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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows

Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows - PCSTATS
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Abstract: Newest Update! Take control of Windows with help from PCSTATS. We've got 99 ways to squeeze out better performance, enhance boot times, free up hard drive space and trim away Windows's fat.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Feb 25 2014   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Windows Vista Gaming: Tips 95-99

Windows Vista Gaming Tips


95. Update Vista's DirectX9 files for better game compatibility

One of the fixes for getting games to run in Vista that do not normally (such as FEAR and 3Dmark06 as two examples) is relatively simple. These games require the latest version of Directx 9. Vista does not actually contain a full installation of Directx 9, just some elements for compatibility purposes. So, install Directx 9.

To install Directx 9c on Windows Vista:

Download the latest DirectX 9 redistributable file from Microsoft.com here.

Unzip the file into a folder on your desktop or in your documents.

Run the DXSETUP file.

You can delete the folder after the install has finished.

96. Disable background features while gaming

If you want to try and wring a little more performance out of your games in Windows Vista, try modifying their executable files to disable some background desktop features. Vista allows you to nest commands within the executable file which will turn off the Vista 3D effects like the Aero desktop when you run the game.

To disable the 3D desktop while gaming:

Locate the executable file for the game. The best way to do this is to go directly to the 'c:\program files' directory and find the folder for the game in question. You can also use the search function.

Right click on the executable file and choose 'properties.'

Click the 'compatibility' tab.

Under the 'settings' heading, check 'disable visual themes'.

Click 'ok'

Note that this tip disables the Aero desktop only for the game you just modified.

97. Run DirectX 9 games in Windows XP compatibility mode

Pretty much everyone has heard by now that Vista has some compatibility issues with 'old' (read 'designed for XP') applications and games, and it's true. There are a lot of programs and games that really should work on Vista but don't for one reason or another.

Fortunately various patches added since the Vista release have helped the issue considerably, but many of your old games still just won't play 'out of the box' on Vista. There is a tip that can help you resolve this issue though. Try enabling the XP compatibility mode for your older games. Just as Windows XP had various compatibility modes included to mirror older OS environments, so Vista can mirror the XP environment to a degree. This is a setting that must be switched on specifically for each game individually, so let's look at how to do this:

To enable XP compatibility mode for a game:

Locate the executable file for the game. The best way to do this is to go directly to the c:\program files directory and find the folder for the game in question. You can also use the search function.

Right click on the executable file and choose 'properties.'

Click the 'compatibility' tab.

Check the 'run this program in compatibility mode for...: box and ensure that the dropdown box underneath is set to 'Windows XP Service pack 2'.

Click 'OK'

You must do this separately for each game.

98. Fix/enable 3D sound in some games

Microsoft made a major change to the way 3D sound effects are handled when they created Windows Vista. Unfortunately, this change rendered a whole lot of hardware (essentially anything from Creative Labs in the last few years) unable to render hardware 3D sound effects with many older and some new games. If you have a Creative Audigy or X-Fi sound card that you know supports 3D positional audio, but either the option is not available in some of your games or you get no sound when you activate it, this fix is for you.

Creative Labs created a program called 'ALchemy' which bridges the gap between their hardware and what it expects from the software, allowing you to experience that sweet, sweet positional audio again.

The bad news here is that ALchemy is not free. Creative has started to charge a small amount for downloading it, which is fair enough since it's their product and it fixes a problem they did not create.

If you think you need it, download the program from Creativelabes.com here.

99. Poor game performance? Try DirectX 9 mode

If you own some of the newer DirectX10-capable games like Bioshock or Crysis, but you are disappointed with the performance you are seeing when you run these games in their full DX10 glory, there's an option which you'll probably want to try. Navigate to the games folder ('start\games') and right click on the icon that starts your directX10 game. You should see a 'play DirectX 9' option. You may sacrifice a few of the visual bells and whistles, but your frame rates are almost guaranteed to be better.

Well, that's it for PCSTATS latest 99 Tips! We hope you enjoyed using this tips list as much as we enjoyed making it!

If you have any comments or questions, please post them in the PCSTATS Forums. Find out about this and many other reviews by joining the Weekly PCstats.com Newsletter today! Catch all of PCSTATS latest hardware reviews right here.

PCSTATS
- 99 Windows Vista Performance Tips and Tweaks
- Safe Mode in Windows Vista For Crash Recovery
- 10 Steps to a Secure PC
- 101 Tips and Tweaks for Windows XP
- 104 Killer Tech Tips for Windows XP
- 99 Performance Tips for Windows XP
- Annual PC Checkup Checklist
- Assembling Your Own PC
- Back up and Restore Data in WinXP
- Browser Hijacking and How to Stop it
- Building a Home Theatre PC / HTPC
- Burning CDs and DVDs
- Cloning WindowsXP
- Converting Videotape Into Video Files
- Crash Recovery: The Blue Screen of Death
- Creating a Weblog / Blog
- Creating MP3 Music Files
- Decrypting Lost Document & Zipped File Passwords
- Diagnosing Bad Hard Drives
- Diagnosing Bad Memory
- Dual OS Installation of WindowsXP 32-bit/64-bit
- Encryption and Online Privacy
- Ergonomics & Computers
- Flashing a Video Card BIOS
- Flash Memory Data Recovery and Protection
- Firewalls and Internet Security
- Firewall Setup and Configuration
- Forgotten Passwords & Recovery Methods
- Formatting and Partitioning a Hard Drive
- Fundamentals of Upgrading a PC
- Hard Drive Data Recovery
- Home Networking and File Sharing
- How to Install An Intel Socket 775 CPU and Heatsink
- How to Fix Homesite Design Mode to Work in WindowsXP/ Vista
- How To Make a Budget Desktop Computer on the Cheap
- How to Update a Motherboard BIOS
- Installing RAID on Desktop PCs
- Installing WindowsXP

- Internet Connection Sharing
- Legally Copying Software and Music
- Linux Part 1: Getting Familiar
- Linux Part 2: Installing a PC
- Linux Part 3: New Software
- Little Known Features of WindowsXP
- Making DVD Movies from Video Files
- Most Common Ways to Kill a PC
- Optical Drives & Recording Formats
- Overclocking the CPU, Motherboard & Memory
- Overclocking the Videocard
- Preventing Data Theft from a Stolen Laptop
- Printer Sharing on a Home Network
- Quick Guide for Eliminating Spyware and Hijacker Software
- RAM, Memory and Upgrading
- Registry: Backups, Repairs, and Protection
- Remote Access to Computers
- RSS Feed Setup & Subscriptions
- Setting up an FTP Server in WinXP
- Slipstreaming WindowsXP with Service Pack 2
- Spyware Protection and Removal
- Stopping Spam
- Synchronizing Files and Folders
- Unattended Windows 2000/XP Installations
- Understanding & Creating Batch Files
- Understanding & Tweaking WindowsXP Services
- Upgrading A Motherboard Without Reinstalling
- Upgrading Win98 to Windows XP
- USB Memory Drive Projects & Tips
- VPNs and Internet Connection Security
- Website Hosting From A Home PC
- Website Hosting With Apache
- Windows XP Command Prompt
- Windows XP Safe Mode Explained
- Wireless Home Networking
- Wireless Network Security

Got an idea for a Guide we haven't already covered? Send it in.

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Beginners Guides News»

 

Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows
 Pg 2.  System Preparation - Tweak Insurance: Tips 1-3
 Pg 3.  System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 4-7
 Pg 4.  System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 8-10
 Pg 5.  First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 11-12
 Pg 6.  First Booth the Essential Tweaks: Tips 13-16
 Pg 7.  First Boot the Essential Tweaks: Tips 17-20
 Pg 8.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 21-23
 Pg 9.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 24-26
 Pg 10.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 27-29
 Pg 11.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 30-31
 Pg 12.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 32-34
 Pg 13.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 35-38
 Pg 14.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 39-41
 Pg 15.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 42-44
 Pg 16.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 45-47
 Pg 17.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 48-50
 Pg 18.  Vista Performance Boosting: Tips 51-53
 Pg 19.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 54-57
 Pg 20.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 58-61
 Pg 21.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 62-64
 Pg 22.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 65-68
 Pg 23.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 69-71
 Pg 24.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 72-74
 Pg 25.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 75-77
 Pg 26.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 78-81
 Pg 27.  Mastering and Streamlining Vista Interface: Tips 82-83
 Pg 28.  Customizing Vista Aeroglass Interface: Tips 84-87
 Pg 29.  Network and Internet Performance Tweaks: Tips 88-91
 Pg 30.  Vista Tuning for Notebooks: Tips 92-94
 Pg 31.  — Windows Vista Gaming: Tips 95-99

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