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    Thread: How to tweak your WindowsXP gaming machine!

    1. #1
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      How to tweak your WindowsXP gaming machine!

      Tweaks for WindowsXP.
      I have gotten 40 Pms on this so here...
      ***Updated to0k away Lagesystemcache tweak****

      Bios.
      (please note) the location of some of these settings may vary from motherboard to motherboard.

      "Boot sequence"
      Under "Advanced BIOS features" You should see "Boot sequence" with a list below it (HDD0,Cd rom,Floppy), To ensure the shortest booting time possible, set the hard disk that contains your operating system as the first choice. Most times this will be "HDD0" Then i set disabled to the rest but you should keep them there.

      "AGP aperture size"
      Please note that the AGP aperture is merely address space, not actual physical memory in use. Although it is very common to hear people recommending that the AGP aperture size should be half the size of system memory, that is wrong!
      The best thing to do is keep it half your Video cards on board memory. I reccomend anywhere from 64 to 128. My card has 128mb so my aperture size is 64.

      "WAR" (what aero recommends)
      any 128 mb card = 64
      any 64mb card = 32
      any 32 mb card= 64 only if you have 512mb of ram otherwise 32.

      "MISC"
      a. Ram Timings; Often over looked. make sure to see what your
      ram is timed at and set it according to your rams specifications
      like( 2.5 3 3 5). Often left by default it is slower.
      Learn more about your timings and how to change them !here

      b. Make sure to disable any hardware you DO NOT use. like
      firewire, onboard audio...

      c. Disable any bios and video shadowing

      _)_)_)_)_)
      Registry Settings.
      Never used the registry before? To get to it open up "run" and type "regedit".
      Be careful you can ruin your system if you mess anything up

      "Contiguous file allocation size"
      This setting optimizes the contiguous file allocation size for the file system and can be especially useful for disk intensive applications. Open up your registry and go to:

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
      Create a DWORD value named 'ContigFileAllocSize' and set the value to '200' (in hex) or 512 (decimal)

      "Boot Defrag."
      Sure anyone can defrag their harddrive. But what about the boot files? This will allow you defrag the very files you boot up with, placing them right next to eachother for super fast boot up times
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Dfrg\BootOptimizeFunction Select Enable from the list on the right. Right on it and select Modify. Change the value to Y to enable and N to disable. Reboot your computer.


      "Memory Optimization"
      These Settings will fine tune your systems memory management -at least 512MB of ram recommended for the one below..

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
      A) DisablePagingExecutive -double click it and in the decimal put a 1 - this allows XP to keep data in memory now instead of paging sections of ram to harddrive yeilds faster performance.

      "Memory optimization2"
      Unload DLLs from memory when not needed to maintain free memory

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer]

      Create a new Key (a sub-folder, not an entry) called "AlwaysUnloadDll". Once created double-click on the (Default) entry in the right pane and enter a value of 1.

      "NTFS speed up"
      Speeds up NTFS and general system performance

      [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem]

      DisableNTFSLastAccessUpdate=1 Disables constant updating of dates a file/folder was last accessed.

      NTFSDisable8Dot3NameCreation=1 To disable support for old DOS 8-character filenames.

      If these entries don't exist, create them as new DWORDs.
      Note also that if you disable 8Dot3 Name Creation you will have problems installing Norton Antivirus 2003. To successfully install NAV2003, set it to 0 (enabled) first, reboot your system, install NAV2003, reboot once again and set it back to 1 (disabled).

      "QoS Tweak" XP Pro only
      The QoSRRP in windowsXp is important. This stands for Quality of Service Resource Reservation Protocol. Basically, programs either use QoS APIs and are passed through QoS when trying to access information through whatever bandwidth is available, or they are passed to another API called TCI. One of the differences between QoS and TCI is that it is possible to reserve bandwidth for QoS applications. This is great if you are using QoS applications, but if you don't use any, it means that a percentage (20% by default) of your bandwidth is sitting unused.

      To change this, we have to go to Start -> Run..., then type 'gpedit.msc'. Now, open the branches Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Network -> QoS Packet Scheduler.

      Now, double-click the option in the right-hand window 'Limit reservable bandwidth', and then set it to Enabled, and the Bandwidth Limit to 0%.


      "L2 cache"
      The L2, or second-level, cache, is an integral part of your CPU. However, XP is very shoddy at detecting it, so setting it manually is sometimes necessary. It's easy to do, though, you simply have to navigate to

      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management\

      in the registry and find the value SecondLevelDataCache. You must then adjust it to the value (in kilobytes) of the L2 Cache of your processor.
      make sure to click deciemal on the left hand side

      _)_)_)_)_)_)_)
      Windows settings

      "DMA"
      Windows XP still fails to set the DMA mode correctly for the IDE device designated as the slaves on the primary IDE and secondary IDE channels. Most CD-ROMS are capable of supporting DMA mode, but the default in XP is still PIO. Setting it to DMA won't make your CD-ROM faster, but it will consume less CPU cycles. Here's how:

      1. Open the Device Manager. One way to do that is to right click on "My Computer", select the Hardware tab, and Select Device Manager.
      2. Expand "IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers" and double-click on "Primary IDE Channel"
      3. Under the "Advanced Settings" tab, check the "Device 1" setting. More than likely, your current transfer mode is set to PIO.
      4. Set it to "DMA if available".

      "Startup programs"
      Having programs run when windows loads slows down your start.

      There are two ways do disable programs that may be in your startup (like icq, messanger,)

      The easiest is to do the following:
      1. start --> run --> msconfig
      2. Click on the "startup" tab (furthest right)\
      3. Unclick any items you don't want to load when windows starts.

      "Indexing"
      Windows XP keeps a record of all files on the hard disk so when you do a search on the hard drive it is faster. There is a downside to this and because the computer has to index all files, it will slow down normal file commands like open, close, etc. If you do not do a whole lot of searches on your hard drive then I suggest turnning this feature off:

      1. right click C: and press properties

      2. Uncheck "Allow Indexing Service"

      3. Apply changes to C:\ subfolders and files.

      "Process idle tasks"
      Devotes 100% cpu POWA!
      In the Run box, type "Rundll32.exe advapi32.dll,ProcessIdleTasks". This frees up any idle tasks running in the background so that Windows XP can devote its full attention to what you want it to do. For example playing graphic intensive games.
      **NOTE It can take up to 15 minutes to do so. You would not want to run this task before playing a game or using your machine as it will actually cause any tasks waiting for the system to become idle to be performed immediately.

      "Get rid of extra services"


      a. type services.msc in the run box click ok.

      b. For instructional purposes we are going to turn off the Portable
      Media Serial Number service.

      c. Find this service in the list and select it with the mouse.

      d. Right click and select Properties.

      e.Once the properties windows has loaded locate the Start up
      type drop down box and select disable.

      f.Then just click ok and the next time the computer starts the service will not be loaded.

      ****Note Below is a list for a PURE GAMING machine. If you use this for anything other than browsing or gaming goto;
      http://www.blkviper.com/WinXP/service411.htm. and disable what you dont like

      Disable these for GAMING!
      Alerter
      Automatic Updates (manually update using Internet Explorer>Tools>Windows Update)
      Clipbook
      Error Reporting Service
      Fast User Switching Compatibility
      Help and Support
      Human Device Interface Access
      IMAPI CD-Burning COM Service
      Indexing Service
      IPSEC Services
      Messenger
      NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing
      Network DDE
      Network DDE DSM
      Performance Logs and Alerts
      Portable Media Serial Number
      Print Spooler (Set to Automatic if you have a printer installed)
      QoS RSVP
      Remote Desktop Help Session Manager
      Remote Registry
      Routing and Remote Access
      Secondary Logon
      Smart Card
      Smart Card Helper
      System Restore Service
      TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
      Telnet
      Terminal Services
      Uninterruptible Power Supply
      Upload Manager
      Volume Shadow Copy
      WebClient
      Wireless Zero Configuration (Set to automatic if you have a
      wireless network)
      WMDM PMSP Service
      WMI Performance Adapter

      "Fasterboot"
      For a boost in windowsXP's boot performance. This is done by disabling your unused devices in Device Manager. For example, if you don't have input devices that are connected to one of your USBs or COM ports, disabling them will give you an extra performance boost in booting.
      Go to Control Panel -> System -> Hardware tab -> device manager
      ::Thanks to craweful for this one::

      After all is Done defrag your Harddrive
      Any questions Post them here.

    2. #2
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      AKosygin EDIT:
      Some performance tip given to system admins regarding Windows system:
      Page File
      You can speed up your computer's virtual memory page file, by putting it on a seperate physical hard drive, and setting the initial size and maximum size the same. The virtual memory page file should be set to 1.5 times the size of your physical memory. Please make sure you defrag your drive well before you change the virtual memory settings, otherwise you get a fragmented page file and that actually slows it down!

      Right click on my computer;
      select Properties;
      select Advanced tab;
      under "Performance" select Settings;
      select Advanced tab;
      under "Virtual Memory" click Change;
      select another PHYSICAL drive that is different from C:;
      set the "Paging File size for selected drive" as Custom Size and set it to 1.5 times the size of your physical memory;
      then click Set;
      then select your C: drive and select "No paging file";
      then click Set;
      Then click OK to exit all the dialog boxes;
      And reboot when told to.

      This method improves performance because:
      1.) The page file can be accessed on the other drive without waiting for the OS functions' drive reading to finish. So while the OS is reading files on C:, it can also read the page file on the other drive at the same time! (It works best if the other drive is also on the other IDE channel (or SCSI or SATA drive channel).
      2.) Setting the page file initial size and maximum size the same makes it so that the system do not need to constantly change the file size to match usage. This also reduces file fragmentation as it does not have to jump over files to get additional free space when resizing the page file.
      under qos tweak u forgot a / in the ending

      Anyways, Nice ima get started on a few of these right away.

      "Note also that if you disable 8Dot3 Name Creation you will have problems installing Norton Antivirus 2003. To successfully install NAV2003, set it to 0 (enabled) first, reboot your system, install NAV2003, reboot once again and set it back to 1 (disabled)."

      Ok, is this for instaling only or do i need to do it even though its allready installed.

      Also, In run my comp isnt finding "gpedit.msc"
      Race : Mithra
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    3. #3
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      Originally posted by Fire
      under qos tweak u forgot a / in the ending [/img]

      Anyways, Nice ima get started on a few of these right away.

      "Note also that if you disable 8Dot3 Name Creation you will have problems installing Norton Antivirus 2003. To successfully install NAV2003, set it to 0 (enabled) first, reboot your system, install NAV2003, reboot once again and set it back to 1 (disabled)."

      Ok, is this for instaling only or do i need to do it even though its allready installed.

      Also, In run my comp isnt finding "gpedit.msc"
      its for installing norton if its already on you should be fine.

      and "gpedit.msc is the "group policy editor" goto
      start>control panal>administrative tools

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      Stickeriffic~

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      hrm... weird its not there either, only component service, computer management, Data Sources, Event Viewer, Microsoft .net Framework config, Microsoft .net Framework Wizard, Performance, and Services.
      No group policy editor.....
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      hmmmm goto your windows\system32 folder and search for it there. also what version of windows do you have?

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      some of the windows tweeks you got from black viper are adressible to non-networked computers. i have a wireless ethernet, so i have to keep wireless zero and some of the other tweeks at default, or else i don't have internet. before you turn off anything, check black viper (it's link is here, and in lieb's 2 week old thread on computer links, put there by me). if it is used by you in some way, test and retest, or leave it on default.

      for people with cd and dvd burners, the imapi burning service is useless on all burning programs that are compatible with 98 and ME.
      Hidden Content
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      Help the admins be using the report function... and bug them on AIM till they pay attencion
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      Proud member of the Fire Division of Crystal Guardians.

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      im using win xp home
      only a progman group converter :/
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      its could be for only XP pro.
      ill update it with all the new info i have been getting

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      ""MISC"
      a. Ram Timings; Often over looked. make sure to see what your
      ram is timed at and set it according to your rams specifications
      like( 2.5 3 3 5). Often left by default it is slower."

      ..how can i find out what my ram's timing specifications are supposed to be?

    11. #11
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      it could be on your ram it self

      or goto the ram makers website. and look up what you got

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      hmm, alright i have 'em now.. they're changed in the bios correct? x.x

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      ya I got everythign else done but u lost me on the AGP aperture size and ram timing and u explain exactly what I gotta do for these plz.

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      updated

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      raid device

      my motherboard supports a raid drive and always checks during startup, it takes about 10 -15 sec. is there a way to disable that, besides buying a new motherboard?

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