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Author Topic: how to increase PC performance, in terms of software?  (Read 1514 times)
kalos
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« on: May 09, 2012, 02:59:28 AM »

hello!

I know that question is so common, huge, vague, already extensivle answered, etc, but I suppose there is always something that one can learn, so:

what can one do (in terms of software) to increase PC performance?

thanks!
« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 02:55:38 PM by kalos » Logged
justice
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« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2012, 03:13:16 AM »

Don't upgrade Windows, install a clean version, so you start with a clean sheet - then move your data back on to it.
Install less software, instead use portable software and programs that come with Windows. For example avoid Office if you can help it and instead use Wordpad or Google Docs.
Use readyboost.
Choose a performant anti-virus (out of date in terms of product versions, but good starting point)
Don't change system settings because some blog says so, they might make your system slower or have adverse effects (turning off essential features).

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« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2012, 03:56:56 AM »

Don't upgrade Windows

I was going to say install a lean Linux distro. smiley

But seriously, +1. Some good advice there.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2012, 02:30:58 PM »

Most of the general tweaks assume you have a system with one physical hard drive. Others depend on your system configuration and what kind of software you use. For example if you have multiple physical hard drives(not just multiple drive partitions) then you may benefit from optimizations such as, putting your page file on a different physical drive than Windows. Putting your input or Gozinta data on a different physical drive than your output or Gozouta data.  The last being if you crunch large databases constantly, or perhaps you process huge video files.

The more independant drive heads you have seeking simultaneously the better, in the case of conventional HD storage.  Newer solid state storage is another matter. Most likely the SSD would hold the OS.

All the page file configuration schemes would depend on the physical ram in your system and how you use it. I don't want to get into arguments about the "optimal page file size" for a PC with x GB ram.  Especially since there is no such number. It depends on how you use it.

Myself I like to use what I call "light weight" defraggers to reduce disk fragmentation in a short amount of time. Also, generally speaking, if possible it's better to run conventional HD with a majority of the space free. In other words, it's a good idea if you have more than 50% free disk space before you start processing stuff. Of course if you are processing video, it's going to use up lots of this space. But when you get done, eliminate temp files, and move the video off to some other medium(maybe an external drive or burn to disc) then things should settle back down to lots of free disk space.

The main optimization is your mind. Watch your system. Listen to it. Keep a feel for how it runs when you try this scheme for awhile vs. that scheme. Whenever I'm working with equipment I try to be aware how it feels. If it's sluggish, laboring, smooth etc..

You don't necessarily have to run benchmarks to know what's going on. If you are tuned to your equipment you should have a good feel what runs rough and what runs smooth. The fact your are on a PC located on your desk or work bench is a big advantage compared to working a terminal connected to a mini-computer that may be in another building. With the terminal setup you only have lags in response on the screen as a physical indicator. With your PC tower right there where you can see it and hear it, you have lots of visceral feedback.

Of course you need starting points for things to try.

The above examples are general of course, since I know nothing about your PC. But in my experience, the most effective optimizations are possible when you have knowledge of the input. In other words, I can read an 800 MB text file looking for a string of 8 zeroes... or, if I know that the string, if it exists, is only on line 7, then I can just go to line 7 and read it, then look for the zeroes. If you have a PHD your might call 'em heuristics. I call it knowing what you're looking for. smiley

« Last Edit: May 09, 2012, 02:53:43 PM by MilesAhead » Logged

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kalos
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 03:04:08 PM »

thanks for all the input

would CPU voltage downgrading increase performance?
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 07:41:12 PM »

thanks for all the input

would CPU voltage downgrading increase performance?

I'm not a system builder. You should find some hanging around this forum:
http://www.sevenforums.com/hardware-devices/
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2012, 08:11:55 PM »

If it is better performance you want, disable services you don't need. This trick does work as long as you know what you are doing and can live with the consequences of disabling those services.

Most people don't, so the above advice is not likely not the best in your case. Under-volting is (to my knowledge) not the way to go for increasing performance in software.

In general though, if you want more performance from software...buy better (or more) hardware, beginning with RAM.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 12:53:33 AM »

Depending on the flavor of Windows, there may be things going on that you don't care about that Microsoft does. Stuff like performance statistics gathering, crash report data, lots of little hidden tasks in task scheduler you would never ask be put there. smiley

If you play around with disabling services you may find it handy to produce a hard copy of the services and their current state first. I found LookInMyPC does this very well. Last time I used LIMPC it insisted the html report have a frame so you could click on their site or something. It's a simple matter to remove a couple of lines from the html source to remove the div,frame or whatever it was they used. This leaves a nice table fit for printing with the name of each service, current state, startup type etc..

If your PC starts acting weird because you are playing with services a hard copy in the drawer might be a good idea.

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tomos
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 03:41:51 AM »

One thing I've done on this and last machine:
Two drives (at least), one for the OS, one for data.

First (OS) drive of 1 or 2TB has two partitions:
      Partition 1. OS - say 100GB for Win.7
      Partition 2. remaining space - I use this *only* for backup from Drive #2 - i.e. it is rarely used.

Advantages being that, with this setup, Drive #1 is normally only used by the OS. Also, the first (relatively small) partition on a large drive is supposed to be very fast. I'm certainly happy with it (but also happy with 8GB memory & i5[whatever] CPU *and* the remaining space on Drive #1 for backup)
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