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computer/signlab9 help

Discussion in 'Signlab' started by Jeff, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    Dec 28, 2003
    Hello, We are looking for some input regarding our computers/Signlab 9.

    We recently upgraded from SL5 to SL9 (we actually upgraded to 7 when it came out, but we hated it so we continued to work in 5)

    We had two computers built per Cadlink’s recommendations (specs of our computers below, with the exception of one now has 8GB of ram)

    We think they seem slow when opening an average file (25 MB or so) and dead slow when opening larger files (200 MB or bigger)

    Our computer builder/tech tells us the Signlab program is not utilizing all of the computers resources.

    I guess when we upgraded computers and software we expected more speed than we think we get. We are not computer illiterate but also not computer geniuses. Any thoughts or input would be appreciated.

    Jeff & Dara
    Jeff’s Lettering

    OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
    Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
    System Type x64-based PC
    Processor AMD FX(tm)-4100 Quad-Core Processor, 3600 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. 1302, 11/14/2012
    SMBIOS Version 2.5
    System Directory C:\Windows\system32
    Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
    Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
    Total Physical Memory 3.73 GB
    Available Physical Memory 1.93 GB
    Total Virtual Memory 7.46 GB
    Available Virtual Memory 4.47 GB
    Page File Space 3.73 GB
  2. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2007
    Middleburg, Florida
    you're probably going as fast as 4 g of ram will go.
  3. JoeBoomer

    JoeBoomer Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    I don't use SignLab, but I did stay at a...... never mind.

    Couple quick ?'s :

    • Are you running Windows 7 (64bit version) or (32bit version)?
    • If you load Task Manager (ctrl+alt+del) and check out the "performance" tab, what are you seeing in the Physical Memory section when you
    1 - Without the software running
    2 - Open the software
    3 - Open a file in the software

    • Have you noticed speed increase with anything else your doing on those computers since upgrading?
    • Are the files your opening located locally on that computer, or are they on a network drive or another computer?

    - With Onyx Postershop I had to change settings to allow more memory to be used and also to use both processors at the same time. Might be similar settings in

    - Regardless of whatever you figure out, the BEST upgrade you can make to a computer these days is by adding a SSD (solid state hard drive). That's assuming your computer isn't a 15 year old paperweight running Windows ME with 512mb of ram or something crazy. Any computer with less than 4gb of ram should prob. be dropped off a bridge anyway.

    Go Team!
  4. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Is SignLab 32 or 64 bit program? If it's 32 bit then it's not going to utilize all the computers resources on that 8GB rig.

    Also are you running anything else either in the background or actively? That could also affect it's speed.
  5. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    To my knowledge, Signlab is a 32 Bit app, but it should still benefit from 8GB of RAM (vs 4GB). The OS, background apps, and other running apps will use a good deal of the installed memory and having 8GB will leave more RAM for Signlab to use.

    Judging purely by what you have posted (and it is impossible to judge accurately with that limited info), I wouldn't expect Signlab to be all that speedy. Those are mediocre specs (even 2 yrs ago when they were released). Unfortunately, the software companies (Cadlink in this instance) don't usually push the performance boundaries with their recommendations. They list very modest recommendations at best.
  6. CreatedDesigns

    CreatedDesigns Member

    May 26, 2013
    Lone Rock, WI
    Would help if you can tell what Motherboard, RAM, Video card, Hard drives you are running. To give you a better response. When I build a system I look at how fast data can move. A good motherboard ,high speed dual channel memory with low CAS latency and yes a SSD would help. But this is just the skin of it. You need to understand how it all works together to make a good system. Memory is so cheap these days it's almost crazy not to buy 16GB min.

    also most work computers will stay away from 32/64bit "Home" OS's and stick with 32/64 bit "Pro".

    For more high end users you will need 64bit pro systems and a high end video card. With the multicore processors these days they will use the GPU on the video card more.

    That's why it's so important to give all the information about your system as possible, every detail. Otherwise, Well that pissing in the wind thing comes up.
  7. El Mustachio

    El Mustachio New Member

    Jan 13, 2014
    need a comparison?

    Don't know if it would help, but we have SignLab 8.0 (sorry, not 9) running on an older PC here. If you wanted to FTP over a sample file I would be happy to time an Open->Save->Close routine and post our results. You could then compare hardware specs and times in a more "apples to apples" manner using the same file on your own PC. Just a thought, sorry for the trouble.

    Just had another thought... Are the files causing you a problem actually SL 5 files that you are opening for the first time in SL 9? If so, maybe there's some legacy file format conversion going on. You could see if it improves by saving to the SL 9 format and then re-opening the now saved file.
  8. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    Dec 28, 2003
    First, thank you for the input so far it is greatly appreciated.

    A little more background/info:

    Unfortunately we are not computer savvy enough to build our own computers and my experience seems to be your average builder doesn’t understand what we do with them; they seem to want to build us gaming computers.

    We had 2 computers built for us June of 2013, both identical. We were planning on upgrading to Signlab9 (which we did) so we contacted cadlink to seek info as to what would be the BEST we could do as far as specs to run SL9. We passed that on to the builder. He had worked on our old computers and was at least familiar with signlab.
    The sole purpose of these computers is to run signlab, I (computer #2) Design (we mostly do cut vinyl…no in house printing) my wife (compute r# 1) mostly cuts…with an Ioline 24” plotter.

    Both computers were built with:

    ASUS M5A 78L-M LX plus motherboards
    AMD 760G/SB71010 Chipset
    Corsair Vengeance 4GB memory
    Kingston 120GB SSD NOW 300 Hard drives (computer #1 had a 1 TB sata western digital hard drive from our old computer installed as well)
    From what I can figure out they have ATI Radeon 3000 Graphics cards built into the motherboards
    AMD™ -4100 Quad-core possessors

    I believe they are 64 bit machines, Cadlink info says SL9 supports both 32 & 64 bit. I do not know how to tell what my SL9 is using.

    In August 2013 C #1 had the SSD hard drive malfunction; the builder only had a lesser drive at the time to put in to get us going.
    January 2014 C #2 has major malfunction, Builder puts in new SSD & reinstalls windows 7. Builder replaces Corsair Vengeance 4GB with Corsair Value Select 4GB.
    Builder installs new SSD in C #1, installs second Corsair Vengeance 4GB and replaces old 1 TB hard drive with a new Seagate 1TB sata.
    He put the 8GB into C#1 to see if it would help the speed of SL…we don’t think it did. We open the same file side-by-side and they open at the same speed.

    C#2 sitting idle with only SL9 open CPU Usage 0-5% Memory 1.08GB

    Open a 70MB file CPU-U 40-45% Memory 1.19GB

    Open a 242MB file CPU-U 43% Memory 1.40GB

    Again any thoughts as to if it is possible to increase the speed when using signlab is appreciated

    Thanks again, Jeff & Dara
  9. CreatedDesigns

    CreatedDesigns Member

    May 26, 2013
    Lone Rock, WI
    First off the $55 motherboard is probably where your problem starts. As it looks like it is plagued with bios issues, And I have also had the worst luck with any grade Corsair memory I have since switched to Gskill and have had no problems since. Asus does make some nice boards, But the systems you describe sound like normal $500 user systems I would build for use on a sever setup. I also use Samsung and Intel SSD drives so no experience on the Kingston ones but I would not be afraid to use them they make decent stuff lately.

    Does your builder have a different system with better internals you could try. If I used Signlab I would be more than happy to test the files on my system to see how it runs.

    I see they do offer a full trial version so I could run tests on my system but really does not help you understand what's happening with your systems.
  10. SignBurst PCs

    SignBurst PCs Very Active Member

    Like CreatedDesigns said, the system builder skimped on the design of this system. Almost every hardware manufacturer makes and sells "good, better, best" levels of hardware and it appears that your systems were built with the "good" level. With this level of hardware, you can expect failures and hiccups fairly often (as it seems you are finding out) or you may just get lucky and it is rock solid for years. It is a crap-shoot. I am a believer of building a PRO (better/best) level system and you will save time and money in the long run.

    We build systems for Signlab 9 users. It will absolutely run on a 64 Bit computer (all of our computer systems are 64 Bit).

    We also build with SSDs and have tested a ton of them. There are some that are great and there are some that are not. Some are fast but not reliable (a lot of them fit this bill, actually). Even if you get a good one, you have to configure the computer to work with the SSD correctly and run maintenance on the SSD (TRIM) routinely or you will have problems sooner than later.

    It is often not simply a matter of putting a bunch of parts together that sound fast. It is more often the sum of all the parts and how they compliment each other. In addition, knowing how to configure the BIOS and now UEFI for the components that you have collected is just as important.

    It can be difficult to narrow down a single component that is bottle-necking your system. Sometimes there are just obvious bottlenecks. SSDs are almost always going to be faster than a platter hard drive and you should see an improvement there, but adding more RAM will only speed up certain things and upgrading to a faster CPU will only speed up certain things. Adding RAM is absolutely not going to speed up everything, such as opening a file. This is more of a function of hard drive, controller, or bus speed. Monitoring the RAM usage while opening a file may be a waste of time.

    It is relatively easy to slap a bunch of parts together. It is much more difficult to build and configure a system to exactly compliment what you intend to do on the computer.
  11. Jester1167

    Jester1167 Premium Subscriber

    "From what I can figure out they have ATI Radeon 3000 Graphics cards built into the motherboards"

    Getting a dedicated video card will probably speed it up. The onboard graphics are using your system RAM and they aren't typically very good.
  12. CreatedDesigns

    CreatedDesigns Member

    May 26, 2013
    Lone Rock, WI
    Yes that is a big no no in my book to use onboard video for anything except grandmas first system.
  13. Jeff

    Jeff Member

    Dec 28, 2003
    Thanks again for the feedback.

    I’m just an old “sign painter” that was basically forced into the computer world. (That’s a whole different subject)

    As I said before, it seems hard to get a builder to understand what we need/want.
    We did not ask for the cheapest thing we could get. We also don’t have an unlimited budget either.
    We did ask for computers that would run signlab9 as good, fast and efficiently as possible. In the builders defense Cadlink was not the most helpful in determining what it would take to accomplish the that.

    I guess we will have to do more homework in the future. These are getting the job done for now, but they will be getting replaced soon.

    Jeff & Dara

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