VOGONS


First post, by Rhuwyn

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So Windows XP has been out since arond 2002 early in the Pentium 4 lifespan. At the time as far as I can remember Pentium4s ran windows XP great. Today I loaded Windows XP on a 1.8ghz P4 from an fully updated ISO and even fairly basic webpages bog the system down at 100% CPU usage. I assume that a large part of this was due to the additional bloat that SP1,SP2, and then SP3 added. Before I started shooting in the dark I figured I would ask what everyone is typically doing with Windows XP to minimize issues on older cores particularly single core.

Reply 1 of 26, by gerwin

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Modern browsers don't work well with such a system. Using Pale Moon (Atom/WinXP build) works a lot better already. Then use a Script+Flash blocker too, to remove a lot of the internet bloat.
Windows XP SP3 in itself works reasonably well on a lowly Atom netbook (comparable to a Celeron 900MHz). A small SSD drive should reduce lag too, especially when upgrading from a 2.5" HDD (=slow).

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Reply 2 of 26, by Jorpho

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How much RAM do you have? I expect having lots of RAM (like at least 1 GB) would make a much bigger difference than having multiple cores.

There have been tests suggesting that SP3 and so on do not necessarily slow down XP substantially, at least on non-ancient hardware.

Reply 4 of 26, by DosFreak

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100% CPU? 1.8ghz P4 So no hyperthreading.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_P … rs#Pentium_4_HT

Make sure nothing is running in the background.

1gb of ram and a single core processor on the Internet today would not be fun. There's always Lynx. 😀

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Reply 5 of 26, by Rhuwyn

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No hyperthreading. The system is just an OEM Compaq I have sitting around which I grabbed because I needed a system with Windows XP that I could test both AGP and PCI cards on, nothing special I don't necessarily need to have performance to where I can use it as my daily driver but I'd like to be able to get it on the internet enough to download drivers but right now it's kinda painfull even to just do that.

Reply 6 of 26, by Standard Def Steve

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I use standard XP SP3 on my Tualatin-1575 with 2GB. No tweaks. It runs just as nicely as SP1. Benchmark results are identical. Boot times are very close to being identical. SP3 being substantially slower than vanilla XP is a myth. It needs more RAM, but as far as processor efficiency goes, they're all the same.

Web browsing on the PIII is quite sluggish, but it ain't much better on my P4 2.4. Web browsers just aren't optimized for XP anymore. It has nothing to do with the service packs. I have a few machines that dual boot XP/7, and they all perform much better online with 7. Even that measly P4 2.4 loads webpages a heck of a lot quicker using Chrome on 7. The same hardware running FF on XP absolutely sucks.

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Reply 7 of 26, by Rhuwyn

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Yeah I forgot to mention it's only 512MB of RAM. The thing that kinda drives me crazy is the system actually came with 512MB of RAM and Windows XP. The think is memory usage doesn't seem to be all that high. It's just completely pegged out on CPU. It's just hard for me to believe that just web browsing should max out a P4. I know so much has changed, but it hasnt changed THAT much.

Reply 8 of 26, by ODwilly

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Firefox still works great with XP. like others have said more ram! 512mb is workable with Sp2 and older, but after SP3 1gb is the minimum that doesnt constantly disk swap and 2gb+ makes a big difference. My Compaq laptop has similar specs and runs XP, ran SP2 when I got it with 512mb of ram.

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Reply 9 of 26, by dr_st

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It's not WinXP or its service packs. It's the internet.

I have similar systems (WinXP with a 1.8GHz or 2GHz P4-M, no HT). One with SP2, one with SP3. They run fine for most daily tasks until you try to browse the web. There is no workaround. Blocking ads / flash will only take you so far. It's the heavily scripted, on-the-fly generated web content. You can block all this, install minimal browsers and what not, but then you will just be unable to use an increasing number of websites.

Awesome lightweight forums such as this one work great, though. 🤣

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Reply 10 of 26, by yawetaG

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IIRC, with no Flash and no Java installed at all (they are major security risks, after all), Adblock set to block about all ads and Ghostery set to block a lot of the additional junk, the web was quite usable on my XP system as long as I skipped certain websites (Youtube...).

Reply 11 of 26, by candle_86

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SP2 added alot of bloat, and SP3 added even more.

The way I always looked at XP is this

XP SP0-SP1 anything 500mhz with 256mb of ram is fine

XP SP2 Athlon/Pentium III - Pentium4/Athlon 64 1gb Ram

XP SP3 - Athlon 64 X2/Pentium D 2gb Ram minimum

Now none of those will do exceedingly well at Modern tasks, the modern web is very different than it was in 2002 FYI

Reply 12 of 26, by Jorpho

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I really wish someone would run some definitive tests on how much slower XP gets with each service pack on an underpowered Pentium III versus a Pentium 4. (Maybe bring in Win2K SP4 and WinFLP for good measure.) http://www.zdnet.com/article/xp-sp3-performan … ite-home-about/ and http://icrontic.com/article/does_service_pack … 2_slow_you_down would be the templates.

Anyway, I would suggest K-Meleon (last updated in September 2015) for such a system. Qupzilla might also be worth considering.

Reply 13 of 26, by motley6

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Rhuwyn wrote:

So Windows XP has been out since arond 2002 early in the Pentium 4 lifespan. At the time as far as I can remember Pentium4s ran windows XP great. Today I loaded Windows XP on a 1.8ghz P4 from an fully updated ISO and even fairly basic webpages bog the system down at 100% CPU usage. I assume that a large part of this was due to the additional bloat that SP1,SP2, and then SP3 added. Before I started shooting in the dark I figured I would ask what everyone is typically doing with Windows XP to minimize issues on older cores particularly single core.

I have a similar setup (same processor, but 2GB RAM) and I use Windows Fundamentals For Legacy PC's instead of XP Professional. Everything is much peppier using WFLPC, from startup to browsing the internet to playing games. It's 100% compatible with XP and has all the same security updates.

Reply 14 of 26, by Oldskoolmaniac

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I browse the web using the latest firefox, xp pro sp3 on my p3-s 1.4ghz and 2gb of ram its usually my daily driver at work when i dont have my laptop.

The trick is to tweak and turn off everything you dont use:
Turn ur themes to the windows classic (normally i dont with this one).
Turn off a few things under your performance settings.
Turn off all printing and scanning services if your not using a printer.
Turn off remote desktop.
Turn off indexing services.
Turn off system restore (you will notice a big difference with this one).
Any programs that you have auto updating turn that off.
Keep your programs from starting up with your pc, skype, steam, etc
Keep any and all virus protection off of your pc (yes i know someone will nag about this one, but if you know what your doing you'll be fine) or use malwarebytes and turn it on and scan when needed.
Defrag, disk clean-up and ccleaner when needed.
Make sure you gather all the windows updates after a clean install so none of that updating will be going on in the backround while your trying to use the web
As for browsing, firefox with adblock plus is the way to go. (I can also browse facebook on my p3, but that's kinda sluggish and videos will not play)
There are a ton of other tweaks out there as well.

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Reply 15 of 26, by candle_86

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If your going to use something from the P3 era as a daily driver I'd look into Linux, I had lubuntu on a Pentium M 1.6 with 1gb of ram and an Intel Extreme graphics IGP and it ran pretty well and was safe on the web as well 🤣

Reply 16 of 26, by Tetrium

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Oldskoolmaniac wrote:
I browse the web using the latest firefox, xp pro sp3 on my p3-s 1.4ghz and 2gb of ram its usually my daily driver at work when […]
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I browse the web using the latest firefox, xp pro sp3 on my p3-s 1.4ghz and 2gb of ram its usually my daily driver at work when i dont have my laptop.

The trick is to tweak and turn off everything you dont use:
Turn ur themes to the windows classic (normally i dont with this one).
Turn off a few things under your performance settings.
Turn off all printing and scanning services if your not using a printer.
Turn off remote desktop.
Turn off indexing services.
Turn off system restore (you will notice a big difference with this one).
Any programs that you have auto updating turn that off.
Keep your programs from starting up with your pc, skype, steam, etc
Keep any and all virus protection off of your pc (yes i know someone will nag about this one, but if you know what your doing you'll be fine) or use malwarebytes and turn it on and scan when needed.
Defrag, disk clean-up and ccleaner when needed.
Make sure you gather all the windows updates after a clean install so none of that updating will be going on in the backround while your trying to use the web
As for browsing, firefox with adblock plus is the way to go. (I can also browse facebook on my p3, but that's kinda sluggish and videos will not play)
There are a ton of other tweaks out there as well.

These tips, amongst some others, really do help with slower systems.
I used to experiment a lot with NLite, also for performance on slower systems.

The hints you give here also remind me a bit of how I tend to tweak ME (to not install everything, but only stuff that I may actually use, and to disable/remove stuff afterwards like that system restore/pc health thingy), though that seems to be somewhat easier to tweak (mostly due to having had lots of failed attempts at creating an install disk that did everything I wanted without bugging out, thank god for virtual PC 🤣)

Btw, for this kind of stuff, I can really recommend msfn.org. It has many user projects like the most recent unofficial 98SE SP

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Reply 17 of 26, by Rhuwyn

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So Opera runs way better then Firefox for what it's worth just as an FYI.

I never heard of the Windows Fundementals for Legacy PC's after some googling it looks really interesting is there any documentation on things that don't work?

Reply 18 of 26, by Oldskoolmaniac

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candle_86 wrote:

If your going to use something from the P3 era as a daily driver I'd look into Linux, I had lubuntu on a Pentium M 1.6 with 1gb of ram and an Intel Extreme graphics IGP and it ran pretty well and was safe on the web as well 🤣

Yes I agree Linux lubuntu is a very good alternative, its like it was made for p3-p4 machines besides the lack of support for agp and pci video cards just a universal video driver.

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Reply 19 of 26, by Rhuwyn

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Like the idea of using Linux but what I really just wanted to use this machine to test some video cards (for functionality not benchmarking) and to write floppy images for some other project I am working on because my main Windows 10 machine really does not like working with floppy disks.