second: 1 processor on of 2 total, db tuned --- getting better
third: turned second processor on, rebooted and db restarted with default options. didn't notice for a few days. seemed faster, but still locked a bunch. wtf?
now: both processors on, db optimizations on... so fast. 50% more throughput now. so nice.
*sigh* i wish i could devote myself to one task.