Friday, 19 August 2011

Optimizing CPU performance.

Most of the views which we'll get on this post would be from people who have just bought a new laptop or a PC. So, 'boost your PC performance' won't allure them right away. But let me assure you, 3 months down the line, when your machine becomes sluggish (which it will), you'll be glad to know that there are plenty of tips and tweaks which can help make your laptop as good as new. Well, almost.

So, this post shows you how to do it. It's divided into 4 major sub-topics, each referring to a different technique of optimizing your PC. To make it easier to comprehend, each of the 4 sub-topics point to a different blog, hence you can read all or only the ones you’re interested in.

Before going further, I would recommend that you back-up all your data. If you're not aware of how to do that, this should help you.

All backed-up, here we go!

Click on any one of the following links to read more about them :

The effects of all these tweaks can be noticed by clocking the boot-up time (here’s how) before and after implementing them. If being tried for the first time, a decrease in 3-4 seconds is expected. The time taken to boot up isn't necessarily a indication of the 'performance' of a PC. But, it's always better if you don't have to wait long, isn't it ?

There are software’s which can measure the performance of your hardware components (like RAM, processor etc), but they come in handy only when you’re either overclocking or upgrading your hardware.

To see the quantitative change in performance in more detail, we devised a small test :

Using an laptop with an i5-2410M (2.3 GHz) processor, 4 GB of RAM, running Windows 7 (64-bit), we clocked the time it took for a 'heavy' application to load (like Photoshop CS4), before and after applying some of the above mentioned tweaks.

The software used to keep time was AppTimer. We used it to open and close Photoshop a total of 10 times and keep a log in the form of a text document. These were the settings used :

I would advice that you first go through the 'ReadMe' file which comes with the application, to better understand how this works.

The results after the first run (the values are in seconds) :

The results under default conditions

Many might be surprised to see such good timings under default settings. The reason being, it was a brand new laptop with a fresh copy of Windows 7. But still, we had faith in our methods and were confident that even these timings could be bettered.

The tweaks we used were,

  • Disk Defragmenter (it wouldn't have had much effect on a new laptop)
  • Check Disk
  • Turning off the visual effects and using the classic theme.
  • Reducing the display resolution.
  • Adding a power supply and using 'Max Performance' settings.

And, here's what we got :

The results after tweaking

It wouldn't seem much at first glance, but the difference was more than expected.

The percentage decrease in the timing was a whopping 22.51% !

Thus, we can successfully conclude that using such tweaks not only helps in opening an application faster, but it's effect would be more evident when the user multi-tasks. (we couldn't find a software to measure it though)

There you go, signed, sealed and delivered ! :)

And one last thought,

If everything mentioned above fails to boost your PC performance, it's probably time to upgrade your hardware or start using LINUX, it' free! (It costs nothing, so a little free publicity is my way of saying thanks)

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