12. Disable unneeded
What do you
figure the chances of you ever using your computer's serial ports are?
Exactly. The same with that parallel port. Disabling unneeded ports in your computer's
BIOS can streamline the boot process and net you a little performance gain.
Better still, no pain is involved.
If you need the ports in the future, simply reactivate them
in the BIOS. Look in the 'integrated peripherals' section of the BIOS to
find your ports and disable them.
13. Disable built-in features on your
The majority of modern motherboards
come with one or more system components built into the board
itself ('integrated'). The most common example is an integrated sound card, but network cards, RAID
cards and even video cards are also found on some newer
If you are not using
these integrated features, it's a good idea to disable them in
your motherboard's BIOS, as they can suck up system resources and cause software confusion
if you have installed alternate components without disabling the built in
Most of these features will be found in the
'integrated peripherals' section of the BIOS. Disable what you are not
Overclocking your processor and memory
Caution! While overclocking
your memory, processor and video card can and probably will net you more
performance gains than any other tip in this article, the process of
overclocking also generally voids the warranty of most of your computer
hardware. Actual damage to your components is also possible, though rather
unlikely if you are careful. Please be careful. We take no
responsibility for any damage incurred while following these
14. Overclocking the
memory/front side bus
The Front Side Bus
(FSB) is the data channel used to carry information between the processor and
the main memory. Generally this runs at the speed of the memory itself, though
some newer chipsets allow the memory to run faster than the actual speed of the
FSB. Since almost all data dealt with by your computer is passed over this link,
increasing the speed of the FSB by overclocking it is the single best
way to increase the performance of your PC.
Overclocking the FSB stresses both the processor and the
memory, since both are forced to work faster.
The rated speed of the processor
(in MHz or GHz) is derived from the speed of the front side bus x the CPU
multiplier, which multiplies the FSB speed to arrive at the internal speed of
the processor (the amount of operations it can perform in a second).
For example, a recent AMD Athlon XP
2800+ processor uses a 166MHz FSB speed (which is actually 333MHz with DDR
memory, but this is not taken into account when calculating the processor
speed). The AthlonXP
2800+ has a multiplier of 13, so that works out to
12.5 X 166MHz which equals roughly 2.075GHz.
So you can see, as the FSB increases,
so does the speed of the processor.
overclocking also increases memory bandwidth (the amount of data that can be
carried at one time between the processor and the memory) and this has a huge
impact on performance in some applications.
your system with one of the 'whole system' benchmarks listed above, or one of
the 3D gaming benchmarks listed in the 'video' section of this guide. It's good
to know where your system stands before you
go about overclocking. That way, you'll have an idea of what kind of
advantage the tweak has brought you and your system.
Find the memory/FSB frequency setting
(generally found within the 'frequency\voltage control' section of the BIOS) and
begin increasing the speed in small increments (3-10Mhz). Save and reboot
after each change. If your PC boots successfully, run the benchmark(s)
again and compare the numbers.
Repeat the process
until the system fails to boot into Windows successfully. Retry once to be sure,
then boot back into the BIOS and change to the previous highest setting. By
running the benchmark each time, you are also testing
to see how stable the overclocked system is; so if the benchmark crashes,
chances are you've pushed your PC too far to run reliably.