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  1. #1
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    This is going to be controversial but this is a good article by someone who knows what they are talking about - Windows tweaking and optimization: myths and reality.

    Joe
    Joe

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    We all know (or should) its 90% (or more) bunk, but perception is 9 tenths of the gray matter! I actually take a little performance hit I'm sure by insisting on running WindowBlinds and a couple other "accentuation" programs but ask me if I care....not even 0% because the experience for me is soooo much better, so even the terms tweaking and optimization are in a gray area if you ask me. Tweaked and optimized for experience or tweaked and optimized for ultimate functionality?

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Tweaking or should I say customizing is more about making Windows work the way you want it to work. If you can tweak a setting for a particular program that causes it to open a certain way that is more efficient for you then you have made your computing experience faster. Perhaps many of the tweaks we use on our Windows systems do not result in large increases in speed each, but a small increase in efficiency added to another and another can make an actual difference in the time we spend on projects. Perhaps this is related to figuring out how or what is the best way of doing something with an app. Perhaps this is already built into the app, but we do not know of it. Regardless, if we become more efficient with this app because of a tweak to bring a built in feature of an app to mind, then for us this app has suddenly become faster to use. If an app becomes faster for us to use then our computing is faster, so in a way these tweaks do speed up our computing just because they show us how to use the built in features that were hidden to us before the tweak.

    I do hope this makes sense to the masses, even if in geek speak it does not.
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  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Tweaking is about trade offs; What functionality your willing to loose in certain areas in order to gain in others.

    TweakHound's Super XP Tweaking Guide - SP3 Final
    TweakHound's Tweaking Windows 7
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Tweaking or should I say customizing is more about making Windows work the way you want it to work. If you can tweak a setting for a particular program that causes it to open a certain way that is more efficient for you then you have made your computing experience faster. Perhaps many of the tweaks we use on our Windows systems do not result in large increases in speed each, but a small increase in efficiency added to another and another can make an actual difference in the time we spend on projects. Perhaps this is related to figuring out how or what is the best way of doing something with an app. Perhaps this is already built into the app, but we do not know of it. Regardless, if we become more efficient with this app because of a tweak to bring a built in feature of an app to mind, then for us this app has suddenly become faster to use. If an app becomes faster for us to use then our computing is faster, so in a way these tweaks do speed up our computing just because they show us how to use the built in features that were hidden to us before the tweak.
    You are missing the point. You are talking about tweaking, customizing, & configuring application programs. The post is about tweaking Windows itself. People spend way too much time & effort chasing down obscure settings in Windows and changing them for no good reason. As I've posted in the past, show me the data. I've not seen any study of tweaking that can consistently show a significant performance improvement in Windows.

    Joe
    Joe

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".

    If you truly believe that Windows, right out of the box, is already as good as it will ever be, then you won't be willing to try something that just might make it better. Inside the box, Windows comes with tons of SAFE defaults built in, so it will run without crashing on the greatest number of PC's in the world, even PC's with only 256 megs of ram.

    But for every SAFE default, there is a tweak or adjustment that will improve performance. I regularly use just one registry tweak that makes a huge difference in the efficiency of XP, Vista or Win-7. I was poking around in another forum where I posted, several years ago and found this Gem.

    I do that simple registry tweak on every PC I set up.
    Here's a good write-up on the subject:
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,887799,00.asp


    If you really understand how Windows works, you'll know that this tweak Works Wonders!

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  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Dr Who,

    I could not agree more. I had not seen this one Whole link, (You link was all shown but only partly linked. I added this to my favorites). Because I can not document how many seconds or minutes I save does not mean things do not work faster. I tweak my boot time in msconfig.exe and it does speed up the Windows boot. I make other tweaks that do speed things up. I don't have time to spend timing things, I just know they work, for Windows as well as apps. As Joe is so fond of saying, That's why they call it personal computing because we us it as we want. Well I believe tweaking Windows does work. No not every tweak will work as claimed, but many do work.

    By the way Dr Who, this deserves a thumbs Up. Thanks for the useful info.
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  8. #8
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    Have a look at the date of the article, Lock the Windows Kernel In RAM - The Middle Ground | PCMag.com. It is over 7 years old. It was written for a time when most people thought 512 MB of RAM was a lot. With todays memory sizes that are often 8 times or more larger this settings is useless for most people. Windows will not unload anything until the memory is needed. Strategies for managing RAM have changed considerably since 2003. Locking anything in memory might cause more issues than it solves in a tight memory situation. You can't tell unless you do some serious permformance analysis which involves much more than changing a setting and saying this worked 7 years ago so it is still valid now.

    @Ted, you are still missing the point. If you choose to tweak your boot process that is fine. It enables you to start using the PC more quickly when you boot the system. I get that and I'm all for that. But that has virtually no effect on how your system performs for the rest of the time you use it. Would you care to enumerate the "many that do work" and how they work and the tangible benefit that is received?

    Joe
    Joe

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Who View Post
    "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".

    Dr Who said it best with this quote. It's not worth my time to go back through my tweaks to enumerate them here. You will not be convinced and so be it. I am not missing your point. You do not believe these tweaks work. That's your perogative. If Win 7 works great for you with all the default settings, that's great. I just do not believe the settings that work for the masses are best for me, and I do not believe I am alone in this thought. Suffice it to say that I utilize tips from many sources, some of which are included below:

    How To Geeks

    Windows Seven Forums

    Paul Thurrott's Supersite for Windows 7

    and many others. I believe the fun and learning is in the investigation for yourself as well as getting tips from others. These sites have many tips that just make Win 7 work better and faster.
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  10. #10
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    I am not missing your point. You do not believe these tweaks work.
    I didn't interpret that at all from Joe's post, he's just saying they do very little and the ones indicated that do apparently a lot, are not directly applicable to what I feel is a more focused subject and therefore should not include program customization or boot up. I mean I boot so infrequently it is of no consequence if it takes 1 minute or 2.

    To prove the point, you can choose any pre-2006 personal computer you wish and tweak the living you-know-what out of it and I'll take one of the most recent results of Moore's Law, stock, and we'll see who renders a 20 gigabyte video the fastest.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Byron,

    It's fine if you also believe that the tweaks make very little difference to you as well. That's again why they call it personal computing. You are in the camp that believes these tweaks make little or no difference. That's fine. I am in the camp that tweaking does make a difference in the efficiency and speed at which my PC works. I do not believe the default settings work best for everyone. For some they are fine. For others they are not. Since I do not render video at all or minimally it makes no difference to me what settings work best for you. Perhaps you and Joe are missing my point. For how I use my PC tweaking makes a difference to me, and obviously to Dr Who and many others. Perhaps the only difference for me is discovering how it makes a difference. Since I do not make my living fixing PCes, and since I have only built half a dozen PCes in my life, I discover how Windows works best for me by experimenting, by tweaking, and I have found that tweaking does have an effect on my personal computing.

    Of course a modern PC will out do a pre 2006 PC because of the internal compenents and their increased power and efficiency. That would be a terrible comparison. Now take 2 identical modern PCes and leave one at default Win 7 Pro or Ultimate and take another and tweak it, I believe the tweaked one would be faster. Perhaps not for rendering video, but since most of us do not render video, so what.
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  12. #12
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    Ted,

    Once again I think you are missing the point of the article. UI tweaking is certainly personal and anyone who cares to should go ahead and do it. Tweaking or customizing the UI of application programs & Windows is completely different from tweaking the Windows Operating System for performance. The vast majority & I mean 99%+ of the tweaks listed at the sites you mentioned fall into one of three categories:

    1.) Tweak/modify the Windows UI. The only UI tweak that I know that will affect performance is the Visual Effects tab in Advanced system settings and that will only noticably help if you have an underpowered system to begin with.

    2.) Changes to settings that are for older versions of Windows that do not exist anymore such as the SecondLevelDataCache setting (hasn't been around since Windows 2000 SP1).

    3.) Those which provide no benefit whatsoever but still are floating around with a life of their own such as setting the processor numbers for booting in MsConfig (by default all processors are used during boot).

    Joe
    Joe

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    Dr Who:

    On another thread you mentioned Kelley's Korner. The site seems to be focused on XP. Do you use his scripts on W7? If not,
    do you or anyone else know of a comparable W7 site that you can recommend?
    I'm with Ted, and like to explore tweaks, scripts, etc.

    Thanks,
    Dick

  14. #14
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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    How about a tweak I'd like to be able to do but don't seem able to in Win 7? That being specify the processor allocation time for a program when its working. Its not that I can do it in XP so much either (beyond priority and affinity) but XP seems to be less intelligent or less rigorous in reserving processor time for multitasking purposes and so long rendering and other processor intensive projects take significantly less time to complete in XP than they do in Win 7 just because the application gets a bigger share of the processor when at work.

    Otherwise, of all the tweaks I've made, maybe turning off indexing on drives with a lot of files that don't need to be accessed often makes a noticible difference to me and not putting more security software on a otherwise well-protected system does make a substantial difference over time but that's not really a tweak unless its one by omission. Not sure because nothing I've ever done ever exceeds the speed and performance of a fresh retail install and I'm probably sensitive down to about 3 seconds difference or so.

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