HM2 Performance Tips
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  1. #1
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    Jul 2008

    Default HM2 Performance Tips

    Software tips:

    Scan your system and hard drive:

    1) Click start - accessories
    2) Right click command prompt
    3) Choose Run as Administrator


    sfc /scannow

    Hit enter

    4) Please schedule a disk check:

    chkdsk /f /r C:

    5) Hit enter

    6) Restart your computer.

    Afterwards, it will either show there are no integrity problems, or give a location for a file with errors. If this happens, check the file - c:\windows\logs\cbs\cbs.log for any clues.

    Update your SOFTWARE:

    Always use the latest version of Holdem Manager, and use the most current version of PostgreSQL. We support 8.4.x by default. You should update the version you have, or you will need a new database. So if you have 9.0.x, update to the latest 9.0. 9.2 is faster than previous versions and is stable.

    Advanced Users: You are allowed to use 9.0/9.2 (64 bit). They will work just fine*, but they're not officially supported. *Some features (like using the internal backup/restore tool may not work. You can manually use pgadminIII instead: (this is for HM1!)

    How to install HEM + PostgreSQL 8.4.
    Update your Windows (use Microsoft Update, and make sure you have the latest Service Pack (SP2 for Vista, SP3 for XP)) and update all system drivers (including your mainboard and videocard driver! and .net framework updates).

    Defrag your non-SSD harddisk, using Defraggler by Piriform. Or you can use Disk Defrag by Auslogics or Power Defragmenter (all FREE software and better than the Windows included Defrag)

    It is recommended to stop postgreSQL from running before you use defrag! (To stop and start the service: Start > All Programs > PostgreSQL > Stop Service / Start Service)


    Reformat your hard drive:

    Over time, there will be a buildup of background programs running; items left in the registry; your hard drive will fill, and your computer may not run as fast as it used to. Reformatting will clear up any software issues.

    Alleviate any security issues:

    Sometimes folder permissions and security software can block necessary processes. Holdem Manager and Table Ninja interact with your site's software in ways that some antiviruses mistake for a virus and it can block the file. It is necessary to make sure everything you use to play poker has unfettered access to work freely.

    Please see this FAQ to alleviate any security bottlenecks:

    Set Note Caddy to use less resources:

    Unless you are processing lots of hands at once, you probably do not need to use all of the threads from your CPU.

    NoteCaddy speed improvement - Assaultware Wiki


    Edit your PostgreSQL.conf file in the SQL 8.x/data folder. (you need to reboot after you've made the changes)
    Do not use the Tuning Wizard. On some systems it will make changes to the postgresql.conf it shouldn't, resulting in being unable to connect to the database!
    If you experience this problem--> simply go to the 8.4/data folder, undo the changes you made and reboot.
    Recommended changes:

    shared_buffers = <number> MB (set it to 20% of your system's memory, but not higher than 512 MB)
    effective_cache_size = <number> MB (set this to 4x the size of the shared_buffers)

    Change at your own risk: (change them back to default if postgresql stops running, or your performance decreases)
    wal_buffers = 8MB
    temp_buffers = 24MB #(wal_buffers x3)
    work_mem = 128MB
    maintenance_work_mem = 512MB
    commit_delay = 10000
    checkpoint_segments = 128
    checkpoint_completion_target = 0.9

    Remove the # at the beginning of the line after making the changes you want otherwise PostgreSQL will still ignore them (lines with a # at the front are not interpreted).

    Decrease the SIZE of your database:

    You may only be using a smaller range of data. By default, the HUD is set to show the last 12 months. A lot of player use less since players will often change their style. Create a database to play that only has the last 4-6 months hands, and keep a larger database that you import hands into frequently to keep for records.

    Optimize your database

    This is now in the database control panel:

    Please run maintenance on the DB.

    1) Click the database name in the bottom right corner (2nd in)

    2) Click the maintenance tab.

    3) Click the Full radio button.

    4) Click the Optimize button.

    How to optimize the database

    Stop postgresql logging. How to make PostgreSQL stop making those big log files (I had 8 GB of logfiles before I realized you're allowed to delete the content of the data/pg_log directory!)

    Keep your hard drive free of clutter. Your hard drive should always have at least 10% free space available.
    --1 A near-empty harddisk is faster than a near-full harddisk, so delete your crap! CrapCleaner by Piriform and Windows Disk Cleanup can help.
    -- Turn off indexing and turn off "compress this drive to save disk space" in your harddisk properties.
    -- Optimize Windows for "best performance" (in Control Panel/System/Advanced/Performance/Setting/Visual Effects).
    -- Advanced users only: save space by turning off System Restore (System/System Protection). *not recommended*

    Windows 7 + SSD
    (If you already have a SSD harddisk also do all the SSD Tweaks in that guide.. though don't disable hibernation!, don't completely disable your page file!, and don't disable AERO!)
    *Services to disable in that guide: also don't disable Secondary Logon, Hibernation, and SuperFetch (the latter two may be disabled, but do your research and turn back on if there is an issue).

    -Change Processes Priority. Start the Windows Task Manager, processes tab--> and while running an auto import in HoldemManager---> rightclick on HoldemManager.exe, HMHud.exe, ---> set priority to HIGH (not real time!), set affinity to use all your CPUs. (click for more detailed info)

    Use fewer programs while playing. If you have less resources, use fewer of them while playing. Use a secondary device to listen to music/watch Youtube or other videos should you choose to do so. Close your browser, close Skype, close anything that is not directly used to play poker. Restart your computer, and only open your poker programs. Not only will this keep your computer resources reserved for only poker programs, you might even find yourself more focused while playing.</number></number>
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

  2. #2
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    Hard Drive tips

    Upgrade your HARDWARE*:

    Get a fast harddisk for your database and Windows (Intel, Samsung, or Crucial)
    ---x A new 7200 RPM IDE/SATA harddisk (slowest)
    The SSD not only wins on Sequential Read/Write speeds (of big files), they win the most with access time, 4K Read/Write speeds (small files) and just "overall" I/O operations per second.
    A Western Digital VelociRaptor used to be easily twice as fast as the best 7200 RPM harddisk. However it currently only is about 10% faster than the latest Seagate Barracudas, Hitachi Deskstars, Western Digital Caviar Blacks and Samsung Spinpoints F1/F3. The VelociRaptor does not justify its price difference anymore.

    An SSD will improve your overall computing experience and have dropped in price a lot. Your computer will reboot faster; programs will open faster; everything will open and run faster. Once you try one, you won't go back. It's like the first time you had high speed internet.

    Note: a brand new $60 high-end model 7200 RPM harddisk will be twice as fast as your 3-4+ yrs old 7200 RPM harddisk!...

    LAPTOP: ALL 5400 RPM laptop harddisks are slow (favoring being energy efficient over performance. Try to find one with a SSD.
    -make sure the Control Panel-->Power Options are set to HIGH PERFORMANCE on your computer
    -Expert Users only: overclock your CPU!

    An alternative to a SSD SATA harddisk: are the new PCI-Express cards like the OCZ RevoDrive. And if you have a USB 3.0 mainboard the SuperTalent RAIDDrive)

    Get lots of RAM (at least 4+ GB RAM recommended if you have a 10+ GB database) (note: when using more than 3 GB RAM, use a 64-bit version of Windows). The more RAM, the more programs you will be able to smothly run. Anything over 16 is unnecessary.

    Improve Postgres and Note Caddy with a CPU upgrade PostgreSQL loves multiple CPUs, so the more CPUs the better. (Intel i5 / i7 or AMD Phenom) Also "Holdem Manager will be adding improvements that will take advantage of quad core/64 bit versions."

    Note Caddy will use as many threads as you let it. The more threads used, the faster and smoother it will process notes. If you are importing a large database and play a lot of hands, you will see a huge difference with a quad core 3.4 ghz+ CPU.

    Keep your hardware clean and cool A computer gets dirty over time. When it gets dirty, air does not flow as freely. When air doesn't flow as freely, your computer gets hot and can lead to shut downs, freezes, and blue screens of death.

    For a desktop, every change of season, open it up, take a can of compressed air, and blow out all of the dust. Clean your fans. Clean your CPU fan blades. Use a microfiber cloth to clean your electronics. Add extra fans. A fan costs $5 and is easy to screw into your tower and plug into the power supply. Buy a new tower that improves airflow and has more room for fans.

    A laptop is trickier to open and clean. You can usually find a manual online with information to open it. Remember to unplug it and take out the battery first. Use a microfiber cloth, compressed air can, and if necessary, a mixture of half water, half rubbing alcohol and a q-tip to clean hardware. You can also get a laptop cooling pad to sit it on. There should be multiple fans on the pad to cool it. I've found that if you do not have one with you, putting your wallet under the corner of your laptop where the warm air comes out of can help a lot.

    What should I buy? We get asked this question A LOT. The best thing to do is, set a price range that you want to spend. Typically, you will get what you pay for, so spending more will get higher quality and better performance. However, you can increase what you can afford by shopping around; making compromises in some areas; buying at the right time of the year.

    Do some research and know where you are willing to compromise. You should not sacrifice: RAM, CPU, Hard drive. However, you can save money by buying a laptop that can handle upgrades and buying the RAM and SSD and installing it yourself. Often, 8 GB RAM and an SSD might cost $500 more at a store. You can pick them up on your own for $300, and then sell the old ones on Ebay, making the net upgrade cost $200 or less.

    You probably do not need the latest and greatest graphics card. You can get a 3rd/4th tier card that will work well for a few years. You can buy cables at a cheaper price. I like and for a lot of my electronics purchases.

    You can estimate the power supply wattage you need and get something with a little more power.

    To get comprehensive reviews and information, visit Tomshardware when you are researching. They regularly review and break down hardware into various tiers. You can see the SSD's they rank in the top tier, second tier, and so on. They will review and compare benchmarks. This will help you see spots where you can buy a third tier product and sometimes get the same quality you would with a top tier product, at half the price! They do the same with graphics cards.
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

  3. #3
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    Building your own desktop PC

    There are benefits to building - or at least picking your own parts - your own PC. I prefer it to buying a desktop. It's a fun process, is not that difficult, and let's you control what parts you spend more money on, and which you go for value. It also can help with trouble shooting. Most of the time, if there is a mistake, your computer will just shut off.

    Here is a list of what you will need:

    CPU This is the main power supply, the heart of your computer. The first decision you will make is what Chipset you will build your system around. The Intel i7 has been the king for about 5 years. You want a quad core CPU, and it should be at least 3.0 ghz per core. It also should be a 64-bit processor. Intel does have an edge in import speeds. AMD is cheaper, but Intel will be a higher performance.

    Motherboard. This is the infrastructure on which your system is built. It provides power and connectivity to all of your hardware. Your motherboard and CPU have to be of the same chipset. Otherwise, it will not fit and could fry the motherboard and bend the pins on the CPU. Consider it to be the central nervous system of your computer. I like ASUS. Gigabyte also makes solid boards.

    RAM. This is a main source of how much you can do and for how long. It is like your respiratory system. The more you have, the more smoothly everything will run. The speed and amount you can install are controlled by the motherboard. The company's website will tell you what the max speed and amount it can handle is. Ram is so cheap, there is no reason not to max it out. Although anything over 16 is not necessary currently.

    Hard drive. This is the brain. This stores all information. An SSD is highly recommended, as it will provide the fastest access, fastest restart, and best overall performance. Next would be a hybrid. It is not as fast, but is cheaper. Next would be a 7200 RPM. SSD's have become a lot cheaper over the years. You want one that will be big enough for all of your operating system and database. Programs are not that large most of the time. It will not have a large effect on database size. You need about 20GB for Windows. For your database, you will need about 4.3gb/1 million hands. If you have a lot of Note Caddy notes, you will need more space. Remember you need at least 10% free space at all times. I would get a 256gb or 512gb. Your media, documents, and HM2archive can safely be stored on an external drive or secondary HDD. an internal will provide the fastest speed.

    Graphics card. Unless you play a lot of intensive new games, you will not need a top of the line graphics card. It should have at least 1gb RAM. It should have enough outputs to use your desired number of monitors. It should have the maximum resolution that your monitors can support.

    Power supply. You do not want to have too weak of a power supply. I would get at least a 600-watt. Modular power supplies are popular. They allow you to take out cables that you do not need. However, it is not fully customizable, and in my experience, it did not eliminate enough. There always seemed to be one plug I needed on each module. I do not think they are worth the extra price.

    Case. A case is a case for the most part. But it does need to have enough bays for your drives. They are almost all the same. If you have a full size motherboard though, make sure it is a full case. There should be enough space to work freely and to space out your cables some for airflow. There should be space for fans - at least one in front, one in back, and one on top. Preferably, 2 in front, and one on the side as well. The more airflow, the cooler it will stay. It is nice to have a hot swap for another hard drive as well. You can get a bay insert for this. I have an Antec 300. I like the power supply being on the bottom - it is easier to work around the drive bays.

    CPU fan. If you get a boxed CPU, it will come with a cooling fan. Most of the time, these are good enough. An aftermarket one is sometimes very difficult to install and can be so large that it interferes with the rest of your tower. Do research first. Do research before using a liquid cooling. This is not necessary. You will need heat sink compound. Your CPU will come with some, but it's not that great. Arctic Silver is solid. You do not need that much. Make sure that you wipe any excess off.

    Case fans You can buy these for $3-5 each. There is no reason to spend more. Your Power Supply will have either 3 or 4 pins. Make sure you buy the corresponding fans. They are cheap enough, get as many as your case will hold.

    Sound, Ethernet, Wireless adapter. Unless you have a home theater PC, your onboard sound card should meet all of your needs. Even then, most have 5.1/7.1 cards. The onboard ethernet should be good too. If you do decide on a wireless adapter, make sure it matches your router's capabilities.

    Don't forget, you will need Windows to install on the hard drive. Other than that, you'll just need a phillips head screw driver.
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

  4. #4
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    Jul 2008



    You want to have the most secure computing environment you can get. The last thing you want to do is compromise your poker bankroll or bank account logins.

    The most secure you can get is to use a separate computer for poker. That way, if anything goes wrong, your exposure on your financial system is lower.

    You could also use a second drive and dual boot to a different operating system, pulling out the hard drives between use.

    You could also use a virtual machine software, such as VirtualBox to use for all non-poker computing. If something goes wrong, just delete that virtual machine and create a new one. This is better than using the VM for poker. If something were to go wrong in this setup, you might lose the VM with all of your database. Also, you will have access to only some of your CPU, RAM and hard drive space. It also will not let you use all of your monitor. Why play poker with less computer!

    Antivirus You want a solid antivirus. Yet, you want one that will not overblock your poker software. Due to postgres and the way HM2 interacts with your poker site, some antiviruses falsely think it is a virus. This causes the update and installation to be blocked, or certain necessary files to be quarantined.

    The two most solid antiviruses, in our experience, are Kaspersky and Microsoft Security Essentials. Both will just need exceptions added.

    Firewall You can just use Windows' built in Firewall and should be fine. We do not recommend Comodo or Zone Alarm.

    The best thing you can do for your security is to be careful about opening files you do not recognize, and not giving access to strangers. Any of our remote support is handled via a email address.

    Here is the HEM1 thread.
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

  5. #5
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    How to get your data from an old computer

    If your drive is still accessible (i.e. it is not dead/corrupted to the point of no return, you can still get your data.

    1. Buy one of these. I've used a few different versions, some cheaper ones that just hook up a cable, and these are by far, the best. These are great for turning a drive into an external hard drive, and hooking up a drive for backups. I also recommend a hotswap bay for your desktop as an alternate, but I've never used it for a 2.5" drive. The blac-x will work with 2.5" and 3.5" drives, and any SATA - so an SSD, 5400, 7200, any type of newer drive. This is an alternative device.

    2. Removing a drive is easy. All you need is a screwdriver. Disconnect the power to your computer. For a desktop, this is just the power cord. For a desktop, you should also pull out the battery. Before you start touching anything, you should touch an unpainted piece of metal to discharge static electricity.

    3. Now, pull out the SATA and power connector. Some laptops will just have one cable that connects both. Unscrew the drive from the slot that it is in.

    4. Now, put it in your enclosure. Everything you need is (by default) stored in c:\hm2archive and in

    7/8/Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\HoldemManager\

    XP: C:\Documents and Settings\User_name\Application Data\HoldemManager

    See this tutorial for showing system and hidden files:

    The drive letter will be shifted to the first available letter. Just open File Explorer/My Computer and look for the new drive.

    5. Move the entire folder except for database folder and the holdemmanager.hml file from the roaming folder to the corresponding folder on your computer. Move the C:\hm2archive as well.

    When you restart HM2, you should see all of your HUD settings and note caddy definitions on the new computer. Import your hands using Hand Importing from that c:\hm2archive to re-create the database.

    You can also move all of your other documents and media from the other drive. You can format it and use it as a backup, or you can format it and sell it.
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

  6. #6
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    SSD Tips

    Picking your SSD

    Check out Tom's Hardware for reviews. Their heirarchy is very helpful in finding information on what SSD's are comparable. Read reviews of models you are interested in. Choose the size. Make sure that it will be big enough to meet your needs in the future. I would not go with under 120GB as it will be filled up without many hands.


    Make sure you hook it up to your fastest SATA connector. You don't want to throttle the speed by using Sata 1 or 2 when you have a Sata 3 connection. In your BIOS, make sure that the drive is set to AHCI. You will need to google this for your motherboard, as most BIOS are different, even with the same brand's BIOS. These two steps will make sure that your drive is operating at its fullest.


    Update the firmware of the drive. There is a known issue with Crucial drives, in particular, the M4 series, where the drive is not read by Windows and the fix is the update the firmware.

    SSD optimization guides.

    Here are a couple guides to use. Make sure you research the settings they recommend turning off to make sure you want to turn them off. If you run into an issue, turn them back on and try narrowing it down one by one.

    Can You Get More Space Or Speed From Your SSD? - Optimizing Precious Solid-State Storage
    Super-Fast SSDs: Four Rules for How To Treat Them Right IT Expert Voice

    Make sure that you keep at least 10% free space at all times. You can use TreeSize Free to track down what files are taking up space.

    Use Crystal Disk Mark to monitor if you experience any issues.
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

  7. #7
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    Feb 2012


    Hi all,
    I have a couple of issues I'd like to clarify:

    PostreSQL (I have an x64 PC and use SQL 9.3) in my postgres.conf file there is no: temp_buffers=(x) - this voice is missing, can I just add it?

    In the Task Mgr, Processes tab, while importing I can set priority only to: Holdemmanager.exe & HudFuncsApp.exe, again HMimport.exe is a missing voice. Is this normal?

    Last...about Postgres...any chance tha in processes tab, assigning priority to "high" to: pg_ctl.exe & postgres.exe (net services, plenty of them...??!! O.o) would benefit anyhow?

    Sorry for messing questions up, hope to be understood. Thx in advance!

  8. #8
    HM Support Patvs's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    Amsterdam, the Netherlands


    No you can't add it.
    For 9.3: it might be named slightly different. Search for "buffer" in the postgresql.config file.

    (PosgtreSQL 9.2 it is still named temp_buffer)
    I use 9.2 instead of 9.3


    It's normal you can only set a higher priority for holdemmanager.exe.


    Also adding it for pg_ctl.exe and postgres.exe won't make a difference.
    Postgres.exe (all the .exe files) will rarely use more than 30% CPU combined.

    Every time you add high priority to .exe files that use a lot of CPU Usage you risk it will result in computer lag.
    Participate in the Beta release of the newest Hold'em Manager version: HM Cloud. Sign-up HERE.

    If you would like to leave some feedback to help us improve the quality of the solutions, and/or the support quality you received, - you can do this here

  9. #9
    Junior Member
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    Feb 2012


    Hi all,
    I'm trying my very best to set up my PC to best HM2 performances cause it's crazy that a brand new PC, intel i7, 16GB RAM, SSD, "GB dedicated videocard & 1200$ stuff wont be "enough" to make HM2 run smoothly. I made all PostreSQL.conf changes & I set priority to "high" to HM.exe & HudFuncsApp.exe (I can't find HMimport.exe but *you* said is just fine). Now I downloaded "Prio_x64.exe", installed it but I get an issue. I went through program files/prio.exe in order to launch it (it's very basic as I understand and as no GUI) but when launching it I get a splash "cmd.exe-like" screen which appears for one second and as fast disappears. I thought maybe it already memorized my "priority" sets but as soon as I restart HM" I get the priorities back to normal. The question is: How am I supposed to make Prio work? Is there a guide somewhere? I obv couldn't find the right infos on Prio's site. Thx for your prompt-kind help

    2) Should I downgrade to Win7 64bit? (on Win 8.1 x64 now)
    Last edited by webwiller; 09-22-2014 at 12:24 PM. Reason: addons

  10. #10
    You're out! udbrky's Avatar
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    I am not familiar with prio. You would need to check with their support for tips on running it.

    I edited the post as HMImport is an HM1 program.

    Changing to Windows 7 is up to you. I downgraded one of my computers, but still have 8.1 on my main computer.

    Please email us a full description of what trouble you are having, along with a link to your post -
    Regards udbrky (Chris)

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