Connection Speed - Possibly OT

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View

System info

2.66 Intel Celeron D processor
2 gigs of RAM
80 GB HD - 25 GB of free space
Windows XP SP3
No router

A week ago I had some changes made to my cable / internet package.

Got a bill today and noticed that not only was the bill higher than it
was supposed to be, but I've had standard Road Runner (7 Mbps) instead
of RR Lite (768 Kbps) for a week now.

Over the past week, I noticed NO difference in surfing speed.

It would seem to me that there would be a huge difference especially
since I didn't even know that I had been upgraded. And yes, they did
make the change to my service. I ran a speed test while I was on the
phone with them today.

So my question is, how come I didn't notice a difference in surfing
and webpages loading faster? I haven't downloaded any new programs in
the past week, so I couldn't notice a difference there.

One thing to note, I built this computer in Feb '07 and 13 months
later the computer would just cut off and reboot. Found out that I
didn't tighten the fan over the processor correctly and the processor
was overheating.

Is it possible that I damaged the processor, therefore connection
speed wouldn't make any difference?

From the first day that I built this computer I haven't noticed any
difference in speed, even after the fan was tightened.

Sometimes when I open certain programs , there is a delay. When I open
programs like Webroot Spy Sweeper for instance, the outer frame of the
program loads, but it takes several seconds for the inner box to fill

I also have a similar problem with VSO ConvertXtoDVD. It loads half of
the program, and then after about 10 seconds the rest of the program

Both of these programs were installed after the fan I
don't know if that is normal behavior. I wouldn't think so.

Is it possible that I damaged the CPU from day one and it's been dying
a slow death?

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Also, I've noticed that when I play videos from CNN, I have to pause
the video for a while and then play it after it has run for a while. I
always thought it was my connection speed, but since I've had a MUCH
faster connection for a week now, it didn't make nay difference. Which
is making me think that there is indeed something wrong with the
processor unless someone has another answer. Hell, even YouTube has
become sluggish in the past few months.

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

Ron wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
Connection speed past a certain point becomes unnoticeable, for

The computers on the other side of the connection become the main
factor, and no increase in transmission speed will improve things.

Only on download, and then only for a fast downloadsite, will you
see big differences.

So, if you mainly browse, very high speed is only useful for the
income of your provider.

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

On Wed, 20 Jan 2010 20:13:56 -0800 (PST), Ron

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That is common, most websites don't have enough bandwidth to
serve each client at their ISP's allotted bandwidth, and
most ISPs claim "up to" a particular speed but won't
guarantee you get that speed continually.

Since you don't notice the difference, I'd have them switch
you back to the lower cost plan if it's possible.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I sometimes wonder if ISPs prioritize packets to the most
popular speed-test websites, but that is an aside as few if
any websites can deliver data above 1MBps, as they wouldn't
feel the small change worth the increasing costs from their

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I think at times you might notice a little benefit from
roughly double the 768Kbps you had, but seldom  7Mbps.  Even
directly downloading files I rarely see over 2MB/s except
things like MS patches, university servers for linux
distros, or peer 2 peer connections.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It's possible your processor was damaged, but that would
have nothing to do with lack of perceived downloading speed.
Even if it were throttled down to a few low speed from
immediate overheat condition it would still have far more
performance than needed to maintain more than 768Kbps.

Also if the CPU were damaged you would see this manifest in
other system instability still, the odds are your CPU is
fine, although if it overheated frequently enough it could
cause thermal stress that eventually shortens it's lifespan,
but you would  have a far clearer indication of the problem
at that point, like the system failing to run at all.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's just a sign the program is doing something time
intensive (like loading files into memory from the hard
drive) or compute intensive.  If the hard drive is the
bottleneck you should find subsequent launches of the
program are faster.  If it's compute intensive you should
see a spike in Windows' Task Manager for CPU utilization...
or it could be a little of both.

It's nothing to be concerned about, same situation as always
you can opt to benchmark the CPU, hard drive, and upgrade
either or both if you want more performance... though I
almost forgot memory, if you're running out you might be
seeing some paging activity when programs launch but I
seldom think about memory these days since most modern
systems are pretty well endowed due to memory being cheap as
dirt over the past couple years... and the 2GB you have is
enough to get quite a bit running well on WinXP.

Your 80GB HDD, assuming it isn't an SSD, it bound to be a
bottleneck.  A modern ~ 1TB SATA drive could be expected to
be roughly twice as fast, but of course it won't do much to
improve your web surfing, though maybe slightly snappier
assuming your browser does as most do, puts temporary
internet files on the hard drive.  Personally I set Firefox
to use only system memory, no hard drive space as there
seems no point to it today with so much system memory
available for the task.  I don't recall if IE can be set to
do that, though you could always set up a ramdrive and
direct it to put the files there.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Doubtful, but there are plenty of CPU benchmark programs you
could use to test it and compare with online data about what
you should expect it to score.

You might also try running Prime95's stress test, the large
in-place FFTs setting will put the CPU at peak load and
elevate the temperature which can reveal faults, and as
importantly it checks the calculation results so you'll know
if there are any errors.

You might want to also have a program like CPU-Z open while
that runs, as it will show CPU clockspeed that might
decrease if the CPU were overheating.

Overall I doubt you have any real problems, though you might
seek replacement programs that run more efficiently and
upgrade the computer if any benchmarks make it look weak...
though any 2 year old system will look slow compared to the
best of today's hardware and it starting out as a Celeron
with less cache won't help.

It could be a good time to upgrade the CPU, before socket
775 CPUs become rarer and more expensive as Intel starts
phasing them out, though you'll have to do a bit of research
about what your motherboard supports (and/or whether a newer
bios improves CPU support which is likely).

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Thanks. Great info as usual. One question, do you know about how many
hours it takes to run Prime95?

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

On Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:46:02 -0800 (PST), Ron

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Forever, it just loops and starts over at the end in test

Set it to Stress Test Mode, Large In-Place FFTs (setting).
It will just keep running until you terminate it (or the
computer crashes badly enough it stops running.

The bare minimum to run it would be an hour, before that
period has elapsed your system should have reached peak
temperature, that is ignoring that the room ambient
temperature in some buildings fluctuates at different times
of day or different seasons, but you are dealing with the
environment the system sees now so it is still an
appropriate enough environment.

It will just show line after line of calculations completed,
or it will show errors.  If it shows any errors it is a sign
of instability that will need corrected.  Ideally I would
run it for at least a few hours but with a single core
system that will slow the system down a fair amount, perhaps
start it up at night and check on it when you wake up in the
morning.  No real need to run it more than a day unless you
are actually looking for prime numbers in non-test mode.

If you do find errors, see if any hardware monitoring
utility will work on your system to display temperatures
while it runs, as often such errors occur when the CPU gets
too hot, or actually even if the CPU doesn't overheat from a
perspective of causing physical damage, all else being equal
the hotter the CPU gets the more voltage it needs to remain
stable so there is a balance point for any CPU, though
running at stock speed you should never encounter that
point, it is a point that with a properly designed and
functional system only an overclocker would reach.

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

Quoted text here. Click to load it

OK, I ran it for 9 hours and it passed the test, so I guess the CPU is

Re: Connection Speed - Possibly OT

Quoted text here. Click to load it

As Sjouke (and Kony) has pointed out, it might simply be that you haven't

It probably is worth checking that you are on 7mbps - because they might be
billing you without having upgraded your speed. There are number of sites
which claim to be able to measure your broadband speed, find one which is
local-ish to you (same country at least) and use that but only treat this as
a guide. Alternatively you should be able to log into your router (if you
know the username and password) and see what connection speed it thinks you

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Yes its possible you damaged the processor (small likelihood because that is
why they have a thermal cut-out) but if everything has worked fine since
then then its reasonable to assume your processor is fine. In any event I
very much doubt that this would have any bearing on your perceived or actual
connection speed.
Brian Cryer

Site Timeline