has to work its bits off for an hour or so? But we are talking music applications here, not the CPU popping up to crunch your VAT then going back to sleep. Music systems work at the top end of the computers power capability (why laptops screw ya!) or are you suggesting that musicians buy Deep Blue machines and use 1% of them so that they never kick in full welly?

I could well have all that last wrong, not seen the numbers yet but there is still Fredericks' point that it is very unlikely that the energy and resources used in making a new pc will ever be recouped by the (possible) energy savings.

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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Exalted Wombat » Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:16 am

Scramble wrote:My new W7 build uses 1.3 Gb of RAM when it's started up and doing nothing!

Uses? Or reserves?

But yes, computing power and RAM are cheap these days, and modern operating systems aren't designed to skimp on using them. Why should they?
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Re: Windows 7 - SLOOOOOOWWW!!

Postby Scramble » Sat Oct 15, 2011 9:23 am

Uses (according to the Resource Monitor).
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