Home | Blog | Software | Reviews and Features | Forum | Help | Donate | About us
topbanner_forum
  *

avatar image

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
  • December 03, 2016, 08:05:24 PM
  • Proudly celebrating 10 years online.
  • Donate now to become a lifetime supporting member of the site and get a non-expiring license key for all of our programs.
  • donate

Author Topic: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?  (Read 6647 times)

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
No OS is safe from this criticism, but shouldn't computers — with the awesome processor power we have today — be fast as hell? I don't understand how a computer ("for example") in 2008, is slower than the one I ran using Windows ME in 1998!

frustrated1044.jpg

Someone set me straight, and then tell the rest of us how to cure this wicked trend.

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,367
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2008, 10:31:08 PM »
I don't understand how a computer ("for example") in 2008, is slower than the one I ran using Windows ME in 1998!
Someone set me straight, and then tell the rest of us how to cure this wicked trend.

Spoiler
Also, how can it be that I'm ten times slower in 2008 than I was in 1998,
but in 1998 I was only 1.5 times slower than in 1988?


We are doing a great deal more with them.  I'll bet that, had you seen in 1998 what we're doing today, you'd have been quite excited.

kartal

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2008
  • **
  • Posts: 1,529
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2008, 10:40:41 PM »
Expectations are going higher as well.

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2008, 10:53:14 PM »
zridling,

Do you mean the net or applications in general?

A lot of it is more and more stuff is being added to apps and browsers I think.

Yeah, ha! I still have an old win mill computer.
I think of it as a reliable backup really.
For the net and some apps. It will run screenshotcapture!!!
And Firefox as well as many programs I use now.
But it won't take most of these high powered apps.

So it takes more thinking instead of the computer doing it.

You know, if we think back it was pictures that was the big draw to computers for the home user.


Deozaan

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Points: 1
  • Posts: 7,713
    • View Profile
    • The Blog of Deozaan
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2008, 11:49:12 PM »
Limitations!

When people absolutely MUST do something within certain limitations, they get very creative about how to accomplish it. Compared to even just 10 years ago, resources are practically unlimited, thus it's easy for people to get lazy and fall back on all the extra resource padding they had.

If you were to run the exact same software applications from 10-20 years ago on a modern machine, it would fly. That is, of course, assuming there aren't any hardware or driver conflicts and you actually could get the software to run.


Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2008, 10:14:46 AM »
I don't understand how a computer ("for example") in 2008, is slower than the one I ran using Windows ME in 1998!

Me neither, this 2007 computer is WAY faster than my previous 2000 computer, and that's taking into account software advances during all these years. Besides, it seems you borrowed jgpaiva's Delorean :D

Quote
Someone set me straight, and then tell the rest of us how to cure this wicked trend.

Sure. Buy a new computer ;D. I think the key is running efficient software instead of opting for the bloated everything-and-the-kitchen-sink suites some developers are forcing into OEM computers, it's what I do, and the differences are clearly felt. Of course, you can't avoid certain bottlenecks here and there, mainly hard drives and network connections, but even then the improvements shine through.

Another thing is if we're talking about how computer in the 80s (either 8-bit or 16-bit systems) felt so fast back then, but that's clearly explained by Deozaan's post, you have a very limited amount of resources and a even more limited set of features to play with, so you have to give it your best shot.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 10:20:36 AM by Lashiec »

Darwin

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 6,984
    • View Profile
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2008, 12:12:04 PM »
I dunno though... I have a circa 2000 notebook running Wn2k with 512MB RAM and two Centrino machines (2004 and 2006 vintages) running XP Pro Sp-3 (2004) and Sp-2 (2006), both with 2GB RAM. The Win2k machine and the 2006 XP Pro machine are running Office 2003 and the 2004 XP Pro machine is running Office 2007. The Win2k machine is the quickest of the lot...

I put this down to the fact that on system boot it's running about 40 process vs. 71 on my older XP Pro machine, to the fact that it only has a handful of applications installed (vs. about 325 on the older XP machine), and to the differences between memory requirements for Win2k and XP. Note: both XP machines are set to Windows Classic and have the themes service disabled...

Main point is that old P-IIIE 600mhz processor with 512MB RAM is still a viable, useful machine. Who'd a thunkit in 2000 when I bought it? Well, OK, I certainly didn't! Can't speak for the rest of you...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

nite_monkey

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 727
    • View Profile
    • Just Plain Super
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2008, 04:35:17 PM »
I've noticed that with the current computer that I am using, my windows xp partition is really slow (2008) (partially because I have a problem with installing to much stuff), but on my ubuntu partition that I am using right now, so far the only thing I can throw at my computer and have it start slowing down is second life, but then again, second life has massive problems with memory leak issues.
[Insert really cool signature here]

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2008, 06:05:18 PM »
I have a few p3's and they do fine except for video stuff.
They'll play youtubes and the like but live stuff isn't so great.
Like my web cam or live tv.
They do better with my web cam if I shut some things down.
I just use it for Skype.
The sound, mic and headset work fine.

Though I know a new one would be faster if I streamlined it like these.
They are ok for now.

icekin

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 264
    • View Profile
    • icekin.com Technology,Computers and the Internet
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2008, 07:12:34 PM »
I recommend getting WinPatrol, which is free and installing it on your computer. There's also a portable version available. It can show all the start-up programs on your computer. You can then choose to disable the unnecessary ones and delay the less important ones.

I've used the delay feature to push all the less important services and programs to start up well after 2 minutes. I also leave a gap of 20 seconds between each of the delayed program starting, so they don't all hog the CPU at once. This has reduced the boot time of my computer to under 1 minute (time from boot to get to desktop). After 1 minute, my computer is responsive and I can already start launching programs.

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2008, 08:04:04 PM »
Wow, great responses, and they cover the lot, from booting to services to processes to webware and installed apps. As Lashiec suggested, I'll always settle for the better written, more resource-efficient software if at all possible.
________________________________________________
cranioscopical, correct me if I'm wrong, but other than more multimedia choices (including the ubiquitous DRM), what more are we doing today? Office suites haven't changed much at all except around the edges. Most people still use spreadsheets for a thousand tasks, I was very happy with game play back then, but today, I'd much rather play on a dedicated game console. I've still got porn, and it hasn't changed (except for the faces). No PIM software has still caught up with 1997's Ecco Pro. Yea, I can play a DVD movie, and I appreciate that, but just as soon as I do, the "corporation" wants me to trash my DVD collection and reinvest in Blu-Ray at three times the cost.

Maybe it's me, but I'm not seeing a lot of progress. By now, I was kind of hoping the computer would find a way to deposit money into my checking account daily.  :P
« Last Edit: June 07, 2008, 08:12:15 PM by zridling »

cranioscopical

  • Friend of the Site
  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 4,367
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2008, 11:00:04 PM »
cranioscopical[/b], correct me if I'm wrong, but other than more multimedia choices (including the ubiquitous DRM), what more are we doing today? Office suites haven't changed much at all except around the edges. Most people still use spreadsheets for a thousand tasks, I was very happy with game play back then, but today, I'd much rather play on a dedicated game console.
Well, just a couple of quick examples.
You may or may not not like 'em but the constituent parts of the Adobe suite make stuff from ten years ago look fairly shabby.
I'd submit that office suites *have* improved a lot over the past decade. I use WordPerfect for reasons of my own, and there's no comparison between now and 10 years ago.
Preference for dedicated console or not, have you noticed that games are just a bit better on a PC today than in 1998?

Don't forget, too, that compared to ten years ago we're dragging down performance by trying to protect ourselves from irritation and assault every time we talk to the outside world.

Quote
other than more multimedia choices
Why other than?  There are more, they're more demanding, and I for one use them more than I did 10 years ago.

Quote
just as soon as I do, the "corporation" wants me to trash my DVD collection and reinvest in Blu-Ray at three times the cost.
Red herring alert :)

In principle, however, I do share your frustration.  Like almost every computer user, I want what I want, I want more of it, and I want it 5 minutes ago.

Quote
By now, I was kind of hoping the computer would find a way to deposit money into my checking account daily.
Well it works fine for me.  Should I introduce you to one of my friends in Nigeria?



tomos

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • Posts: 10,315
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2008, 07:23:31 AM »
funny
I last year updated to a mid-range dualcore with 2GB ram
Now I can do a lot more than on my 6 yr old machine (god knows what but it was nothing particularly powerful at the time with 512 MB ram!) and have a lot less crashes
BUT things that used to be instantaneous on older machine are taking time on the new machine,
little things like changing folder in the open dialogue box using filebox extender - takes a second before jumping to new folder, when I insert a CD/DVD that seems to sieze up everything for a few seconds ... cant think what else now - will keep an eye out ovew the next few days

- maybe it's just filebox extender having issues  :-[  no, just tried it without & the open dialog box does take a second to fill (sometimes more, some less) - it seems to freeze and then suddenly populates the box

Maybe all this actually has nothing to do with the topic...  ;D

BTW Zaine - the Ecco lovers are starting to move over to SQLNotes! ;)
Tom

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2008, 08:54:12 AM »
Multitasking is what slows me down.
But I have all this going-which isn't much compared to some....


icekin

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 264
    • View Profile
    • icekin.com Technology,Computers and the Internet
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2008, 07:19:23 PM »
Multitasking is what slows me down.
But I have all this going-which isn't much compared to some....

You don't have much in your tray from the looks of it, but looking at firefox, are those all extensions or just shortcuts to bookmarks up in the address bar? If there were many shortcuts, that could explain why its slow. Plus its firefox of course. Though I keep hearing that version 3 will address all those memory leak issues.

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2008, 08:40:11 PM »
Most are just links though some are actively working.

Firefox is the highest mem and resource eater I have.
Mostly because of the addons I think.
I tried FF RC2 and it is much better.
But the addons need to catch up mainly.
I have it on another computer.

cmpm

  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • ***
  • default avatar
  • Posts: 2,025
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2008, 08:48:33 PM »
Mainly no google toolbar compatibility yet, is the hold up for me.

J-Mac

  • Supporting Member
  • Joined in 2007
  • **
  • Posts: 2,913
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2008, 02:16:27 AM »
Personally, I think the biggest hit - not counting rich multimedia files - is the visuals.  The "skinning" of many, if not most, applications today seems to take an inordinate amount of memory.  High-end graphics cards with massive gpu's gobble up memory and CPU.  As the technology allows, many developers skin their programs with graphics that take time to render.  Some developers - and I won't get into THAT bitch session now - add a lot of graphics rather than features to the applications.  They figure that if they make it visually stunning a lot of users will be impressed.  And it is much cheaper and easier for them that adding features/functionality.  How many programs are you running where their last so-called "major" version upgrade consisted mainly of Vista compatibility and changing the look to a "ribbon"-like format?  (One well-known mind-mapping developer did exactly that - and hardly any new features - in their last upgrade.  I read later that to keep their Microsoft Logo Certificate they were actually required to move to a ribbon UI!)  And while MS Office 2007 did introduce Microsoft's revolutionary new standard file formats  (cough, cough), what was the single biggest change?  The UI.  Check and see how much more memory Office 2007 takes to run than Office 2003 and then decide whether or not any added feautures are worth the hit.

OK - rant over!

Jim

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2008, 11:05:10 AM »
I am in agreement with most on this thread.
I remember my 386 with Windows 95 was quicker than my PII with 98SE!

I think it falls to the same justification for App's "snailware" website.
Back in the old days, with computing power and memory at a premium, most coders were very concerned about the size and efficiency of their programs. Hence, even with limited capacity, the best applications were so tightly coded that of course they ran well (and downloaded in reasonable time over a dial-up line...).
Nowadays with broadband internet, multi-core processors, terabyte hard drives and gigabytes of memory capacity being the norm, even the most sloppily coded java app will run reasonably well, even though it is chowing through the gigaflops like sharks in a kiddie pool...
Really, is it surprising that an assembly coded 3D game fits in such a small size and runs so well?
Quote
Personally, I think the biggest hit - not counting rich multimedia files - is the visuals.
Which is why dial-up is getting slower every day as well... >:(

f0dder

  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 9,029
  • [Well, THAT escalated quickly!]
    • View Profile
    • f0dder's place
    • Read more about this member.
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2008, 06:59:37 PM »
If you run basically the same software, you're going to run a lot faster now than back in 1998.

But there's issues, definitely. Part of it is lousy programmers, part of it is lazy programmers, part of it is Microsoft having to support such a large legacy base, part of if is feature bloat, part of it is useful features, and part of it is the need for security (bounds checking, address space randomizations, etc. aren't computatoinally free).

VS2008 starts up about the same time as VS6 did... that is, VS2008 on a Q6600@3GHz/8gig/WD Raptor system, and VS6 on an Athlon700/512meg/whatever-UDMA66disk. But obviously VS2008 featureset is a lot bigger, it has a much better compiler, etc. Worth it? Yeah. Do I wish it was faster? Yeah.

Office2000, on the other hand, starts a bit faster. But it already started quite fast on a Pmmx-200/64meg (without the "office speed launcher" startup item). It runs a lot faster now, though ;). On the other hand, OpenOffice starts + runs slower on my current powerhouse machine than Office2000 did on the pmmx-200.

Really, is it surprising that an assembly coded 3D game fits in such a small size and runs so well?
It's not that we need assembly programmed games, we just need programmers that care a bitmore about what they do... and management that isn't so obsessed with time-to-market. Btw, kkrieger is C++, not assembly (well, for the main part, anyway). They use a custom EXE compressor to get the size so small, along with procedurally generated textures and geometry. You can't do that generically for everything, though, and it does impose a startup-time speed hit.
- carpe noctem

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2008, 11:37:58 PM »
Thanks cranioscopical and Edvard for both truth and laughs, but at least with earlier versions of Photoshop you could copy money. f0dder points to an unpopular trend: OpenOffice is slower by the version. Better, but slower.

Edvard

  • Coding Snacks Author
  • Charter Honorary Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 2,888
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #21 on: June 10, 2008, 10:55:23 AM »
Quote
It's not that we need assembly programmed games, we just need programmers that care a bitmore about what they do... and management that isn't so obsessed with time-to-market.
Yeah, that was my point, actually...  :Thmbsup:
Quote
Btw, kkrieger is C++, not assembly (well, for the main part, anyway).
Oh.
Quote
f0dder points to an unpopular trend: OpenOffice is slower by the version. Better, but slower.
>:(

Lashiec

  • Member
  • Joined in 2006
  • **
  • Posts: 2,374
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #22 on: June 10, 2008, 07:20:26 PM »
Hey, don't get angry, at least in Windows is true, and is a program that benefits HIGHLY of a hardware upgrade (I think the recommended requirements are a bit unrealistic).

zridling

  • Friend of the Site
  • Charter Member
  • Joined in 2005
  • ***
  • Posts: 3,292
    • View Profile
    • Donate to Member
Re: Why are computers getting slower (and what we can do about it)?
« Reply #23 on: June 10, 2008, 10:33:31 PM »
The world begs for lightweight apps... those were the days.