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Windows 7: high cpu usage with streaming data program


05 Jun 2011   #1
pacificmike

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
high cpu usage with streaming data program

Hello fellow bloggers,

I am baffled by an issue with my HP Pavilion dv7 windows 7 notebook using an AMD mobile m520 cpu maxing it out when running a gui real time streaming data stock market monitoring program. During peak market hours the cpu usage peaks and the program runs between 35 - 60% (8-10 at idle) cpu usage. I called HP Support and after checking the system was told to restore the os back to factory defaults and add another 4 gbytes of ram.

I had a systems engineer tune my system for performance and deleted all temp files. I have exhausted the resources available at HP and have did some testing of my own.

I shut down all but firefox, the xtend gui application and the resource monitoring program with paint at idle. i have turned off/on all startup programs and uninstalled unneeded programs and cleaned and updated the registry. The 3 programs and the standard processes in multi-user mode still shows the same results with svchost.exe competing with firefox for second position, but the xtend.exe (317 kbytes) program remains the highest by a good amount. Strangely for me, the cpu does not rely on the added 4 gbytes of ram. it never goes above 3.5 gbytes no matter the cpu usage.

I have an HP Pavilion desktop vista i use to compare with similar setups. It is 6 years old running an AMD 5600+ Live, 2 gbytes ram and similar graphics and resolution, but graphics ram may may be different on cards. It is a 64 bit design, but running in 32 bit mode. According to the TM, the kernel memory is 256 kbytes for Both cpu's and each hardware is designed for high performance to support live media. The desktop usage for the xtend.exe running the same third party programs is between 18-20% peak (4-5 at idle). Exactly what i was told to expect from the program by the techies that support xtend.

Ok, so i am going to test another similar gui program on Monday, but don't expect much difference between the two systems.

I would like to know the following:

1. why is cpu not swapping out to memory?
2. why is the same program at same time using double the amount of cpu on the newer notebook?
3. how does the maximum frequency effect the performance of the cpu?
4. any info on graphics real time streaming would help.
5. just added. system at idle for about 20 minutes. Symantics Nortons running scan in background. Note the high cpu usage, hard drive and the smooth cycle from network. Is this normal for Nortons scan while system that is idle and is not in use with no programs other than the resource monitor? This doesnt distract from the xtend program but is noteworthy for reducing other usage of the cpu.
6. my understanding of frequency is the measure of the clock speed which is an analog signal. Is this what the frequency means in the resource monitor? Wouldn't an on demand type of the speed or frequency improve the performance by running at lower temperatures during less usage? The lower the heat the stronger the signal and the less attenuation of the sinosoidal waveform and the more often it will reach its threshold level thereby increasing the performance? Or, does frequency mean something else here?

Thanks for all and any help in solving the problem. Please include recommendations as well as comments.

Pacificmike

File 1 is the notebook 49% average usage for xtend
File 2 is the desktop showing 21% less than 1/2 of notebook within minutes of each other. jpeg file type.
File 3 shows pieces of xtend not minimizing and remaining on screen until i opened another window.
File 4 shows the graphics display of the xtend program
file 5 shows system at idle with only the resource monitor running and nortons system scan in background.




Attached Thumbnails
-cpu-usage-extreme.png   -cpu-usage-hp-desktop-2-.jpg   -cpu-usage-not-refreshing-page.png   -xtend-program-screenshot-cpu.png   -cpu-system-idle-no-running-prgms.png  

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jun 2011   #2
yowanvista

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote:
1. why is cpu not swapping out to memory?
The CPU does not 'swap' any memory, more memory allows you to run more programs at the same time.
By adding 4GB you only increased the amount of memory, in no way it will 'boost' your CPU performance
Quote:
2. why is the same program at same time using double the amount of cpu on the newer notebook?
The Vista laptop uses is 32-bit and the newer one uses 64-bit. 64-bit systems use a little more memory for emulating 32-bit programs(WOW64)
Quote:
3. how does the maximum frequency effect the performance of the cpu?
A higher frequency will benefit the OS and the applications, you will experience a little speed boost

Your CPU is only clocked at 2.3GHz, it is not designed to run intensive programs so its normal to have high CPU usage

You have an old version of Norton Internet security which may affect performance. Upgrade to version 2011
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #3
logicearth

Windows 8.1 Pro (x64)
 
 

Why are you using Aero Basic? Should use the full blown Aero not Basic.
Either way, its obvious Xtend wants to use that much CPU thus it will use that much.
Talk to the folks who make Xtend. Only they can resolve it. If it is a problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Jun 2011   #4
pacificmike

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
reply to youwanvista

thanks for your comments. i would like to respond and answer your questions. My first time on this blog site and not familiar with the format and hope i get it right.



Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by yowanvista View Post
Quote:
1. why is cpu not swapping out to memory?
The CPU does not 'swap' any memory, more memory allows you to run more programs at the same time.

From what i learned in training and school about cpu designs is that there is memory referred to as kernel memory within the actual chip itself. It can only do a single instruction at a time and it uses its kernel (cache) to run function routines that require data along with instructions. The stack or memory buffer that is created by the compiled code will grow and shrink the data that is stored in the data stack as needed. If the routine data set becomes too large or it is multi-tasking several routines, it may need to swap out the onboard chip memory data to ram memory in order to continue to multi-task. If the ram has too much of its memory size reserved, it will then send the memory that has the least priority out to virtual memory. I may not have the correct semantics, but i believe that is the basics of how a processor accesses its memory resources.

There is a routine in C and C++ called main(). This is the fundamental or main program and when the routines and sub-routines are called by the main or from an i/o request, it goes to that routine, loads it into the processor along with creating a memory stack or buffer that it uses to access the data that is passed to it from the higher routine that called it or from the data that is received from the i/o request, which could be a bit or 64 bits at a time in size, if i understand the bus size limitations. It has been a very long time since i have worked in the industry, but that is the basics of how things work back then. :-)



By adding 4GB you only increased the amount of memory, in no way it will 'boost' your CPU performance

I will have to think about that a little more before I can reply, but if you increase the memory size doesn't that increase the memory limitations and how muchthe cpu can store in the ram memory as opposed to say...sending it out to your hard drive or virtual memory, which really slows down the accessing of data because of the i/o drives reading/writing to the disk are a lot slower? Wouldn't that increase the performance. It may not increase the speed if it is operating at its maximum speed, which the notebook does no matter how many programs that are running. The vista's speed or frequency (cycles per second?) changes with the usages. I am not sure which is the correct way, but i would think that if the demand is less, then the speed or frequency may change.

If a cpu runs at a slower rate then it is not going to get as hot and the silicon wafer is going to be more effective and the transfer of electrical signals faster as heat degrades the speed of eletrical signals. It's a trade off really. your clock speed increases and the attenuation of the electrical wave signals increases. heat sinks and silicon can only do so much. I am not completely sure about that and would like to know more about the frequency as it relates to the usage.

Quote:
2. why is the same program at same time using double the amount of cpu on the newer notebook?
The Vista laptop uses is 32-bit and the newer one uses 64-bit. 64-bit systems use a little more memory for emulating 32-bit programs(WOW64)

are you referring to World of War running 64 bits? I believe i loaded the 64 bit version of xtend on both systems but will have to check. A little bit more is ok, but 2 times the usage? i wouldn't call that a little bit and when you compare it proportionately the the amount of the cpu usage and the fact that i am seeing degradation and cannot run other applications such as Outlook or Word without slowing the response time down significantly, i would say that was a problem. Keep in mind that I was told that it should use about 18-20% and was told that no way should it use 45%. I wouldn't care how much of a hog it was, if i could run other programs without effecting the performance. This i something that a good programmer understands and breaks the code down to run faster on the cpu. That is always the programmer's goal. Smaller size executable, faster running program. If you use too much ram or memory, then you start building libraries and dynamic links to the main program. This is a standalone program that is only 317 kbytes, which is always more desirable, especially with streaming data I would think.

Quote:
3. how does the maximum frequency effect the performance of the cpu?
A higher frequency will benefit the OS and the applications, you will experience a little speed boost

I would like to learn more about the frequency because i am seeing one that responds to the usage and one that remains at 100% all the time, which is the newer notebook.

Your CPU is only clocked at 2.3GHz, it is not designed to run intensive programs so its normal to have high CPU usage

I am not sure the speed would be the deciding factor on what you can run.e This program is not supposed to be some cpu hound and i was told that it was designed to run on multi operating systems and multi platforms. The caveat of course, is that any real time streaming data program is going to use a lot of cpu time. This is an entertainment notebook as is the desktop and is is supposedly designed for real time streaming data program such as HDTV, viewing movies through the internet, watching home movies in multi media and for games as well. When i run the windows experience index program i get a 4.4 base rating and up in the 7 area for the cpu and memory. the range for the index is 2.0 thru 7.9, so i am in the middle. My cpu is rated at 5.8 and memory at 7.2, which should be able to handle the program without serious degradations.

You have an old version of Norton Internet security which may affect performance. Upgrade to version 2011
Yes, that is the trial version. I have not installed my 2011 version since rebuilding. However, it doesnt seem to have made it any worse or better as the reason i rebuilt and added the memory was due to the this problem.

Thank you for your comments. I certainly appreciate them. I hope that others will continue to provide input and i would appreciate any further comments you have.

I just installed a third party cpu temp monitor that i plan to use on Monday because i would think that the running at maximum frequency all the time can make a cpu pretty hot, which i duly note as the fan speed and noise is really irritating.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #5
pacificmike

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
reply to logicearth

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by logicearth View Post
Why are you using Aero Basic? Should use the full blown Aero not Basic.
Either way, its obvious Xtend wants to use that much CPU thus it will use that much.
Talk to the folks who make Xtend. Only they can resolve it. If it is a problem.
Thank you for your comments. Can you tell me what is Aero? the rating index states that i should be able to run multiple programs, Aero and HDTV at my basic rate of 4.4. I only have access to the technical support team that supports the use of xtend, not the software house that built it. There are many more programs from brokerage houses, but even those these guys are pretty savvy about the market and trading, i am not sure they are really up to an expert level on computers.

I have a difficult time believing that two fundamentally similar systems would have that much disparity between the usage for the same program. As i said when i was replying to the comments above. It is suppose to run between 18-20%. I think the that when the programmers created the program and they saw anything close to 50% cpu average for a high mid level system, would have had second thoughts and redesigned it (might be giving them too much credit). there are many other programs that are used for the same purpose out there and none that i have seen has any note or caveats that come with it in terms of your system performance. The minimum requirements for the program is a lot lower than what i have.

One more think. the support technician runs a similar stock trading program and has an HP dv7 notebook, but may be running a different cpu (going to check and get back to me) hasn't had any problems with his program and cpu usage. I am going to download and run his programm on both systems tomorrow morning and will let you know the results.

hey, good comments. its sure is good to have some experts banging at this for me.

thanks,
Pacificmike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Jun 2011   #6
cluberti

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Aero is the "glass" effect the taskbar, windows, etc. have when the Windows 7 Aero theme is used. However, this has a side-benefit - a machine running an "aero" theme puts the rendering load of applications and the desktop on the video card, rather than the host CPU in the system. However, your machine (judging from the screenshots) is running the "Windows 7 Basic" them, which puts the rendering of graphics data that would normally be done on the graphics card (GPU) to the CPU, which is *much* slower at accomplishing these tasks (and could very well explain the CPU and speed differences).

Before doing anything else with the clueless folks in tech support, you first want to try to enable Aero by right-clicking your desktop, selecting "Personalize", and then selecting the "Windows 7" option under the "Aero themes" header. If you do not see that, you might want to check and see what video card driver you have installed (start > devmgmt.msc > expand "Display Adapters") to make sure it isn't using the "Standard VGA Adapter" driver.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #7
yowanvista

Windows 8.1 Pro x64
 
 

Quote:
From what i learned in training and school about cpu designs is that there is memory referred to as kernel memory within the actual chip itself. It can only do a single instruction at a time and it uses its kernel (cache)
Your are referring to the CPU cache which is not related to the Main memory(RAM)
Quote:
but if you increase the memory size doesn't that increase the memory limitations and how muchthe cpu can store in the ram memory as opposed to say...
No
Quote:
are you referring to World of War running 64 bits? I believe i loaded the 64 bit version of xtend on both systems but will have to check.
I am referring to WOW64
WoW64 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #8
pacificmike

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by cluberti View Post
Aero is the "glass" effect the taskbar, windows, etc. have when the Windows 7 Aero theme is used. However, this has a side-benefit - a machine running an "aero" theme puts the rendering load of applications and the desktop on the video card, rather than the host CPU in the system. However, your machine (judging from the screenshots) is running the "Windows 7 Basic" them, which puts the rendering of graphics data that would normally be done on the graphics card (GPU) to the CPU, which is *much* slower at accomplishing these tasks (and could very well explain the CPU and speed differences).

Before doing anything else with the clueless folks in tech support, you first want to try to enable Aero by right-clicking your desktop, selecting "Personalize", and then selecting the "Windows 7" option under the "Aero themes" header. If you do not see that, you might want to check and see what video card driver you have installed (start > devmgmt.msc > expand "Display Adapters") to make sure it isn't using the "Standard VGA Adapter" driver.
Spot On! What a difference! The xtend is running between 20 and 30%. I ran the troubleshooter and it came back complaining about a mirror driver not being supported. Will have to check further to find what app is using it though as it only points to the driver?

I quickly checked the resolution and display drivers and they are up to date. Not sure how to check whether it is standard vga or not, but will research more.

Thank you very much. This has baffled the entire HP support group both hardware and software and was escalated as a result. Hours and hours was spent by them and myself trying to run this down. It's a little upsetting to know that i spend $250 on extra memory that was not needed and rebuilt the operating system on their recommendation.

I must commend you and your technical expertise and knowledge of graphics. Due to my getting out of the business, i have not kept up with it as i should have as it has taken some real leaps and bounds in terms of performance and abilities.

i will get back to you later after i have had time to research the rest of this issue and i still have a concern about the fact that the computer recognized the extra 4 gbytes of memory but the amd cpu is not utilizing it.

My first impression would be rather than max out the cpu, it would swap (that word again) to ram for those processes that has a latency or lower priority. I would imagine that it is program dependent, but still overall some process should be able to break down its kernel memory needs and use the extra memory, wouldn't you think. It never goes about 4 gbyte range and max out there no matter what.

At its highest cpu usage, it shows only about .200 mbytes free but has only reserved 5.5 megs. Where is the other 3.5? System has mapped it but cpu not using antthing above the standard 4 gybyte original configurations. Might be driver dependent. I double checked the drivers and made sure it was correct for my computer.

Thanks once more,
pacificmike
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #9
pacificmike

windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by yowanvista View Post
Quote:
From what i learned in training and school about cpu designs is that there is memory referred to as kernel memory within the actual chip itself. It can only do a single instruction at a time and it uses its kernel (cache)
Your are referring to the CPU cache which is not related to the Main memory(RAM)

I am referring to memory management in general, we might be disseminating here so lets just pass on it.

Quote:
but if you increase the memory size doesn't that increase the memory limitations and how muchthe cpu can store in the ram memory as opposed to say...
No

Ok, i guess i dont understand how memory is used and accessed on a computer. Would you mind expanding your answer please?

Quote:
are you referring to World of War running 64 bits? I believe i loaded the 64 bit version of xtend on both systems but will have to check.
I am referring to WOW64
WoW64 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ok thanks, i will look into that later today.

Thanks for your help. I think the other techie has solved the issue of how to manage the cpu and video card memory as it should, but still have lingering questions as to how the computers maps the ram memory, and is still not accessing more than the standard configuration of 4 gybtes. Perhaps you might be able to add to this?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Jun 2011   #10
cluberti

Windows Server 2008 R2
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pacificmike View Post
i will get back to you later after i have had time to research the rest of this issue and i still have a concern about the fact that the computer recognized the extra 4 gbytes of memory but the amd cpu is not utilizing it.
Do you have Windows 7 32 or 64bit installed?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pacificmike View Post
My first impression would be rather than max out the cpu, it would swap (that word again) to ram for those processes that has a latency or lower priority. I would imagine that it is program dependent, but still overall some process should be able to break down its kernel memory needs and use the extra memory, wouldn't you think. It never goes about 4 gbyte range and max out there no matter what.
swapping things in and out of RAM will have very little impact on the CPU's performance, as access to all locations in RAM will be approximately the same. Usually high-CPU issues like this have nothing to do with RAM, and if the folks at HP had a clue they would have known this.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pacificmike View Post
At its highest cpu usage, it shows only about .200 mbytes free but has only reserved 5.5 megs. Where is the other 3.5? System has mapped it but cpu not using antthing above the standard 4 gybyte original configurations. Might be driver dependent. I double checked the drivers and made sure it was correct for my computer.
You can look in resmon (start > resmon.exe) to see what's going on in memory, but again, if this is 32bit Windows the extra 4GB are useless (and that is hardware dependant).
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