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How to get best performance from HIGH-end system?

Posted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 4:05 am
by Paedomorphosis
Everything about performance seems to be about how to squeeze the most out of a old or cheap, low-end system... But I just got a new, super-fast computer (Intel i7, 8 GB RAM, ATI Radeon with 1 GB VRAM, 0.75 TB storage), and I want to make sure I'm getting the best of what my hardware has to offer. I got what could be considered a "gaming" laptop, not primarily to play games (although it can do that, and very well), but because I want to run dozens of apps simultaneously with all the eye-candy I want, and have my computer not be slow or unresponsive practically ever. I'm pretty sure my computer can handle that. But Windows 7 seems to do better in that department, and I'd like to fix that.

To give a specific example, I have to wait what seems to be an unnecessarily long amount of time after logging in before my gnome panels and Mint Menu are fully present and operational, causing someone who had never seen any kind of Linux OS before to remark, "Wow, is Linux really slow to start up?" The equivalent in Windows seems to happen pretty much instantaneously.

But I'm not looking to solve a specific problem so much as I am to find general advice on how to make sure I'm taking full advantage of my hardware's capabilities as much as possible.

-Computer- HP Pavilion dv7-4040tx
Processor : 8x Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 CPU Q 720 @ 1.60GHz
Memory : 8128MB (2253MB used)
Operating System : Linux Mint 10 Julia (64-bit)

Resolution : 1600x900 pixels
OpenGL Renderer : ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5000 Series

Audio Adapter : HDA-Intel - HD-Audio Generic

-SCSI Disks-


Re: How to get best performance from HIGH-end system?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:34 am
by phil
Although you have a fast computer, your scsi drives are probably the limiting factor for fast start up and response if disk access is required. The biggest boost of speed I ever made to my computer was going to SSDs for the operating system.

Re: How to get best performance from HIGH-end system?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:03 am
by Paedomorphosis
Huh. Guess there's not much I can do about that other than swapping out my hard drives, is there? Getting an SSD was tempting, but they're so expensive, and small. I crave speed, but I'm also a packrat... I'm currently using 558 GB of storage, between Linux, Windows, and an external drive, and that doesn't include the OTHER external drive I use for keeping an exact copy of my home directory. Having a 200 - 300 GB hard drive would feel like going back in time. But if it's as good as you say, maybe it's worth considering, and I could store my media collections on external drives like I had been doing...

PS: Oh, I guess I didn't mention, it's a notebook--I relocate, usually by a few thousand miles, too often to have a desktop--so unfortunately I can't just stick in an extra hard drive or two and put my OS on whichever one I feel like.

Re: How to get best performance from HIGH-end system?

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:18 am
by phil
All of my computers are hybrid. A small ssd for OSs and a large hard drive for data storage. The computer I am using right now is mainly used for engineering work. It has a 30G ssd ($80) and a 1T Western Digital Green($50). That is not high cost. Also remember that not much software is written for multiple cores, so high core speed means better overall performance.