Sunday, 10 July 2005

Speeding up Windows XP

Ways I optimised my computer on Saturday:
  1. Enabled Windows XP Prefetch only for my boot files instead of all files (using MajorGeek's Prefetch Clean and Control)
  2. Disabled all unnecessary Windows XP services (using the Elder Geek's guide)
  3. Switched from Trillian to Miranda, which uses less memory, plus allows me to put up a nice picture of Coconut as my background.
Things seem good - certainly my hard drive seems to be accessed less, which indicates in my mind that there's less call for virtual memory. 256 MB of RAM doesn't go as far these days as it used to...



Setting Prefetching to only prefetch Windows Boot will slow down application load times.

http://mywebpages.comcast.net/SupportCD/XPMyths.html


It is unfortunate but the author of this article was misled, and has then misled others. The idea of improving performance by changing prefetch parameters is based on a complete misunderstanding of how prefetch works. It is very reasonable - yet very wrong. The best advice regarding prefetch is simply to leave it alone. Prefetch was designed to improve performance and has been subjected to more research and testing than most people can imagine. You will gain nothing by changing prefetch parameters.

Larry Miller
Microsoft MCSA


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