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Tweaking Your PC: Getting the Last Mile Out of Your Hardware Part 2 of 4 (Page 2/4)


Posted: September 23, 1999
Written by: Keith "Farrel" McClellan

Originally Printed in PC Gamer's Ultimate Hardware Bible, an Imagine Media Publication. All rights reserved. Reprinted with Permission.

RAM Tweaks

Windows splits your RAM into two sections, the cache and the executable section. The cache stores information on programs that you have already loaded so that if you restart them, they execute faster. This is a great concept, but Windows doesn't manage the cache well, so I recommend manually setting the Cache setting. Go to Start Menu/Run and type sysedit and go to the system.ini file. Find the [VCache] header and insert these three lines:

Chunksize=512
MinFileCache=8192
MaxFileCache=8192

These settings stop the cache from growing too large and slowing down the system, freeing up system resources for other things. Chunksize allocates the smallest amount of space that a program can take up in the cache. If a program takes up too many chunks, the speed of the system will degrade; but if the chunks are too large, a lot of RAM is wasted. 512 is a good setting for most users, the only people that might consider changing it would be people with a large amount of RAM (256 Mb's or more) or people who are dealing solely with very small files. Users with 32 Mb's or less may want to use a setting that is slightly lower (4096). Power users (those with 128 Mb's of RAM or more) may get better results out of the settings 12288 or 16384.

I also recommend loading system settings into the upper memory area because it can give a slight boost in performance. To do that, add the line LocalLoadHigh=1 under the [386enh] heading.

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