Make Your Hardware Perform

There’s no end to the tricks you can employ to squeeze more speed out of your PC, but few—apart from the ones in this chapter, hopefully—will end up making that much of a difference. Probably the most effective steps you can take involve your hard disk, discussed later in this chapter.

Paradoxically, this section’s first topic involves the Glass interface, a new feature that indeed makes Windows run more slowly. But making Windows perform isn’t always about making it perform faster, but rather making it perform more.

Boilerplate disclaimer: Keep in mind that there’s a certain point beyond which your computer is going to turn into a money and time pit. The older your system is, the less time and energy you’ll want to invest in making it run well, and the more you should start looking to replace it. It’s easy to calculate the point of diminishing returns: just compare the estimated cost of an upgrade—both the monetary cost and the amount of time you’ll have to commit—with the cost of a new system (minus what you might get for selling or donating your old system). I stress this point a great deal, because I’ve seen it happen time and time again: people end up spending too much and getting too little in return. A simple hardware upgrade ends up taking days of troubleshooting and configuring, only to result in the discovery that yet something else needs to be replaced as well. Taking into account that whatever you end up with will still eventually need to be ...

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