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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 3: Fine-Tuning Windows Vista’s Appearance and Performance
Improving Your Windows Experience Index Score
In the Performance Information and Tools console, you can view detailed perfor-
mance and configuration information by clicking “View and print details.” As
Figure 3-2 shows, the configured details are provided for each hardware component
being tracked and you can print this information for future reference by clicking
“Print this page.” For this computer, gaming graphics has the lowest subscore. By
examining the details, you can see the key reason for this is that the video card has
only 128 MB of dedicated graphics memory. Thus, while 526 MB of graphics mem-
ory is available, 398 MB is coming from shared system memory and only 128 MB is
dedicated. This means the computer is borrowing 398 MB of RAM from the physi-
cal memory available, leaving less physical memory available for applications and the
operating system.
If you installed a new graphics card with 512 MB or more of dedicated RAM on the
computer, the graphics and gaming graphics subscores would increase substantially.
You could then have Windows Vista recalculate the performance scores by clicking
“Update my score.” Windows Vista would then begin rating your computer by eval-
uating the performance of each tracked hardware component. When this process is
completed, each component is listed with an appropriate subscore and the com-
puter’s new base score is listed in the Performance Information and Tools console.
The rating process can take several minutes to complete.
The scores are meant to be helpful guidelines, and you can squeeze extra performance
out of your computer in a variety of ways, but typically, this extra performance comes
at a direct sacrifice to the way Windows Vista looks and behaves. For example, if your
computer’s base score is low because of graphics/gaming graphics, you can improve
overall performance by turning off graphics-intensive features of the operating system,
such as Aero glass, visual effects, live thumbnails, backgrounds, and themes.
3.0 to 3.9 Basic user experience You can use the computer for general computing, advanced business appli-
cations, expanded gaming, and expanded multimedia. The computer prob-
ably isn’t suited for advanced gaming, such as multiplayer 3D gaming, or
advanced multimedia, such as recording and playing HDTV.
4.0 to 4.9 Full user experience You can use the computer for advanced computing, advanced business
applications, advanced gaming, and advanced multimedia. The computer
can use all the new features of Windows Vista with full functionality. Aero
glass willdisplay higher resolutions while achievinggood performance,and
using themes on multiple monitors shouldn’t impact performance.
5.0 and higher Superior user experience You can use the computer for the most demanding tasks, including those
that are bothgraphics-intensive andprocessor-intensive.The computercan
use all the new features of Windows Vista with full functionality. Aero glass
will display higher resolutions while achieving good performance, and
using themes on multiple monitors shouldn’t impact performance.
Table 3-1. Understanding your computer’s Windows Experience Index score (continued)
Base score What the score means Description of experience
Balancing Appearance and Performance
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Figure 3-2. Viewing your computer’s configuration details

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