Learn about the technologies behind the Internet with The TCP/IP Guide!
NOTE: Using robot software to mass-download the site degrades the server and is prohibited. See here for more.
Find The PC Guide helpful? Please consider a donation to The PC Guide Tip Jar. Visa/MC/Paypal accepted.
View over 750 of my fine art photos any time for free at DesktopScenes.com!

Get the entire How to Build Your Own PC in affordable hard copy
Click Here!

Custom Search







Table Of Contents  How to Build Your Own PC - Save A Buck And Learn A Lot
 9  Chapter 1: Purchasing Components

Previous Topic/Section
Evaluating Mainboard Components and Features
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
Next Page
Choosing Video Cards and Other Parts
Next Topic/Section

Understanding Performance Bottlenecks

One word you’ll want to know is “bottleneck.” The phrase “bottleneck” means the place where the speed of getting something done is slowed up. The expression comes from the neck of a glass bottle which limits how fast liquid can be poured out of the bottle.

For example, maybe you have a really fast CPU and something just isn’t working as fast as you feel it should. What’s slowing up the works? It’s the bottleneck.

Finding the bottleneck isn’t always easy. Maybe, it’s the bus speed on the mainboard. (Bus speed is how fast data is transferred around on the mainboard, from the mainboard to RAM, etc. Different buses have different bus speeds. For example, there is a certain rate at which data can be transferred to and from a PCI card.) Maybe, you don’t have enough RAM. Maybe, it’s the speed and buffer of the hard drive.

For example, in backing up data to a CD, you might see that a slower CD-RW takes quite a bit of time. The CD-RW write speed might be the bottleneck. Getting a much faster mainboard won’t help. You’d just need a faster CD-RW drive.

For browsing on the Internet, the bottleneck is usually the speed of your Internet connection. Going from a dial-up phone connection to a DSL or cable modem connection will speed up your Internet surfing far more than a faster CPU. In fact, the CPU speed will have very little effect.

So, before you jump to upgrade a mainboard, ask if the thing that’s really slowing down your work (or fun!) might be some other bottleneck.

If you want to compare the speed of your system to other systems, consider the free tool SiSoft Sandra, available from download.com.


Previous Topic/Section
Evaluating Mainboard Components and Features
Previous Page
Pages in Current Topic/Section
1
Next Page
Choosing Video Cards and Other Parts
Next Topic/Section

If you find The PC Guide useful, please consider making a small Paypal donation to help the site, using one of the buttons below. You can also donate a custom amount using the far right button (not less than $1 please, or PayPal gets most/all of your money!) In lieu of a larger donation, you may wish to consider buying the inexpensive print version of How to Build Your Own PC, direct from the author. Thanks for your support!
Donate $2
Donate $5
Donate $10
Donate $20
Donate $30
Donate: $



Home - Table Of Contents - Contact Us

How to Build Your Own PC (http://www.PCGuide.com/byop/) on PCGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005

Adapted with permission from a work created by Charlie Palmer.
PCGuide.com Version Copyright 2005 Charles M. Kozierok. All Rights Reserved.
Not responsible for any loss resulting from the use of this site.