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Windows 10 installation or is it an upgrade?

Ok, we know Windows 10 will load fast but how does it perform?

Really! How would you make Win10 increase it's over all performance when as we know it does not run very well as a 32 bit Operating System with 3.5 GB of ram just can't compare with an optimized XP at 3.5 GB that does perform better. [I know that XP will not run a lot of the current programs] however if say you pick an older game or program that you know stresses XP but not cause the computer to over heat or crash XP does seem to be faster and more responsive than Windows 10.

However we wouldn't run Windows 10 on say a Core 2 Quad Q9650 overclocked to say 3.5 GHz with only 3.5 GB of ram. Even with 12 GB of ram in the same system Win 10 64 bit does lag, sometimes crash. I had the feeling of a need for speed but the old Core 2 Quad Q9650 with 12 GB of ram would not be able to run Win 10 64bit as fast as XP 32bit with 3.5 GB with the same processor.

As a comparison I had a multi boot with XP,  Windows 7 x64  and Windows 10 x64 on the above computer. For a test (it would not run on XP) I used a game I play on both Win 7 and Win 10 called Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim SE.

With Windows 7 the game when in "Best" video mode would crash occasionally, the cause was the over temp of both the CPU and the Graphics card. When set for Performance (which was noticeable for both speed and the actual graphics that would be grainy and bland) the game would crash when the CPU reached the threshold I set in the BIOS which is 165* F.

With Win 10 the game when in "Best" video mode would crash after about three minutes of play. When in Performance mode the game would run however it would cause the CPU and GPU (Graphics Processor Unit) to overheat and crash out the of the game, the time would vary on how much graphics was being displayed. Interior graphics seemed to cause less crashes vs outdoor or exterior graphics.

When I started playing this game with Windows 7 I found that if I used the Performance mode the game was fairly stable; the graphics were ok not super, and the crash out of the game was minimal. I knew I was pushing the old Core 2 Quad Q9650 processor to it's max.

So off to one of the best web sites in search of a better system to run Windows 10 64bit so my programs run fast and smoothly, also to not overheat and cause the computer to shut down... Not much there that I have not already done through Optimization I do to all computers. Starting with Vista a lot of useless services are tied to useful services so shutting them down will cause other services to not run... Wonderful Microsoft Catch 22, eh? So the memory hog and processor time eaters are not removable....

This is what I came up with, my Misses gave me a $700 budget for this project however that would have to be my next birthday present and my Christmas presents:

  • Motherboard: ASUS TUF H370-PRO Gaming (WI-FI)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K
  • Memory: Patriot Viper Elite Series DDR4 32GB
  • SSD:  Crucial MX500 500GB
  • Cooling: Cool Master Liquid ML240L
  • Case: Corsair 100R

All other parts come from my old tower:

  • Power supply: 850 watt
  • Video: EVGA GTX 650
  • Mouse & Keyboard

I ran into some problems that I will elaborate on:

Once I had it together and two Operating Systems loaded I began to have the proverbial "new computer" learning curve.

    A multi boot system: I loaded Windows 7 on one partition and Win 10 on another partition, then I found out (do your research! Duh...) that with the Skylake chip set Intel decided to not support any obsolete Operating Systems and Windows 7 is considered obsolete [Microsoft has dropped support for it] and so it seems so has Intel.

    Ok, I need only Win 7 for a backup OS for some things like making images, troubleshooting hardware problems, well some of it with out a chip set the OS doesn't see USB ver 1 or 2, I have an addon USB 3.1 card so it has the mouse and keyboard but a lot of other devices are not operational at this time. [working on a solution for this...]

    Windows 10 on the other hand has all it needs, all the devices have drivers, no missing devices in the device manager. After doing the normal optimization with the exception of the services and the Group Policy options which will come later.

    After using it for five months I have to say it is still fast, the main game I play is about eight or so years old but still being supported by the publisher: Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim SE.

    The main problem was even with liquid cooling is the system over heats, it doesn't shut down but the game will "dump" or crash, the system keeps running but the game dumps to the desktop, if I didn't save often I don't think I would make much progress...

   This is the process I went through to get a stable system that wouldn't over heat when running a very graphic intensive program with a lot of action:

    First: I added a program that I found for my ASUS K550KVX (i7 6700, 16 GB of RAM, 480 SSD, NVIDIA GTX 650M Video) that the fan would go to 4600 RPM when the temp went too high, the only way to get the fan back to normal speed was to shut it down. I loaded up SpeedFan, this is a very good program for seeing how your system is running hardware wise, it shows the temperature for the CPU, GPU, and motherboard. It also shows the fan or fans speeds. You can also configure the fan speed. The drawback is the program has to have the parameters of the chip set to do any control of the fan or fans. It works ok for the laptop but the fan control isn't there. However for the new ASUS H370 motherboard the chip set gives me some control over the fans for the most part, the CPU and System (motherboard) fans can be controlled others can't because ASUS made a change in control of fans, older motherboards used a three wire connection, newer motherboards use a four wire connection, the fourth wire is the control, if you use a three wire connection there isn't any way to see / control the speed of those fans.

    Next: I researched the heat problem for the i series processors, seems that the newer processors especially those with cores that have multiple processors have a heat retention problem. To lower the heat retention you need to moderate the power the processor uses, you can do this with the "Power Options" in the Control Panel. Use the "Change Advanced Options"  to get to the settings for the processor. You can set the minimum percentage and the maximum percentage. By limiting the power you can limit the amount of heat that the processor creates. I do think if I went with a large finned cooler and just air the processor may have burnt up by now. There were five fans in this system; three 120mm, one 40mm (on the video card), and power supply fan, the old tower had three and two of them were small(40mm and 80mm) only one was 120mm on the CPU Thermalake heat sink.

    Having the heat problem under partial control I have used the new system for about a three months, however it is winter and during the evening and early morning the temperature is low, in our house it is about 66* F, so the System temp is about 87* F and the CPU is about 95* F under normal load. When I work (like on this web site content) the temps remain about the same even though I am using VM Ware workstation running XP. However when I am done I load up Skyrim and then

 the heat goes up, the GPU will go from around 97* F to well over 150* F, when it hits 175* F it will dump the program, didn't save? Oppps get to do that part all over again.

  For the most part it is the GPU that is causing the dump, the CPU will be up around 105* F which isn't a problem. What I need get to work on Windows 10 is the old XP version of PrecisionX, if I could get that to work I could control the fan on the EVGA GTX 650 video card, that could help the heat problem, will have to see if there is another newer program that will work. In the mean time I was thinking of adding an external fan to case behind the video card to help draw air out around the video card. Success: after about a ten minute search on the EVGA site I found a x64 version of PrecisionX that does work for Wind10, now I can control the heat/fan speed, this is a step in the right direction. I also added another small (40mm) three speed fan under the EVGA card to help pull heat from the card, another step towards a stable system, however it is mid March and in the Desert Southwest of the USA temps are heating up.

   Then: To increase the over all performance of this system for Windows 10 I have added a RAM Drive (DATARAM) the same program I used with XP and Windows 7 for a long time. Thinking (sometimes we don't think) that the program I had would do the job (I have made the backup images of the OS partitions...) I loaded it up and boom... It crashed, it crashed very hard. It would not boot into either OS I had loaded, I kept getting the "boot device error, insert media and press enter". Ya, not good. Was it the ram drive? I don't think so, after starting the computer with my trusty ERD I see the partition Windows 10 makes for the boot management system; it was "0" or "zero" bytes! What wiped the partition? Unknown at this time however once I reloaded the Operating Systems I made new images and included the "System Reserve", if it gets wiped again I can restore all the partitions on the SSD.

    To fix my ram drive problem I went to DATARAM's web site and looked at all the FAQ's, nothing there, so out of curiosity I looked at the versions of the ram drive program, the one I have is 3.5, the latest is 4.4, so I downloaded the newest version. Now installed and the temp files are on the ram drive, however unlike the on the old tower with XP with a 4 GB ram drive where the paging file or swap file resided; this ram drive only has the temp folder because the ram drive capacity is only 1 GB at this time, it defiantly does not have the capacity for a 31 GB swap file... DATARAM does read their email, however they seem to be a little slow to respond, I have bought a new license for the new version will try that on my game Windows 10 installation to see if the RAM Drive speeds up the game and slows down the heat problem.

I could limit Windows 10 to say 15 GB by creating a 17 GB RAM Drive then point the swap file to that drive, it would be faster and never fragment [I may experiment with this in the future], however that kind of defeats the purpose of having 32 GB of ram, when I up grade I may split the memory and have the swap file on the ram drive.

   When I built this system I did a small short benchmark test, with nothing loaded besides Windows 7 and Windows 10, no other programs Windows 7 is fast, Windows 10 is fast - I had the turbo function disabled in the BOIS. When I let the turbo function run the CPU speed will increase from 1 GHz base to 4.9 GHz in Turbo and the CPU heat barely increases until I load up Skyrim, and then it only goes up 10* F.

    For normal everyday use the system is very fast, when I play a game the game is responsive and never lags or pauses when the graphics change or a video sequence plays. Even running three or four VM machines the system is fast no pausing, no lag, with one VM doing a back up to my server, one VM sitting idle, and one working on this web site content.

    Did I find any new earth shaking reason Windows 10 was slow? Nope, under normal circumstances I would have done everything I did when I started this project. Did I learn anything new, yup, that you can limit the power to the CPU to keep it from overheating to the point where it would burn up even with liquid cooling. I still don't know why the "System Reserve" as it is called now, or the boot manager partition was wiped.

  Am I satisfied with my new computer and Windows 10?

  Well, there are a few things but the biggest flaw is Intel's jumping on the Windows 7 is dead and not supporting it past it's demise date announced by Microsoft, heck I had this motherboard and processor up and running a good six months before MS and Intel started to shovel the dirt on Win 7, sure am glad I didn't bother with Win 8 or Win 9 (aka Win 8.1). So if Intel would update the Coffee Lake chipset file my install of Windows 7 would have all the devices and would probably be faster than Windows 10...



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