InformIT features two interesting articles (free registration required), excerpts from the two books: Modern Operating Systems (again) & WindowsXP Unleashed. “The first general-purpose electronic computer, the ENIAC, had 18,000 vacuum tubes and consumed 140,000 watts of power. As a result, it ran up a nontrivial electricity bill. After the invention of the transistor, power usage dropped dramatically and the computer industry lost interest in power requirements. However, nowadays power management is back in the spotlight for several reasons, and the operating system is playing a role here.” Read the rest of the excerpt article from Tanenbaum’s book. “Microsoft’s Windows XP Professional and Home Editions can be made to perform faster than their default installed configurations by making a few modifications at the user level. Louis Columbus shows you the steps you need to take to increase Windows XP’s overall performance.” Read the first out of ten articles regarding the optimization of WindowsXP.
Increase Windows XP Performance & Power Management in OSes
2002-02-25 OS News 25 Comments
Increase it above snail pace? You mean it can actually do that? You are better off going to an abacus, or use Mickey$oft’s method of speed increase – buy a faster machine with shitloads of memory, and an ultra high speed hard disk.
But once you’ve set it in peoples mindset the the speed comes from the machine, not the software, you can get away with shabby code.
Death, taxes, and Micro$oft Bugs
>Increase it above snail pace?
I beg to differ. XP is NOT slow. Give it more than 128 MB of RAM and a PII and above (in other words, a modest machine), and the thing flies. I do not know what PC you are running on, but Windows 2000 and XP have come a LONG WAY of the days of the (indeed) bullshit of Windows95/98/ME.
XP is a modern and fast operating system, at all levels (user responsiveness, but mostly under the hood, where a simple user can not see). It shares no operating system design with 95/98/ME and if you think that XP is slow, I think you either haven’t use it at all (in which case you should not talk at all) or you’re just still using Windows98/ME (in which case I understand your mindset & experiences, but do not judge before using it).
I fully agree with you Eugenia. I am running WinXP Pro on a P4 2.0GHz and a 256MB RD RAM, and it flyes! The start up, launching application, response time etc etc is just amazing. I moved from WinMe to WinXP Pro (Full). At first I expected it to run way slower then WinMe. But when I installed it, what can I say, I was amazed. This time MS has really done it! I love it! Very well done. When I click on my user name to log in, it takes about 4-6 seconds for the hard drive to stop the activity. And I have GetRight, ZoneAlarm, NAV 2002, NetCommando and MSN starting up at strat up! If you have all this on WinMe, it will take a minimum of 10 seconds for the hard drive to stop the activity!! WinMe is the best and fastest OS I have ever seen. (except BeOS when it comes to speed). It is way faster then WinMe and it performs excellent!
And anyone who says anything bad about WinXP, he/she has either never used it or he/she says that on purpose just because they hate Microosft.
To all Linux users: Make Linux as user friendly as Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, then it should get popular on the desktop! Why do I say this? Well Linux is FREE, Windows costs me money, and yet I still chose to go with Microsoft!
>1 beg to differ. XP is NOT slow. Give it more than 128 MB >of RAM and a PII and above
You may differ, but I am using XP at work and have it as an alternative OS on my machine at home (BeOS is the other one). At work I have a PII 450 with 128M of RAM. Considering that 120M is taken just to load the OS, and any other program puts it over it’s limit, it’s incredibly slow. NT4 was a speed demon on the exact same machine. Had to Go to XP for testing, ’cause thats what out users are using.
The machine at home has a Dual pII400 with 384M of RAM. It does run smoother, but compared to win2k and NT4, it is still bugger slow. Yes startup and shutdown does seem faster, and maybe if you did benchmarks it might also be faster, but the feeling of using it, is that it is incredibly slow to do anything.
Just an example. Once the machine has loaded, and I open an explorer window. Unless I have been logged on for 30 minutes, it takes 5 minutes to open. Before the-“oh he is doing that wrong!” It is a clean build.
I run it on my P4 2.0Ghz with 256 MB RAD RAM ))))))))))
I enjoy it. ))) The Applcation Accelerator is a bonus! ) But I do agree with you, on older machines IS slower as far as I know. But my whole point above was that if you have a fast machine, you will definitely see differences.
It’s not the first time I hear about enhancing WinXP by having the user perform tweaks. I’m used to tweaks to old OSes or to hardware, but on a new OS? Doesn’t it come with a certain optimum preconfiguration? I ask because ten articles is quite a lot, and that’s just one source of such articles…
WindozeXP is slooow, it has that kind of moments in which it looks like hanged up ;]
And i’m using it at work on p3 450 (or something like that) with 196MB RAM.
It’s multithreading must be… well… where is it? ;]
And saying “you just need more hardware power” is stoopid. BeOS worked perfectly smooth on my old p2 300. Yeah, sure, faster hardware should make os (and all apps) faster, but it can’t be excuse for a shit code.
I am running an AMD K6-2 (475 MHz) with 128MB RAM.
I ALWAYS have Outlook 2002, IE 6.0 and Sonique running at the same time at all times.
Sonique virtually NEVER skips on me when playing MP3s and I’m doing various other tasks. The multitasking is very impressive and the default tuning works well for me.
In general, I find XP to be quite comfortably fast on my system, even when I add Word 2002 or Access 2002 to my open list of apps to do work in them. In comparison it pretty much destroys the performance of the Win98/Me rubbish that I had running on here before for almost 2 years.
I have absolutely NO complaints about this OS. I don’t feel like I’m going to need to upgrade my machine for a long time. Microsoft delivered the goods this time. Case closed.
IMO, the best way to speed up XP is to install w2k over it
I hate it what they’re [M$] doing to images with the XP OS.. (read nikon/canon warnings).
I can’t see anyone seriously thinking that XP is
fast even on “newer” hardware! I’m running (at home,
this is being typed at my parent’s place) an 800 mhz
Duron w/ 300 plus megs of ram, and I still decided to
reinstall my Win98SE over the XP installation on my
system, just so that I can get some work done!!!
I know about all the various reg hacks and different
settings that can be used to optimise the system, but
even after doing all these hacks and the optimising
of the system you’re still left with something that
breaks compatibility of older software by unsupporting
various APIs, looks less beautiful (you had to turn
off the eyecandy for speed, remember?) and is less
configurable to my personal needs, not to mention that
various hardware on my system refuses to work properly
and results in the wonderful chkdsk startup!
Blah! If I want to suffer through all that I can
reinstall my Linux or suffer through BeOS on my (now
unsupported hardware)! If I’m going to run Windoze,
then I want it to run my programs with a minimum
of fuss and look as pretty as I can manange without
slowing down the rest of the Os! I can get all the
speed I want with Win98SE, customize my install
with 98Lite, retain my compatibility with older
software by using the 9x Kernel, and dress up the
system with various eyecandy icons and programs
like Tclock that provide my eyecandy without eating
“To all Linux users: Make Linux as user friendly as Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP, then it should get popular on the desktop! Why do I say this? Well Linux is FREE, Windows costs me money, and yet I still chose to go with Microsoft!”
Everything can be configured through the GUI and if an operation requires root, you get a pop-up telling you so and asking you for the root password (Linux, OS X & XP all do this in some form now). Mandrake Linux has an excellent software manager and is able to update itself over the internet.
If you are willing to forgoe MS Office (and most people can, except hardcore spreadsheet users), then there is a free Linux equivalent of popular software for Windows…except virus scanners 😉
One last comparison: The multiuser setup in XP *SUCKS*. It is impossible to consistently install programs and have each user have their own settings in their own /Windows/profiles/[username] folder. An admin at work told me the best way is to make each user administrator temporarily and then install the program one at a time for each user…ugh, what a total waste of time! With *nix based systems, each user’s program settings are stored in “dot” files & folders in their respective /home directories…much cleaner.
It seems different people have very different experiences with the speed of XP. I must say that whenever I go to a store and play with a floor model with XP installed I have been distinctly unimpressed. The rendering of folder-views by the Explorer shell on these 1Ghz+ machines feels slower than the speed using Win95 or Win98 lite (both use Win95 version of Explorer shell) on my AMD-K6 200 machine.
So giving the benefit of the doubt to the WinXP kernel, I would think that the shell might be a problem for those experiencing slowness. Does anyone know how to substitute a different shell, like LiteStep, in XP? I notice it no longer seems to be accomplished by editing the “Shell=x” line in System.ini.
BTW: For those trying to get the most out of their old machines “Optimizing Windows for Games, Graphics & Multimedia” by David L. Farquhar is well worth reading.
All these people bitching about how XP doesn’t run well with their P2/P3 450’s etc.. <cry>. I guess we should just halt progress and switch back to dos since it would surely be fast a p2 450. /me plays his tiny violin for the complainers.
“All these people bitching about how XP doesn’t run well with their P2/P3 450’s etc.. . I guess we should just halt progress and switch back to dos since it would surely be fast a p2 450. /me plays his tiny violin for the complainers.”
The point is that XP is only the *operating system*. If I have a high-end computer, it’s because I own applications that demand a fast processor. The OS shouldn’t be hogging up a big portion of the processor. The OS should be a thin and fast layer between the application and the hardware (plug: hence the beauty of BeOS). Computing power is more efficiently spent when it’s used to crunch numbers, 3D graphics and SETI@Home work units, not satisfying the bare minimum requirements to simply run the computer.
It’s a shame that with XP you need to get a faster system only for the sake of running XP itself. NT 4.0 worked really good on a Pentium MMX 166-200…XP can’t perform as well on the same hardware. Is it so wrong to associate “new and improved” with greater efficiency?
Wow, your machine is running a mp3 player and several other stuff without any skips ? XP is really the first OS that can do that, I’m really impressed.
Come down, on other OS’s you could do that for years 😉
I scarcely read comments to articles, ’cause most times I do I’m disappointed: no one comments on the article itself. Everybody just saw this as an opportunity to complain about something thats more a matter of personal taste and use than something really worth diskussion.
The question ‘can XP be made faster by user tweaking, is it worth the effort’ has not been touched here at all.
wu-ell, but maybe I’m just bored of flamewars
Me again – since there had been no useful comment on the article about XP tweaking I did read it myself, and in short, I’m not impressed: the sample had two tips, first to switch off the grafic gizmos of XP which is quite obvious and most times the first thing people do if they think the gui is slow.
the second tip is to make larger and more swapfiles. Hell, memory is quite affordable (cheaper than the XP upgrade anyway), so what does this help for systems that are not low on memory like my systems (400&1000MB) are? I dunno what the rest of this book is like, but these tips are for beginners who don’t have or want to ask someone more experienced.
Just my two cents – if someone can enlighten me about why for example virtual memory is important when you own much more than you need I’d be glad, but please explain in detail.
// begin sarcasm and irony
I have to agree, I’ve never seen any OS but Microsoft OSes skipping on mp3s while running Office XP or IE6 at the same time. Damn Microsoft OSes that have so many applications. And look at an iPod. It’s got a super-slow hard-drive and a teeny weeny CPU, and it still manages to not skip.
XP only leaves 8MB unused out of 128MB after booting? Damn, that sucks, BeOS has such a much more efficient disk cache algorithm that it manages to cache the same 80MB of disk data in only 16MB of RAM. I guess that the Microsoft engineers have never heard that caching disk data is a waste of memory, and that it’s much faster to leave the memory sitting around unused.
Oh, by the way, getting XP home edition (either OEM or upgrade) costs around 100 bucks. Obviously, since 512MB of RAM cost less than $25 today, it is absolutely outrageous from Microsoft to expect people to put enough RAM in their machine.
//end sarcasm and irony
I obviously meant 128MB, not 512MB. 512MB cost about $75 those days, which is still lower than the cost of the OS.
Sorry for the confusion.
JBQ, who can’t imagine buying a machine with less than 1GB of RAM.
>JBQ, who can’t imagine buying a machine with less than 1GB of RAM.
XP is quite alot faster than X on the same machine. In my case an Athlon 850 with 256m ram. Gentoo is on my other partition – which is source compiled and optimed for i686. Those claiming XP is slow compared to X on the same hardware of full of bs.
“Unless I have been logged on for 30 minutes, it takes 5 minutes to open.”
Dude, if you’re having this problem on a P2-450 w/128MB of RAM, then something is wrong, and it’s NOT the OS. I have ran both XP and 2K on similar hardware (P3-450 128MB RAM Asus BH6 MB w/TNT2 gfx) and most things (including explorer) start up instantly. I could see it taking a few seconds at the most, but 5 minutes? I don’t think so, unless you were being overly sarcastic!
And yeah, you can run BeOS fine on a P2-300, and I can run Linux just fine on a 386 w/4MB of RAM, so what’s your point?
Most people I hear bitching about how slow Windows is are usually the ones with 17 different apps running in the task tray, with Active Desktop, web folders, and all the other crap turned on.
Either that, or else the ones complaining are *Nix pundets who have used Windows since Win95 OSR1 and who think that Win2k/XP crashes 3 or more times a day like the 9x versions did.
I’ve been running XP on my 500 celeron and 128 megs of ram, hardly a speed machine, but it runs faster than it did with win98 and and seams very similar to beos. The only thing it seams slow at is coming out of sleep/rest mode trying to redraw the desktop, but 98 and even beos was slow at this sometimes. I tried that intel chipset patch and that just slowed things. Never the less I very often have 20 IE windows open, a PDF open , winamp playing and maybe some office or GP3 thing going all the same time and have no issues. I have never had a MP3 skip in any OS. XP is fast as can be and stable as can be, It’s never crashed in the months i’ve run it, the only thing that has cause me to restart is dinking with hardware (removing a HD) or when i thought something was messed up with my network and in the end it was a issue with my schools network. I like the GUI, though factory is not the best but just set it to silver mode and it looks great.
I would hardly call Linux more user freindly and far as speed get linux where it doesn’t take 5 minutes to boot and you might be getting to where it can be called fast. I’m going to install linux and or freeBSD on my fathers computer over break. He has been running AIX for 20 years at work and is curious to see linux and compair. I think he wants to see since he works for IBM and the have been hyping linux but don’t use it at work and never will (internaly they only support OS/2 and up to win95 anything above your on your own).
I think if you have been having speed issue it’s because you have done something. Most the time if you see some speed tweak yes it will speed something up, key word something. But at the same time you probly slowed something down. OS is shipped to take the middle road. they could make it fast at one thing at the cost of another. If it’s something they could do without hurting anything else it would most likly come shipped that way. People will complain about something in windows being slow or unstable but later you learn they tried doing some tweak they read on the internet.
The comments at the end of the article tell the whole story. That bs is years out of date.
And to everyone who thinks windows xp is great. I run FreeBSD 4.5 with everything (OS and apps) recomplied and optimizined for _my computer_. You simply can’t do that with closed source operating systems. MP3s and other apps with no skips on a P100. (no it isn’t my only computer)
Sorry to off-post, but I can’t help but notice how many people use BeOS as their alternative OS of choice (due to speed, ease of use, etc).
I just wonder, where are you in the BeOS Community? I know that there are many people using BeOS, but it’s hard to judge how many people there really are. If you would kindly step forward (in the virtual sense) and please email me with some sort of affirmation that you use BeOS, I’d be most grateful.
Thanks! Sorry to interrupt!
Avid BeOS User.