Author Topic: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.932)  (Read 114993 times)

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Offline Vlk

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The update is now officially released as avast 4.7.936. Thanks to everyone who helped testing this release -- let's hope it will be a successful one. :)


Update: the build number is now 4.7.932. The 932 build brings a couple of fixes (especially on Vista) as well as a new language module - Catalan.


Hi again,

as promised, here's the new (pre-release) version of the upcoming update of avast! Home/Professional. The version is currently labeled as 4.7.925 (edit: now 4.7.932).

How to install it (for starters - most people already know this trick anyway ): simply download and run the following program: link removed. That's about all it takes (provided you have the latest version of avast Home/Pro already installed, of course).

There is a number of fixes in this release. Here's the list of most important changes:

  • significantly improved scanning speed! - especially on the latest CPUs (Intel Core 2), the performance gain can be as much as 40%! This is especially true when scanning without archive unpacking
  • reduced memory consumption - avast should now run lighther even on older machines (e.g. 64MB RAM machines)
  • lower CPU usage during system boot - this should make your system start somewhat faster
  • a brand new Standard Shield driver for Vista (aswMonFlt.sys) - now supporting new Vista features (e.g. NTFS transactions) as well as providing improved scanning performance. If you're running Vista, please TEST the on-access scanner as much as possible. Hopefully, not BSODs will happen - we're a bit nervous about this. Thx.
  • fixed a couple of bugs in Win32 unpackers, plus added support for a bunch of new ones (however, the most important ones on on the list (Armadillo & Obsidium) didn't make it to the release, they'll probably be included in the next update)
  • improved detection of full-screen apps (if you have the Don't Display Popups When Full Screen Apps Are Running option enabled) - now 100% Vista Aero compatible + better detection of e.g. full screen video players

Any comments on this release are very welcome and appreciated!


Thanks
Vlk[/size]
« Last Edit: January 12, 2007, 10:58:04 PM by Vlk »
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Offline DavidR

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 04:46:12 PM »
Thanks Vlk, downloading it now (dial-up, yawn), 5,442,926 bytes is that about right ?

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Offline Lisandro

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 05:27:36 PM »
Starting to test  8)
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Offline .: Mac :.

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 06:14:10 PM »
Sounds like a great update. Multi-threaded scanning engine nice!
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Offline DavidR

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2006, 06:19:45 PM »
A quick test reveals only small speed improvement in my case, but this is only against 6.1 GB of data on a Standard scan without archived. This is a scan that I do weekly and I have monitored times, previous scans were around 9:10 nine minutes ten seconds occasionally a little over.

I ran the first scan and went off, came back to a surprise avast had found a virus (in firefox browser cache, extension less file), a very rare event for me (I believe I know where it came from, testing a suspect site, but no alerts then), so that messed the timings somewhat. After confirming the detection was good at VirusTotal (only 7 other AVs detected it) I started the second scan.

This second scan took 8:50 eight minutes fifty seconds, so a small improvement (a little over 4%), which for those with much more data they should see an even better time saving. Whilst my CPU isn't a dual core it is probably now classed as below average (see signature), but whilst scanning the CPU load never got over 75% and frequently well below that, so the CPU would seem to be well up to the task.

So far no other anomalies seen.
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Offline XMAS

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #5 on: December 29, 2006, 07:17:58 PM »
I'll test it after the download is completed  ;D
Thanks  :)
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Offline Bluesman

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #6 on: December 29, 2006, 08:04:00 PM »
as promised, here's the new (pre-release) version of the upcoming update of avast! Home/Professional.

Hurray! I will download it right away now and test it!  ;D
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Offline alanrf

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2006, 01:02:12 AM »
I am running on a Dell XPS 400 (Pentium Dual core) with 2Gb memory under Win XP SP2.  Disks are 2 SATA internal and 3 USB external.

Before installing the new beta:

I ran a standard scan of my system (all local disks - archive scan disabled).  Run time 10:37

I ran my normal weekly ashquick.exe scan of all drives.  Run time 40:19

I then installed the new beta and restarted the system:

I ran a standard scan of my system (all local disks - archive scan disabled).  Run time 9:51 (7% improvement)

I noted that during this scan one of the processors was almost completely idle for the entire duration of the scan.

I ran my normal weekly ashquick.exe scan of all drives.  Run time 32:35 (19% improvement).  This scan exercises both processors and even managed to run both at 100% simultaneously for brief peaks).

So - does the improvement mentioned only come with Intel Core 2 and not with Dual Core?


Offline DavidR

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006, 01:24:04 AM »
So - does the improvement mentioned only come with Intel Core 2 and not with Dual Core?

I noticed Vlk mentioned Intel Core 2 in the bullet point features and wondered the same thing, but perhaps more thinking about AMD X2 CPUs
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Offline RejZoR

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #9 on: December 30, 2006, 01:41:10 AM »
Hehe, and i was just wondering when will new version of avast! be available ;D
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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2006, 02:34:19 AM »
I can't get a fresh download of aswbeta.exe to run on this computer - had to use an old copy from a different computer to get this beta.

Offline .: Mac :.

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2006, 03:36:04 AM »
David, I my guess its either multi-threaded or takes advantage of some kind of SSE instruction set in the C2D
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 03:37:57 AM by .: Mac :. »
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Offline RejZoR

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2006, 07:00:21 AM »
SSE and smilar instructins only help for lets say video encoding/decoding.
Vlk just mentioned Coe 2 Duo as it's a very new dual core CPU. I'm sure gains will be seen on AMD Athlon X2 series as well...
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Offline alanrf

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2006, 07:12:03 AM »
It would seem odd then, at least to me, that existing dual core CPU's cannot see the same improvement, mine being as ancient as 7 months.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2006, 07:15:58 AM by alanrf »

Offline Vlk

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Re: * Introducing * - beta version of upcoming avast update (4.7.925)
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2006, 11:56:01 AM »
Guys, you misinterpreted my statement. ;) I never said scanning is now parallelized (it is not). I just said scanning speed is improved, especially on Core 2 architecture CPUs.

What actually took place is that one of the key scanning algorithms in avast (namely, a pattern matching algorithm)was completely replaced by a new one. The new code, originally written in C++ was then hand-rewritten to a highly optimized assembler by one of our ASM gurus. And while doing so, "Core 2" was chosen as the reference architecture (when hand-optimizing code, you usually have to choose a fixed CPU family/stepping (sometimes even the revision) because timings and other characteristics can be very different across different families). Core 2 was chosen for two reasons: first, it's a CPU of the future (more and more people will be getting it in the upcoming year), and second, we're REALLY excited about this CPU. It simply rocks, and we believe it's the biggest step Intel made since the transition to Pentium (AMD is clearly loosing the battle here). On the other hand, P4/Netburst is a nightmare (as in "really bad for code optimization") and this includes P4-D that alanrf probably has (the original Intel dual core CPU).

By the way, talking about parallelization of the scanning algorithm. This is definitely on our roadmap, but I'd just like to say that by default, it will definitely NOT be preset to use all N cores. Instead, we will probably make it use N-1 cores by default (that is, if your CPU is dual-core it would run on a single core (as it does now) anyway...). The reason is simple - we don't want to totally choke the computer while performing the scan! The whole beaty of multi-core processing is that more things can  be done in parallel (i.e. scanning for viruses AND something else). Well, at least theoretically - shared resources (such as the hard drive in our case) somewhat ruin this idea... :)

So, this feature will really start making sense when quad-core CPUs become more prevalent - and the release of avast 5 sounds like a timeframe reasonably aligned with this.


Cheers
Vlk
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