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The Ultimate guide to speeding up win 7 on low/mid range systems ready for TOR!

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
The Ultimate guide to speeding up win 7 on low/mid range systems ready for TOR!

renegadeimp's Avatar


renegadeimp
12.13.2011 , 07:34 AM | #1
How to streamline your system ready for SWTOR.

Important please read:
This guide is intended for Windows 7 users. It covers beginner, intermediate and advanced features to clean your PC, streamline it, and remove any unwanted services that Windows may choose to start up by itself.

The guide is aimed at the low-mid ranged system, although people with high end systems are reporting performance increases as well.

All usage of this guide is undertaken purely by the user at his/her own discretion. I will not be held liable for any errors or failure to boot scenarios that may occur as a result of following this guide.




Preface:

Win 7 is Engineered for speed. It might not seem like it to some people, but believe it or not, considerable attention has been given by Microsoft to making Win 7 faster than any other Microsoft OS. It is faster than Vista, and MUCH faster than Win xp, but on a basic install and day to day use, most people dont see it.

This guide is designed for you to achieve faster Boot times, faster read/write times, and generally to give you a much faster and smoother experience with Windows 7, allowing your system to use the extra resources to power your games.

I can personally guarantee that if you follow this and implement the recommendations on your PC, you will see a performance gain. Before you do however, please read the guide in full and make sure you understand it before you attempt any configuration changes.

All information in this guide is devised from the Microsoft developers network (MSDN) and support Knowledgebase and from my own experience. Any resemblance to any other guides is purely coincidental. For more information, feel free to check out Microsofts Support for yourself


Min requirements for Win 7
  • 1GHz processor (32- or 64-bit)
  • 1GB of main memory
  • 16GB of available disk space
  • Support for DX9 graphics with 128MB of memory (for the Aero interface)
  • A DVD – R/W drive

Notice how it states a DX 9 Graphics card.. Please note that you dont need a DX9 or above card for this guide, as our aim is to achieve performance, and not the sparkly effects. Also note, that after you complete the implementations in this guide, you can always turn on the effects you like, but at a performance loss.



Index


Disable Search Feature
Disable Aero Theme
Disable Extra Effects
Disable Extra Services
Disable User Account Control
Disable Unused Features
Disable Sidebar/Gadgets
Changing the Power Plan
Recommended Software


MISCELLANEOUS TWEAKS

Speed up System Boot time
Troubleshooting : Change no. of processors used at boot.
Speed up the Menu Show Delay time
Speed up system shutdown





Important: Before you perform any of the steps in this guide, please make sure you create a system restore point; so if you get any negative results, you can easily 'rewind' your computer to how it was before.


Now on with the guide!


Disabling the Search Indexing Feature in win7

The majority of win 7 users do a very low amount of searches in their system. The Search Indexing Service (SIS) keeps track of files, so that you can find them quickly when you perform a query on your system.

This feature is only useful if you perform frequent searches on your system.

For people who rarely or dont use the search feature, the SIS is a HUGE resource eater. It still uses resources on your machine, even if you are not using it.

To disable this feature:
  • Right click the “My Computer” Icon on your desktop and select the option called "MANAGE"
  • On the left hand side of the windows, you will see a pane titled “Computer Management”. Click the plus symbol next to “Services and applications” in this window.
  • Now click on “Services” and wait for the new pane to load.
  • You will see a lot of services that windows uses in this new pane. Scroll through these services, until you come to a service called “Windows Search”
  • Right click on the “Windows Search” Service in the list, and choose “Properties”.
  • A window called “Window Search Properties” should pop up. Where it says STARTUP type, click on the dropdown menu and choose “Disabled”
Now click Apply, then OK and youre done. The SIS is now disabled.


Disabling the Aero Theme

Oh boy. While this feature of Win 7 certainly looks pretty and eye catching, it is a major resource hog, both in terms of base system resources and on your Graphics card. For those on low power systems, or if youre like me, you just want a blazing fast PC, it is a VERY good idea to disable it. If you are unsure, just check the memory consumption when it is turned off and on.

To disable Aero:
  • Right click on any blank space on your desktop and select “Personalize”.
  • In the new window you will see a lot of themes. Scroll down to the bottom until you reach “Basic and High Contrast Themes”
  • Choose Windows Classic, and wait for your system to be updated to the new theme.


You can now close this window. Aero is turned off and you have the fastest theme on your system.
Streamline - A guide to speeding up low - mid range Computer systems.
Latency Thread - Latency issue gathering thread..
Have a tech issue you need help with? You can nomally find me on the Customer Support forum.

renegadeimp's Avatar


renegadeimp
12.13.2011 , 07:35 AM | #2
Disabling extra effects in win 7 to gain more free resources.

So now you have turned off Aero, there will still be many unwanted visual effects that eat up your system memory, such as sliding menu effects, or sliding window effects.

To disable extra effects:
  • Right Click on My Computer, either on your desktop or in your start menu and click Properties.
  • Click on “Advanced System Settings” on the left side of this window to bring up the “System Properties” window.
  • Choose the tab labelled “Advanced”. Now under “Performace” (it's at the top), click the “settings” button. Choose the option called “Custom”.
  • Now the trick here to to strip everything that the system really doesnt need. So that means unchecking every single box. The only boxes that should be checked are “Smooth Edges of Screen fonts”, “Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop” and "Use Visual Styles on Windows and Buttons”.
  • Click “Apply” or “OK”

To make sure these settings stick, simply log out of your user account and log back in, or restart your system.

Sidenote: You can enable and disable whichever features you like from the performance tab. My recommendations simply give you the fastest performance.

You should already notice a bit of a speed difference compared to before.





Here comes the big one!


Disabling every extra service in Windows 7 that you do not need.

This part of the guide alone should free up a good majority of your tied system resources. One good side effect of this is it will speed up your system boot time, and thats always a good thing.

Many services that run in windows 7 are simply not needed by the average user. There are some exceptional cases, such as the Service called “Print Spooler”. It is only needed when you use a printer. If you use a printer occasionaly, or never at all, you can turn it off and turn it back on only when you need to print something.

Warning: Some of these services MIGHT have an adverse effect on your system. Disable at your own risk.

Lets do this!

  • Right click the “My Computer” Icon on your desktop and select the option called "MANAGE"
  • On the left hand side of the windows, you will see a pane titled “Computer Management”. Click the plus symbol next to “Services and applications” in this window.
  • Now click on “Services” and wait for the new pane to load.
You will see a lot of services that windows uses in this new pane. Scroll through these services, until you come to each of the services listed below. As you did before with the “SIS” service, repeat what you did, and disable the following services.


  • Application Experience
  • Computer Browser*(If your PC does not connect to any network)
  • Desktop*Window Manager Session Manager*(If you don’t want the aero effects)
  • Diagnostic Policy Service
  • Distributed Link Tracking Client
  • IP Helper
  • Offline Files
  • Portable Device Enumerator Service
  • Print*Spooler*(If you do not use a Printer)
  • Protected Storage
  • Remote Registry*(You can safely disable it for more Security)
  • Secondary Logon
  • Security Center
  • Server*(If*your*computer*is not connect with any network)
  • Tablet PC Input Service
  • TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
  • Themes
  • Windows Error*Reporting*Service
  • Windows Media Center Service Launcher
  • Windows*Search*(If you rarely use Windows Search feature )
  • Windows Time*(If you do not want to synchronize system time with*internet*time automatically. This is recommended to be disabled, as it is only useful if your system battery is dying or your country is about to switch to DST).

After you have disabled each of these, click apply/OK, then restart your computer.
Streamline - A guide to speeding up low - mid range Computer systems.
Latency Thread - Latency issue gathering thread..
Have a tech issue you need help with? You can nomally find me on the Customer Support forum.

renegadeimp's Avatar


renegadeimp
12.13.2011 , 07:35 AM | #3
Disable the User Account Control feature (UAC)

The UAC can be annoying, even though it says it is a security feature. However, if you use a firewall and anti-virus (Which you should be doing), this feature will annoy you more than being a help.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an advanced feature. If you are unsure of your system or AV/firewall, please keep this enabled.

To disable UAC:
  • From the Control Panel open the ” User Accounts and Family Safety ” > User Account.
  • Click the*User*Account*Control settings link.
  • Now just Drag the Slider towards “Never Notify”.
  • Click “OK” and Reboot your system.












Turn off unused Win7 Features

There are some features in win 7 that we usually do not use. Disabling these can help to speed win7 up.

PLEASE NOTE: This is an advanced feature. Only peform this part of the guide if you are confident in what you are doing.

Open up ” Programs and Features ” from Control Panel.
Click the ” Turn Windows features on or off ” from the left pane.
Now uncheck all the Feature that you don’t use in Windows 7 and restart the system for the changes to take effect.

As a guide to which options to check/uncheck, the following are what I have checked. Everything else is unchecked.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1
  • Remote Differential Compression
  • Windows Search

You can check/uncheck what you like, but my previous warnings apply.




Disable the sidebar/Gadgets

Windows Sidebar actually takes up a good chunk of resources and increases your system boot time. I always disable this on any installation I have as I find this feature completely unnecessary.


To disable Sidebar/Gadgets
  • Right click on the sidebar and select ” Properties “.
  • On the properties windows, untick the check box showing ” Start sidebar when Windows Starts “
Reboot your system and sidebar will no longer start up.
Streamline - A guide to speeding up low - mid range Computer systems.
Latency Thread - Latency issue gathering thread..
Have a tech issue you need help with? You can nomally find me on the Customer Support forum.

renegadeimp's Avatar


renegadeimp
12.13.2011 , 07:36 AM | #4
Change the Power Plan.

By default, the power settings in win 7 are not automatically set for Max performance. By default, its set for balanced, with increased energy consumption on your hardware. Changing the power plan decreases the consumption for your hardware and gives you a small performance gain.
  • Double click the ” Power Options ” in the Control panel.
  • Click the down arrow showing ” Show Additional Plans ” to see the ” High Performance ” power plan
  • Now just activate the ”*High*Performance*” plan and that’s it.
  • You may go for the advanced settings for further tweaking if you want.







And finally!

My recommended Software to speed up windows 7

Wise registry Cleaner
Ccleaner
TCP Optimizer (Very Advanced users only)
TeraCopy (Replaces default windows copy utility and is much faster)


There are many more tweaks you can use, but they are only a very minor saving on resources. The above are the biggest savers.
Streamline - A guide to speeding up low - mid range Computer systems.
Latency Thread - Latency issue gathering thread..
Have a tech issue you need help with? You can nomally find me on the Customer Support forum.

renegadeimp's Avatar


renegadeimp
12.13.2011 , 07:37 AM | #5
Miscellaneous Tweaks

The Tweaks below are purely optional as they have a minor impact on peformance. However, coupled with the above guide, it can give you a good finish to your system.


Speed Up the Windows 7 Bootup Time

Note: This is a moderate/advanced user option. Failure to follow this guide exactly could render your system unable to boot.
  • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
  • Now type msconfig in there and press Enter Key to open up the System Configuration Window. Click on the Boot tab in there.
  • You will see a box called Time out. This is the time (in sec) which the system waits for the user to select the operating system to boot to.
  • You can safely set the value to 0.
  • Tick the "No GUI Boot" option too [turns off the Windows 7 logo at boot-up].
  • Click Apply and then on OK.



Alternatively to change "Time out" only:
  • Right click on Computer and select Properties from the right click menu.
  • Click on Advanced System Settings from the left pane to open up the System Properties window.
  • Select the Advanced tab from it. Then under Startup and Recovery click Settings.
  • Now uncheck box "Time to display list of operating systems" and click OK.





Change the Number of Processors Used at Boot Up

Important notice:

This option is for advanced users only. Use of it is completely at your own discretion and risk.



Information:
If you have a multiple core CPU (e.g. Intel Core Duo or Quad CPU) or multiple CPUs, then this will show you how to change the Number of Processors that will be used during boot up for troubleshooting and debugging purposes to be able to determine if there is a problem with a single processor/core, or for a programmer to test their code against a single core while running on their multi-core system.

Note:
Windows 7 will use all your processors by default at boot up without this Number of Processors setting box checked. Using all of your available processors (cores or CPUs) during boot allows the computer to boot faster only because a multiple core CPU or multiple CPUs can handle and do more at once than a single core or CPU. Multiple cores do not actually increase the speed, but only increase the number of processor cores working on the job which in turn has the job finish quicker. If you do not have much running at startup, then you may not notice much improvement in how long it takes to startup.

Instructions:
  • Click the Advanced Options button. The Boot Advanced Options Window will then pop up.
  • Tick the check box saying Number of Processors. Now click on the drop down box and select the maximum number of processor cores (might be 2 or more).
[ According to some sources this setting doesn't speed up boot time. However i have included it for relevance]







Speed up the Menu Show Delay Time


Note: This is a moderate/advanced user option, although beginners can use it as long as they follow the instructions exactly.



Information: This will show you how to change the amount of time it takes for a menu in Windows 7 to pop, fade, or slide open when you run the mouse pointer over it.


Instructions:
  • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
  • Now type regedit there and press Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window.
  • In regedit navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop in the left pane.
  • In the right pane, right click on MenuShowDelay and click on Modify
  • In the value box, type in a number between 0 to 4000 [400 is default, I use 1] for how many milliseconds you want the Menu to wait before it opens.
  • Log off and log on, or restart the computer to apply the changes.

Note: The lower the number, the faster the response time. If you use an entry of 0, there is no menu display delay. However it is not recommended to use 0 though since the menus may be hard to navigate through at that speed.





Speed Up the Shut Down Time

Information: This will show you how to set the "Wait to Kill" time Windows 7 waits for programs to save data and close before shutting down.

Instructions:
  • Press [Win] + R or take the RUN option from the start menu.
  • Now type regedit there and press Enter Key to open up the Registry Editor Window.
  • In regedit navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Contro l in the left pane
  • In the right pane, right click on WaitToKillServiceTimeout and click on Modify.
  • Type in a number between 1000 to 20000 [1-20 seconds] [12000 is default, I use 1000]


Note: If you have problems with programs from your computer shutting down to quickly, then repeat the above steps and increase the time a bit.



Streamline - A guide to speeding up low - mid range Computer systems.
Latency Thread - Latency issue gathering thread..
Have a tech issue you need help with? You can nomally find me on the Customer Support forum.

Kamnine's Avatar


Kamnine
12.13.2011 , 07:37 AM | #6
My advice; run it on XP rather than 7 if you're on the lower end. Difference for me was like night and day. (E6750/ 2GB DDR2 / 250 GTS)

renegadeimp's Avatar


renegadeimp
12.13.2011 , 07:39 AM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Kamnine View Post
My advice; run it on XP rather than 7 if you're on the lower end. Difference for me was like night and day. (E6750/ 2GB DDR2 / 250 GTS)
Windows 7 uses less resources and performs a LOT better than xp on pretty much any system.
Streamline - A guide to speeding up low - mid range Computer systems.
Latency Thread - Latency issue gathering thread..
Have a tech issue you need help with? You can nomally find me on the Customer Support forum.

Kamnine's Avatar


Kamnine
12.13.2011 , 07:40 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by renegadeimp View Post
Windows 7 uses less resources and performs a LOT better than xp on pretty much any system.
Cool Story.

:edit:

Not claiming XP>7 for a moment here. But for those like myself with lower system memory, the lower OS overhead (which I really can't see how you can dispute) alone makes a lot of difference.

HyperHypo's Avatar


HyperHypo
12.13.2011 , 07:41 AM | #9
nice post. I reformatted and did this to my win 7 machine last weekend to be ready for launch.
My Day 1 Early Access Epic Clicking Journey:
http://youtu.be/dJDgKN742WA
-Hype

flaresama's Avatar


flaresama
12.13.2011 , 07:45 AM | #10
Great guide! Keep it up!