Using Vista’s Performance Options

Windows Vista uses an advanced desktop composition engine and provides a number of subtle but pleasing UI animations by default. Some of this stuff, frankly, is a bit much; and all of it takes its toll on the performance of your PC. Fortunately, the operating system also includes a number of configurable performance options. They’re really hard to find but it’s worth it if you have an older PC and have noticed some slowdowns with Windows Vista. To access Windows Vista’s Performance Options, you need to jump through a number of hoops: Open the Start Menu, right-click on Computer, and choose Properties. Then, in the System window that appears, click the Advanced system settings link in the Tasks list on the left. In the System Properties window that appears, navigate to the Advanced tab and click the Settings button in the Performance section.

Here you can choose between three automated settings (Let Windows Choose What’s
Best for My Computer, Adjust for Best Appearance, and Adjust for Best Performance).
Alternately, you can click the Custom option and then enable and disable any of the 20 user-interface-related options that appear in the custom settings list. Most of these options should be self-explanatory, and many appeared in previous versions of Windows, but a few Vista-specific options are worth highlighting:

• Enable desktop composition: This is the core Windows Vista display engine. If you disable this feature, you’ll lose Windows Aero and its related glass effects and will be forced to use the less attractive, less reliable Windows Vista Basic user interface. However, on systems with very low-end video cards, Windows Vista Basic will often perform faster than Windows Aero.

• Enable transparent glass: This option configures the translucency effects you see in the Windows Aero interface. Disabling this feature is equivalent to unchecking the Enable Transparency check box in the Window Color and Appearance control panel and results in a slight performance boost.

• Use visual styles on windows and buttons: Disabling this feature causes Vista to revert to the ancient-looking Windows Classic user interface. It will dramatically increase the performance of your PC at the expense of attractiveness and reliability.

Source of Information : Wiley Windows Vista Secrets SP1 Edition

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