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Old 08-29-2005, 05:31 PM   #1
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can lower run levels boost usefulness of older computers?

hi. i have an older computer and don't have much problem with it lagging and such - until i try stuff that is cpu intensive like ripping cds or converting movies to vcd that newer computers don't have a problem with. A lot of the programs like k3b and such can be used from the command line so would i get better results from them if X wasn't running and i was in command line mode? I don't know if it would make a big difference or not. i got the idea because i remembered a guy i knew would make sure all his computer was running was enough to play his video games so that he'd get more performance out of them. thanks for any replies in advance.
Old 08-29-2005, 05:46 PM   #2
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You certainly could do that, but what you'd like to find out first is what is actually causing the rip to be slow. You assume that it is the CPU, but what if this CD-ROM is simply slower, and/or the (e.g.) hdparm settings are "conservative, therefore slow?"

If the ripper is pegging the CPU-meter at 100% and it simply can't get the job done fast enough, then yes, you could shut down unnecessary tasks .. or simply figure out a way to get a faster CPU, more memory, etc. onto that board. But if the CPU is not running at 100%, then the slowdown is probably in the I/O chain someplace.

For instance, you can purchase off-board IDE controllers, basically for-a-song, that might be considerably faster than what's on the motherboard . . .
Old 08-29-2005, 05:55 PM   #3
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what is the hdparm and how do i check it? I don't think it is just the cdrom because ripping was not only slow but encoding an avi to mpeg1 to make a vcd was slow. not only slow but froze the system up. i was using grip to rip and tovid to encode. Utimately i would like to figure out why it is so slow (obviously the age of teh computer is a big factor) but figured maybe text-mode would make it so i could at least make it through the process without freezing. lol. Plus it would be a good reason to get more familar with burning cds and other such things from teh command line.
Old 08-29-2005, 05:58 PM   #4
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If you're running a heavy desktop environment like KDE it will slow down an older machine.
You might try Fluxbox for a windows mgr on an older machine, or something similar.

Adding memory to any machine will perk it up if you only have 128MB or less in it. Linux swaps just fine but swapping to HD slows thing down. 256MB or more will perk a Linux box up.

The OS you are using also plays a part in it. You may find that Slackware will run apps and processes faster than say Fedora.

In my opinion there is no better OS to run on old hardware than FreeBSD. Slack works ok too though.

And if you are using a P133 then it's a P133 and thats it.

I use a PII 400 sometimes and it will peg 100% while compiling or ripping. Your interface with the HD, the speed, will affect writing. That old HD on that PII is only running at UDMA33, about 14MB sec. Only has a 40 conductor cable on it. You'll need an 80 conductor cable to run UDMA66, UDMA100.

Also if its an old AMD K62 type then it is just slow. They were slow. Something to do with floating point interger problems.
Old 08-29-2005, 06:25 PM   #5
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well here are the specs.
1.3 ghz AMD Atholon
256 mb PC2100 DDR mem
the drive is not the stock drive it is a cd-rw/dvd combo

the bios is dated to 2001 so this bad boy (me and my friend call it the beast) is pretty old. I don't really want to put money into - going to run it into the ground before i get a new one. Although memory is cheap so maybe i could get some of that to extends it life a little longer. Although i think the cpu speed is probably the biggest hit against it. It's the original hard drive so i think that is also a factor. Has some irrepairable bad sectors so i assume it has slower access speeds. it's transfer rates of it and the interface are probably really outdated.

edit: on yeah the distro is fedora core 3. you said the fedoras might process a little slower. The desktop is gnome. I don't know if it is as bloated as kde but im sure if not it is close. i don't know if it is old enough to have to use a lightweight windows manager like fluxbox or such. normal operations are fine.

Last edited by dr_zayus69; 08-29-2005 at 06:30 PM.


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