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Suggestions For Windows 10 Performance Tuning


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#1 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

I'm looking for some advice from the Windows gaming pros here regarding any steps I can take to resolve performance issues with my lame HP laptop. This is a cheapo consumer system from 2015 of the sort you might find in a Walmart for around 250 bucks I would guess. It has an Intel Celeron N2830 CPU which is dual core 2.16 Ghz that I notice often boosts to 2.4 Ghz. This includes Intel HD graphics but system info does not report which and neither does Intel's own control panel. I have it set to balanced but probably should set it to performance although I am realistic about what to even attempt playing in terms of games. Stuff like the Infinity Engine remakes, etc. It does support DX 10 for some reason but it sure can't be for gaming I wouldn't think. At one point I tried figuring this out and came up with it being a little better than HD 5000 but not as good as HD 5500 if I recall. This isn't really all that important but for the sake of completeness here, that's what the system has.

Memory is 4 gigs. Naturally, it has a horrible 500 GB 5400 RPM disk drive.

Once in a while the CPU is topped out but that is not generally a problem after startup. The disc is a major problem and can remain pinned at 100% usage for over 10 minutes and sometimes considerably more when starting up. At random times it can also be 100% even though I might be doing nothing more than web browsing and I notice the system becoming unresponsive.

Part of the problem with this gimp box is it simply cannot handle some of the stuff I installed such as iCloud Photos which is a problem for the disc I notice. Likewise, Dropbox is as well. OneDrive doesn't seem to be an issue perhaps in part for lack of anything needing to sync as a rule. My solution here is going to be web access to things like iCloud and Dropbox and removing them from the local system. This will help.

There is no antivirus aside of Microsoft's own Windows Defender. I have turned off automatic defrag of the disc.

Now on to Windows 10 itself which really shouldn't allow itself to even be installed on this thing if you ask me but it is on here now and some apps require it so I need to look at how to minimize the resource intensive processes I can do without. Unfortunately, they married Cortana to search so I am stuck with her I guess. I have read something about Windows Homegroup services, two of them, potentially being problematic somehow in terms of performance issues but I forget if it was disc related or more likely CPU related?

Superfetch is a huge problem on this PC. It is part of the 100% disc issue. Superfetch isn't helping me much if it makes me suffer the way it does. I am contemplating turning it off and wonder what you guys think of that. I have watched that process pin the disc at 100% for long periods of time. I would be better off waiting a little longer for various apps to load than putting up with this if turning it off does not cause some other problem.

Sorry that I kind of ramble on here. Any tips for trying to get reasonable performance on a low end system running Windows 10 would be great. Again, this isn't even about low end gaming. It's just about making it run better in general for simple, everyday tasks like browsing and email, etc. This reminds me, Chrome seems to be a real resource hog but it wouldn't surprise me if most browsers are today. I like it and on a decent system it wouldn't matter but I wonder if I shouldn't try Internet Explorer 11 to see if that runs any better. I might even give Edge another shot but the last time I tried it there were huge performance issues, a major memory leak and I found it simply unusable. I was surprised Microsoft would even release it in the state I found it in. Maybe it has improved. They certainly push it enough so you'd figure they are investing in making it useful.
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#2 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 02:19 PM

I would strongly recommend buying an SSD and putting that in. That should completely clear up the performance issues that you are having and make the machine feel faster than it was when it was brand new. A 250 GB and even 500 GB SSD are quite inexpensive these days. At my work, we have been refurbishing older laptops (4-5 year old Dell Latitude's) with new SSD's and fresh Windows installs and none of the users find them slow. These are only dual core machines with 4 GB of RAM, but they run Windows 10 and all office tasks flawlessly.

It should be a crime to have a 5400rpm HDD as a boot disc on a computer these days. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference an SSD makes compared to an HDD.
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#3 Frost

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 03:38 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 18 September 2017 - 02:19 PM, said:

I would strongly recommend buying an SSD and putting that in. That should completely clear up the performance issues that you are having and make the machine feel faster than it was when it was brand new. A 250 GB and even 500 GB SSD are quite inexpensive these days. At my work, we have been refurbishing older laptops (4-5 year old Dell Latitude's) with new SSD's and fresh Windows installs and none of the users find them slow. These are only dual core machines with 4 GB of RAM, but they run Windows 10 and all office tasks flawlessly.

It should be a crime to have a 5400rpm HDD as a boot disc on a computer these days. I cannot stress enough how much of a difference an SSD makes compared to an HDD.

What he said. SSD or bust these days. It makes the whole computing experience so much nicer.
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#4 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 September 2017 - 04:05 PM

Yeah, I had been thinking I should check into that. I don't even need 500 GB on this thing. Currently I am using 181 GB with a variety of low end games installed that don't all need to be on the disk at once anyway. So I could easily live with a 256 GB drive for this thing. If it doesn't die prematurely, and I think the cheap hard drives are usually what does on these, I was thinking it would be nice to toss in a closet as a backup system when I do get a Mac.

I think temporarily I'll just turn off some things I know would be harmless to eliminate and turn off Superfetch as well until I put a cheap SSD in here that should at least keep this terrible drive from hitting 100% so often. I know from watching it a fair number of times with the options just in task manager (I couldn't do anything else!) which processes are the worst offenders when it comes to hardware this lame.

I'll take a look on Amazon soon and see what I come up with because I agree with you guys that should make a night and day difference on this PC. It's really not a bad little computer overall for what I am doing with it despite my negative comments. The disk is the limiting factor without a doubt.

I also agree that it is inexcusable in this day and age to ship even a low end PC without a small SSD rather than spinning rust that makes the experience lousy no matter who the user is or what they are doing. The cost difference is small enough that it is shameful anybody does this anymore.
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#5 Frost

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 08:26 PM

If you're interested, I've got a 256GB Micron M600 SSD sitting around in its box that I'd be willing to pass along if we agreed on a price. It's probably about 0.5% or less into its usable lifespan and is pretty darn fast for a 256 with enormous endurance.
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Iridium (MacBook Pro Mid-2012) – 2.7 GHz i7 3820QM / 16GB RAM / 2TB Samsung 850 Pro / GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Eric5h5:
When there's a multiplayer version, I'm going to be on Frost's team. Well, except he doesn't seem to actually need a team...I mean, what's the point? "Hey look, it's Frost and His Merry Gang of Useless Hangers-On!" Or something.

#6 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 09:58 PM

View PostFrost, on 19 September 2017 - 08:26 PM, said:

If you're interested, I've got a 256GB Micron M600 SSD sitting around in its box that I'd be willing to pass along if we agreed on a price. It's probably about 0.5% or less into its usable lifespan and is pretty darn fast for a 256 with enormous endurance.

Thanks very much for the offer. For now I need to put off doing anything with disc upgrade as I am moving soon and needed to shell out a lot of money upfront, etc for that. I'm staying in the town I have become fond of here during the past 3+ years but going to a place I'll be considerably happier with and which is more affordable for me to boot.

In the meantime, reducing some load on the system I can live without and limiting boots by sleeping the thing always helps considerably. A cold boot on this bad boy is occasion to go fix coffee, go outside for a smoke, drink coffee while contemplating the universe, maybe have a second cup, take a walk... later that same day... it is usable!

I may have have overstated slightly but only a little bit.

I forgot to mention that many times I just fire up the speedy iPad Pro and use that while the laptop comes up to speed. So it isn't the end of the world by any means. I just like a little more screen real estate and a physical keyboard for some things but I really do enjoy using my iPad and man is that thing fast.
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#7 Tetsuya

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 12:18 AM

to save some scratch, you could also look into the newer FireCuda Hybrids that Seagate has put out.  

Theyre really close to SSD in OS performance boosts, and are quite a bit cheaper for larger capacity.  

But if you dont need capacity... SSD.

#8 the Battle Cat

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 09:46 AM

Agreed.  I'm very happy with my 2TB FireCuda Hybrid.
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#9 Steve Ballmer

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 09:36 AM

4tb is better
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#10 Atticus

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 10:02 AM

Developers.
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#11 the Battle Cat

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Posted 11 October 2017 - 01:42 PM

Don't get him started Atticus, he'll start chanting "developers" like Vikings chanting "spam"  In fact you can do a mash-up of "developers" and "spam", just sing "Spammity spammmmm spammity spammmmm spammity spammmmm spammity spammmmm" while you watch the developers vid.
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#12 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 11:58 PM

Later that same year...

I managed to tweak Windows 10, app and service startups and more to get the HP laptop into a usable state not that the performance could be called good. Boot time is down from over 10 minutes to a useable desktop at around 3 minutes. Once I get a working desktop I have noticed overall performance has improved significantly also. So while not great, it'll do.

For anyone interested the major fixes were as follows:
  • Remove iCloud not because it is bad per se but simply because the overhead is too much for this PC with Windows 10.

  • Reviewed all startup processes and disabled anything rarely used or unnecessary

  • Turned on write caching for the boot disk which is safe overall given that this is a battery backed laptop

  • Employed the delayed start feature for certain services to accelerate getting to a working desktop. The delay on a system which performs this poorly is not meaningful. However, the fact that Windows also lowers the priority of delayed services when they do execute is somewhat helpful. Interestingly to me since I did not know this before, Microsoft delays start of certain of their own services to improve startup performance. One has to exercise care here since messing with this can impact various dependencies and cause errors but judicious use of the feature is helpful. Errors are not difficult to isolate and fix if you don't go overboard with it.

  • Last but not least, after reading about Readyboost first introduced with Windows Vista and still present in Windows 10, I decided to try it and see if it helped also. I used a Sandisk 16 GB USB 3 stick and rebooted multiple times trying to populate the cache faster than would normally happen. I made zero attempt to formally test the impact of using this but subjectively speaking I think it has helped significantly. It isn't difficult to believe it would on a system like this with cheap 5400 RPM rusty badness and 4 GB of RAM.
So the tweaks in total helped a lot but naturally, this is as low as low end gets really. I don't think systems that perform like this should even be sold but that's another topic for another time I guess.

Speaking of another time... you know what all of this means ultimately? What does one do with crappy low end PC hardware? That's right. It's time for more Adventures in Linux!!!

Yep, the guy who whines about complexity in the Photos app is excited about what's new in the wonderful world of linux. I'll save that for another thread here in off-topic which may become the new home for the resident special snowflake, otherwise known as a real man who runs linux and loves editing configuration files by hand with the standard text EDitor, the mighty ed. Tune in next time for, "Fun with Kubuntu!"

Yes, I know that people who use the mighty ed should at least use Arch if they are too lazy to use Gentoo but the less work this particular box and the crazy fool working it has to do the better for now. Oh, and just one more thing. Who needs games when there is linux to play with? I mean, how can they be more fun than linux?
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