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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows - PCSTATS
Abstract: Newest Update! PCSTATS covers all the TechTips you need to push a Windows XP PC from sluggish to quick. This Guide deals with quicker boot times, making your current hardware work faster, and 99 other Tips from PCSTATS that will help you make your computer run better, quicker, and more efficiently!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Feb 25 2014   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

BIOS Tweaks: Tips 12 - 14

12. Disable unneeded ports

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 motherboard.

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 boards.

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 ones.

Most of these features will be found in the 'integrated peripherals' section of the BIOS. Disable what you are not using.

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 directions.

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.
FSB 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.

To overclock the FSB:

First benchmark 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.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips for Windows
 Pg 2.  Preparing your system: Tips 1 - 3
 Pg 3.  Preparing your system: Tips 4 - 5
 Pg 4.  Preparing your system: Tips 6 - 8
 Pg 5.  BIOS Tweaks: Tips 9 - 11
 Pg 6.  — BIOS Tweaks: Tips 12 - 14
 Pg 7.  Overclocking Memory / CPU: Tips 15 -16
 Pg 8.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 17 - 20
 Pg 9.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 21 - 22
 Pg 10.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 23 - 25
 Pg 11.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 26 - 28
 Pg 12.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 29 - 31
 Pg 13.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 32 - 35
 Pg 14.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 36 - 40
 Pg 15.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 41 - 43
 Pg 16.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 44 - 45
 Pg 17.  WinXP Software and Registry Tweaks: Tips 46 - 48
 Pg 18.  Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 49 - 52
 Pg 19.  Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 53 - 54
 Pg 20.  Video and Graphics Tweaks: Tips 55 - 57
 Pg 21.  Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 58 - 61
 Pg 22.  Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 62 - 63
 Pg 23.  Network and Internet Speed Tweaks: Tips 64 - 66
 Pg 24.  WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 67 - 69
 Pg 25.  WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 70 - 73
 Pg 26.  WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 74 - 77
 Pg 27.  WinXP Interface Tweaks and Shortcuts: Tips 78 - 81
 Pg 28.  Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 82 - 84
 Pg 29.  Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 85 - 88
 Pg 30.  Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 89 - 91
 Pg 31.  Improving Windows XP boot speed: Tips 92 - 94
 Pg 32.  Increasing XP shutdown speed: Tips 95 - 99

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