Posted 10 September 2006 - 09:39 PM
Managing your computer's performanceWindows allocates resources according to its settings and manages devices accordingly. You can, however, change the way Windows uses processor time and computer memory to improve performance. You can also adjust the settings for your computerís visual effects.
Managing processor time
System processing is managed by Windows, which can allocate tasks between processors, as well as manage multiple processes on a single processor. However, you can set Windows to allocate more processor time to the program you are currently running. This can result in faster program response time. Or, if you have background programs, such as printing or disk backup that you want to run while you work, you can have Windows share processor resources equally between background and foreground programs.
Managing computer memory
When your computer is running low on RAM and more is needed immediately, Windows uses hard drive space to simulate system RAM. This is known as virtual memory, and is often called the paging file. This is similar to the UNIX swapfile. The default size of the virtual memory pagefile (named pagefile.sys) created during installation is 1.5 times the amount of RAM on your computer.
You can optimize virtual memory use by dividing the space between multiple drives and removing it from slower or heavily accessed drives. To best optimize your virtual memory space, divide it among as many physical hard drives as possible. When selecting drives, keep the following guidelines in mind:
Try to avoid having a pagefile on the same drive as the system files.
Avoid putting a pagefile on a fault-tolerant drive, such as a mirrored volume or a RAID-5 volume. Pagefiles don't need fault-tolerance, and some fault-tolerant systems suffer from slow data writes because they write data to multiple locations.
Don't place multiple pagefiles on different partitions on the same physical disk drive.
You can choose to optimize your computer's memory usage. If you use your computer primarily as a workstation, rather than as a server, you can have more memory devoted to your programs. Your programs will work faster and your system cache size will be the default size that came with Windows XP. You can also specify to set aside more computer memory for a larger system cache, If your computer is used primarily as a server, or if you use programs that require a larger cache.
-Windows XP Help