In the Forums...
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.
The System Applet
If TweakUI is the king of OS optimization, then the System applet is definitely the queen - it hides the true power of the operating system within its grasp. This power comes with a price, however. Some mistakes, particularly when dealing with the Device Manager, can render a computer useless. At the very least, before continuing, go to the Hardware Profiles tab and backup your configuration. If your hard drive is more than two years old, you should back up the contents of your entire hard drive because these tweaks are particularly dangerous for you, as they might corrupt data on some older hard disks that do not support direct memory access.
Under the Device Manager tab you should see a list of headings for all the different types of components that are in your computer (CD-ROM, Hard Disk Controllers, etc.). In the CD-ROM section, double click on the icon representing your CD-ROM drive. Go to the settings tab and enable the following items to speed up your CD-ROM drive:
2). Sync Data Transfer
3). Auto-Insert Notification
If your hard drive is more than two years old, back up the entire drive before proceeding. Under Disk Drives, select the icon representing your hard drive (It will have either IDE or SCSI in the title) and enable DMA.
In the Ports section, double click on both of the COM ports and set theses settings to speed them up:
1). Bits per second: 115200 or 921600
2). Data bits: 8
3). Parity: None
4). Stop bits: 1
5). Flow Control: Hardware
Also, click on the Advanced button and make sure the FIFO buffers are enabled and both the receive and transmit buffers are set to high. If you have a problem connecting to your ISP afterwards, try lowering these settings to correct the problem. Next click on the Performance tab. Click on the File System tab and set the Typical role of this computer to Network server, and put the read-ahead optimization to full. Next go to the Floppy Disk tab and disable Search for new Floppy Drives on startup. This will increase boot speed. Under the CD-ROM tab, set the Supplemental Cache size to large and optimize the access pattern for quad-speed or higher. This will speed up your CD-ROM drive substantially. Under the Removable Disk tab, enable write-behind caching, this will speed up your floppy drive and any other removable drive you own (Zip Disk, Superdisk, etc.). Under the Graphics button, make sure Hardware acceleration is set to full. This can dramatically increase 3D performance in D3D and OpenGL games.
This is the end of part 2 of my PC Gamer article. Check back in a few days for the next installment.