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Web Performance Tuning by Patrick Killelea

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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 Panel System Performance Graphics Maximum Hardware Acceleration causes the machine to crash.

  • The browser bombs reliably at certain web sites. This could also be due to a Windows or JavaScript security problem.

You can usually download the correct driver from the web site of your video card manufacturer, or from the web site of the manufacturer of the chip on your video card.

Newest drivers

Newer versions of device drivers usually ...

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