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How can I reduce the CPU Usage of Shareaza?

Shareaza has many features and an excellent GUI. But sometimes, depending on how you use it, it can slow down your computer. The way to fix this is to disable certain features that can tax a system. Note: The Solutions use the default skin, so if you don't see what is described here, disable the skin and try again.

  • Stage Your Downloads and Searches: With slower machines, it's best not to run many programs at once. Same concept goes for Shareaza and "its" tasks. Try not to do more than 5 searches at once (You can have them open, but stopped) and don't download too many files simultaneously either (15+). This could actually improve overall performance on downloads and searches. If you have too many downloads in the transfer window, try pausing some of them. To pause a download, right click it and select 'Pause'. You can resume it later via the same menu.
  • Limit Downloads with too many sources: Some very popular files happen to have a huge number of sources. For example you can easily find several thousand sources for the Shareaza installer. When downloading such files, Shareaza must be limited to not connect to too many sources at once, because every download connection needs some CPU and RAM. If this gets to be a problem, reduce the "Maximum transfers" and/or "Transfers per file" in the settings.
  • How many files are you sharing?: If you are sharing a large amount of files, such as over 200, then you could could be experiencing a high amount of CPU resources. This is because keywords from all of your files are sent to your Hubs. When a user searches for something on the network, and you have a file with that keyword, then you are queried. So, the more keywords (or files) you have, the more queries you will recieve. The more queries you recieve, the more resources it takes for Shareaza to handle them.
  • Hashing: Shareaza hashes files when it first sees them. This may take up CPU and hard drive usage for the first few times you run it if you have a large collection of files. The only solution is to wait it out. Shareaza has two hashing modes: One mode hashes slowly, taking care not to use too much of your CPU; this is the default mode. The other mode is to hash as fast as possible, eventually consuming all CPU power and considerably slowing down all other programs. You can switch between the hashing modes in the Home Tab in the 'My Library' box. (Available only while Shareaza is hashing.)
  • Shareaza verifies large downloads: Shareaza verifies every single bit it has downloaded, to be sure it didn't get bad data. For large file, this process may take a long time to complete and since this is a hashing process as well, it uses CPU power. Wait for this process to terminate.
  • Firewalls: Shareaza can occasionally experience high processor usage during heavy traffic if a software firewall (like ZoneAlarm) is heavily inspecting packets. The easiest solution is to add Shareaza to the firewall's trusted list, bypassing the inspection. This is only recommended if the firewall is causing high processor usage in Shareaza.
  • Close Unnecessary Windows: Things like the Security Panel can take up lots of resources if you have it open, especially if you have a lot of content in it. Just close it after you're done using it. Same goes for search windows, transfer windows, host cache, etc. Some code will be added in the future to optimize the viewing of windows, however.
  • Restrain Your Search: Shareaza doesn't include a limit on how many search results you can get, so you may get so many that it will seriously affect preformance on some computers. The best things to do are either search for specific terms (therefore reducing the results) or clicking 'Stop' when you have gotten the amount of content you want. If you're done with searching, then close the search window.
  • Minimize Shareaza: If you are waiting for a download to complete, or just sharing files with the Shareaza community, it is not necessary to keep Shareaza maximized all the time. Try closing all open windows you don't need (searches, transfers, host cache) and send Shareaza to the tray. If you don't have Shareaza set up that way, go to the General Options (Shareaza Settings > General > General) and configure the 'Tray' options to what you want.
  • Do not run as a hub: As a hub, Shareaza will use most of its resources to maintain network traffic and hence uses a lot of bandwidth, CPU and RAM. To prevent this, force Shareaza to run as a leaf node, by disabling "Allow this node to become a hub." in the settings. Read more about becoming a leaf
  • Too many security rules: If you have a huge number (>1000) of security rules in the security window (press F7 to open it), then Shareaza may use a lot of CPU time for matching every incoming and outgoing connection against those rules. Unfortunately, this code is not optimized for a huge numer of rules, yet. Using the Shareaza Security Update is no problem, you can find it on the forum.
  • Disable unnecessary networks: The more networks you connect to, the more resources are required to maintain the connection to the different networks. If you don't need a network for some time, try disconnecting from it.

Windows XP Tips

You can lower system resources by turning off visual effects. To do this:

Press: Windows Key + Break (or right-click My Computer and select Properties) In the Advanced tab, click on the Performance Settings and select Adjust for best performance.

Process Priority (Windows 2000 and XP Only)

If you're using Shareaza and like to have it run in the background while you do other tasks, depending on your computer specifications you may notice annoying delays because of the level of CPU usage that the Shareaza process is consuming. This is especially true if Shareaza is currently searching the network or creating hashes of your shared files.

A solution for running Shareaza in the backround for long periods of time without serious performance degradation for other programs is to reduce the priority of the Shareaza process from Normal to Below Normal. This can be done easily from the Task Manager within Windows. To change the priority, do the following:

  • Open the Task Manager by one of a couple methods: CTRL+SHIFT+ESC, right-click the taskbar and choose Task Manager, or press CTRL+ALT+DEL, then choose Task Manager.
  • Go to the Processes tab and find the Shareaza.exe process.
  • Right-click on the process and choose Change Priority > Below Normal.
  • Read the question Windows asks and choose the response you're comfortable with.
  • Close the Task Manager.

Shareaza will continue to use this priority setting until the program is restarted.

If you want Shareaza everytime to start at a lower priority, you can write a simple batch file:

@echo off cd "C:\Program Files\Shareaza\" start /BELOWNORMAL "C:\Program Files\Shareaza\Shareaza.exe"

Obvious Note: By lowering the priority of the Shareaza process, the performance of Shareaza will be decreased while other programs are running. Simple uploading and downloading of a few files shouldn't see a huge hit, but if you're hashing your files or are searching the networks, then the time to complete these activities will be increased.

Warning: While you will most likely not have any problems with changing the priority setting of a process, there is the possibility that your system may become unstable and require a reboot. It's worth noting that I have never had any problems by lowering the priority of a process.

Be careful to avoid changing the priority to anything higher than Normal. These settings will NOT give you better performance in Shareaza. Setting the priority to High or Realtime will most likely cause your system to become completely unresponsive and will require a hard reboot to regain control.

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