I was working on one of my old laptops the other day, and realized it seemed just as fast as my newer laptop. The newer box is substantially higher specced - dual core proc, 4GB RAM, nVidia graphics etc. For awhile, I couldn't put my finger on just what the difference was, and then it hit me: the old laptop had Aero turned off. I turned off Aero on the new box and bam, it was noticably more snappy. Windows popped in instantly, menus snapped up with no hesitation. Not just a little improvement, but a drastic improvement in speed. You don't get the glitzy glass interface, but it's definitely worth the graphical loss to have a much faster experience.
I haven't tested this on beefier desktop systems, but it gives a great improvement on laptops.
Here are the steps:
- Open the computer settings window (quickest way to do this is to right click on "My Computer" and select "Properties").
- Click "Advanced system settings" on the left under Tasks
- Go to the Advanced tab
- Click the Settings button under the Performance item
- On the Visual Effects tab, Select "Adjust for best performance"
This will optimize the visual effects for the best performance, but some important visual effects will be missing - especially font smoothing. To get to the optimal settings, check the following items in the list:
- Show preview and filters in folder
- Show thumbnails instead of icons
- Show window contents while dragging
- Smooth edges of screen fonts
- Smooth-scroll list boxes
The resulting selection will look like this:
Click the OK button, and Windows will recalibrate itself for the new settings.
Enjoy the new snappier performance!