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View Full Version : G74s - ~ 1 year old - Performance Issues



Jerrduford
10-07-2012, 03:59 AM
I've had my G74s for about a year, and recently, performance has declined. This involves both gaming and several other small tasks.

Core i7 2670QM @ 2.20 GHZ
8.00 GB DDR3 1333
2x 500 GB HDD's
GTX 560M 2GB

I was having some issues for a while with basic operations such as opening a movie file (800 Meg, say) and playing it with WMP. The hard drive would search for it, and usually eventually play. But this drag was annoying, and would occasionally cause a system freeze. Around this same time, Games often would run slow.. Like much lower FPS at a similar setting I had played at before. These programs are ran from both of the different hard drives.

When these issues arose I figured maybe temp was a problem, since it hadn't been cleaned. So I took it all apart, cleaned everything out, and deleted all partitions on both drives and re installed the operating system. No biggie. All fresh and clean, and everything ran fast for a while.

Now I'm back to having similar issues. Temperature doesn't seem to be an issue.. But performance is definitely lacking. I take care of my PC's. My registry is clean, system defragmented, no malware that I'm aware of.. etc.

I DO use advanced system care, and I allow it to do a lot of its optimizations, but this has never harmed or slowed down a computer in the past and I trust IObit's work. I allow it to do some Internet optimizations, but I have tried the active optimizations both on and off - Makes no difference in performance.

Furthermore - One other question I have is in regards to the Turbo Boost Monitor. Is it necessary to keep this program running for system performance? Or is this simply a visual rep. of what would happen regardless of whether or not the program was running?

Anyone have similar issues? Solutions?

dstrakele
10-07-2012, 04:14 AM
Can a Windows System Restore to an earlier time restore performance? If so, be more particular about what updates you install to your system and test thoroughly.

The Turbo Boost Monitor is a monitor only and has no effect on performance.

fostert
10-07-2012, 04:24 AM
Now I'm back to having similar issues. Temperature doesn't seem to be an issue.. But performance is definitely lacking. I take care of my PC's. My registry is clean, system defragmented, no malware that I'm aware of.. etc.

Hmmm...the fact that a reinstall did something suggests that Windows is somehow slowly corrupting itself (as usual), or something within it is not managed well. E.g. do you have enough swap space? Are you filling your RAM with your running apps? How many apps are starting at bootup? Does booting into safe mode speed things up (i.e. is some driver being loaded at boot that is killing performance?)? Is your hard drive space very low?



Furthermore - One other question I have is in regards to the Turbo Boost Monitor. Is it necessary to keep this program running for system performance? Or is this simply a visual rep. of what would happen regardless of whether or not the program was running?


No, you don't need to have that monitor app running at all. Kill it.


Solutions?

Boot a live linux distro cd, type "rm -rf /mnt/windows", and install Linux. ;)

Jerrduford
10-07-2012, 02:59 PM
Hmmm...the fact that a reinstall did something suggests that Windows is somehow slowly corrupting itself (as usual), or something within it is not managed well. E.g. do you have enough swap space? Are you filling your RAM with your running apps? How many apps are starting at bootup? Does booting into safe mode speed things up (i.e. is some driver being loaded at boot that is killing performance?)? Is your hard drive space very low?



No, you don't need to have that monitor app running at all. Kill it.



Boot a live linux distro cd, type "rm -rf /mnt/windows", and install Linux. ;)

So I had another crash this morning. This was after I restored to nearly the date where WinOS was installed. All I was doing was trying to open starcraft. The exe is not in a corrupt location, the game is a full, normal install with no known malware. Made no sense.

So anyways, what I want to try to do now is just install Linux on what is currently my media hard drive. I'll erase the entire partition and install linux.. And keep windows on the other hard drive.

Feasible? Which Linux should I install? Where do I go about getting it?

What's your experience with WINE and gaming?

fostert
10-07-2012, 09:39 PM
So anyways, what I want to try to do now is just install Linux on what is currently my media hard drive. I'll erase the entire partition and install linux.. And keep windows on the other hard drive.

This is a good strategy. I have my G74 as a dual boot machine too: Linux is mapped with lvm across the 2x500GB drives with a 900GB partition, and Windows 7 resides in a small 75GB partition on its own on the first drive, though I can't remember the last time I booted into Windows natively.


Feasible? Which Linux should I install? Where do I go about getting it?
Well, I have tried a few distros over the 20 years Ihave been using linux (slackware,mandrake, redhat, scientific linux, debian) and my favorite is Debian linux. If you have *any* linux experience you'll find Debian the best that offers the most control over things. If you're an absolute rank beginner with Linux, Ubuntu is probably best to start with, but you'll trade control for automation, which can be dangerous if you like to "hack" a little. Check out http://www.debian.org/distrib/

I would download and burn the DVDs necessary and install from them, unless you are experienced in network installs(I personally never do a network or live install): http://www.debian.org/CD/


What's your experience with WINE and gaming?
I don't game at all on my G74, but I do run very large mathematical models in spreadsheets under Excel in Windows, which is probably just as taxing as games. I personally have not tried WINE since its very early (and useless) days some 15 years ago. 99% of the time that I need Windows I run it in a virtual machine using VMWare Workstation. Although some folks say that you'll experience a performance degradation of 5-10% (due to the virtual machine's overhead) I have found virtually no performance penalty in practice using Windows 7 x64 in VMWare over running it natively in its own boot. In fact I think Windows behaves better and more stably when tamed and managed in a VM by Linux, but that could just be my loathing for Windows. With WINE I imagine you would get some performance hit too, although if you believe these WINE myths (http://wiki.winehq.org/Debunking_Wine_Myths) then games may actually run better under WINE than in a VM, so I could be wrong.

In a VM you are constrained to use the graphics drivers in VMTools, so you might suffer some fps loss by running a game in a VM Windows....I am not sure about WINE since I don't use it.

Jerrduford
10-07-2012, 10:56 PM
I think my problems have largely been addressed by installing Ubuntu. And I like the operating system thus far - I may experiment with other Linux Distro's.

I don't like that I'm not really able to game anymore, though. Even though gaming is something I was starting to get out of.. I have a hard time accepting that I either can't game, must run Windows on a separate partition to run them, or must accept huge performance loss through emulation/virtual machine operation.

Performance through basic use does seem to be increased. But with what I'm able to do with my PC now.. Seeming very limited.. I don't think I'd need to have anything lightweight.

What're the real advantages (cost aside, since I already have a Win7 CD key) of me keeping Linux on my gaming laptop?

fostert
10-08-2012, 12:07 AM
I think my problems have largely been addressed by installing Ubuntu. And I like the operating system thus far - I may experiment with other Linux Distro's.

Your days of babysitting a self-fragmenting, self-corrupting and perpetually bloated filesystem and memory environment are over! Welcome to power computing - Congrats.


I don't like that I'm not really able to game anymore, though. Even though gaming is something I was starting to get out of.. I have a hard time accepting that I either can't game, must run Windows on a separate partition to run them, or must accept huge performance loss through emulation/virtual machine operation.

I agree on the general feeling here, though an overall 10% drop is not a "huge performance loss" IMHO. For example, my Windows 7 WEI scores in WIndows native are: 7.4,7.6,7.2,7.2,5.9, and in Windows 7 running under my VM in Debian they are 7.3,7.9,6.0,6.0,6.8. While graphics performance has dropped (by 20%, not terribly I might add) memory speed and HDD speed are up by 5% and 15%, because these are being allocated and managed by Linux (probably caching).
If WEI scores are to be believed as a benchmark for gaming performance, I think you'll still be able to game with the best of 'em, though probably just not at the same very high detail and antialiasing settings...


Performance through basic use does seem to be increased. But with what I'm able to do with my PC now.. Seeming very limited.. I don't think I'd need to have anything lightweight.
What're the real advantages (cost aside, since I already have a Win7 CD key) of me keeping Linux on my gaming laptop?
Unless you use your computer for more than word processing, gaming, emailing, netsurfing, spreadsheets and power point presentations, then there is no real advantage. Linux is for people who want to get the most out of their hardware while running demanding and tough apps, and for those who believe basic decent software should be free. I can boot into linux and run X-windows and use only ~160MB of RAM; the least amount I can boot Windows with it seems is 1.5GB. My fortran code for data processing simply runs 25-30% slower when compiled and run under windows, and thats with a commercial (and expensive) compiler, whereas under linux the gcc compiler costs $0 and I get a performance boost to boot.

Its true that Linux is not yet evolved into a gamer's platform; although this situation is changing, it is very slowly, and Windows still rules gaming land. But since the graphics vendors ATI and NVIDIA are both now releasing their proprietary GPU drivers for Linux, I suspect change is coming. I use the NVIDIA Linux drivers to run my GTX560M in Linux.

Gorman
10-08-2012, 04:06 AM
It's good practice to reinstall regularly. The way Windows works causes any box slow down over time. My windows partition is just for gaming, I blow it away every 6 months or so. To be fair, I usually blow my linuxs' away every so often too.







fostert@ why are you using fortran? Try run some C# on your linux and see what happens. Also if you swapped over to GPU code you could vastly improve your processing times. Gaming on a VM is bad because of the lack of GPU virtualisation - run some benchmarks and see what happens! Hopefully this changes in the future... Plus those index numbers are pretty off because of caching - even though it says the HDD is faster, if you try read a cold file it will definitely be slower. It's just that system files are in RAM etc.

fostert
10-08-2012, 05:53 AM
It's good practice to reinstall regularly. The way Windows works causes any box slow down over time. My windows partition is just for gaming, I blow it away every 6 months or so. To be fair, I usually blow my linuxs' away every so often too.

Agreed: I got into that habit too of killing Windows and reinstalling fresh every year or so. But I have never had to wipe a linux partition for a fresh install...they just don't get that polluted. If things do slow down there is usually a simple fix (free up some HDD space, run disk check fsck regularly, recompile a newer leaner kernel from source, etc). The EXT2-4 filesystems don't get fragmented easily, and I have never had to defrag a linux box even once, let alone blow away a linux partition for poor performance.


fostert@ why are you using fortran? Try run some C# on your linux and see what happens. Also if you swapped over to GPU code you could vastly improve your processing times.

The data processing routines I use are not my own code, and were written in the 80s and 90s in a higher level language called "force" that is converted to F77 by a preprocessor before compiling. They are no longer being maintained but they work, and am not really ripe with time to redevelop them in C or C-sharp. In fact, thanks to the Portland group's compilers they have been auto-parallelized, and work on all four CPU cores now: blistering fast.


Gaming on a VM is bad because of the lack of GPU virtualisation - run some benchmarks and see what happens! Hopefully this changes in the future... Plus those index numbers are pretty off because of caching - even though it says the HDD is faster, if you try read a cold file it will definitely be slower. It's just that system files are in RAM etc.

Agreed the disk speed WEI number is likely inflated at least in part by caching, but I believe there is probably a real performance increase there too because of the journaling filesystem performance advantages versus NTFS. But I am curious so tomorrow I'll run the WEI again in the VM after I disable Linux' caching. I honestly can't see the RAM increase being due to caching in any way, since there is nowhere to cache beyond RAM (except the CPU caches, which should affect both virtual and native scores evenly), so thats gotta be a 100% real increase.

VMware just released Workstation 9.0 and is promoting it as speeding up virtualization 2D and 3D graphics, so I imagine the 20% loss in WEI graphics scores will become less (I am running Workstation 8.0).

However, as I am not a gamer, I am presuming you have tried and believe @Gorman that gaming in a VM is bad!

@Jerrduford: You should really just try installing some of your games in Windows under VMware and see. You can download the full Workstation 9.0 for free and run it as a trial for a couple weeks.

Jerrduford
10-08-2012, 12:33 PM
I'm installing VMware right now and I'll get back later with how it affects gaming.

I'll probably end up installing Windows on a 100 gig partition or something and only have Games on it - If the VMware performance isn't where I'd like it to be. I'm not necessarily a min-maxer when it comes to gaming and performance. But I'd like to at least see some decent performance with the machine I'm running.

An Update on my Linux experience: I'm loving Ubuntu so far, and am installing Mint w/ the Cinnamon interface to give that a try as well.
I'll be setting up a smaller partition just to give this one a try too.

I plan on keeping Linux as my main operating system just because of the performance and hate for Microsoft and their updates.

Even though this is supposed to be an Asus specific forum, everyone seems to love Linux - Does anyone have any advice on Linux for a brand new user?
Any software I should have? Any customizations I should make? Any distro's you can argue heavily for?

Thanks!

fostert
10-09-2012, 02:00 AM
Agreed the disk speed WEI number is likely inflated at least in part by caching, but I believe there is probably a real performance increase there too because of the journaling filesystem performance advantages versus NTFS. But I am curious so tomorrow I'll run the WEI again in the VM after I disable Linux' caching. I honestly can't see the RAM increase being due to caching in any way, since there is nowhere to cache beyond RAM (except the CPU caches, which should affect both virtual and native scores evenly), so thats gotta be a 100% real increase.

Okidokie; after booting Windows 7 and VMWare Workstation 8.0 under Linux, I flushed the disk cache completely (command: sync ; sudo sh -c 'echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches') and then ran the WEI bench in the VM. I again flushed the cache clean and ran the WEI for a second time. There should be no performance advantage from digging into the cache for system files, since it is wiped clean before each run. Scores identical: 7.3,7.9,6.0,6.0,6.8 (recall my native windoiws boot scores are 7.4,7.6,7.2,7.2,5.9)

So the disk score has not changed and one is tempted tho think that performance of the disk under a VM is substantially higher... however, I did some digging into why. The real reason is that Windows limited ALL physical platter disks artificially to 5.9 UNLESS they are connected to a hardware RAID controller. Even if you have hardware controlled RAID, it is still 5.9 max.
The VM's disk controller tricks Windows by pretending like its hard drive is an LSI SAS controller, so Windows actually goes ahead and scores it based on transfer speed and seek times without simply limiting it to 5.9. See this thread on overclock.net (http://www.overclock.net/t/596533/windows-7-performance-score-thread/1900).

So, in other words, the WEI Disk score is meaningless if you have a HDD, since Windows will run the tests, determine its a platter type drive and blindly assigns a score of 5.9. This explains something I have long noticed too: that 5400 rpm drives get the same WEI score as 7200 rpm drives!
The score of 6.8 I am getting in the VM is therefore a "real" score for my drive, but it is not a performance increase relative to the 5.9 since that was not obtained from a real test. The moral of the story: there is no way of knowing with the WEI what you have gained in an upgrade relative to what you had, so its a useless benchmark.