Currently Browsing: Performance

Comparison of 7500k and 10k RPM hard drive performance

I just bought a new Dell XPS with 2x700GB 7500 RPM drives (ST3750528AS) in a RAID 0 array, and I moved over my (very expensive) 2x300GB 15,000 RPM RAID 0 array. This seemed like a good time to compare the performance of 7500RPM  and 15kRPM drives.

Now, there is one big factor to consider besides the drive spin speed: The newer 700GB drives are more than twice as big as my older 300GB drives, which means their data is about twice as dense. Therefore, they should be able to read data about twice as quickly, if the RPMs were equal.

First, the older, 15k drives:


Can I Delete Temporary Internet Files?

A question from a reader:

After reading your superb article on restoring your computer’s performance, I was
only wishing that you were in Sydney Australia rather than in the US. If you were running courses, I would be the first to enroll.

Whilst it may seem impertitent on my part, I was hoping you would not mind answering one question please.

When attempting to free up wasted space, can the ‘Temporary Internet files’ as well as the ‘Temporary files’ be cleaned out to speed up the start up of my Laptop. As you can tell, I am rather new at this.


How to Measure the Performance of Personal Firewalls

A question from a reader:


I am currently a student at Liverpool John Moores University in BEng Computer and Control engineering and I have got a project to do.

The title of the project is “Performance of firewalls”, the goal is to compare the performance of different personal firewalls. I have already done a theoretical study thanks to your web page on firewalls and others books.

Now I’m faced with several problems for the practical test, because I do not know really how I can test the performances of different personal firewalls, how I can launch threats against the firewall to see his reaction, I wanted to know if you are able to guide me for carrying on my project, or when you can point me to people that could help me.

And my response (after the jump):


Low Processor Frequency

Today my friend Jeff hit me up with an interesting question. His quad-core HP DL585 is supposed to operate at 3.4 GHz, but Performance Monitor was showing it running at 82% of the maximum frequency–2.8 GHz.

My first thought was that the difference was the metric AMD uses to make it easier to compare their processors to Intels higher-frequency chips–and I was really wrong. When I investigated the Performance Monitor counters Jeff was looking at, I discovered a counter I hadn’t used before: Processor Performance\% of Maximum Frequency, as shown above.


Required Startup Programs–Which Ones Can I Remove

A quick question from a reader:

I’m running Vista 32-bit and would like to know which programs are the only ones absolutely required for startup. Thanks.


How to Speed Up Your Website

Over at the Official Google Webmaster Blog, Matt warns that Google might (someday) factor in page load times when returning search results. In other words, if your website is slow, it might fall off the search rankings.

He pointed me to a site I hadn’t seen before– It’s fantastic. I’ve used many different website optimization tools (including Web Page Analyzer, Google Webmaster Tools, and Page Speed), but WebPageTest provides several different sources throughout the world, and different bandwidths, with different browser versions, and a fantastic user interface.

I used it to examine the performance of two of my sites– and was pretty good already because I’ve spent a lot of time analyzing it, but I did discover that simultaneous connections with older browsers was limiting the page load time a bit (despite the fact that I already use parallelization), so I juggled the locations of images around a bit.


How to Test (and Understand) Hard Disk Drive Performance

That’s a screenshot from my favorite free tool for testing hard disk performance–HD Tune (there’s a pro version you can buy, too). That’s from my Seagate Barracuda 7200 RPM 1.5 TB SATA drive backup drive.

The Blue Line–Transfer Rate

First, the blue line is the transfer rate. That’s the speed which the hard disk sends data to the computer when a big file is lined up nicely–defragmented, in other words. Notice that the line starts high (at 126 MB/sec) and drops (to about 57 MB/sec). That’s because the test moves from the outside of the drive to the inside. Disk drives are round, like a record, and so the outside spins faster (in inches/sec) from the inside.