XP provides you with a variety of ways to hack your system to juice up its performance. Built-in tools, like the Performance Console, can monitor dozens of performance metrics and then take automated actions when those metrics fall below a certain level. You can make better use of your existing RAM by using a variety of different hacks, and the Registry offers many ways to speed up system performance as well.
In this chapter, we'll cover all those ways, as well as others, to help you make sure XP runs as efficiently as possible. You'll also see how you can fix a variety of problems that can bedevil your system if you upgrade to SP2.
Before you can hack away at things to speed up your computer, you should know how to monitor system performance in the first place. As a power user, you'll like knowing what's causing those slowdowns and blips in performance. The Performance Console is a great hacker's tool for monitoring and tracking resources of all kinds.
Computers get faster every year, but somehow we sometimes still end up waiting around for them to finish a task.