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Category Archives for Computer Speed

Vista SATA- Enable enhanced performance

If your computer is configured with a SATA disk drive you have the ability to tweak the performance of the hard drive.  This can easily be done by enhancing write caching. Of course for stability and to prevent the loss of critical information please note your computer should be connected to a battery backup in case you have a power loss. Of course this is ideal for a laptop configuration since your laptop battery is a form of battery backup.

This option makes Windows Vista bypass the cache which in turn changes the functionality to where the operating system reads and writes directly to your hard drive. This is a buffer to protect your hard drive from sudden losses of power that might corrupt or lose data. This is why it is best to only enable this option for systems with a battery backup.
To perform the following performance enhancement please follow the instructions below:

1. Browse to the Device Manager

2. Select and expand the “Disk Drives”

3. Right click on SATA hard drive and select Properties

4. Choose the “Policies” tab and check “Enable advanced performance”
 
5. Select OK and close Device Manager

Vista memory utility

Windows Vista has the ability built in to check for memory problems. Issues with RAM can cause your system to become unstable, lose data and fail randomly. Checking the memory should be the first step in any diagnostic process.

To access the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool, you can go to desktop search box and type memory. You may also access them by using the Admin Tools area of the control panel or by booting off of the Vista DVD and using the Recovery Environment. 

If using the utility from inside Windows you will be prompted with the option to restart your computer to begin the test or begin the test the next time you boot your PC. When your PC restarts, the diagnostic tool will begin and present you with a few test options: Basic, Standard and Extended. The Standard test is selected by default. Simply designate which option you wish to run.

These tests can take a while to complete so you may want to find something else to do with your time. The computer will report the results the next time you login. If you have a bad memory stick you should replace or remove the faulty module immediately. Memory errors can impact your Windows installation and/or performance.

Internet Speed Test

There are many things that can effect your Internet connection speed. In any network you are only as fast as your weakest link.

These weak links are typically called bottle necks. Even if you have a broadband connection your connectivity speed can be limited by bad connections, a router that is limited by it’s own internal connection limitations, or even the type of cables which supply your connection.

If you have ever wondered actually how fast your internet connection is? Now you can test your internet connection and review your test results using a free application.

This application tests your connection speed by evaluating your download and upload speeds. Once you have tested your connection you can review the test data against the connection speed data provided by your ISP.

If your connection is lagging comparatively to your ISP documentation you can then take steps to troubleshoot as to what may be the possible cause and then take the appropriate action.

To test your connectivity try our new Internet speed test.

Intel’s New Notebook Processor

On Monday Intel announced the release of the new Intel Dual Core note book chip. The new chip was released to better compete with AMD in the fast growing notebook market.

Intel has released the new Core 2 Extreme X7800 processor to PC manufacturers. It should be available for purchase within two weeks. The new chip will boost performance for gamers and power users alike.

Demand for notebooks is increasing. Global notebook shipments have increased ove the past few years and are estimated to increase this year to 25.3 percent.

This has prompted Intel to regain its competitive edge by boosting performance of the notebook platform CPU. In an effort to increase sales of the notebook platform CPU Intel made another effort to push sales by launching the Santa Rosa bundle of mobile processors and chipsets which is an upgrade to the popular Centrino platform.

Intel hopes to regain it’s edge by expanding the Core 2 Extreme brand from high-end desktops to high-end notebooks. The 2.6 GHz Core 2 Extreme X7800 notebook chip for is slated to sell for around $851 initially. Of course demand versus production could dictate a change in the initial price at least for the first few months of sales.

Typically with new processors you will see a decline in price as new and faster versions are made available for purchase. Before purchasing your new processor you may want to wait at least a little while until the initial price comes down.

Pc Booster Review

PC Booster is a popular computer optimization program that will help you speed up your computer to it’s fastest possible speed. Just startup PC Booster and let it go to work speeding up your computer.

Download PC Booster Now

Requirements:

Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP in 32bit versions

Pros: PC Booster does these tasks very well

– Fully automatic tune up of your PC with just a few mouse clicks.

– Eliminate and Prevent most PC crashes by optimizing resource usage.

– Auto recovery of Memory that Windows steals from your computer.

– Boost and optimize your Internet speed for faster surfing.

– Clean hundreds of unwanted garbage files from your hard disk.

– Protect your privacy by deleting up ‘cookies’ which are IDs left over from your Internet surfing.

– Make your CD-ROM run at a faster speed. Enhance your enjoyment of multimedia, VCD’s, DVD’s and game play.

– Add/remove Windows Start Menu Options. Customize your default ‘My Documents’ folder, remove ‘Favorites’, ‘Windows

– Update’ options and more customizations.

– Enable Fast Shutdown and auto close of non-responding applications.

– Real time memory usage monitoring graph.

– CPU Stability Test to make sure that your system is stable.

– Fully configurable for power users.

– Extensive documentation and instant context help.

Improve the performance of the following software on your PC:

Outlook Express

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Excel

Internet Explorer

AOL Browser

Microsoft Windows

Microsoft Front Page

Windows Media Player

Cons:

No cons to list. The software can be very beneficial to the stability of your system by providing improved performance.

Guarantee: PC Booster comes with a NO RISK Love-It-or-Leave-It 60 Day Guarantee.

Download PC Booster

PC Booster is published by Inkline Global

Intel or AMD

Which CPU do you prefer for your particular use? Intel and AMD have been rivals for what seems like forever.

Each users preference is different just as each users particular reason for choosing a processor brand for a particular application is different. Whether choosing a processor for gaming or choosing it for number crunching. The reasons can vary as much as the number of different types of processors.

Now may be the time to upgrade as AMD has recently slashed prices of most of their processor models. Intel is slated to follow suite in mid July. So if you have been considering an upgrade you may want to watch for announcements from Intel in mid July so you can shop comparatively.

For any users that have not replaced a CPU there are a couple of things that you may want to remember.

Often when replacing a CPU as well you may have to replace your motherboard due to a socket change. As well you might have to replace your RAM memory. Be sure to review any documentation on the CPU of your choice and review it against you current hardware configuration. Otherwise a couple hundred dollar purchase can easily turn into two or three times as much.

Of course both CPU’s seem to benchmark well, especially when most of the benchmarks are completed by their own manufacturer. If peak performance is high on your list for a particular application you may want to find a benchmark completed by an unbiased third party.

I have always used an Intel product by choice. Of course AMD has come a long way in the past few years. Let me hear what you think of the choices. Post a comment and if you have benchmark numbers that support your reason for the choice be sure to leave a reference to the documentation. I’m sure everyone could use a second opinion before deciding which brand to choose.

Back To Work

Does anyone else find it hard to pick up work after vacationing? Having completed a weeks worth of vacation I am back to the grind….well….sort of.

I am using this day to read up on new stories and technologies for new content on the site. Please bare with me while I compose myself and get my head out of the vacation cloud. Of course this is not easily done…

As you can see from the last post we are now taking posted questions to better serve our users. As well I would like to add if there is a new technology or concern you would like for me to address please post a comment to this blog. I would be happy to research and address topics for our users.

After all….It is you the end user for which we create the content.

Optimizing Page File Usage

The page file is used by the Windows operating system to store random information. This file is used by Windows when there is not enough room in RAM to store this information.

If you use more than one hard drive there is an option you can use to tweak the performance of the page file. This option does not really improve performance in a two partition scenario but must be used with a secondary drive as you can move the paging file to the secondary drive leaving you c: drive free to perform other actions.

First check to make sure you have a secondary drive. You must first log in with an administrator account.

1. Click Start, Run (just Start in Vista)

2. type diskmgmt.msc, and press <Enter> to open the Disk Management utility (click Continue in the User Account Control, if prompted).

The bottom pane shows each disk installed on your system and the corresponding drive letter. When considering which drive to use choose the fastest drive to store the page file on.

Note: Internal drives are faster than an external drive in most cases.

3. Right click “My Computer” and choose properties

4. ON the system properties page choose the “Advanced” tab

5. Under performance choose the settings option and then the advanced tab on the subsequent window

6. Under Virtual Memory click Change. In Vista, deselect Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.

7. In the drive list select a partition on a different drive where you want to add another paging file

8. Select Custom size if you would like to set the size yourself and type in the initial and maximum size (Microsoft says making them the same amount is most efficient configuration)

Note: If the partition you select contains another installation of Windows you will receive an error message warning that the file pagefile.sys already exists. If the two operating systems are not running at the same time through virtualization then it is safe to overwrite pagefile.sys.

You should receive a notification upon completion that the settings will not take effect until you perform a restart.

Updating System and Device Drivers

One of the most important things you can do to maintain peak performance and avoid incompatibility issues is to keep your system and device drivers updated. Of course manually updating drivers can be some what time consuming.

Locating the drivers alone then searching each manufacturers web site for your particular model and acquiring the most recent software and drivers for each individual device is pain enough.

Of course if you document your last version and the most recently installed for restore purposes, this can add to your time spent.

What if you had access to software which gave you an all in one interface for updating drivers. Well I came across one the other day. I tested the software for functionality; The interface is very simplistic.

Not only does the software scan your system for needed drivers, but as well it documents any previous version in case you need to do a driver rollback due to incompatability. The software I am reffering to is the PC Updater program.

No more searching manufacturers support sites for the most recent drivers. The software scans your system and gives access to download the latest drivers in the scan results window. From here all drivers that you have installed are downloaded to a directory on the local machine in case you need access to reinstall the drivers.

I will continue use of this software and report any finding such as like, dislikes, or compatibility issues. If you would like to review more information on this product click here.

Windows Live One Care

Windows Live One Care is a utility designed by Microsoft to scan your computer for several different issues. Live One care scans your computer for unnecessary temporary files, invalid registry entries, open ports, malware, and even checks your hard drive to see if defragmentation is necessary.

The service is free for ninety days after which time there is a required yearly fee of $49.95 to maintain a subscription. Microsoft has deployed this utility to help users maintain security and functionality of their computers.

If you decide to acquire use of this utility they do require you uninstall any third party virus or firewall applications. If you have already purchased one of these types of applications this can be problematic as you will lose the use of the paid subscription to the third party service.

Overall this utility seemed to work well. Unfortunately there does not seem to be any detailed information as to what the scan has found. When trying to review the registry entries that were flagged as errors I could not locate any detailed information on the entries and what they may relate to.

Microsoft seems to counter this by stating if you have any undesirable effects to use system restore which will reverse any registry changes. This seems to be counter productive.

Before deciding to use this service you may want to read the installation requirements document by clicking here.

Windows live One Care may be a useful utility if you do not own software that already performs these functionalities. To review more detailed information concerning this product you may visit the Windows live One Care web site by clicking here.