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Web Performance Tuning, 2nd Edition by Patrick Killelea

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Chapter 12. Client Operating System

The browser doesn’t live in a vacuum. The operating system it runs on might have its own inefficiencies that affect the browser’s performance. As volumes have been written about optimizing desktop systems, I’m going to touch on only a few points that directly relate to your web browsing performance. A good source for more detailed client performance information is http://www.speedguide.net/.

Microsoft Windows

The most effective way to improve the performance of PC hardware running Windows is to erase Windows and install a version of Unix for Intel, such as Linux, Solaris x86, FreeBSD, BSDI, or SCO Unix. Unfortunately, this is not an option for most people because of the complexity of installing an operating system and the need to run applications that run only on Windows. If you have to live with Windows, there are some things you can do to improve browser performance.

System Clutter

Back up your system files, then remove utilities you don’t use from your win.ini and system.ini files. As with eliminating unused Mac extensions, the utilities that are left will run faster.

Specific Video Drivers

A device driver written specifically for your video card should give you better performance and stability than the default VGA driver. Here are some indications that you need a better video driver:

  • Changing Control Panel Display settings causes crashes if you are using particular screen sizes or number of colors but not otherwise.

  • Setting Control ...

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