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Thread: Windows XP Tweaking Guide




  1. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    As for the paging file, there is a lot of misinformation. The biggest thing is that having a smaller one helps. This is the opposite is the truth if anything. For best stability and possible performance improvement, a paging file that is large and set is best, but anything that isn't restrictive will do.
    I generally recommend leaving it system managed or determine how much of the pagefile is being used through perfmon and times this by 4. That should be set to min. The multiply that by 2 and set that as max.

    Bootvis is extremely beneficial for decreased boot times, but you do have to use SP1 and not SP2
    What?? I use bootvis and SP2...

    I do agree with everything you said though Yawg.

    KoolDrew, ill agree with everything u say except:
    LargeSystemCache
    IoPageLockLimit
    adjust pagefile
    as depending on ur system they can help if the default settings arent optimal.
    Secondly, services DO help performance as they're disabled from automatically loading on startup and they CAN help security.
    but for the other registry tweaks, they can still be used for Windows9x which is probably why i inculded them, because it was a compilation of all of my tweaks.
    Did you not read my reply at all? IoPageLockLimit does absolutely nothing at all. It is ignored by Windows XP. It has been ignored since Windows 2000 SP1. Also when I said adjust pagefile I was just saying that most things you hear about the pagefile is incorrect. Adjusting the pagefile is fine if you are not following stupid advice from some tweaking site and the author has no idea what he is talking about.

    Also about LargSystemCache. I said that because many sites recommend setting this to 1. All that does is allow the cache to use up to 80% of your RAM under non-critical memory loads. So of course for the mojority of people setting it to 1 would be silly. It should only be used if a server is being ONLY used for very lightweight file serving purposes, like an FTP server. For everyone else it is a terrible idea.

    I also note that in my guide, the advice about the paging file is my personal recommendation. I provide the "authoritative" references at the start of that section of the XPTC, but then I proceed to provide what works best for me, and the many systems I've tweaked.
    When I said ignore anyone who said adjust pagefile I was more refering to sites that recommend disabling the pagefile. Your suggestion for the pagefile in your guide is perfectly fine. A little large and for most they may not need that big of a pagefile, but it doesn't really hurt any.

    I think you linked to two guides about Virtual memory and the one at the site with the BIOS optimization guide has a bit of false information last I recall.

    Basically, I will agree that the AlwaysUnloadDLL, IRQPriority etc. tweaks are probably inoperable. I've read more and more recently from various reputable people that these commands do nothing at all in XP SP2. However - I have left them in my Windows XP Tweaking Companion for two simple (and selfish) reasons: Firstly, they do no harm whatsoever. If you enable these tweaks, your system will not suffer one bit. Secondly, and equally as important, many people expect to see these tweaks in a tweak guide, and will email you to death if you don't include them. You can even try arguing with them that they may or may not do anything, and they will shoot you down. So I found it simpler just to leave them in, noting that they may not do anything. I can't see the harm really, and out of 166 pages of information in my XPTC, they take up less than 3 pages in total.
    AlwaysUnloadDLL does do something, but nothing to help performance.

    In the end, all tweak guides bar none are subjective advice. XP is definitely not totally optimized "out of the box", I'm sorry to say. It runs well, but you can always customize it to suit your machine much better. My advice to anyone reading this would be to check out as many guides as you can, and perhaps be ready for some trial and error to see what works for you. Note that so far my XPTC has been read by literally tens of thousands of people, and I've had hundreds of positive emails, and 3 (yes 3) negative emails. So I feel confident that the advice I give is not harmful or bad :)
    I would not suggest checking out every guide a user finds. Alot of users do this and up getting misinformed by all the false information in many tweak guides. Some guide even suggest diabling the pagefile. So from that reply you are suggesting if this is in a guide they come across to disable the pagefile and if nothing crashed then leave it disabled? Doing that will only decrease performance in the long run because you are forcing all paging to be done to pages containing code and mapped files. This will result in crippling the file cache and slow down code execution.

    My point is the person applying the tweak will have no idea what is really happening "under the hood" using your trial and error method. If anyone applys tweaks they should have agood understanding of what exactly is does. That is why for the most part your guide is very good because it explains stuff well, but you should mention that certain tweaks do nothing so the user knows this. Maybe add a section of questionable or tweaking myths? and include stuff like Iopagelocklmit which is ignored by Windows XP? That way the user knows this and won't email you saying it is not in the guide.

    Now, as for services, I disagree with what's been said here. Services do not necessarily use up large amounts of CPU cycles. They do however take up a fair bit of RAM. On my system, disabling unnecessary services - and remember, some of these are non-microsoft services such as the ATI Catalyst services, Nortons services, etc. - has taken my startup memory usage from 220MB down to 115MB. The amount of RAM used is actually not the best reason to remove unnecessary services and startup items. The main reason, which is always not mentioned in other guides, is to reduce the potential for memory conflicts. Many, many people write to me saying they are experiencing memory errors in Half Life 2, UT2004, America's Army etc. (e.g. General Protection Faults). By reducing background DLLs in memory and the associated tweaks in my guide, you exponentially decrease the potential for memory-based read/write errors. That's essentially what a GPF is for example. I know this purely from experience, and all I can say is "trust me" :)
    Can you explain more about this memory conflicting thing? Right now it sounds like a load of crap. The NT kernal does not give recources to something that does not request it. If the service does not request it it will stay idle and fully paged out of physical memory and different processes won't "conflict" in memory either.

    Also saying "I know this purely from experience" means nothing. I know tons of people who say some registry tweak magically made there computer faster and they say the same thing. Even though it is a tweak like iopagelocklimit which is ignored by Windows XP.
    Last edited by KoolDrew; 03-08-2005 at 07:05 AM.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    Persian! :) We really could use you over in Egypt.

    Anyway, aside from what you and KoolDrew and you are arguing about, the only thing I really though was bad about the first guide is the service recommendation. Not because I don't agree that disabling/setting to manual helps for reducing RAM usage, I do think it does help, but the thing is you recommend disabling several services that disable functionality. You did put the warning in for the Print Spooler, and anyone who has problems with that deserves them, but some of the other stuff (such as killing several networking features) should have had warnings or not been there at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by KoolDrew
    What?? I use bootvis and SP2...
    Hmm... I had heard of issues between the two, but whatever. I still prefer SP1 since I have absolutely no use for SP2's features.

    Anyway, I'll repeat myself and invite you to Beef's place, PI. Either way, good luck with your future guides. I really do get a lot out of almost all of them.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    Anyway, I'll repeat myself and invite you to Beef's place, PI. Either way, good luck with your future guides. I really do get a lot out of almost all of them.
    Yes his guides are very good. I am in no way saying they are bad. His game tweak guides are especially good since he explains things very well. He explains his Windows Xp tweaks well too, but with all of the false information out there every Windows XP tweaking guide has its handful of false info.

    This is probally my favorite Windows Xp tweaking guide though:
    http://www.ge0ph.com/xptweaks.htm

    LOL

  4. #14
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    PersianImmortal, ienvy you now. Yea i didnt think unloading dlls did anything on WXP, but i agree how u said ppl expect to see it. oh yea kooldrew, iwasnt going to read that chunky reply, so i skimmed thorugh it, and those sites that the rest of u mentioned after are great but theres no way i can accept wxp's default settings, they're for the user who wants it most pretty and smooth. I want speed, therefore i tweak UI. i want security and stability, therefore i tweak more.
    Last edited by Stikesis; 03-08-2005 at 03:13 PM.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    I don't want to make this into a great debate, but just to clarify some of my points:

    Quote Originally Posted by KoolDrew
    AlwaysUnloadDLL does do something, but nothing to help performance.
    You see, the irony is that another well-known tweaker (Tweakhound) will tell you that AlwaysUnloadDLL does nothing. In fact he and I debated this on ABXZone and he insisted that he had tested it and it did nothing. So you can see what I mean about "subjective" - some people, even those who are supposed to be quite knowledgeable on XP, will each say something different about certain tweaks. Who can the average user believe? It would be great if Microsoft came out and cleared everything up about XP tweaking, but so far they haven't done so.

    I would not suggest checking out every guide a user finds. Alot of users do this and up getting misinformed by all the false information in many tweak guides....
    What I mean is not that everyone goes out, finds every guide they can and try everything in those guides. What I mean is that it's not a competition to find the "one true guide". People should read widely and make up their own minds about which site/guide is the most reputable. And yes, I do stand my statement that people need to do a bit of trial and error. Some people simply will not learn how a PC works unless they get down and dirty and do some (safe) experimenting. That's how I and all the other so-called tweakers learned our stuff, so if you're interested in getting the most of your machine, spend some time under the hood.

    If on the other hand you have little patience and no interest in tweaking, then either follow a single reputable guide (you'll have to decide who is "reputable" based on user reviews), or in fact just steer clear of tweaking!

    Can you explain more about this memory conflicting thing? Right now it sounds like a load of crap. The NT kernal does not give recources to something that does not request it. If the service does not request it it will stay idle and fully paged out of physical memory and different processes won't "conflict" in memory either.
    What I mean is precisely what I explained earlier - errors like General Protection Faults occur because a game (typically Unreal-based games are major culprits in this regard) will attempt to read/write to a protected memory area and the result is a crash to the Desktop and a "General Protection Fault". The less memory locations are occupied, the less chance for GPFs. The less programs are resident in memory, the less chance for critical conflicts which lead to crashes and/or sudden reboots.

    When I say "trust me" I don't have a definitive link or statement to present to you. My advice comes from over 5 years of experience tweaking the Unreal engine and watching as my system has become rock-solid with all Unreal games while others constantly complain of GPFs and regular memory-related crashes in these and other games. Make your own mind up.

    It's not just memory-resident services, it's the myriad of memory-resident background programs which even the developers themselves are now telling users to disable because of potential conflicts.

    Anyway I appreciate your kind words about my gaming guides, and I hope I can keep producing useful stuff for people. More than anything, I wish gaming companies themselves would produce more detailed manuals and provide tweaking details from their own programmers, as that would be the most accurate way of knowing how to tweak their games :)

  6. #16
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    Default Re: Windows XP Tweaking Guide

    You see, the irony is that another well-known tweaker (Tweakhound) will tell you that AlwaysUnloadDLL does nothing. In fact he and I debated this on ABXZone and he insisted that he had tested it and it did nothing. So you can see what I mean about "subjective" - some people, even those who are supposed to be quite knowledgeable on XP, will each say something different about certain tweaks. Who can the average user believe? It would be great if Microsoft came out and cleared everything up about XP tweaking, but so far they haven't done so.
    What exactly do you mean he tested it and it did nothing? As I already said Windows XP does look at the registry key, but it will do nothing for performance at all.

    What I mean is precisely what I explained earlier - errors like General Protection Faults occur because a game (typically Unreal-based games are major culprits in this regard) will attempt to read/write to a protected memory area and the result is a crash to the Desktop and a "General Protection Fault".
    In the NT family it is not a GPF, but an access violation.

    The less memory locations are occupied, the less chance for GPFs
    This is completely wrong. Each seperate process lives in its own seperate adress space. The more processes on a system do not increase chances for access violations.

    Also an acess violation does not occur from trying to acess an occupied memory location. Ussually it results from attempting to acess unallocated adress space.

    The less programs are resident in memory, the less chance for critical conflicts which lead to crashes and/or sudden reboots.
    Again they do not sahre eachothers adress space so they do not "conflict" with each other. They also are not "resident in memory"

    The only way what you are saying would be valid is if you are talking about 9x since on 9x DLLs are mapped into a system-wide shared area. Since we are talking about Windows XP here what you are saying is completely wrong.

    That's how I and all the other so-called tweakers learned our stuff, so if you're interested in getting the most of your machine, spend some time under the hood.
    A lot of those so-called tweakers give out false information. Some tweakers even think Virtual memory is the same as the pagefile.

    theres no way i can accept wxp's default settings, they're for the user who wants it most pretty and smooth. I want speed, therefore i tweak UI. i want security and stability, therefore i tweak more.
    There is nothing wrong with tweaking if you know what you are doing. IT is just there are thousands of guides out there and each one has its handful of false information and some have just really terrible advice (disable pagefile). Tweaking CAN result in better performance by turning off visual effects etc, since the OS has less to do, but it can also result problems or sluggish performance. That is why i suggest if you ae going to mess around with tweaking at least know what everything does. This is really hard though with the false information on the net. Even a popular site called howstuffworks wh8ich I visit often says the pagefile is the same as Virtual Memory. There are also barely any sites that say Iopagelocklimit is not a valid tweak in Windows XP. Even TweakXP which us very popular has alot of tweaks where there descriptions are wrong. It is bad enough they are suggesting to use the tweak, but then they give it the wrong description? This makes it really hard for anyne to actually know what stuff does.

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