Tweak #11 - Prioritizing Individual Processes
This is so simple it's not funny, but it leads into the next tweak... anyway, if you press Control+Alt+Delete, then click on the 'Processes' tab, you should get a dialog like the one above. You can see a list of all the processes running at the time. Now, if you are running a program that you want to dedicate more processing time to - eg, 3D Studio Max, as in my example, you can just right-click on the process, move your cursor down to 'Set Priority >', then select how high you want that program prioritized. While I'm checking my email, I might want a Normal priority for Max, but if I leave my Computer, I can increass it to 'RealTime' to get the most rendering done. Easy!
Tweak #12 - Prioritizing IRQs
The last tweak for this guide - and a good one. The main components of your computer have an IRQ number assigned to them. With this tweak we can increase the priority given to any IRQ number, thereby improving the performance of that component. The most common component this tweak is used for is the System CMOS/real time clock, which improves performance across the board. First of all, decide which component you want to give a performance boost to. Next, you have to discover which IRQ that piece of hardware is using. To do this, simply go to Control Panel, then open the System panel (You can also press the shortcut of Windows+Break). Click the 'Hardware' tab, then on the 'Device Manager' button.
Now, right click on the component you want to discover the IRQ for and click 'Properties', then click on the 'Resources' tab.
You can plainly see which IRQ this device is using (if there is no IRQ number, select another device). Remember the number and close down all of the dialog boxes you have opened, then start up RegEdit. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESystemCurrentControlSetControlPriorityControl in the registry. Now, we have to create a new DWORD value - called IRQ#Priority (where '#' is the IRQ number), then set the data to 1. For example, the IRQ of my System CMOS is 8, so I would create the key IRQ8Priority.
Now, after restarting, you should notice improved performance in the component you tweaked. I would strongly recommend the CMOS, as it improves performance around the board. Also note that you can have multiple IRQ prioritized, but it is fairly inefficient and can cause instability. To remove this tweak, simply delete the value you created.
End Of The Line
Well, that's the end of my first guide. I hope it's helped you to maximise both your performance and appearance. (Windows's appearance, that is - not your own, for that, you'll just have to wait for my plastic surgery guide...)
Thanks again to all the TweakTown Staff, I hope I can continue to make a contribution to TweakTown. If you have a suggestion or comment about this article, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (not sure if my TweakTown email is working yet), or just message me in the TweakTown Forums.
Happy Tweaking, Guys And Gals!
-Gavin "Osiris" Ballard
How much to upgrade to x64 Edition?