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Tweak Windows Performance Options Settings For Improved Performance

written by: •edited by: Lamar Stonecypher•updated: 1/17/2011

Among many tips and tricks used to boost Windows performance, a little change in Windows cache, CPU, and memory utilization settings is of the nice tweaks to have Windows perform better. Read on to find out how to change the settings to improve Windows performance.

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    Windows Performance Settings - Processor Scheduling

    In a Computer processor, there is finite number of resources available. Windows automatically manages multiple processes on a processor and can allocate tasks between processors (or processor cores).

    Windows, by default gives priority to the programs running in foreground because estimates show that background services are relatively few in number compared to foreground applications.

    You can configure Windows to manage these resources by prioritizing them between background and foreground services by following these simple steps:

    1- Go to run and type in sysdm.cpl (Ok) to open System Properties.

    2- Click on the Advanced Tab.

    3- Click on the Settings button to open Performance Options window.

    4- In the new dialog, click on Advanced Tab again.Windows - Performance Options - Advanced Tab 

    5- Under Processor Scheduling, select one of the following:

    Background Services

    If you do plenty of printing jobs or run backups frequently from your PC, having Windows share processor resources equally between background and foreground programs will give better performance to such jobs.


    If you use your PC to run heavy applications such as Adobe Photoshop, AutoCAD, etc, and to make them run faster, you can have Windows to assign more processor resources to foreground applications.

    Note: Allocating more resources to background services is recommended if you are using Windows XP as a server.

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    Memory Usage

    If your computer is a server, you can increase performance by giving more memory (RAM) to the system's cache. If it is a workstation, your programs can run faster if more memory is devoted to programs

    To adjust Windows to manage memory resources that reflects your needs, choose either Programs or System cache under memory usage in the Windows Performance Options.

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    Windows Performance Settings - Virtual Memory

    For optimal performance, change the Windows performance settings related to virtual memory as well. Make sure you create only a single pagefile. As you will be creating only a single pagefile, you need to use a partition that has ample space.

    Also, instead of selecting Windows Managed Pagefile, select Custom and set the Initial Size and Maximum Size to the recommended size. This makes sure that Windows does not waste time in swapping, allocating, and releasing disk space for the pagefile. If the values for Initial size and Maximum size are equal, your computer will run faster as you eliminate one of the many Windows processes.

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    Visual Effects

    Windows allow users to set different visual effects for the computer. By enabling visual effects, you can show shadows under menus and the mouse pointer, or have Windows to show window content while dragging, or use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop, and much more.

    Although, enabling visual effects can make computer use easier and more enjoyable, they can also slow down your computer. Windows allow users to turn off or on all visual effects or automate them. You can also customize the visual effects by selecting for yourself visual effects that you want to use.

    To change the visual effects setting, follow this:

    1. Open the Performance Options window

    2. Select the Visual Effects Tab.

    3. Now choose one of the following options:Windows - Performance Options - Visual Effects Tab 

    Let Windows choose what's best for my computer to have Windows restore the visual effects settings to those chosen by Windows.

    Adjust for best appearance to turn on all the visual effects settings.

    Adjust for best performance to turn off all the visual effects settings.

    Custom to turn on some of the visual effects by selecting the check-boxes for the visual effects you want to use.