Why Your Computer Performance has Dropped: When Windows XP computers were first shipped, many retailers only installed the minimum amount of memory required to run a Windows XP computer - 128 MB. Consumers took their new computers home only to find that after they loaded all of their games and applications their computer's performance dropped drastically and was even slower than their old computer.
Shortly thereafter, the default amount of in new computers was increased to a more robust 256 MB. This was plenty of memory for computer performance with Windows XP and a few applications running. However consumers have become increasing concerned about their security and have installed ever more demanding anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall programs. With all of this running at once computer performance has taken a hit again and many people now rely on Windows virtual memory to run their computer.
What You Can do to Increase Computer Performance: The best way to increase computer performance in this scenario is to upgrade your memory to 512 MB or more. Memory prices are lower than ever, and installing memory is not difficult to do. But if your budget is tight or you don't have the time to do a memory upgrade, there is a quick procedure you can perform to increase your computer performance.
Windows XP comes out of the box all dressed up for Sunday dinner. Menus fade in and out, items slide smoothly while subtle shadows and smooth edges make Windows XP look more sleek than its Windows 2000 predecessor. Pretty is nice, but in the realm of computer performance, looks can kill. All of that extra work saps processor time which increases the demand on your computer's memory. If you are already low on memory, that will increase your need for virtual memory and that will weigh on your computer's performance.
Some people like Windows XP's looks and some people couldn't care less if it looked like Windows 2000 or not. What most people do not know is that there is a screen in Windows that allows you to tell Windows XP what looks to turn on and which to turn off. The more you disable, the more your computer performance will increase. The steps below will show you how to custom tailor Windows XP to your preference - looks or speed.
You can return to this window any time you wish to adjust your computer performance settings by following the same steps. In some cases, setting your Windows XP to "Adjust for best performance" can boost your computer performance by as much as 25%!
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