Author Topic: Processor Speed ...  (Read 11020 times)

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Offline Washbush

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Processor Speed ...
« on: June 06, 2014, 04:21:26 PM »
Here is an End of the Semester Bonus Exam for you ....

1.  What conditions might act on the processor and cause it to run slow?

2.  What actions can be taken to cause a slow processor to run faster?

3.  In a machine with multi core, multi processors, can some of them be disabled somehow?

Bonus Bonus Question  (25 Points)

What would cause a machine to not complete a shutdown but only if it is asked to reboot?  If it is told to simply shut down, it does so properly.  (Hint:  There are four green lights on the back panel that are labeled A, B, C, D.  When told to reboot, the computer shuts down the display and goes no further.  At that point lights A and C are green, lights B and D are yellow.)

Hand in your test answers before leaving.  Best wishes for a great Summer Vacation!

Professor Jobs
 :confused:


Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2014, 11:01:22 AM »
Did you want me to answer these? lol

Quote
1.  What conditions might act on the processor and cause it to run slow?

Too many answers for this one. Low power, heat, other running processes, bios settings and so on....

Quote
2.  What actions can be taken to cause a slow processor to run faster?

Again this one has a lont of answers as well, but the answers have to do with what is causing the slowness in the first place. But if a cpu is running in the right conditions, such has getting enough power, isnt over heating and the clock speeds are set properly in the bios then you cant really speed up a cpu unless you overclock it. If you have other things such as other program using the cpu then closing those will free up those cpu cycles for something else to use it. This is why multiple cores are good to use as you can multitask much better.

Quote
3.  In a machine with multi core, multi processors, can some of them be disabled somehow?

Yes, in the bios and if the bios offers that option. Normally the CPU has to be unlocked, but a lot of the newer ones come with that option to disable cores. The only reason to disable cores is to reduce heat and power usage, or if you are over clocking.

Quote
What would cause a machine to not complete a shutdown but only if it is asked to reboot?  If it is told to simply shut down, it does so properly.  (Hint:  There are four green lights on the back panel that are labeled A, B, C, D.  When told to reboot, the computer shuts down the display and goes no further.  At that point lights A and C are green, lights B and D are yellow.)

This sounds like an old question since I have seen 4 lights on a system for this in years lol. But the problem would only come to the motherboard. When Window shuts down or reboots it sends the command at the end of the process to the motherboard, which then either powers off the system or reboots based on the command. I have seen motherboards who had a bug in the bios where it wouldn't accept the commands and so a bios update was needed. The motherboard is in control of the shutdown and reboot of the power.

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2014, 11:16:54 AM »
That is really great!  You get A+++ and 100 bonus points.

I hear you say bios several times.  I have not touched the bios since I took the computer out of storage.  But I did before I put it away.  I'll see what I can learn re: bios settings, clock speeds, etc.  Everything else you have mentioned I have double and triple checked.

One more question .... since almost everything is on the hard drive, is it a big deal to replace the motherboard?

J


Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2014, 11:42:36 AM »
Quote
One more question .... since almost everything is on the hard drive, is it a big deal to replace the motherboard?

Yes, because it uses a certain socket type cpu and certain types of memory. Plus Windows has drivers loaded for that motherboard. So you would need to reinstall Windows, plus since it is a older system you would end up having to replace the memory and cpu as well and possibly the power supply to handle the newer more powerfull hardware.

But besides doing all that I would first check to see if there is a firmware update for the bios and then make sure you have all the Windows updates as MS would have updated the OS to handle motherboards like that. So doing both may fix the reboot problem.

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2014, 08:20:59 PM »
Hi Shane ...

I just realized why I have been thinking about Alan Ladd lately.  :>)

I decided today that this computer has until midnight next Sunday to shape up or out it goes.  I have exhausted all of my patience.

Well, there are fewer and fewer options every day.

Tomorrow is BIOS day in southern Indiana.

John

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2014, 12:13:58 PM »
Shane ... I am ready to quit.  In two months I have still not been able to get at the causes of the two big issues ... the system won't reboot and now even Windows Vista "is not responding" from time to time with the CPU at 100%.  Today I tried to reinstall Windows and there is no way to do an upgrade, only a clean install.  Everything runs incredibly slow, starts and stops, jerks, and just plain comes to a halt.  Cont-Alt-Del is the only thing that will get it going, other than to wait for who knows how long. 

Is there any way to go in and repair Windows Vista?  Or, what if I created a new partician and tried to install a clean version in it.  Would that be possible?

John

Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2014, 02:32:58 PM »
How does it do in safe mode? Does it work properly?

Also do you have a antivirus installed and if so which one? Reason why I ask is back when I use to use avast there was a few machines that avast freaked out on and the system would do exaclty what you are saying. Once I removed avast it worked fine.

So if it works fine in safe mode then we know it is software related :-)

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2014, 10:43:47 AM »
I do not have a non-Microsoft antivirus on the computer at this time.  I did at one time, but not now.  Only the "regular" Microsoft stuff is running.

How does it work in Safe Mode?  As near as I can see, pretty much the same as it does any other time.  It will not restart.  But , in Safe Mode, it will not shut down either.  I used Safe Mode with Internet Connection.  I opened Firefox, the CPU went to 100% and stayed there until I closed it.  Without anything running, it appears good ... CPU - 2%, Memory - 22%, Network - 0% with 25 or 26 processes and services running.  With Firefox running, CPU - 100%, Memory - 38%, Network - varies between 2% and 4%, but never more than 4% with 31 processes and services running.

So. It looks like it is a hardware problem.  After running test after test, can I assume it is not the hard drive?  It is a SMART drive, all is well, and it never goes over 104 degrees F, and is usually in themid 90's.  On the hottest day, when the room is 80+ degrees, the hard drive stays right at 100 F, give or take a few degrees.

I am running a USB trackball, a USB wireless keyboard, a USB printer, and a pair of USB Bose speakers, and a USB Bluetooth dongle, all of them on the back side.  One USB port is empty on the back, and two are empty on the front.

However ... I have something called TV2000 installed .... it is an analog TV tuner ... no good any more ... I just unplugged the power to it but never took it out of the case.  Software for it has been removed for some time.

I checked Device Driver and fount two things ... it shows an alert for an "Unknown PCI Device".  It is so unknown that even I don't remember what it was .  However, it has been disabled for some time. 

The second item is the Bluetooth Dongle and it has an alert also. It was not disabled, so I took the first step and disabled it.  I'll see what happens next.

That's where I am today.  And, the F-1 race in Austria is tomorrow morning.  Wish me luck.

John   :thinking:
 

Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2014, 03:14:21 PM »
OK, but how does it do when you go into safe mode only and not safe mode with networking?

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2014, 12:55:10 PM »
Bad news I am afraid.  In Safe Mode only, it still does all the same things.  I took a look inside and found an old modem card, a card that added three Firewire ports, and that old analog TV tuner card.  I removed all three, removed the software, rebooted and nothing has changed.  With no Internet connection, I tried playing a DVD .... same problem as streaming video - all jumpy, jerky, can't see or understand anything.  Same for a video file on the hard drive. It still runs very, very slow, makes me type incredibly slow, won't shut down on reboot, just goes to the white screen and comes to a halt for no apparent reason, and sometimes even the task manager won't shake it loose.  Once my hand slipped and I hit two keys on the keyboard at the same time and it froze up. So, now there is no card other than the video and sound cards.  Ran SysMec full boat, it says everything is fine, but the computer still seems to let the CPU go to 100% for some reason I can't see or find.  Is there a little program to analyze the motherboard?  Should I uninstall the CD and DVD drives and see what happens?  I just have run out of ideas. 
 :confused:

Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2014, 12:24:03 PM »
Sounds like the video card, and if the video is part of the motherboard it might be the motherboard then.

Faulty hardware would cause the drivers to not work properly and that could cause the cpu to max out.

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2014, 12:45:19 PM »
I am working on a plan. 

First, I am going to the store and buy a 12 Pack of Guinness.

Then, the computer is going on my workbench for some open heart surgery.  I think I mentioned that I took out four sticks of memory that totaled 750Meg (+/-) and replaced them with four new sticks totaling 2Gig.  Then, I took out the video card, that only had a very small amount of memory and put in a new one that has onboard memory of almost a Gig.  Then to took out three old cards that were in it since the beginning ... a 3 port firewire card, an old modem from dial-up days, and that screwey analog TV tuner that never worked anyway. 

The rest of the time I have been updating every driver in it, and running anybody's software that is guaranted to solve all my problems.  Only, I still have the problems.  (I am not even thinking about your stuff because I read the disclaimer!)  :<)

I am going to take the two cards that are left and try them each in every available slot.  Same for the memory ... I will rotate them through all four slots.  I also have the old video card.  I'll give that a go. 

If none of that helps, I think I will give up.  Two months of tinkering on something almost every day is enough, even for me ... the poster boy for Never-Give-Up. 

By the way, this morning in booted up the computer, and before doing anything else, I hit the Task Manager.  Nothing was running but start up stuff.  The CPU was at 100%.

I'll send you one final report maybe tomorrow night or Wednesday.  I feel like I am drifting, my space ship warp drive is destroyed, my shields are all down and this will be my last transmission home.  And, the Romulans are coming.

John


Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2014, 12:59:19 PM »
If you are able try to use a different power supply as well :wink:

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2014, 01:05:45 PM »
Haven't a clue how to go about doing that.  But, I can check this one.  Are the output numbers on it somewhere?  And, how do I know how much I need to power up the unit?

Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2014, 01:11:24 PM »
No way really to measure it. Power supplies are easy to swap out and you always want to make sure you have one that can give the power that all the hardware needs. Like if you had a 700 watt power supply it wouldnt be using 700 watts, it just means it can pump out up to 700 watts if the system needs it.

So if you have a under powered or weak power supply then hardware wont get all the juice it needs, and then odd things start to happen.

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2014, 11:59:09 AM »
OK ... a quick follow up and a clarification ...
 
Can you come up with a list of symptoms that a computer would exhibit if a person were to keep adding power using devices until he exceeded the "safe range" of the power supply?
 
Would power using USB items as well as installed devices (like the firewire board and the TV tuner board) push the power supply to the point where it would be overloaded?
 
Finally, can you explain the relationship between the power supply reaching its usable limit and the fact that the CPU would jump to 100%?  What exactly is it that causes it to stay at 100% or fall back down to only a fraction of that.
 
I did nothing to the machine last night and may not do anything today.  I did learn that the DELL Dimension 8250 power supply may have an output of as little as 250W or as much as 305W.  I have had inexpensive stereo systems in the past that put out more than that ... on each channel!  So, that can't be very much.  I am thinking I might just risk it and see what I can find for the 8250 on ebay for $30 or so.  I would be willing to spend that if the computer would be usable.  In total, I still have not spent $100 on it for repairs in it's entire life!
 
JW

Offline Shane

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 12:54:50 PM »
Quote
Can you come up with a list of symptoms that a computer would exhibit if a person were to keep adding power using devices until he exceeded the "safe range" of the power supply?
 
Would power using USB items as well as installed devices (like the firewire board and the TV tuner board) push the power supply to the point where it would be overloaded?

Hard question to answer because all hardware is different. On some your system can lock up, blue screen, reboot or things dont work properly. On others the system may not crash or lock up but things never seem to work right because the hardware isnt responding like it should.

If the USB draws power and the drive doesnt have its own power cord then it pulls power from the usb slot which the power supply then supplies.

Quote
Finally, can you explain the relationship between the power supply reaching its usable limit and the fact that the CPU would jump to 100%?  What exactly is it that causes it to stay at 100% or fall back down to only a fraction of that.

If you opened task manager and you dont see any of the processes taking up the cpu then normally it is a driver that is taking the cpu. And again, if the hardware isnt working as it should the the driver may not work right and it could explain the high cpu.

But again, it may or may not be the power supply. It is simply something that you should try so you can mark it off the list as a possible cause. :wink:

Shane

Offline Washbush

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Re: Processor Speed ...
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2014, 03:39:22 PM »
OK ... that is what I have come down to.  I will move the boards from slot to slot and see if that makes a difference.  Then, I will I will see what my options are for the power supply.  After that, I (personally) am worn out. 
 
I remember buying this computer very well.  It was quite the thing in its day.  But, I have recently found the invoivce for my purchase and verified it with Dell Warranty.  It was March of 2003 that I registered the warranty.  I think I bought it in October of 2002.  Over the last 7 years, my daily desktop has been a Mac Pro with 32 Gig of RAM.  So, it is very, very possible that I am just expectidng too much from the Windows PC.  I just looked and I see that at this moment I have 6 windows open and I have been trying hard to keep it down.  With the Mac I never even  thought about it.  To be fair, the Mac cost 5X as much so I do expect more. 
 
Anyway, you have been a big help as far as keeping me interested in getting to the bottom of this.  I am going to assume that if I get to the power supply, and that is not it, then the problem is on the mother board.  I believe I have already asked you what would be involved in replacing that, and it is something that I do not want to undertake.  So, I may have to make this beauty into something that sits under my workbench and just gives me info from a DVD and plays music.  My hobby is repairing antique and vintage bb guns and pellet guns, especially old pistols.  So, I have bundles of information on CD and DVD.  It would be good to be able to access all that stuff more easily and this just might be the ticket to doing that if I keep it running off line.
 
I'll let you in on the final chapter of this story ...
 
JW