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Trying to diagnose performance issues

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  • Trying to diagnose performance issues

    I ran the latest PerformanceTest Benchmark on a new Dell Precision T1500 (after coming from a Precision 380) in the hopes of getting to the bottom of a marked performance slow down. I also ran the Advanced Network test, but that didn't show any difference between the two systems (i.e. I switched off which one was the Server and Client).

    Here are the numbers (items highlighted in red seem particularly off during a comparison of similar systems, and orange are somewhat off):

    PassMark(TM) PerformanceTest 7.0 Evaluation Version
    Results generated on: Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    CPU - Integer Math: 404.9
    CPU - Floating Point Math: 1849.0
    CPU - Find Prime Numbers: 1135.5
    CPU - Multimedia Instructions: 8.2
    CPU - Compression: 4206.3
    CPU - Encryption: 17.2
    CPU - Physics: 301.0
    CPU - String Sorting: 3696.9
    Graphics 2D - Solid Vectors: 7.9
    Graphics 2D - Transparent Vectors: 0.4
    Graphics 2D - Complex Vectors: 158.4
    Graphics 2D - Fonts and Text: 100.9
    Graphics 2D - Windows Interface: 108.3
    Graphics 2D - Image Filters: 268.5
    2D Graphics - Image Rendering: 143.2
    Graphics 3D - Simple: 134.8
    Graphics 3D - Medium: 59.8
    Graphics 3D - Complex: 18.2
    Memory - Allocate Small Block: 3648.3
    Memory - Read Cached: 1904.3
    Memory - Read Uncached: 1824.0
    Memory - Write: 1195.8
    Memory - Large RAM: 641.0
    Disk - Sequential Read: 99.3
    Disk - Sequential Write: 85.6
    Disk - Random Seek + RW: 3.9
    CPU Mark: 3287.7
    2D Graphics Mark: 394.2
    Memory Mark: 672.1
    Disk Mark: 682.5
    3D Graphics Mark: 152.0
    PassMark Rating: 932.7
    System information: This Computer
    CPU Manufacturer: GenuineIntel
    Number of CPU: 1
    Cores per CPU: 4
    CPU Type: Intel Core i5 750 @ 2.67GHz
    CPU Speed: 2660.5 MHz
    Cache size: 256KB
    O/S: Windows XP (32-bit)
    Total RAM: 2007.0 MB.
    Available RAM: 1054.1 MB.
    Video settings: 1600x1200x32
    Video driver:
    DESCRIPTION: ATI FirePro 2260
    MANUFACTURER: ATI Technologies Inc.
    BIOS: 113-B40326-100
    DATE: 7-24-2010
    Drive Letter: C
    Total Disk Space: 298.0 GBytes
    Cluster Size: 4.0 KBytes
    File system: NTFS

    Prior to this, I disabled the Low Power Mode, C-State, and SpeedStep in the BIOS and this made some discernible difference, though the performance is still lacking compared to the Precision 380 (Pentium D - 3.2 GHz).

    Now, I'm not very concerned about the graphics numbers as the application that I'm seeing performance issues with is an XP service with no UI component.

  • #2
    See this post to start with.
    Causes and Solutions for a slow PC

    In particular, a 64bit O/S would have given a better result.

    The FirePro 2260 isn't a particularly fast video card. At least in 3D we estimate that there are 560 different models of video cards that are faster.

    And the 2D performance is heavily influenced by the operating system in use and the visual settings in use.

    Large RAM is result is low because you have a piddling amount of RAM, compared to other new desktop machines (the Dell T1500 will take up to 16GB of RAM).


    • #3
      I should have explained that this is a system from work, and that we need to support 32-bit Windows XP (and currently do not support Windows 7).

      I guess my concern is that I was getting better performance with a Pentium D 3.2 GHz with the same amount of RAM.

      The one big difference I noticed was the L2 cache on the D was more than on the i5.

      I should have access to another T1500 to see if it is just my system having a problem, or if it is the spec for all of the PCs that needs to be changed.


      • #4
        Dell has had issues with overheating CPU's on several models in the last few years. This causes the CPU to down clock which will kill performance. This may not be the case but I'd sure check it out. Core Temp is free and will report CPU temps and CPU frequency.

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        • #5
          Core Temp showed all cores fell in the 31-48 range mostly sticking in the 35-40 range. So that seems fine.

          I ran PerformanceTest on a colleague's nearly identical system (his BIOS was older and he had 1 2GB SIMM vs. my 2 1MB SIMMS) and his showed a subtantial improvement in 2D Graphics Mark and Random Seek + RW (though my system bested his over all in the Disk Mark), as well as modest improvements in the Memory Mark.

          I'll try reseating my SIMMS and re-run the test.

          EDIT: No change in the test results after a SIMM reseating. It turns out that the drives are also different (his: Western Digital; mine: Hitachi). Another similar system may come available for a comparison test, so I'll update if I get numbers from that one.
          Last edited by szeller; Apr-01-2011, 08:50 PM.


          • #6
            With only one Editors' Choice winner out of 16 notebook reviews, Dell had little chance of scoring higher than second to last... in software it gained just 6 points out of 10. Customer's satisfaction still remains very low.. 3 out of 5