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My PC seems to run fast, but my CATs are still quite slow. What can I do?
Thread poster: Luca Tutino

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:10
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Aug 7, 2016

I know I should probably change my old ASUS X52F (2nd? gen I3 PCU, 8 GB RAM, 1TB SDD, Win 7) sometime soon. Yet, it completes the Windows start routine in about 15-20" from when I press the button, and most programs seem quite fast and snappy. But when I start a CAT, I often have to wait and wait, even when all other programs, including Web browser windows, are closed.

Some examples with Trados 2014 (usually the worst):
- Adding a mere 11Mb 12k words MSWord source file with some hidden text and tags to an existing project 19".
- "Prepare without Project TM" the same file with 4 under 100Mb TMs: 5'45" (including analysis - no machine pretranslation).
- Open the target file for translation: 40".
- Save the file (2014 does not save the sdlxliff automatically when prepares it): 12"

This makes 8 minutes just to see the content of the file in Trados. Of course, in this way with larger files or multi-file projects I am sometimes required 15, 20 minutes and more. And if anything went wrong with the original files, and I have to redo it a couple of times for any reason, a good part of my work session is wasted in this way...

During those waiting times, Process Explorer moslty shows that I am plenty of unused RAM and PCU power.

In essence, my questions are:

- What is the PC doing so slow? Where is the bottleneck?
- Will a new generation i3, i5 or i7 with 16 or 32 GB of ram PC really make these tasks run much faster?
- Is there anything that could be done to reduce these times by a significant factor? (ideally to one tenth).








[Edited at 2016-08-07 12:16 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-08-07 12:17 GMT]


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:10
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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How are resources used? Aug 7, 2016

Have you looked at Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and the Resource Monitor (button in the Performance tab in the task manager)?

You need to find out how resources are used: which ones are busy, which tasks make them busy.

If it's an old PC, then the disk could be the bottleneck. It is on mine. In that case, installing an SDD (solid state drive - no moving parts) instead of the old disk may help.

Again, if it's an old PC, the fan vents could be clogged up by dust. They were on my laptop. This would make processor cooling less efficient, and the cpu could slow down to prevent itself from overheating. The solution is, in principle, simple: clean the fan and vents, but you need to open the computer to do that. That's easier on a desktop than a laptop, but you can usually find the disassembly and assembly guide for laptops on the Internet. Some laptops are more difficult than others to open, and if you're not comfortable doing that, it would be better to leave it to someone who is.


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 17:10
Member (2002)
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Most resources are free and I have an SSD installed Aug 7, 2016

Thank you Thomas,

As I said, I have already installed and SSD, and according to Process explorer most resources are free this is excatly what puzzles me.

Coincidentally, I have just removed cleaned and placed back my fan just this morning because of some dust, but there was no overheating and the CPU seemed to be working at full speed already.


[Edited at 2016-08-07 13:02 GMT]


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:10
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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SSD Aug 7, 2016

Sorry, I overlooked the SSD you already mentioned. I don't have any obvious suggestions, then.

It looks more like CAT inefficiency than a computer problem to me, then. I know large TMs can be very slow to load into MemoQ (hours). The way programming is done can change a program's performance immensely, but there is not much we can do about that – if that's the problem. The appropriate CAT tool support may or may not be able to help.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 17:10
English to German
Diagnosis must be done on site Aug 7, 2016

Luca Tutino wrote:

What is the PC doing so slow? Where is the bottleneck?


Use a software tool that displays the processor's temperature & clock and the fan speed. If the temperature is too high (for whatever reason), the processor will reduce its clock speed.

Make sure that you work with data & software that reside on the laptop's internal hard disk, i. e. NOT in the cloud or wherever else. No kidding, some time ago I saw such a scenario.

1TB SDD


Really? Or is it a HDD? It seems to be an upgrade, or is 1 TB standard on "Windows 7" PCs? Anyway, there could be a wrong BIOS setting or a full resp fragmented disk.


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
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Resources Aug 7, 2016

This time I have tried to save and pretranslate with MT. It does not seem to be much slower than without MT. Here you can see the resources accourding to PE:

SlowCAT2


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
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No idea Aug 7, 2016

The system looks fairly quiet. I have no idea what's going on.

What is the I/O rate when it's most busy? Your figures don't show that. "KB" is not a rate but a quantity. Or is "/s" implied?

CPU looks like 30 % when it's most busy.


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 17:10
English to German
32 bit Windows? Aug 7, 2016

If you have a 32 bit Windows, the usable memory limit is 4 GB and the per-process limit is 2 GB ...

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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
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It is a 64 bit system and the I/O is near to 0 (as in the image) Am I the only one? Aug 7, 2016

The I/O figure in the image 13.3 KB is quite typical in my experience. I have a 64 bit system, which is also shown on the graphic (4.1GB RAM used in that case).

I know that most other people have to wait too. I wonder there is a single professional translator that does not have this problem, constantly or recurrently. I would like to get some relevant figures related to hardware and software component names from the translators' community.

[Edited at 2016-08-07 17:57 GMT]


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
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I/O Aug 7, 2016

"The I/O figure in the image 13.3 KB"

That doesn't mean anything, except that 13.3 KB has been read or written over a certain period. Which period? A second? If so, the figure sounds too low to be right. You have no e-mail, browser, antivirus or anything else running on the system?

But I/O measured only in quantity per time doesn't tell the full story either, as many small I/O requests would take much longer time than few large ones. Windows' Resource Monitor does not show the I/O request rate, only data volume rate.

I don't know what exactly your utility is showing you in terms of I/O, as the illustration doesn't say. It doesn't show the scale either. Which point of the graph corresponds to 13.3 KB? What is "PE" anyway?


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Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
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What I read in the graphic Aug 7, 2016

I thought that the image would say a lot: for instance, during the time of pretranslation displayed (about 4' out of 5'45", you get an idea knowing that the 'Save file' time is 12") there was very little I/O, around the start. Then it remained around the amount visible at the end.

I have no problem with many other programs. During the pretranslation, I tried not to have anything else running so that you could get an Idea of what was displayed by Process Explorer (PE - a popular alternative to Task Manager under this respect).

It should be quite clear that Trados is moving the data at a very slow rate. I have to say that the Word file has many complex tags. That's why 12k words occupy 11 Mb. Anyway, I find the process very slow.

May-be you can share some details or estimates about your Trados processing speed and system specs, Thomas?


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Thomas T. Frost  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 17:10
Member (2014)
French to Danish
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I/O etc. Aug 7, 2016

I don't have Trados but MemoQ instead, so I can't share any Trados data.

The graphs are confusing because the Y-axis scales are missing, so I have no idea what sort of I/O rates it shows, and it furthermore fails to state what the unit is, as I have pointed out. One would presume maximum is 100 % for cpu, but that doesn't appear to be the problem.

It has a "disk" graph and an "I/O" graph. What's the difference?

Maybe it's waiting for network replies, but the network graph doesn't say what it shows either. If it asks a server about something for each term, it would indeed take a lot of time, and you would have low system activity because it keeps waiting for network replies. Just a wild guess.


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DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
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sluggish Aug 7, 2016

OK, it wasn't a clean install unto SSD, rather an upgrade or cloning, yes?
If so, then it makes sense to reset OS features to SSD, say, via "SSD tweaker" and like.
Also updating Cpp/NetFramework/drivers etc. could solve the issue.

What PC> Manage> Events> Applications/System say, any warnings or errs?
If no malware, then what if you disconnect from the Inet and temporarily disable your AV, any changes?
Sometimes extra autoruns and services running in background also go wry.

Actually, you could even terminate ALL the unneeded software/services to troubleshoot it.

Good luck.


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IrimiConsulting  Identity Verified
Sweden
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I have a theory... Aug 8, 2016

The CPU is multicore. I have a hunch that few CAT tool can utilize more than one core at a time.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 17:10
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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My Trados is also slow... thankfully it's not my main CAT tool Aug 8, 2016

Luca Tutino wrote:
But when I start [Trados 2014], I often have to wait and wait, even when all other programs, including Web browser windows, are closed.


I have a 4 year old desktop computer that runs reasonably fast, but Trados 2015 is slow. Starting the program, or opening a package, or scrolling down a large file, or changing segment statuses on a large file, etc, are all slow and also slow down the operation of other programs during those actions. I consider it normal. It's the cost of doing business with clients who prefer Trados.


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