Lifehacker has a good article debunking many of the common Windows performance tweaking myths.
Let me sum it up for you:
- Disabling QoS to Free Up 20% of Bandwidth - Myth busted!
- Make Vista Use Multiple Cores to Speed Up Boot Time - Myth busted!
- Clearing Out Windows Prefetch for Faster Startup - Myth busted!
- Cleaning the Registry Improves Performance - Myth busted!
- Clear Memory by Processing Idle Tasks - Myth busted!
- Clean, Defrag and Boost Your RAM With SnakeOil Memory Optimizer - Myth busted!
- Disabling Shadow Copy/System Restore Improves Performance - Myth busted!
- Enable SuperFetch in Windows XP - Myth busted!
- Disabling Services to Speed Up the Computer - Myth busted!
People will try to argue with you until your ears bleed that one or other of these tips will boost performance, but they won't be able to show you a shred of proof.
Another myth that I want to add to this is the "Windows Server 2008 makes a better desktop OS than Vista" myth. I've come at this myth from all sorts of angles and each time come to the conclusion that it is nothing more than unsubstantiated bunk.
If your PC is too slow then there are a number of reasons why:
- It's just underpowered and needs a hardware upgrade (you're basically asking it to do too much).
- There's an applications hogging system resources (security apps are often to blame ... see the difference that a lightweight antivirus package such as Sunbelt Software VIPRE makes).
- There's some hardware/software problem with your PC (badly configured BIOS, poorly set power management ...).
Let me close by saying that 99% of all performance tweak I've come across that promises dramatic performance improvements turn out to be bunk.