Speedup Windows XP workstation


Windows XP gives you the ability to twiddle with more performance issue that
previous Microsoft OSs.


  • Open Performance panel in Control Panel

    • XP Control Panel view

      • Click Start
      • Open Control Panel
      • Select the Performance And Maintenance category
      • Click System icon to open the System Properties dialog box
      • Select the Advanced tab
      • Click the Settings button in the Performance panel

    • XP classical Control Panel view

      • Click Start
      • Open Control Panel
      • Click System icon to open the System Properties dialog box
      • Select the Advanced tab
      • Click the Settings button in the Performance panel
    There
    are two tabs, Visual Effects and Advanced. The Advanced tab covers Processor scheduling,
    Memory Usage, and Virtual memory. Windows NT and later supports these options.
    Its old hat if you have supported servers.

    • Under Processor scheduling, select Programs if your XP is a workstation and
      select Background services if you are using XP as a server.
    • Under Memory usage, select Programs unless you have 512 MB of RAM or more.
      If you have lots of memory, and more and more workstations do, select System
      cache and XP will keep the OS kernel in memory. A BIG plus for servers. Makes
      workstations zippier also.
    • Under Virtual memory, don’t twiddle unless you have multiple hard drives. If
      you do, the best performance is had by moving the paging file from C: to another
      hard drive (not another drive letter, another physical drive). Eliminate the
      paging file on C: and set the minimum and maximum to the same size on another
      drive. This gets the paging file allocated completely at boot, avoiding delays
      as paging grows to maximum. How big should the page size be? Depends on memory
      but it usually works to go with XP defaults and, if you have time and ability to
      test, increase until performance doesn’t change. Unless you have automated
      tools, this is not something you can do and know whether you have good settings.

    The Visual Effects tab covers XP’s new visual
    effects and their impact on performance. For XP working as a server, select
    Adjust for best performance. For normal workstations,
    select Adjust for best appearance. If you have lots of
    time on your hand, or want to find out what features effect appearance and
    performance, select Custom and turn on/off features and
    work with the options. Lots of them are glitz but some have a real impact on how
    crisp or viewable the page is, in particular, smooth edges of screen fonts.

If you want to try specific settings, the following works:

  • Animated windows when….. : Enabled
  • Fade or slide menus into view : Enabled
  • Fade or slide ToolTips into view : Disabled
  • Fade out menu items after clicking : Disabled
    if enabled, can cause jumpy mouse when closing the
    start menu
  • Show shadows under menus : Disabled
  • Show shadows under mouse pointer : Enabled
  • Show translucent selection rectangle : Disable
    if enabled, causes problems with older graphics
    cards – enable if you have recent card
  • Show window contents while dragging : Enabled
  • Slide open combo boxes : Disabled
  • Slide taskbar buttons : Disabled
  • Smooth edges of screen fonts : Enabled
  • Smooth:scroll list boxes : Disabled

  • Use a background image for each folder type : Enabled
  • Use common tasks in folders : Enabled
  • Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop :
    Enabled

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