I have changed memory modules in my home desktop and decided to revisit some settings (to get them in line with tripled amount of RAM). That got me to the long-bookmarked guide on Windows performance tweaks.
However to appreciate it some background information on tweaking is needed.
Out of the box Windows comes with settings that can be described as generic:
- they aim to provide decent experience on average PC;
- access to most of functions is enabled, even to those rarely needed (users will complain about those missing otherwise);
- some freaky stuff that Microsoft decided to be a good idea while it’s not (I am looking at you, search indexing).
So there is some margin of performance gain that can be achieved by changing default setting to those fitting your computer and needs.
Over years few major problems formed around tweaking:
- some tweaks are harmful myths (took years to debunk clearing prefetch folder);
- some tweaks are beneficial for specific usage profiles (gaming rig and database cruncher need different settings);
- some tweaks deliver tiny performance gain at cost of potential problems (disabling system services).
So to get good results you need to know which tweaks are beneficial for your case and good enough to spend time implementing.
Guide on kadaitcha.cx
I think this is best guide on performance tweaking for few reasons:
- only most important and useful tweaks;
- full reasoning behind each tweak with pro/con explanations where needed;
- including performance tweaks and perception tweaks (removing eye-candy interface slowdowns).
Guide is clearly written for advanced users:
- you have to understand what you need;
- what you don’t need;
- how to edit registry for implementing part of tweaks.
However it is as good as performance guides get. Site has two slightly different versions of guide for XP and Vista as well as number of guides on other subjects.