Being a computer games freak, I spend a lot of time trying to
extract the maximum performance out of my (aging) computer. So here
are a few tips (in order of importance) to help you :
1) The most important resource in your computer is RAM. The more RAM
you have, the faster your computer will respond. And one of the ways
to maximize your RAM is to disable unwanted programs that run at
startup, as per the tip :
Eliminate unwanted startup applications. This gives a faster startup,
and a more stable system, as there are more free resources.
Eliminating unused startup apps will result in dramatically
improved Windows startup times, increased availability of RAM for your
apps and a more stable system. For help on how you can do this, check
out this tutorial :
- Cyber Tech Help : How to speed up Windows booting
2) The slowest component in your computer (besides the floppy disk of
course) is your hard disk drive system. So any performance
improvements you make here will be immidiately visible. There are
three ways in which you can improve PC performance here :
- Method 1 : Speed up you hard disk
The simplest way to speed up your HDD is to enable DMA, if it
supports it. On my system, enabling DMA increased my HDD's speed to 18
MBps from 5 MBps!!! You can also enable DMA for your CDROM. For
instructions on how you can enable DMA, check out the following
- Sony Support : How to enable DMA transfer?
- MSKB Article 258757 :How to Enable Direct Memory Access
- Method 2 : Optimize arrangement of files on disk.
Regularly defragmenting your disk will result in faster reads
from the disk, as the files will all be stored in one place on the
disk, and not fragmented all over. A very good disk defragmenter(and
my personal favourite) is Norton Speed Disk. Windows also comes with
its own defragmenter. The first time you defrag your disk, it may take
a couple of hoursbut if run regularly, it usually tales only 10-15
- Method 3 : Reduce reads and writes to disks
The less data you have to read and write to the disk, the less
time you will spend waiting for it. The following tips all refer to
ways of reducing disks read by bufferring data, or reducing needless
disk writes by optimizing the virtual memory :
Set your virtual memory to a minimum and maximum of 500 MB or 768 MB.
This saves the time the system spends resizing the swap file.
Fix your disk cache at 32 MB. This saves the time that Windows spends
using virtual memory when it doesn't need to.
Switch your primary configuration to Network Server, which speeds up
One thing you might want to note, is that all these buffers use your
RAM to store hard disk data. So, if you are short on RAM(<96MB) you
might want to eliminate or reduce some of these buffers , to free up
Instead of changing options one by one by hand, you could use a
utility like CacheMan. CacheMan will optimize your virtual memory and
the various buffers used by Windows. It is very easy to use, contains
many helpful wizards to guide you at every step, and is FREE!!.
Download CacheMan from :
- Outer Technologies : CacheMan 5.11
Well, the above two tips will give you the maximum boost in PC
performance. Lets take a look at the remaining tips :
- "Disable searching for new floppy drives"
This will shave of a couple of seconds from Windows startup. Easy
to do and pretty harmless. Go for it.
- "Clean your registry with Norton Win Doctor and System Optimization
Newer versions of windows like Me and XP come with their own
registry optimizer. Registry optimization usually results in a
(slightly) smaller registry and possible speed improvement. Warning :
Always backup your registry before running any of these programs. Any
errors in your registry could adversely affect your Windows
You can find a number of free and commercial registry optimizers on
the net. Just do a simple Google search.
-"Use a utility to reconfigure your internet access settings for
Use Download Accelerator Plus for much faster file download speeds."
As a dialup user, I have found the various internet settings
optimizing utilities pretty useless. They did not have any impact on
my connection speeds whatsoever. You can try out the following :
- Step By Step: Internet connection tweaking
- Hagel Technologies : TweakMASTER
- Internet Tweak 2002
( http://www.winboost.com/prod-it.html )
Using a download accelerator for downloading files from the net is a
very good idea. These speed up file downloads by splitting the file
into many small pieces and downloading multiple pieces at the same
time, thus making efficient use of your internet bandwidth. I
personally recommend GetRight( http://www.getright.com ), although you
can use any of the innumerable accelerators available, some of them
Some sites that you might want to check out for more tips and
- Tweaking Tools & Info
- Performance Tweaks and Tips for Windows 9x-ME-2000-XP
Optimizing Windows 2K and XP is a relatively simpler task, as these
system usually tweak their own settings for optimal performance.
However, you can disable some of the startup applications and
non-essential services to improve performance and free up RAM.
You can also use CacheMan to optimize some system caches, though not
as many as in Windows 9x/Me. Both XP and 2000 have built in disk
defragmenters. You may have to enable DMA in Win2000, but XP
automatically enables this option.
Internet settings in both are set to optimal by default.
Using a download accelerator will always help, regardless of your OS.
You might want to disable Visual themes in Xp to free up more RAM and
ease CPU load.
Check out the following articles for more info :
- Optimize Windows XP
( http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,3973,554793,00.asp )
- Cyberwizard Pit -- CWPArticles Guides and Tips to help to Optimize
- Boosting Windows 2000 Perfornamce
Hope this helps.
If you need any clarifications, just ask!
Best Wishes for the New Year!
Google Search Terms :
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tweak internet settings
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