Tuning Tweaking and Troubleshooting

CHAPTER 20

Tuning Up and Monitoring

Performance 703

CHAPTER 21

Performing Routine Maintenance 739

CHAPTER 22

Using Advanced System

Management Tools 763

CHAPTER 23

Troubleshooting Windows Errors and Crashes 811

CHAPTER 20

Tuning Up and Monitoring Performance

Establishing a Performance Baseline 704

Monitoring Performance in Real Time 710

Basic Strategies for Improving Performance 721

Advanced Performance Analysis Tools and Techniques 735

Ultimately, the performance of your PC is a matter of personal preference. For some, waiting a few seconds as the system starts is no big deal. For others, it's worth spending hours of tweaking and tuning to shave a few milliseconds off the time it takes for an application to launch .

The software engineers who designed and built Windows 7 paid close attention to making sure it takes full advantage of the hardware on which it's installed . We know from personal experience and extensive hands-on testing that they've succeeded admirably, but we also know that it's possible for performance problems to crop up unexpectedly. Our goal in this chapter is to help you measure performance accurately and fix problems when they occur, with a minimum of fuss and effort. And no, we don't believe you need an engineering degree, an oscilloscope, or expensive third-party software to determine the cause of and solution to performance problems .

Let's make it clear, right from the start, that we don't believe there is a secret formula, magic bullet, or special MakeRocketShipGoFast registry hack that will suddenly send your system zooming into warp speed. Our formula for getting great performance out of a Windows PC is much more prosaic: start with quality parts, make sure everything has the right drivers and is up to date, and then look at ways to speed you through your workday and make games go faster

Windows 7 includes a number of tools that you can use to pinpoint performance bottlenecks . In this chapter, we help you identify all those tools plus a handful of extras that are not included with the operating system but should be a part of your toolkit as well. These tools include those that provide a snapshot of available system resources and how they're being used, as well as others that allow you to monitor performance over time and zero in on problems and solutions .

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