Even if you’ve already done a lot to make your computer run faster than before, there is still room for improvement. You can speed up Windows boot and shut-down even more, make your computer access the memory faster, and tweak various Windows features for best performance. Some of these tweaks are pretty advanced, but applying them is as easy as following the instructions. This chapter is going to be longer than the rest, but then there are a lot of Windows tweaks to cover. So, let’s get started and give Windows a real boost!
Check that your CPU is fast enough
Now, before you start tweaking, you need to ensure that your CPU chip is fast enough. If it runs at less than 1.66 GHz, you really should invest into a more powerful computer. If your system is outdated and doesn’t have the right hardware, no amount of tweaking will make it fast enough.
To check your current CPU, press the Windows key + Pause/Break
key to open System Properties and look for CPU frequency.
Overheating can be responsible for a bunch of computer problems, including dramatic performance degradation. That’s why you should make sure your fan is working properly and is not clogged by dust (use compressed air to clean it). In addition to that, remember to avoid direct sunlight on your computer and avoid using your laptop on your lap without a stand, as it could cause overheating and nasty burns if you use your laptop like that for prolonged periods of time.
Configure power options
Windows 7 has different power options that are suited for different ways of computer usage:
If you are running off battery and feel that your computer is running slow, simply plug it in and switch to this plan by clicking on the battery icon in the system tray and selecting the High Performance radio button. Keep in mind that it will increase your power consumption and carbon footprint.
Windows XP has a different approach to power options. The closest
thing to the High Performance plan is the Always On option. You can
access XP’s power options by clicking on the battery icon in the tray and
clicking on Adjust Power Properties.
There you will be able to select a power plan that suits you best or even create a custom power plan. To do that, simply change values for any plan, then click on Save As, name your plan and click OK to save the new power scheme.
Speed up Windows boot
We’ve already optimized your startup to make Windows load faster. Well, if you want to speed it up even more, here is a simple tweak for you.
By default, Windows waits for 30 seconds during system startup to load the operating system. To tell you the truth, 30 seconds is way too long and you can safely decrease the waiting time to something like 5 seconds. Here is how:
Disable GUI boot
Another way to speed up Windows boot by a few seconds is to disable a feature called GUI boot. Remember that little animated progress bar you see when you boot up Windows? A pretty useless thing if you ask me. We are going to disable it:
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