| By Michael Lasky |
Many factors can exact a toll on Windows 7′s overall speed, but one of the front runners is Win7′s own built-in capacity for special effects and animation.
Fortunately, you can easily change options to mitigate the cost.
Turning off Windows 7′s fancy special effects
That familiar saying (repurposed for the computer age), “What you see is what you get,” doesn’t account for the hit to system performance your PC might suffer supporting Windows 7′s whiz-bang eye candy such as Aero and the other visual effects. And even if they’re not slowing down Windows, some of these effects are just plain annoying.
The answer is to turn off the visual effects you don’t like or need. In Windows XP, that process could feel like a scavenger hunt. But in Windows 7, they’re nicely consolidated into the Performance Options control panel, as shown in Figure 1. Here, you can tailor Win7 to display the desktop and visual effects your way.
You can choose from numerous paths to reach the Visual Effects adjustment windows, but the shortest is to click the Start button and type adjust into the search box. From the resulting list, select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows. This choice opens the Visual Effects tab (shown in Figure 1) of the Performance Options window. You have four option buttons with which to adjust the 20 visual effects that can affect your PC’s performance.
Figure 1. Windows 7 has a long list of visual effects that could affect system performance.