Lousy Performance

John Abreau jabr at blu.org
Tue Feb 15 11:29:55 EST 2000

On Mon, 14 Feb 2000, Pat Bradshaw wrote:

> I know that the best answer is to stick a crowbar in my wallet and add
> RAM, but are there other parameters that might significantly affect
> performance that I could tweak to make performance at least bearable?

There's not much you can do to tweak performance when memory is tight;
performance problems due to insufficient memory far outweigh other factors.

Long ago, when the 486 was still fairly new, I was installing a Linux lab
at BCS, and I did a comparison between two machines: a 386/16 with 16mb of
memory, and a 486/33 with 8mb of memory. The 386, at half the speed, was
still able to run rings around the 486.

A later test between IDE and SCSI showed similar results, but the
differences due to memory nevertheless far outweighed the scsi/ide

On the other hand, once a machine starts swapping, scsi becomes a *huge*
win. Performance degrades gracefully when using scsi disks; the machine
slows down gradually. With IDE, once it starts swapping, it's more like
hitting a brick wall.

John Abreau / Executive Director, Boston Linux & Unix 
Email: jabr at blu.org / URL: http://www.blu.org
ICQ#28611923 / AIM abreauj
"Working with NT is like trying to tune a watch wearing oven mitts.
 You can't get your fingers inside like you can with UNIX.

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