Windows even has a configuration area where you can set performance
options for your system. It’s pretty hard to find, unless you
know where to look.
To display the "Performance Options" dialog box, click Start > right-click My Computer, and choose Properties.
If your system is configured to have a My Computer icon on the
desktop, you could right-click it, if you prefer. Either way, the
System Properties dialog box comes up! In the "Advanced" tab click the
"Settings" button under the "Performance" section and the "Performance
Options" window will open.
There are tabs in the Performance Options dialog box, each covering distinct areas of performance. Each tab is discussed below.
I bet you never gave much thought to the visual effects used in
Windows XP. Most people don’t; the effects are very subtle. Just
little things, like shadows in key places or screen objects that slide
smoothly or fade as they’re no longer needed.
Visual effects, like these and so many others, can rob a system of its performance. If you’ve got a fast system with plenty of power, you may be able to spare a few processor cycles. On older systems, those with slow graphics cards, or those with limited memory, visual effects do nothing except slow a system.
Some people might like the windows visual effects and want to keep them. But if you are a serious user, you probably don’t care about visual effects. You want speed. You can use the Visual Effects tab to remove all the unnecessary visual effects and speed up your system.
The Visual Effects tab on the Performance Options dialog box is where you control what effects you want Windows to display. Do so by selecting or deselecting the check boxes.
Some of the visual effects options art explained here:
Let Windows Choose What’s Best for My Computer: By default, this is selected. If you would rather dictate what Windows does, select one of the other radio buttons.
Adjust for Best Appearance: This options selects all the visual effects.
Adjust for Best Performance: This option turns off all visual effects.
Custom: To turn individual effects on and off at your will, select this option. Then you can select or de-select the indivisual checkboxes to have or remove particular visual effects.
We reccomend that you do not use any visual effects if you really want speed. This speeds up the system a lot.
The less noticeable performance options are accessible by clicking the Advanced tab
You can change only three things on the Advanced tab:
Processor scheduling: For most desktop systems, you should leave the default, "Programs", selected. Only select Background Services if your computer runs some critical programs as system services.
Memory usage: The second setting controls how Windows allocates memory (RAM) to programs. For most systems, the "Programs" default is just fine. The System Cache selection is appropriate if you’re running your system as a server. For instance, if your system is used as an active file or print server — in addition to doing your work — then you should select System Cache.
Virtual memory: This setting indicates how Windows uses hard drive space for system purposes. A paging file is a chunk of hard drive space Windows uses for swapping programs in and out of RAM. This is a little tricky option so we recommend the you do not play with it much.
Now, that you have improved your system performance, let us come to the most irritating part of a slow computer: The time it takes to start-up or boot! In the next section we will show you how to find out why your computer is taking so much time to start-up and how to fix the problem and make your computer start-up a whole lot faster!
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