Tweaking Hardware/Software to get the most out of your PC

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Cue-Ball, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. Cue-Ball

    Cue-Ball I hate you, Milkman Dan

    Jan 14, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Kirkland, WA
    I've got the parts on order for my new PC. They should be here sometime this week. As long as i'm building a new system, i want to make it as fast as i possibly can right out of the gate. I've got my own tricks for sqeezing extra performance out of Windows but thought you guys might have other tricks that i didn't know about or just plain forgot.

    So, maybe this thread could be a compilation of tricks to get the most out of your Win2K/XP system, regardless of the hardware you've got.

    It seems as though performance tweaks generally revolve around maximizing hard drive transfer rates, limiting hard drive paging, and keeping non-essential programs from hogging memory and CPU time. Most of the tweaks i'll offer up fit into these categories.

    Without further adieu...

    Put the Windows page file (swap file) on a separate partition. Even better, put it on a different drive and different controller.

    Set the minimum and maximum page file size to the same number (RAM x 2).

    Defragment your hard drive at least once per week. I have DiskKeeper at home and it works great. It has a "boot time" defragment option that works much, much better than the normal Windows defrag program. Because it runs before most of the Windows files load, it can defragment system files and just generally does a much better job.

    Delete all non-essential windows files (backround bitmaps, sounds, etc.). This doesn't mean living with a bare-bones system. But most of these files are never used and just lead to disk fragmentation and waste unnecessary space.

    Delete non-essential entries from the Startup folder.

    Delete non-essential items from the Registry "Run" keys (lots of software put entries in here that really aren't necessary. These programs cause startup to take longer and use memory that could otherwise be free. Realplayer, Quicktime, MSN Messenger, etc do this. All of these programs will work fine when you need them, but there's no reason to have them taking up resources when they're not running.

    Set the Windows visual theme to Windows Classic Style. I personally prefer this to the Blue "bubble" look and it's faster.

    Run Bootvis.exe to speed up system boot time.

    Limit IEs temp directory to ~30MB and move it to a dedicated partition/drive. This keeps it from fragmenting your system drive.

    Set your wallpaper image to "none". I don't personally do this, but it does free up a good bit of memory. Especially if you're running a pretty high resolution.

    Turn off the System Restore service. If you make regular backups and don't have kids or novices on your machine, it's really unnecessary.

    Turn off drive indexing. Searches will be a bit slower, but how often do you search for a file compared with how often you do everything else?

    Adjust visual effects for "best performance".

    This page shows how to do some of these tweaks for those of you who aren't familiar with them:

    This is all i can think of for now. Feel free to add your own to this thread.

    I've been thinking about putting my IE temp directory and my temp folder onto a RAM drive. Anyone else do this already? If so, how well does it work? I'm mostly looking at this because it would prevent fragmentation and would automatically clear out my cache after every reboot.

Share This Page