As we`re aware, I went through the below procedure for 2 evenings, recording some stats as I went along, to see if there was anything to gain from doing what many people saw necessary to do to XP to get that much more performance from the pc as a whole.
The findings aren`t that favorable. Indeed it could be said that if your sporting a system comprizing of a Quad cpu, 4G, DX10 card, you`ll see very little benefit to the benchmarking side of your machine.
What also needs to be said is that the responsiveness of the desktop experience does improve, the `zippyness` if you like. Something you may expect when triming down an XP install. (to me this is a waste of time as the pc was going to be 100% gaming)
The benchmarks taken between the various stages went both up and down by so little an amount, that in all honesty, restarting the machine and running the benches again would give the same results +/- so many %. This side of the experiment is a total failiure - it`s just not worth it. Curious thing was the result of SuperPI 32m, which is a good 14 minute or so bench, and the result went down by some seconds consistantly so it seems. How this doesn`t follow on to the other benches is beyond me - fluke maybe.
It has to be said, that this doesn`t necessarily mean that a Dual cpu, 2G, DX9 card - based pc wouldn`t see more dramatic a difference. These setups, moving forward, probably aren`t the kind of rigs enthusiasts will be looking to build with fresh cash.
Anyways, out of the whole list of `things to do`, I`ve whittled it down to a nicely viewable list. It makes it easier to follow if prehaps your doing a fresh install and would like to try it. Many of the links, and how-tos, I`ve purposely ommited - I will possibly come back and edit the list to incluse how-tos if I get particular bored sometime.
As you read through the list, you have to also bear in mind that the pc this is aimed at is totally gaming. No web, no email, no office. So there could be some niceities that you may not want to be taken out.
Also for you benchers out ther, Vista takes 7+ minutes caching memory, using from 0 to 2% of cpu. This could be something to consider for the future.
1. Set power options to full performance. EDIT: U notice also that it still has the setting to power down drives, so change that too.
2. Turn off screen saver.
3. Disable UAC.
4. Turn off security alerts.
5. Turn off Windows Firewall.
6. Windows Defender was still scanning, so turned off it`s scanning via its prefs.
7. Turn off scheduled defrag
8. Network adaptor, turned off the power off to save, set 1G full duplex.
9. System Restore and Indexing Features.
10. Windows Sidebar.
11. Aero & themes.
12. Visual Performance Options - best performance.
13. Turn off indexing on drives, on the VISTA installed partition (c: )
14. Remove Remote Assistance and ensure Remote Desktop is disabled
15. Add/Remove programs (Windows Features)
-Remote Differential Compression
-Tablet PC Optional Components
-Windows DFS Replication Service
-Windows Fax and Scan
-Windows Meeting Space
-Windows Ultimate Extras
16. Folder Options
-Always show icons, never thumbnails - check *does the old DoNotCacheThumbnails*
-Display file icon on thumbnails - unchecked
-Display full file path in title bar - check *like this*
-Show hidden files and folders - check
-Hide extensions for known filetypes - unchecked
-Hide protected operating system files - unchecked
-Show preview handlers in preview pane - unchecked
-Use sharing wizard - unchecked
17. Disabled DEP
18. Superfetch, regedit:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l\Session Manager\Memory Management\PrefetchParameters
Disable Caching: 0
Cache Applications Only: 1
Cache Boot Files Only: 2
Cache Everything (default): 3
(delete files in WINDOWS\Prefetch (not the folder at the top), next time booting, only the required files will be re-copied)
20. Services (BlackViper
has an excellent util that makes a reg file on the site)
21. Run HijackThis and took out the IE hooks, CTXFiHlp (Creative soundcard helper), 2 welcomecenter & 2 sidebar startup hooks.
*22. Be sure of network/filesharing options
*23. Make pagefile 2x physical memory amount and fixed min/max
*24. Open a CMD un administrator and run:
netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled
To stop the throttling of network transfers.
*25. Open a CMD under administratir and run:
powercfg -h off
To turn off hibernation
As a result (* minus these)
Memory footprint: 774m/4093m : Free 955m (2550m cached) after 7+ minutes.
Kernel Memory: Total 197m, Paged 133m, Unpaged 64m
System: Handles 6741, Threads 360, Processes 29 (inc Taskmanager x2), Page File 688m/8362m.
In addition to this, and outside of the experiment, I set my pagefile to a fixed amount. Whether this makes that much difference with so much memory available, using the old convention of 2x physical memory as the min and max amount. It stops the OS having to think about how much it needs and it`s adjustment - less cpu imo.
EDIT: Added 1 or 2 things as I find myself using this on almost every vista install I do (minus the services stuff usually), and keep bringing this page off to reference. Usually takes 5 minutes, and it is an improvement in apps interaction with each other and file stuff. Cases/points 22 and onwards will be stuff outside of the test.
EDIT 2: Added the Autotuning thing to stop throttling of network transfers.
EDIT 3:Turn off hibernation