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Thread: Portege M400: Vista performance

  1. Portege M400: Vista performance
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    I've recently upgraded my M400-146 to Vista Ultimate (32-bit) and Vista runs ok, but not quite as well as expected. If I compare Vista Experience Indexes across a few systems, the M400 compares pretty poorly.

    On the M400 (Core 2 Duo 2GHz + 2 x 1GB PC-5300) I get an experience index of:-

    Overall Score = 2.6, CPU=3.9, Memory=2.6 (other values seem ok)

    On a desktop system (Core 2 Duo E6600 + 2 x 1GB PC-6400 (DDR2 1066), integrated Intel graphics) I get:-

    Overall=3.8, CPU=5.3, Memory=5.6 (limited by integrated graphics)

    On one non-Toshiba laptop (PM-1.8GHz, 2x1GB):-

    CPU=3.8, Memory=4.0

    So the laptop with a much slower CPU and RAM that's much slower than the M400 scores better for Memory and just about the same for CPU.

    One thing I have seen is that Vista describes the experience index as 'Unrated'. If I run WinSAT manually always see errors about 'RDTSC to QPC delta is too high'.

    Has anyone else seen the RDTSC to QPC delta error? What Experience indexes do you get?

    I should also say that I've compared the performance of the M400 with SiSoft Sandra running both XP & Vista, under Vista Sandra reports just under half the performance of XP on every measure!


  2. Re: Portege M400: Vista performance
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Hello Mike

    What to say? Many people are disappointed with Vista performance. I must be honest to you and say that this fact does not wonder me at all.

    I do not have this small and nice notebook but you should try to optimize OS on your own needs and also disable all stuff you don’t need for your work. Maybe you should not be focused on this score shown by Vista but try to optimize the system to run stabile and fast enough for you.

    BTW: have you updated BIOS to latest version 3.20?

  3. Re: Portege M400: Vista performance
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    I also have an m400-146 with 2GB ram and since purchasing it I have been very unimpressed with the performance (see my other thread). This 2ghz duo runs much slower than my old 1.6ghz P4 tablet PC with virtually like for like software installed.

    I haven't upgraded to VISTA yet and my feeling is I might see a further degradation in performance. I wonder did you do any bench marking before upgrading?

  4. Re: Portege M400: Vista performance
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Hi Nigel,

    I did do some benchmarking using SiSoft Sandra with XP and Vista. To give you some rough figures:-

    CPU = XP - 18400 MIPS / 12433 MFLOPS, Vista = 8000 MIPS, 5600 MFLOPS
    SSE2 Instructions = XP - 110249 it/s, Vista - 48700 it/s
    SSE2 Instructions = XP - 59350 it/s, Vista - 26300 it/s
    Memory B/W = XP - 13800 MB/s, Vista - 5850 MB/s
    Core-Core B/W = XP - 4728 MB/s, Vista - 2103 MB/s

    I have various other figures from Sandra, but the above give you a flavour of the differences in the benchmark (albeit synthetic).

    For what I use it for (writing Java code, Word, Visio, OneNote, Outlook, web browsing etc) the M400 is a pretty good PC, but as always YMMV. Not being able to figure out the reason for the difference in the benchmarks is like an annoying itch that just has to be scratched!

    Before installing Vista properly I tried it out using a copy I'd purchased for a media center PC (I wanted the MCE functionality) and exploited the fact that you don't need to provide a product key during the install and get 30 days to activate. You might want to try the same thing to see if Vista performs as you desire. I've not had any problems with Toshiba's Vista drivers (most of which I got from the US site), but I did find that I needed to use the latest Intel graphics + wireless drivers.

    Best of luck.


  5. Re: Portege M400: Vista performance
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    I am sorry to say but your computer seems to have some kind of defect or is just not configured correctly. I have a M400 Core Duo 1.83 GHz (not even Core2) and I am only running Vista with 1 Gig of memory - and it works great (I even use Aero 3D).

    And my performance index scores are way better than yours:
    CPU: 4.7
    Memory: 4.5
    Hard drive: 4.7
    Graphics: 3.1

    The overall index is 3.1 because of the integrated graphics chipset, which doesn't really limit the system speed. Vista is only using the 3D-chip for the animations, therefore you could say my system is running with a performance score of 4.5 when it comes to all applications beside 3D-games. And your scores just don't seem to be right, memory 2.6 is a joke, 3.9 für a faster and newer processor as well...there must be something fundamental wrong with your laptop configuration or the hardware.

    Just to add some more information: I am using the Toshiba Vista drivers from the Toshiba Europe / UK homepage, including the new management software (which looks really good). I am using the balanced energy profile allowing to run the cpu at 100% when it not running on battery power and my bios version is 1.80 (the one with the better fan control).


  6. Re: Portege M400: Vista performance
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    I think the problem there is the sudden drop in memory bandwidth that's starving the CPU.

    Did you upgrade your BIOS when upgrading to Vista?

    I have an M500, and noticed some very unusual behaviour on the memory front. If I set CPU Fan Speed to anything lower than 'Performance' in BIOS, my memory bandwidth is immediately halved, with commensurate losses in Sandra CPU/Memory tests. From the sounds of it, it could be some thermal protection that Toshiba has implemented as a failsafe.

    If you've updated your BIOS/power profiles lately, try and check if your CPU fan settings (in BIOS and in Toshiba Power Saver or Vista equvalent) have been set to 'Battery Optimised' or some other low-speed setting. Cranking it back up might restore your memory bandwidth.

    Be sure to drop us a line if this works...

    FYI: Sandra CPU benchmarks shouldn't differ much between XP and Vista.
    Also, check that your current BIOS version supports Vista - that could be another issue.


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