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Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows
Beginners Guides: 99 Performance Tips and Tweaks for Windows - PCSTATS
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   M. Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

System Preparation - Hardware: Tips 4-7

System Preparation - Hardware

As you probably already know, the Microsoft Windows Vista operating system is a real resource hog. Whatever else you can say about Vista, there's not mistaking the fact it appreciates fast computer hardware. These next few tips are dedicated to advice on improving and tweaking your hardware to better run Vista.

4. Add more memory (RAM)!

This may seem obvious or self-explanatory, but in fact it's neither. This is the standard bit of advice given to just about every computer newbie who has ever asked "how do I speed up my computer?". The thing is, under Windows XP and previous operating systems, this advice has generally been wrong.

While the performance difference between 1GB of memory and 2-4GB of system memory in Windows XP was hardly noticeable, Windows Vista benefits greatly and noticeably from any increase in system RAM due to it's more efficient use of available resources. While 32-bit Windows Vista is still limited to a maximum of ~3.2GB of usable memory, you will notice a measurable difference in performance for every gigabyte of memory you add below this limit. Check out this PCSTATS article which answers the "how much memory is enough for Vista" question in greater detail. The answer is 2GB of course, and we've got the benchmarks to back that figure up.

Given that DDR2 memory is selling for less than $25/GB at the time of writing, this is maybe the best tip we can give you to increase performance. We'd recommend at least 2GB of RAM for an optimum Windows Vista experience, be it DDR, DDR2 or DDR3. If you're a gamer make that 4GB RAM for good measure.

5. Update the Motherboard BIOS

It's always a good idea to make sure your computer's firmware is fully up-to-date before taking on a new operating system, especially one as demanding as Windows Vista. Therefore, we recommend checking for any available updates to your computer's motherboard BIOS. For a more detailed walkthrough than we have the space to provide here, see PCSTATS Beginner's Guide to Updating a Motherboard BIOS.

6. Update hardware drivers

Windows Vista is still relatively new, so hardware drivers (the programs that make Windows work with your computer's hardware) are still in a state of development. If you haven't updated them recently you should do the rounds of your motherboard, videocard and soundcard (if necessary) manufacturer's websites in order to make sure you have the latest Vista compliant drivers for your gear. You should especially do this if you purchased or assembled your computer system close to the release date of Vista last year, since hardware drivers have made leaps and bounds in performance and stability since then. In fact, a lot of the problems users initially experienced with Windows Vista can be linked to immature drivers, or older WinXP drivers used in place of absent Vista compliant drivers.

7. Test the computer's RAM

It's always a good idea to test your memory periodically, especially if you have only just installed Vista, or if you are reading this article because you are having performance or stability issues with the operating system.

Fortunately, Vista has a built in memory testing application which will do the job quite well. You will have to restart and leave the computer system alone for 30 minutes or so though.

To test your memory with the windows Vista memory testing tool:

Open the 'start' menu and type 'memory' in the search bar and hit Enter.

Choose the 'restart now and check for problems' option.

The computer will restart and run through a full memory test. There are other ways to test and diagnose bad system memory, such as the techniques covered in this PCSTATS guide.

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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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