Download (direct link):
For example, you would normally upgrade an 'ACPI PC' to an 'ACPI Multiprocessor PC.'
11. Click Next, click Next again, and click Finish.
Tip Before considering a processor upgrade, use Task Manager to make sure you aren't running any unnecessary services on your PC. Check your startup group and system tray for any utilities that may be loading at boot time but that you may not need. Modify the settings of any loaded programs (such as antivirus utilities) and see whether the changes reduce the burden on the CPU. And make sure that you don't have a PCI or ISA card that's flooding the CPU with interrupts in a failure mode.
Tip On a dual-processor PC, you can specify that a particular process run on a particular CPU: Because you're denying Windows some flexibility in managing the load balance between the two CPUs, you should make such a setting permanent only after careful experimentation with System Monitor. Open Task Manager, click the Processes tab, right-click the process of interest, choose Set Affinity, and specify the CPU. (You won't see this option on a single-CPU machine.)
Windows XP Professional memory tuning is vital to the performance of your PC. Optimizing memory has two components: tuning RAM and tuning the pagefile.
Determining the right amount of RAM
Windows XP Professional is more of a memory hog than any previous version of Windows. When Windows XP runs out of physical RAM, it uses the disk-based pagefile, at a serious performance penalty. (You may see the word swap file on the exam; it's synonymous with pagefile for all intents and purposes.) So the best action you can take for improved memory performance is to add RAM so that Windows XP doesn't need to use the pagefile much, if at all.
Task Manager method
One quick way to see how much more memory you may need in a given PC is to load the applications you usually run, open some typical size data files in each application; then run Task Manager and click the Performance tab. Look at the graph titled PF Usage. You see that the number shown is the same as the Total Commit Charge in the lower left of the display (making adjustments for units - that is, divide Total Commit Charge [KB] by 1024 to get PF Usage [MB]).
Remember 'Commit' memory is the sum of memory used by all the software on the computer: operating system, applications, services, the lot.
Task Manager also shows the Commit Charge Limit (which is RAM plus pagefile size), and Commit Charge Peak (maximum commit charge since last reboot).
Diagonally up and to the right of the Commit Charge memory figures is the Physical Memory area. Total Physical Memory is how many kilobytes of RAM the PC has. If you subtract Total Physical Memory from Total Commit Charge, you can see how much more RAM you need at that moment to avoid paging. Taking things one step further, if you subtract Total Physical Memory from Peak Commit Charge, you can see how much more RAM you'd need to avoid paging during the entire computing session since the last reboot.
Now go buy your RAM expansion module, and enjoy a faster PC.
Performance console method
In the Performance console, the two most relevant counters for the Memory object are:
* Pages/second: This number is how many 'hard' page faults occur, that is, cases when a program needs data that isn't in RAM but resides on disk in the pagefile. Hard page faults slow down the system, so bigger numbers are bad. Frequent peaks over 20 indicate a potential problem.
* Available Mbytes: How much physical RAM is available for use by the operating system or programs. If this value falls below 4 on a regular basis, you need more RAM.
Tip Windows XP adds a fairly obscure memory setting that you can tweak if your PC acts primarily as a server. Click the Advanced tab of the System control panel, click the Settings button in the Performance box, and click the Advanced tab again in the Performance Options dialog box. In the Memory Usage box, the Programs radio button is checked by default, meaning that Windows allocates memory for programs preferentially to file caching. Click the System Cache radio button for Windows to allocate more RAM for file caching.
Optimizing the pagefile
If you can't put as much RAM into your system as the previous section indicates, the next best thing is to optimize the pagefile. You can modify the pagefile's size, location, and fragmentation level to improve virtual memory performance. The first two are available to you via the Advanced tab of the System control panel; click the Settings button in the Performance area, click the Advanced tab, and click the Change button in the Virtual Memory area. You'll see a dialog box like that in Figure 14-6.
Figure 14-6: Verify optimum pagefile settings here.
Remember You must be logged on as an Administrator to change pagefile settings.
By default, the pagefile size is 1.5 times the amount of installed RAM. You may need to increase that if you work with a lot of applications loaded into memory at the same time and get 'out of memory' errors. The maximum pagefile size is the sum of available disk space on all local hard drives, but you would usually increase the size in reasonable increments (for example, 32MB) until the error messages go away, so you don't tie up disk space needlessly.