View Full Version : Performance Tuning

12-10-2000, 07:40 PM
I installed my new Gurus provided XLR8 G3/500 upgrade in my G3 DT, which nicely compliments my Gurus internal 2x9GB Cheetah array. And like any kid with a new toy, I've been fiddling with it endlessly. I have been running MacBench 5 and ExpressPro Tools to document performance. Now for the question: which system extensions are the biggest performance hogs? Example: With all my normal extensions loaded (file sharing off), ExpressPro shows 30-35MB/s peak and sustained read/writes. With all extensions off except XLR8 and SoftRAID, speeds jump to 76/45MB/s peak/sustained read, and 56/51MB/s peak/sustained write. I also see a 20-45% increase in MacBench 5 processor (1437 to 1737) and disk scores (1681 to 2453) between these two configurations. I'm sure the Gurus have run similar tests, and I hope can shed some light. BTW, what do you think about a forum just for performance tuning tips?

12-10-2000, 10:14 PM
You didn't say which OS that you are running. If it's 8.6 I could help. Pruning OS 9.04 is much more difficult than all earlier systems because of the multitude of "MultiUser" and "Security" stuff. Many of them have titles than you would think that you would never use, but when deactivated, stop something else from working.

Are you using a Miles 2 or ATTO card?

I had a single drive like yours running off of one of my Miles 2 cards that got 34-35 MB/s sustained reads and writes.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 10 December 2000).]

12-10-2000, 10:17 PM

I run MB5 in two ways. First, to compare with other boxes, a minimum init set, basically what the OS installs, plus whatever you must have to run all of the tests including CD. That way you are comparing (more or less) apples to apples. This includes a minimum font set, just the OS fonts, not all of your favorites on top of that. The results are then comparable to what others get, without all of the stuff that drags performance down.

Second, I run MB5 with my normal inits and fonts. I save this run for the future. That way, later on, I can check for a performance degradation that might need attention.

What drags down performance? As you obviously know file sharing. Others, background apps running, Kensington software, excessive fonts, excessive inits, AppleTalk, sometimes even the menubar clock even though MB5 freezes it during test, even just moving the pointer or beach ball while a test is underway. There are others.

MB5 can be a valuable tool for checking if your box is still performing up to par and, after a new installation of hardware or software, whether things are performing as they should be.

Another forum for tuning tips, that is a thought. magician will have to address that idea. Currently they are all over the current forums. Maybe that is where they should be, not sure. k

12-11-2000, 01:35 AM
not so sure we actually need an entire new forum, as the easy way to optimize your extensions is to run Apple extensions, only, with very careful substitutions (as in the case of HDST and CD/DVDST) and very few cases of outright replacement (as with ConflictCatcher). Needless to say, additional stuff should be limited to MAChSpeed Control, and that's about it. No FinderPop, no Grouchy Trashcan Guys, no AIM, no QuickKeys, no OneClick, etc. If Darin runs it, delete it.

I would run MacOS only, then run with extensions disabled. My suspicion is that Apple extensions are not causing the problem. If so, you need to look at them carefully. It will probably end up being an outdated version of something that is doing it.

12-15-2000, 01:13 PM
RE: Magicians lst reply... Mag, you said "and very few cases of outright replacement (as with ConflictCatcher)". What was this in reference to? I just purchased and installed CC (the most recent version) and am concerned at that particular comment. Is there anything I should know about CC that affects the overall performance of the system? (PM 8600/G4/350, miles2, Cheetah 9GB 10k for digital audio and video work) If so, is there a way to "shut off" conflict catcher and only activate it when it is needed? (I know that you have to launch the application to use it like extension manager, I thought that there might be a "watching" extension active like the protection extension in tech tool pro...no I don't run that option on.)

12-15-2000, 02:42 PM
I took what magician said there as an endorsement of Conflict Catcher, one of the few outright replacements (in this case for Extensions Manager). I guess we need for his comment. I use CC8 for everything I have, especially the capability to create sets for different purposes. k

12-15-2000, 04:05 PM
I absolutely endorse the use of Conflict Catcher as a replacement for Extensions Manager. It is an example of a case where a carefully selected third-party app serves as a superior replacement for the stock resources of the OS.

I am very conservative where things like this are concerned, however. Conflict Catcher is one of the very few replacements I recommend.

I do not recommend QuickKeys or OneClick as a replacement or enhancement to AppleScript, for example. In my experience, these add-ons make Macs prone to crash. I do not endorse many disk utilities, either, to cite another example. I prefer SoftRAID, in some cases HDST, and in others Drive Setup. I no longer endorse HDT, or CharisMac, or even ExpressTools or ExpressRAID.

we could go on. The rule of thumb to use is, prefer Apple resources except in specific cases, and Conflict Catcher is one of them. I prefer to use Apple Energy Saver rather than Sleeper, for example. I prefer to use the RAM Disk utility built into the Memory Control Panel rather than the various third-party RAM Disk apps, to cite another.

you get the idea.

use Apple when possible, except in cases where the third-party utility is a "must-have," like Conflict Catcher, or CD/DVD SpeedTools, or HDST (as opposed to Iomega Tools), etc.

[This message has been edited by magician (edited 15 December 2000).]