First post, by blueclouds8666
Hi, I've been recently doing some testing to my Pentium III Coppermine machine with XP Professional SP3. I have been experiencing for quite a while a problem in regard to performance consistency so i decided to investigate what was the cause behind it. It seems the more USB devices i plug into the machine, the slower it runs, and the impact is specially notable while playing games. To demonstrate this issue, I've set up different hardware configurations and run PrBoom OpenGL intro scene as a way to benchmark the performance. The followed procedure has been the same for each hw configuration: run PrBoom at 1024x768 windowed, and set a timed 30s benchmark with Fraps as soon as the intro scene started. This are the results:
1. GeForce card + Ensoniq audio PCI card, no USB devices connected: the fastest i could get it to run with audio
MIN: 59, MAX: 93, AVG: 77.367
2. GeForce card + Sound Blaster Live USB audio card: slightly slower
MIN: 53, MAX: 84, AVG: 71.200
3. GeForce card + Sound Blaster Live USB audio card + tp-link 802.11b/g/n USB adapter: worse
MIN: 44, MAX: 78, AVG: 61.600
4. The same as 3, but now the tp-link is connected to a VIA USB 2.0 PCI port instead of the onboard main panel: even worse
MIN: 27, MAX: 52, AVG: 39.200
5. The same as 4, but now two usb flash drives are as well connected to the VIA PCI: unplayable
MIN: 17, MAX: 39, AVG: 25.000
I've used PrBoom GL in this case, but the performance impact is as noticeable with any other game. My motherboard comes with two USB 1.1 onboard ports, which cause less peroformance impact in contrast with the VIA PCI, but yet it's slow enough to make some games unplayable (in tests 2 and 3, onboard USB ports were used. VIA card is only connected in tests 4 and 5).
I'm unsure if this performance impact is normal, being an old P3 at 800 MHz, or if it's either a hardware conflict, BIOS bug or some bad misconfiguration... That's why i'm asking here, as i'm still intrigued why is this happening. Thank you very much in advance for your help.