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How to Set Performance Options in Windows XP E-mail

win_xp.jpgHow to Set Performance Options in Windows XP.

 

 

 

 

 

How to Set Performance Options in Windows XP

Windows allocates resources according to its settings and manages devices accordingly. You can use the System tool in Control Panel to change performance options that control how programs use memory, including paging file size, or environment variables that tell your computer where to find some types of information.

This article explains how to set the performance options for your computer.

Managing Processor Time

System processing is managed by Windows, which can allocate tasks between processors, as well as manage multiple processes on a single processor. However, you can set Windows to allocate more processor time to the program that you are currently running. This can result in faster program response time. Or, if you have background programs such as printing or disk backup that you want to run while you work, you can have Windows share processor resources equally between background and foreground programs.

Note: You must be logged on as an administrator to the local computer or have appropriate network privileges to make certain changes in System.


To Change the Performance of Foreground and Background Programs

Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.

Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Performance.

Click the Advanced tab, and then do one of the following under Processor scheduling:

Click Programs to assign more processor resources to the foreground program than the background program.

Click Background services to assign equal amounts of processor resources to all programs.

If you click Programs, the result is a smoother, faster response time for your foreground program. If you want a background task, such as a Backup utility, to run faster, click Background services.

The Programs option allocates short, variable time slices, or quanta, to running programs, and the Background services option assigns long, fixed quanta.


To Manage Computer Memory

When your computer is running low on RAM and more is needed immediately, Windows uses hard drive space to simulate system RAM. This is known as virtual memory, and is often called the paging file. This is similar to the UNIX swapfile. The default size of the virtual memory paging file (named pagefile.sys) created during installation is 1.5 times the amount of RAM on your computer.

You can optimize virtual memory use by dividing the space between multiple drives and removing it from slow or heavily accessed drives. To best optimize your virtual memory space, divide it among as many physical hard drives as possible. When you select drives, keep the following guidelines in mind:

Try to avoid having a paging file on the same drive as the system files.

Avoid putting a paging file on a fault-tolerant drive, such as a mirrored volume or a RAID-5 volume. Paging files do not need fault-tolerance, and some fault-tolerant systems suffer from slow data writes because they write data to multiple locations.

Do not place multiple paging files on different partitions on the same physical disk drive.


To Change the Size of the Virtual Memory Paging File

You must be logged on as an administrator or a member of the Administrators group in order to complete this procedure. If your computer is connected to a network, network policy settings may also prevent you from completing this procedure.


Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.

Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Performance.

Click the Advanced tab, and then click Change under Virtual memory.

Under Drive [Volume Label], click the drive that contains the paging file you want to change. Under Paging file size for selected drive, click Custom size, type a new paging file size in megabytes (MB) in the Initial size (MB) or Maximum size (MB) box, and then click Set.

If you decrease the size of either the initial or maximum paging file settings, you must restart your computer to see the effects of those changes. When you increase the paging file size, you typically do not need to restart your computer.

To have Windows choose the best paging file size, click System managed size. The recommended minimum size is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of RAM on your
system, and 3 times that figure for the maximum size. Example, if you have 256 MB of RAM, the minimum size would be 384, the maximum size would be 1152.

For best performance, do not set the initial size to less than the minimum recommended size under Total paging file size for all drives. The recommended size is equivalent to 1.5 times the amount of RAM on your system. Usually, you should leave the paging file at its recommended size, although you might increase its size if you routinely use programs that require a lot of memory.

To delete a paging file:

Set both initial size and maximum size to zero, or click No paging file. Microsoft strongly recommends that you do not disable or delete the paging file.


To Optimize Memory Usage

You can choose to optimize your computer's memory usage. If you use your computer primarily as a workstation, rather than as a server, you can have more memory devoted to your programs. Your programs will work faster and your system cache size will be the default size that came with Windows XP. You can also specify to set aside more computer memory for a larger system cache, if your computer is used primarily as a server, or if you use programs that require a larger cache.


Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.

Click the Advanced tab, and then click Settings under Performance.

Click the Advanced tab, and then do one of the following under Memory usage:

Click Programs if you use your computer primarily as a workstation, rather than as a server, to have more memory devoted to your programs.

Click System cache if your computer is used primarily as a server, or if you use programs that require a larger cache.


To Change Visual Effects

Windows provides several options to set the visual effects of your computer. For example, you can choose to show shadows under menus, which gives them a 3-D look. You can tell Windows to display the entire contents of a window while you move it on your screen. To make large text more readable, you can choose to display the smooth edges of screen fonts.

Windows provides options for enabling all of the settings (for best appearance), or none of the settings (for best computer performance). You can also restore the original default settings.

To change visual effects, follow these steps:


Click Start, click Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click System.

Click the Advanced tab, and then under Performance, click Settings.

Click the Visual Effects tab, and then do one of the following:

Click Adjust for best performance to have Windows automatically adjust the settings for best performance.

Click Adjust for best appearance to have Windows automatically adjust the settings for best appearance.

Click Custom, and then click to select the check boxes for those items that you want to turn on. Click to clear the check boxes for the items that you want to turn off.

 

 


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