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Author Topic: Seeking Computer Builders suggestions on speed??  (Read 3054 times)
KD2E
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« on: April 15, 2011, 06:25:07 AM »

Used a program to "port" or convert??   a full-length DVD to my IPAD.
With my 1.6Ghz Centrino Duo laptop, it took about 5 hours!   NUTS, I said!!!

So I tried another movie on my desktop...which I thought was faster  Huh
A P4 at 2.8 Ghz....same as the laptop....1gig of Ram.

As of this typing, its at 17 hours...about 90% finished!!!

The desktop is hombrew, standard case, upper end HP DVD drives.
Question is....Can I replace the motherboard with something current, without making changes to the
hard drive?
It is not worth my effort to format the drives, and start over. This computer has my ham software on it, and runs
just great....I suppose it just does not have the horsepower for this DVD movie thing....which must be very demanding  Embarrassed
Can you let me know what you thing?    Thanks!!    Dave
 
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N0SYX
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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2011, 10:21:19 AM »

Video encoding is very processor intensive. You dual core Centrino Duo laptop is a more advanced architecture than the P4.

If you replace the motherboard and cpu, you will have to start over and blow away your hard drives.  I'm assuming the P4 is running XP.   I've tried replacing just the motherboard on Win XP systems twice without reinstalling and it just ends up in a mess.  I've "heard" of people successfully doing this, but from my perspective it is internet lore.

Ripping dvd's and converting them to mpeg4 or whatever even on a modern processor is still a time consuming task. 

Since you're putting the video on an iPad, which has a smaller screen, depending on the software you're using, maybe you can change the settings to speed up the encoding process: lesser quality, less bit rate, no 2 pass encoding, etc.

In a program like Handbrake different profiles and different settings can lead to wildly different encoding times.  Depends on what you want.
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W8JX
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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2011, 10:29:24 AM »

CPU logic has come a long way since days of P4. For best video encoding focus on multiple cores not max speed. I have a 3 year old Quadcore Intel machine running 64 bit OS and 8 gig of ram. I will "chew up" a video real quick and can do it in less than movies actual play time even with a high quality rip. If you want to build a machine for this, you do not need latest and fastest CPU but want a quad core and plenty of ram and I recommend two hard drives too so when you are converting it streams it from one drive to other and speeds things up rather than pounding single drive back and forth from read to write for many hours. AMD has a 6 core CPU that does not cost much and would be fun to play around with for this.
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AF6AU
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2011, 11:56:40 AM »

It is possible to run XP on a newer machine, as this Core I5 intel based Lenovo workstation is running on XP. It seems that corporations are hesitant to migrate from XP, the cost of all the software upgrades are too much.

However Xp does not address all the RAM, and it's limited to 2 or 3 Gigs. This Lenovo has 4 Gigs, but Xp only shows 3 Gigs using Task Manager. Other bugs are interfacing the mother board with a slower SATA drive, and getting the correct drivers for the new board to run in XP.

Sounds like it would be better to get a new 4 or more core machine and try to use your old drive as a slave. A low end Core I3 with 4 gigs ram would run circles around that P4 or Core 2 Duo (unless a T9500 or such).

Because of the constant battle between AMD and Intel, it seems that a 3-4 year old machine is obsolete. My wife's new Windows 7 laptop has a mobile Core I7 960 in it with 8 Gigs ram and it just flat blows the doors off her 4 year old laptop with a T9300 Duo core in it. The processor has some 24X the power that the Core 2 did. The old machine is now mine to play with. It use to be that the laptop batteries were the big hint to obsolescense, now it's processors.
Want to really create a fast machine, goto a new core I7 processor and then go to a new solid state hard drive. You will boot up XP in about 3 seconds, windows 7 in 7 seconds. It cuts the read-write times down to for the HDD down to a tiny fraction of a mechanical/magnetic drive. A good 250GB SSD runs about $500 though.
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W8JX
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2011, 12:34:57 PM »

Solid State drives are not cost effective thought they may be one day. 7200 rpm drive with 32 meg caches are getting to be main stream and are very quick and cheap too. Some they will be 10,800rpm or more with 64 meg or bigger caches and as this happens the line blurs between regular and SS drives. Also dual drives are still between than even a single SS drive because system can read and write at same time on two different channels and conventional HD's can easily keep up with this. On memory limitation, it is not XP that has limitation per say, it is because it is 32 bit. All 32 bit OS (including Linux and new WIN7) can only see/use about 3.2 gig of ram. You must go to 64 bit to use more. Some knock Vista a lot but in 64 bit flavor with 8 gig of ram on a quad core CPU it rocks. I am building a new AMD quad core for a toy for shack and currently plan yo run 64bit Vista on it too. (I have had parts for many months now) If I was starting today it would be with a AMD Phenom II X6 1055T. It easily out paces a Intel I3 and even a I5 on encoding and while a I7 is faster it costs far more. Bag for but 6 core AMD is a serious CPU. Multicore machines rock multitasking. I can assign 2 cores to encode in background and play a game in fore ground on other two cores if i want too. With AMD X6 you could encode with 4 and still have 2 left over for other things. (BTW the AMD 6 core has nearly 1 billion transistors in it!)  Also in a trip down memory lane, I used to encode with a Hyper Threaded P4 Prescott running at 3.6 GHZ. It did a good job until dual cores came on scene.  Hyper Threading was precursor to dual core systems and boosted P4 thru put 30 to 50% on CPU intensive tasking that supported multiple threads. I still use that old Prescott machine today as a backup for ham shack.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2011, 12:42:25 PM by W8JX » Logged

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KB0ASQ
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 07:43:46 PM »

It depends on the hardware you are using now and what you are going to.  If the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) is the same it makes it easier.  Also, if you are using a standard IDE or SATA driver in the old and new PC, it will make it easier to boot up.

We have had to do that for clients in the past, sometimes with success, sometimes not.  If it boots, then you will have to remove all the hidden devices and then install the new drivers for the new motherboard.  If that doesn't work, if you have a full copy of the O/S, you can sometimes run a repair on it and get it back up.

It isn't a job for someone without experience.  If you haven't attempted it, find someone to help you.  Also, make sure you have a backup before you attempt it, and make sure you apply all the security updates to it after you get it back up.

Just a suggestion, put another Gb or two of RAM in it first.  The 32bit version of XP will only address 4gb of ram and to get it to see past 3gb you have to add a boot up switch to the boot.ini file.

We don't sell anything with less than 2gb of ram in it anymore and most goes out the door with 4gb.
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Allen KBØASQ
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W8JX
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« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2011, 06:54:56 AM »


Just a suggestion, put another Gb or two of RAM in it first.  The 32bit version of XP will only address 4gb of ram and to get it to see past 3gb you have to add a boot up switch to the boot.ini file.


A 32 bit OS CANNOT use more than about 3.2gig of continuous memory. There is no "switch" to fix this. It is a limit of 32 bit addressing. It is possible via a software "switch" to use extra memory as paged memory (ie swap file) but not as continuous memory. Honestly more than 2 gig with XP is wasted anyway though Vista will gain from more. More ram in this case will not speed up decoding but a second HD would because it would reduce overhead on reading and writing ripped files by not have to constantly switch for read to write on same drive and have to change tracks with each switch too.
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KB0ASQ
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2011, 08:34:13 AM »

I was talking about the /3GB switch.  You are correct in that windows itself doesn't address more than 3.2gb, but when using this switch, some programs (probably not any that you would be using as a ham) such as AutoCad I believe, etc take advantage of the additional memory.

Depending on the speed of the processor, an additional gb of ram would probably be helpful in this situation.  Besides, it is cheap right now. $30.00 to $40.00.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 08:36:10 AM by KB0ASQ » Logged

Allen KBØASQ
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W8JX
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2011, 08:57:35 AM »

I was talking about the /3GB switch.  You are correct in that windows itself doesn't address more than 3.2gb, but when using this switch, some programs (probably not any that you would be using as a ham) such as AutoCad I believe, etc take advantage of the additional memory.

Depending on the speed of the processor, an additional gb of ram would probably be helpful in this situation.  Besides, it is cheap right now. $30.00 to $40.00.

I know switch but it s paged memory and it works like a HD swap file in that it cannot execute code in that space, it must swap it out with a page below 3.2 gig to execute and then swap it back. Kinda like old QEMM days with DOS.

On memory, 1 gig is minimum for XP in my book with 1.5 to 2 gig being better. I have seen for performance gain with XP over 2 gig and actually if can get slower sometimes as XP likes to grow swap file and overhead with more ram.

The best "trick" for XP with 2 gig of ram is to disable swap file as its presence uses up a lot of memory just to track pages even when they are not in use.  with 1 gig of ram you want to limit swap file to 512meg or so. Actually using swap file when executing code can REALLY slow a system down. Never let XP manage it automatically as it will grow and grow and get slower and slower. MS uses swap file to let Windoze run on low amounts of ram but it also causes system to be very slow at times.
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KB0ASQ
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2011, 03:22:02 PM »

It actually limits the kernel to 1gb and reserves the rest for programs that have been setup to use the additional 3gb of memory.  So if you are using a program that is not designed for it, it would probably slow the system up.  It's nice to meet someone who actually remembers QEMM Smiley

When I say we don't sell any new machines with less than 4gb, I am talking about machines with Win7 running 64bit mode.  They of course don't have the 3.2gb limit.  I sat down with our techs a few months ago and we decided to go that direction.  For the most part it has worked out well.  We have some programs that we run in the XP virtual machine, but most of what our clients run works fine in the 64bit O/S.  We decided to use the virtual machine over other options.  I know there are pros and cons, but so far it has worked.  In fact one of the things we use the virtual machine for is a citrix app that the local hospital had the doctors connect to.  It's not a 64bit issue, but the fact that it won't work on anything newer than IE7.

Back to the original point of the thread, the poster can add more memory or an additional hard drive as was recommended, but he needs to balance that off on whether or not it is worth it to upgrade the machine or buy new.  With a really decent machine running $750.00 or less, you could spend half of that for the upgrades and still have an old machine that may not solve the original problem..

I was talking about the /3GB switch.  You are correct in that windows itself doesn't address more than 3.2gb, but when using this switch, some programs (probably not any that you would be using as a ham) such as AutoCad I believe, etc take advantage of the additional memory.

Depending on the speed of the processor, an additional gb of ram would probably be helpful in this situation.  Besides, it is cheap right now. $30.00 to $40.00.

I know switch but it s paged memory and it works like a HD swap file in that it cannot execute code in that space, it must swap it out with a page below 3.2 gig to execute and then swap it back. Kinda like old QEMM days with DOS.

On memory, 1 gig is minimum for XP in my book with 1.5 to 2 gig being better. I have seen for performance gain with XP over 2 gig and actually if can get slower sometimes as XP likes to grow swap file and overhead with more ram.

The best "trick" for XP with 2 gig of ram is to disable swap file as its presence uses up a lot of memory just to track pages even when they are not in use.  with 1 gig of ram you want to limit swap file to 512meg or so. Actually using swap file when executing code can REALLY slow a system down. Never let XP manage it automatically as it will grow and grow and get slower and slower. MS uses swap file to let Windoze run on low amounts of ram but it also causes system to be very slow at times.
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Allen KBØASQ
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W8JX
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2011, 05:28:06 PM »

It's nice to meet someone who actually remembers QEMM Smiley


I started when their was 8086's. Then the 80286 allowing protected mode access above 640 K barrier. QEMM really came alive with 80386. (remember seperated math coprocessors too?)  Remember trick of remapping slow read BIOS into extend memory with QEMM?  The 80286 was kinda IBM undoing in that when IBM and MS were working together on OS in early 90's, IBM wanted to focus on 80286 protected mode access and when they split MS worked on WINdoze and IBM worked on OS2 but again fixated on 80286 with OS2 and was late in supporting 386 and rest is history. Many do not know that OS2 lives on though even today in form of eComStation.  I used to use OS2 3.0 on a old 233mhz Cyrix M2 powered system for digi and PK232 until about 5 years ago.
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KB0ASQ
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2011, 06:35:44 PM »

It's nice to meet someone who actually remembers QEMM Smiley


I started when their was 8086's. Then the 80286 allowing protected mode access above 640 K barrier. QEMM really came alive with 80386. (remember seperated math coprocessors too?)  Remember trick of remapping slow read BIOS into extend memory with QEMM?  The 80286 was kinda IBM undoing in that when IBM and MS were working together on OS in early 90's, IBM wanted to focus on 80286 protected mode access and when they split MS worked on WINdoze and IBM worked on OS2 but again fixated on 80286 with OS2 and was late in supporting 386 and rest is history. Many do not know that OS2 lives on though even today in form of eComStation.  I used to use OS2 3.0 on a old 233mhz Cyrix M2 powered system for digi and PK232 until about 5 years ago.

The first time I had exposure to OS2 was about 1993.  I started working for a local hospital and the first task was to fix a PC running OS2 that interfaced with their System/36.  It had some kind of weird proprietary modem that I don't remember much about.  They used it to send in claims to Blue Cross and it hadn't worked for about 6 months.  If I remember right it submitted about 30 million in claims that first day I got it running.  Now I look back and wish I had negotiated a 5% commission on the deal Smiley
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Allen KBØASQ
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W8JX
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2011, 07:18:13 PM »

WalMart used OS2 for inventory management for many years in past. Do not know what they use now.
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DAVER
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« Reply #13 on: April 28, 2011, 08:42:59 AM »

Using a 2nd hard drive is the best way (after maxing out RAM) to speed up the good ol' windows based machines. I think it was designed to be used that way anyhow, just never made it to the consumer end. You could actually run 3 HD's if you wanted, one for just the OS, one for data, and one for page file. Seams to be the best bet. Also, what type of hard drive are you using anyhow? There's dramatic differences in speeds and performance out of different types of hard drives.

Dave


Just a suggestion, put another Gb or two of RAM in it first.  The 32bit version of XP will only address 4gb of ram and to get it to see past 3gb you have to add a boot up switch to the boot.ini file.


A 32 bit OS CANNOT use more than about 3.2gig of continuous memory. There is no "switch" to fix this. It is a limit of 32 bit addressing. It is possible via a software "switch" to use extra memory as paged memory (ie swap file) but not as continuous memory. Honestly more than 2 gig with XP is wasted anyway though Vista will gain from more. More ram in this case will not speed up decoding but a second HD would because it would reduce overhead on reading and writing ripped files by not have to constantly switch for read to write on same drive and have to change tracks with each switch too.
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W8JX
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« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2011, 12:53:53 PM »

On paging file best thing here it to run enough ram that you use no paging file. I run zero swap file on several systems here.
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