Testing and Benchmarking (Martyn)


Published on

Published in: Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Testing and Benchmarking (Martyn)

  1. 1. Monitoring a Computer System to Ascertain Future Upgrade or Replacement Feasibility Introduction For this project, consisting of three tasks, I am going to analyse a computer’s performance and disk space to determine whether or not the machine is fit for purpose. This is a function that all IT Technicians will need to perform on a regular basis as the needs of users and software changes. Should the machine need to be upgraded or replaced will be established from the data gathered and then a cost comparison between upgrading components or a replacement system will be performed. My conclusion will be noted at the end of this document. Task A - Testing PC Performance • What you are going to do and what you expect the results to be For this module, I am going to run a test on a training-room PC in order to assess its performance, specifically the performance of the memory usage and the CPU usage when opening, closing and using certain applications. During the course of the test, I expect that the processor will spike once the application is opened and specific tasks performed and then drop when idle. The memory usage will rise when the application is opened and after each process within the application, and maintain its level until the application is closed and the memory is released. • Why you are doing it The reason for doing this test is to ascertain whether-or-not the training-room systems are performing adequately for their purpose. As all the systems in the training-room are of very similar specification, the results of one test would also be applicable to the other systems. • Where you will get the data from and how you will use the data The data used and analysed will be gathered from a Windows utility called Performance, which is in the Administrative Tools group. Within this utility I created a job with 2 counters. One that analyses the percentage of used memory committed in bytes, and the other that analyses the percentage of processor usage. This is then set to record one sample of data every second and store it in a log file for analysis. It is then scheduled to start and stop manually, once the performed tasks have been completed. The data is then saved as a text file - comma delimited – which is then opened within Excel and saved as an Excel workbook so that the information can be manipulated. Out of all the data points, the key values that are of importance are the high points and the low points of RAM and CPU usage. This information is obtained by applying conditional formatting to
  2. 2. each column of data for both maximum and minimum, and also mean (average) and median, as specified in the Test Plan. Once this information is gathered, a visual representation can be inserted by using a line chart once all the data is highlighted from both columns. It clearly shows the CPU spikes and RAM increases and drops, and these are further highlighted by applying graphics. Test Overall Processor Usage % Overall RAM Usage % Access internet and open multiple tabs with different pages (clear cache) Open a graphics package and edit an image Run multiple packages – Photoshop and Office Run a quick scan with antivirus Play a video Expected Median figure of around 10% Mean figure of around 40% Processor spike on opening of not more than 30% total usage RAM increase of not more than 20% Processor spike of not more than 70% RAM increase of not more than 50% Processor spike of not more than 85% RAM increase of not more than 80% Processor spike of not more than 20% RAM increase of not more than 20% Processor spike of not more than 15% RAM increase of not more than 30% Actual 3.84% 12.06% Processor spike of over 50% RAM increase of around 15% Processor spike of nearly 60% RAM increase to nearly 20% Processor spike to nearly 50% RAM increase to around 15% Processor spike of just over 40% RAM increase of 10% Processor spike of around 55% RAM increase of over 15% Comments Median chosen over mean as this will eradicate the peaks and troughs and display a more constant result. The actual result was due to the system having a much better processor than I had anticipated. The hardware was not analysed before the test. Memory varies on a constant, steady increase or decrease so a mean will display a more accurate result. Again, this result was due to underestimating the system’s capabilities. Opening a browser uses more processor resources but only for a short period. The RAM didn’t increase as much as thought as the amount of installed memory is higher than anticipated. The RAM wasn’t needed as much as was thought. The processor demand was greater than estimated. Video used for more processor resources than initially thought.
  3. 3. 100.00 % RAM Use 90.00 % Processor Use 80.00 70.00 Open Firefox Open graphics package and edit image 60.00 Open graphics package and then spreadsheet Open and play YouTube video Quick Scan Anti-virus 50.00 40.00 30.00 20.00 10.00 0.00 The processor handled the calculations better than expected; the RAM increase was much lower due to the lack of data needed to be stored prior to processing. This is reflected in the results across the board for all tests performed. Task B - Analysing Available Disk Space The next operation performed is to check the available disk space and remove any unnecessary data. For this task a utility called TreeSize will be used. Once the initial analysis is done, the data will be input onto a spreadsheet and a pie chart created to give a visual representation of the data. Then the built-in Windows utility Disk Cleanup will be used to clean the unnecessary files. TreeSize will then be run again to compare the results. • Why Unnecessary data left on a disk can impede the performance as the system will continue to scan drives and index the information stored on it. The more information, the longer this process takes and has an impact on system resources. This can also damage the hard disks mechanics as it will be constantly accessing the drive which leads to wear. • Factors that Impact There are many factors that can lead to a drive becoming cluttered with unnecessary files. Some of these are listed below: Temp Files Cookies Cache Set-Up Files
  4. 4. Thumbnails Restore Points Dump Files Logs Recycle Bin The above can be cleaned using Disk Cleanup, but for the following, they need to be deleted manually or by specific 3rd party software. Redundant Disk Images Invalid Registry Items BloatWare – also known as CrapWare (Installed with Software) Previous Updates Unused Profiles Info Files • TreeSize Results The results of the initial analysis are shown on a screenshot below:
  5. 5. Once the Window utility Disk Cleanup was run, and additionally some old user data deleted from within Documents and Settings, the result is shown below: Approximately 17GB of data was successfully removed. • Pie Chart Below is a pie chart which shows the data recorded by TreeSize and the percentage of the sum total:
  6. 6. TreeSize Data Before Disk Cleanup 0% 10% 10% 2% 6% 8% Windows O/S Software Users Files and Profiles System Volume Information Recycle Bin Paging File Other 64% • Checking Method To check the data, three methods were carried out. Firstly, the data was taken from the TreeSize results and entered in a spreadsheet into the before column. As the data for various titles had more than one value in some instances, an addition formula was input into the cell to display a total. Once this was complete, the data was then selected and inserted into a pie chart. The data in the pie chart segments were then visually analysed and an estimation given to the percentages for each segment. The actual calculations can be seen above and were incredibly close to the estimations that were made (see below).
  7. 7. The second method was to calculate the amount of degrees each pie segment had. To calculate this manually using a formula and the data, the results for each segment item was rounded to the nearest 100MB. This was due to that the physical measurement would be in degrees and not degrees and minutes. The formula “item/total x 360” was calculated using long multiplication and long division. The calculations can be seen below. To check this calculation required the use of a protractor. Extending the lines from each segment, the protractor was placed onto the chart and the measurement taken in degrees. The results are as follows: Data Label Estimate Actual Windows O/S Software User Files and Profiles System Volume Information Recycle Bin Paging File 36° 18° 228° 30° 6° 36° 34° 21° 234° 23° 8° 35°
  8. 8. The last method was to run Windows Disk Cleanup and then delete any unneeded profiles on the system. Once this was complete another TreeSize operation was run. The results were input into another column on the spreadsheet. The data was then selected and inserted into another chart, this time a doughnut chart. The results can be seen below: • Summary The full results for the TreeSize test are shown in the following table: Disk Space Usage Files Windows O/S Software Users Files and Profiles System Volume Information Recycle Bin Paging File Other Total 5611.6 3326.90 38114.2 5244.1 3242.10 20188.8 Difference (MB) 367.5 84.8 17925.4 4555.2 5439.1 -883.9 -1.51 1454 5611.6 18.6 58692.10 (58501 Reported by TreeSize) 1451.2 5611.6 18.6 41195.50 (41195.6 Reported by TreeSize) 2.8 0 0 17496.6 0.00 0.00 0.00 29.81 Before (MB) After (MB) Difference % 0.63 0.14 30.54
  9. 9. The largest increase in disk space was the deletion of user profiles that were no longer needed at just over 30%. Downloaded files that should have been stored on the user space on the server are responsible for this. There is an inconsistency which is with the System Volume information, which had an increase of 1.5%. This was due to the system taking a snapshot for restore purposes. The recycle bin was not emptied for reasons that verification from an administrator was needed prior to this being done. Task C - To Upgrade or To Replace This task is to ascertain whether or not it would be better to upgrade or to replace the CPU and RAM on the computer system below: Machine name: TR2-XP6 Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_qfe.130704-0421) Language: English (Regional Setting: English) System Manufacturer: Hewlett-Packard System Model: HP Compaq dc5800 Small Form Factor BIOS: Default System BIOS Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU E7400 @ 2.80GHz (2 CPUs) Memory: 3566MB RAM Once the relevant system information had been gathered, the group discussed the factors that should be considered when making the upgrade or replace decision. These results can be seen in the following table: Specification Current HDD RAM CPU 232GB 3.48GB E7400 2.8GHz GMA3100 384MB 240 Watt Intel Q33 HP Compaq dc5800 SFF GPU PSU MB Case Issues with Upgrade Connectivity Form. Speed. Legacy Cost. Max RAM Socket Type. Onboard Graphics. 32/64 bit Slots. Disable onboard graphics. Form. Power. Cooling. Size Form. Available Connectors. Wattage. Form. Compatibility Form. Size
  10. 10. With the system information noted, it was then necessary to see if an upgrade of RAM was possible. There are several means to do this but by far the simplest is to use a java applet, supplied by many PC upgrade resources, to scan your system and then display the results. The one I chose to use was by the reliable source of memory manufacturer/supplier – Crucial. The memory scan showed that all four memory slots on the mainboard/motherboard were being used with 1 GB of RAM in each. The fact that only 3566MB of RAM is showing as installed is due to Microsoft Windows 32 bit Operating Systems only recognising a maximum of 3.5GB. 64 bit Operating Systems have the capacity to recognise more RAM, so it was decided that the OS would be upgraded to 64 bit also. This would increase the memory capacity for this board to a maximum of 16GB as reported by the manufacturer, though the Crucial scan was only to 8GB. A search was then done for Windows 8 64bit OS and the best price from a reputable source was selected. Another 2x2GB of memory was selected which would give the system a total of 6GB when installed (2x2GB and 2x1GB). To source a new CPU, an online utility that measures benchmarks for the processor socket was used. This website is regularly updated to show the latest benchmark comparisons alongside the cost of the respective processor. As you can see from the table below, the best upgrade I chose had a percentage improvement in performance of over 130%. Socket Suggested Current LGA775 Name Q9550 2.83GHz E7400 2.8GHz Potential improvement Percentage Improvement Cost Cost per % Improvement Benchmark 4068 1751 2317 132% £207.54 £1.57 The total cost of the upgrade including labour is summarised in the table below: Memory Upgrade £50.39 OS Upgrade £69.65 CPU Upgrade £207.54 Labour 4@£35/Hour £140.00 Total £587.62
  11. 11. The cost of a replacement system was found with similar spec. Asus M11AA Desktop - Intel Core i5-3330S 2.7GHz - 6GB RAM + 1TB HDD - DVD Writer - Wifi - Windows 8 £405.50inc vat This system comes preinstalled with Windows 8 64bit. • Conclusion To conclude, from the information gathered, a replacement would ideally be my first choice of whether to upgrade or replace. The benefit for the customer is that the system will be fully covered by warranty as it is new. There will still be labour costs involved as the system would need to be set up and any software from the client reinstalled etc. Overall this system is built for the Operating System and tested to ensure that all drivers are compatible, an issue that may arise should upgrades be done.