Author Topic: avast 4 VS other antivirus programs  (Read 6909 times)

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hato

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avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« on: October 28, 2003, 12:09:14 PM »
First I just want to say that I am impressed by avast, especially compared to the bigger antivirus programs out there. I do have some questions about avast 4 though.

Has anyone compared the amount of system resources different antivirus programs uses. How does avast compare to others?

I feel that avast is making my computer slow compared to before(when accessing internet or starting new applications).

I have the following settings:
Normal: Instant messaging, Internet mail, outlook/exchange,p2p shield
Custom: Standard shield( unchecked all options on all tabs)

I guess there will be some overhead because I am using avast, but since I don't scan on execution or opening of files I thought that it would be negliable? I don't intend to have this settings allways but now and then (playing games I want to minimize the use of system resources). I actually don't mind that avast is kind of slow when scanning harddrives etc but I don't like when my computer feels sluggish eventhough I have tried to avoid settings that will slow down the performance to much. Am I missing something or is this "slowdown" to be expected?


Secondly does generating a VRDB database actually do something with your files or not? I guess Iam wondering if generating a VRDB database somehow can have an impact on system performance?

Aside from the fact that my computer feels slower than normal after installing avast 4 I have to admit that I really like everything else about avast 4. How big an impact will avast 4 normally have on system resources with my current settings (i.e no scanning on opening/executing files).

If I didn't manage to explain myself well then don't hesitate to tell me so and I will try to give more/better info.

System specs:
p4 2.2
WinXP - servicepack 1
512 ram
geforce4 - 4600
no other antivirus program
kerio personal firewall

Offline igor

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2003, 03:36:43 PM »
With the system you have (WinXP, 512MB RAM, fast CPU) - it's very unlikely avast would cause any noticable slowdown (unless you select some paranoid options, such as scanning all the files on open and on create/modify). Are you sure it's not just your imagination, or some other software you installed simultaneously? You can check the task manager to see CPU consumption of avast, if you wish...

I would not recommend to uncheck all the options of the Standard Shield - you should keep the options on the first page checked, at least. The scanning is performed only when you start an application - it's executable file is checked. It is rather rare, from the point of view of the number of system operations performed - but offers 99% of the resident protection. It really should not cause any slowdown to your system - some people said here that they didn't notice any slowdown even on systems like P2-300 MHz - so on your system, it must be very fast.

The generation of VRDB checks (= reads) all the executable files on your hard disks and stores some important info about them in its database. If, despite all the protecion, you happen to get infected by a file-virus in the future, this stored information will help to repair the infected files (turn them to their original state).
During the VRDB generation, you may notice system slowdown - there is a heavy disk activity when the files are checked. However, when the generation is done (could take a while, depending on the size of your disks) - VRDB generation is not performed until the next update (3 weeks, by default) - so it cannot slow down your computer either.
Since the VRBD generation is performed when system is idle (or when the screensaver is running, depending on your settings), the temporary slowdown should not affect you - since it's not expected to happen when you actually work with your computer.

Offline Lisandro

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2003, 08:48:04 PM »
I think Igor get all your answers...
Maybe, for a comparison of RAM useage, see http://www.avast.com/forum/index.php?board=1;action=display;threadid=777;start=msg4743#msg4743

Stay will avast!  ;)
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Walker

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2003, 12:53:50 AM »
pmfji guy's,

Before anyone throws their teddy outta the pram, I'd better say this is not a dig a poke or anything else. I'm was just thinking, considering hato's comments, that it would be nice if there was some kind of comparison figures, just to put this topic of RAM and resourses to bed once and for all.

It would be nice if the Adwil team could do some controlled benchmarking. It's my opinion that most of us love Avast and are not gonna be critical of any such tests (well we might be  ;D 8) ) , but it would be good to clear up this recurring question.

Any chances A team ???.

Offline Lisandro

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2003, 11:35:49 AM »
pmfji guy's,

Before anyone throws their teddy outta the pram, I'd better say this is not a dig a poke or anything else. I'm was just thinking, considering hato's comments, that it would be nice if there was some kind of comparison figures, just to put this topic of RAM and resourses to bed once and for all.

It would be nice if the Adwil team could do some controlled benchmarking. It's my opinion that most of us love Avast and are not gonna be critical of any such tests (well we might be  ;D 8) ) , but it would be good to clear up this recurring question.

Any chances A team ???.


I totally agree with Walker... Let's finished this theread. Can anybody at Alwil team get this data and post? (unless avast! stay at the bottom of the av lists  ;D)
The best things in life are free.

Offline igor

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2003, 01:17:18 PM »
I'm sorry, but I don't think any such "benchmarking" is possible.
I personally don't know how to measure such a "virtual" value as "resource consumption". One thing you can measure is occupied memory - but even here, this value is different at different moments of measurement. You may say that it's not important and the main thing is the "average" value - but for a low memory system, even a short peak may cause heavy swapping. CPU utilization is almost the same - different every now and then... and peaks may be very annoying when you're e.g. playing games. I'm better not speaking about "resources" in Windows sense of the word; they are rather important in Windows 9x, but measuring them would be a very hard task.

Even if you did some kind of benchmark (that wouldn't have much in common with "resources", but would simply measure a speed of predefined set of operations) - the real speed impact (of the antivirus) would be different on every system you try. The fastest antivirus from the test performed on given computer could be rather slow on somebody else's system.

So, in my personal opinion, there's no objective way to achieve your goals. In fact, you'd have to precisely define your goals first :)

Walker

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2003, 05:55:16 PM »
In fact, you'd have to precisely define your goals first :)

Thanks Igor,

Your points are of course accepted and thanks for your reply.

What about (for example) we broke down 'memory usage' into 'steps' and 'timeline'. Let's say, x number of steps over x amount of time. x being predetermined either by arbitrary factors or user suggestions (from experience or curiosity) and not 'weighted' to any particular software. OK, we would possibly have a lot of figures, but we should see some kind of comparative data... yes/no?.

Similar criteria could be set for on, say two or three different spec machines with and without additional applications running. Perhaps throw in a gaming application or two, possibly this would mean a benchmark within a benchmark (if you get my meaning) to arrive at some meaningful data.

I'm more than happy to concede to your superior knowledge, but my experience is that cpu usage varies greatly depending on what an A-V is doing. I don't think I would describe this as an 'every know and then' scenario. Surely there is some method to at something meaningful.

It's obviously agreed that not every scenario or situation could be catered for, but even benchmarks are representative and have a defined scope/character. I would have thought there could be some good results gleaned from such an exercise as long as we all understand the limitations.

Would you or/and other users like to try to 'define some of these goals' along the lines of what might be achievable/desirable?.

If we're really talking 'real world', lay down the criteria, select/supply the method and put the exercise out to a few willing users to obtain just some comparative Avast results to place alongside any Adwil data derived from any possible benchmarking as above.

Are we in the situation of defining goals or is it a non starter?. Personal opinion is, it would still be nice to see.

Thanks again for your interest.
Walker.

Offline Lisandro

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Re:avast 4 VS other antivirus programs
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2003, 01:41:43 AM »
I'm sorry, but I don't think any such "benchmarking" is possible.
I personally don't know how to measure such a "virtual" value as "resource consumption". One thing you can measure is occupied memory - but even here, this value is different at different moments of measurement. You may say that it's not important and the main thing is the "average" value - but for a low memory system, even a short peak may cause heavy swapping. CPU utilization is almost the same - different every now and then... and peaks may be very annoying when you're e.g. playing games. I'm better not speaking about "resources" in Windows sense of the word; they are rather important in Windows 9x, but measuring them would be a very hard task.

Even if you did some kind of benchmark (that wouldn't have much in common with "resources", but would simply measure a speed of predefined set of operations) - the real speed impact (of the antivirus) would be different on every system you try. The fastest antivirus from the test performed on given computer could be rather slow on somebody else's system.

So, in my personal opinion, there's no objective way to achieve your goals. In fact, you'd have to precisely define your goals first :)

Igor, sorry if I asked for a quite "impossible" (or highly difficult) thing to reach... I just want to stop questioning the RAM useage thread. If there is no such way, never mind: avast! in my personal opinion would be the best in any test right now because it works effectively in my system  ;)
The best things in life are free.