Resources to optimize performance — Maximus Nickus
A lot of you out there are trying to squeeze just that extra bit of power out of your system, whether it’s to hit 10k, or 5k this guide will help.
Warning, editing your Registry could cause errors within the Windows’ subsystem and may cause data corruption and possibly lead to you needing a re-format, please BACKUP your data.
Now down to business:
PCs always run faster after a re-format and clean Windows install; however, this doesn’t mean that you have to keep re-formatting – just don’t install programs which you never use and have another machine to test out the programs first. This way your registry won’t clog up.
Standard procedures are:
Clean the registry, Scandisk once a week, Defragment once a week and run disk-clean-up as well.
Obviously try to run PCs at there fastest overall settings (memory latencies etc) and test for stability by “Burning-in” your PC.
This may sound drastic, but all it stands for is running a component at maximum stress for a long period of time. If no errors occur, then you may proceed to overclock. This method also allows PCs to overclock further – it’s down to the molecular structure as well as many other variables (My Radeon 8500 went from 280 to 300 after a weeks burning).
Remember though that all systems are unique – two rigs with identical components never run the same heat, speed, stability, and so on.
Download 3DMark 2001se HERE.
Download the latest drivers – Driverguide offers a good service once you sign-up (free) to find drivers quickly and efficiently.
Here are some other download sites:
Powerstrip (overclock ANY video card)
NVMax (Nvidia cards)
Nvidia BIOS editor
X – Setup Innovative Windows tweaking tool
Now assuming you’ve just cleaned up your system or re-formatted your HD, install the drivers in the following order and after each, run disk defragmenter:
- Via 4 in 1 Drivers – Defrag
- DirectX 8.1 (Windows XP has this pre-installed) – Defrag
- Video Drivers – Defrag
- Other drivers – once more, run disk defrag
Defragmenting keeps all the files in their optimal positions on the disk, which means everything is loaded with precision and maximum speed, now and for later benchmarking.
When running 3DMark, run your desktop at 60 Hz. Turn off vertical synchronization (may cause artifacts) and change the opengl settings, direct3d and so on to “Best performance” (Right-click to find out what each option does in turn).
Repeat all the tests twice, as this can yield a slight performance gain, mainly due to the second run of each test being run more from the CPU’s cache.
Run your AGP at 4x (if you can with stability; if not, try DA or FF in the driving mode value), enable AGP Fast-Writes and test all the other options for maximum speed. Video-caching produces different effects on different rigs so experiment with them on or off.
Finally I have searched the web and found the very best Windows tweaks to get those few extra marks out of your system:
Winguides.com Registry Guide program
Now last but not least, make sure you backup your files before editing them!
The tweaks work on all Windows versions.
Defragmenting is a lot faster with Windows XP and it is necessary to make your system run at optimal speed, so don’t skip it!
Last, here’s a little something for those Volt Modders out there:
This post is written as simply as possible; if anyone has trouble understanding or processing the information, please don’t hesitate to ask me and I will decipher any technical jargon.
Good Luck and HAPPY TWEAKING!
Nick Cade-Westcombe aka Maximus Nickus
Senior Member, Overclockers.com Forum