laptop damn slow also on fresh install: where lies the bottleneck?


Nov 7, 2007

I'm really frustrated...
the laptop is a HP Pavilion ze5500.

Charateristichs are:
2 so-dimm 256 mb, pc2100 266 mhz, cl 2 & 2.5
cpu: celeron 2.60 (this should be a desktop celeron and not a mobile celeron according to the intel processor specs finder) Northwood; 128 kb cache L2; 400 FSB (4*100)
Hard disk: Seagate ST94011A, Ultra ATA/100, 5400 RPM, 2MB
Chipset: Ati radeon IGP345M

the problem is that this laptop is damn slow, slow, sloooooow..

like 2-3 minutes to load win Xp pro; about 10/15 seconds to load firefox (zero extension and plugin); even opening the notepad it takes 2-3 seconds.

So, really, I canot understand what's going wrong. I've seen Pentium II with win XP going faster.

Obviously, this happens also with a clean xp; this slowness is NOT generated by a long and destruptive use.

I really cannot understand where's the bottleneck.
The laptop originally had 256 MB ram; I added a second module, thinking and hoping this was the deal, but nothing....yeah, it was faster, but still disgustingly slow..

You know, I've a desktop PC that is a P4 Northwood with 1 gb ram, and they are really NOT comparable..

my last thought is that the Celeron cpu with just 128 k of cache, is the bottleneck...but, anyway, is it "normal" this slowness with this cpu with such little cache?

Please, tell me everything that can help me sorting this out!
I was thinking to buy a Pentium 4 Northwood for this laptop...would it be okay to put a 533 or 800 FSB cpu instead of this FSB 400 or should I choose just a FSB 400 cpu??

thank you!
I really hope you could give me some useful hints!

I agree, start with the RAM. It is the cheaper and easier upgrade.

Eura, I didn't think you posted here any more.


Nov 7, 2007
yes, of course you two are quite right, but:

- trying to impove the performance in the past, I already bought a 256MB ram, switching to 512 MB total...and i've seen just little improve...
- a clean install of xp can take even something like 200 MB ram....there are 300 MB left..actually Task manager says that there are 170 MB left for use, but the laptop is slow anyway..
- the max MB you could install here should be I've got just half of the maximum, and performance are really poor with this 512...

by the way, I already tried a full comprehensive memtest and was good.
and also tried to mount one module at a time, wondering if one of them could be damaged and slow own everything, but nothing

this morning I launched an interesing HD tune of the HD is all OK, never seen an hd in such good health!
error scan did not find a single error...and here I post the interesting screenshot of the benchmark...

here you see in "real term" the problem....the pc, when trying to access the hd, has a speed of 4 MB per second...I think neither the oldest 486 would have this!
but, a part from that...if you analyze the chart better, you may think that the fault may not be the disk (in fact all tests are good); in fact, if you see the CPU usage, is 86% !!!!!! it should be at least 10 times less!! (only hd teune was running of course!)

so, is there an utility to test somthing like "health" cpu? of course a 1 MB superpi would take 10 minutes, and there is no surprise about it...

thank you for your replies!