WinXP Performance Options



what does everyone set advanced performance options to under win xp? there is options for processor scheduling, memory usage and virtual memory. i know it all dpends what you use the pc for, but i want to get the best out of mine for gaming!


OSNN Veteran Addict
kch1: Memory and Video are what matter for gaming. It doesn't really matter much beyond that. Well, processor is important too, but that's a given. I recommend atleast 512MB of RAM in XP, and a 128MB video card (they are all different. Balance price with performance and get what you can) Celerons and Durons are not made for high performance so if you have either then you should look at getting something else.

Good Luck.


i didn't intend to ask a hardware question. its more a os config issue. if you go to system properties there are config options that i mentioned in my post, what should these be set to?
I have virtual memory on a second hard drive (also, it's not a bad idea to put it on a smaller partition). The pagefile (on D: ) is set to 512MB-512MB. If you set max and minimum as the same and put the pagefile on a smaller drive, it will save on disk fragmentation a lot.

Everything else I left at default.


OSNN Veteran Addict
Well... the "Visual Effects" do not matter when you are playing a game. Those are how the GUI does things... The "Advanced" options should be obvious. "Processor Scheduling" should be set to "Programs" unless you are running a server, then set it to "Background Services." "Memory Usage" should be set to "Programs" as well. Virutal Memory should really not be changed unless you know what you are doing. I usually set an Initial size to 1.5x my RAM. You can set the Max to the same but some people like to bump that up a little too. Windows XP usually does a decent enough job managing this itself though. DO NOT EVER choose "No Paging File"

Hope this helps.

Perris Calderon

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Political User
Originally posted by Handybuddy
If you set max and minimum as the same and put the pagefile on a smaller drive, it will save on disk fragmentation a lot.

Everything else I left at default.
hi Handybuddy

you are looking at what people have written about the pagefile that are not true in xp...people just repeating what other peole have written, and the myth goes forward.

no, a static pagefile will not save disc fragmentation one bit...this is an old dos notion brought forward to nt and counter productive.

a static pagefile does not prevent fragmentation of the pagefile, as the pagefile can't get fragmented whether you allow the os to adjust when it needs to adjust or not.

static pagefile is the incorrect setting for just about every single user.

in addition, a static pf does not prevent fragmentation of the rest of the disc either, as pagefile activity is limited to the pagefile.

in addition, putting the pagefile on a small disc will obviouslly cause the the heads to taverse more cylindes for the same amount of information then on a big drive....this will counter the benefit of the second drive for the would be a secind drive for the pf, but a big one.

but I don't think anyone with this amount of ram will notice the small benefit of that set up anyway

all of these ideas are myths that have been brought forward from dos days.

the nt kernal does not behave the same way

Perris Calderon

Staff member
Political User
since you like to learn, here's the reason the myth got started about the pf in the first place, and why it went forward...causing plenty of harm in it's wake
the pagefile is a container file...this is different then most files on your's a file that stands with nothing else allowed to enter the area of the file but pagefile info

when your os needs more pagefile, it will enlarge the pagefile so you don't freeze or crash...this you do not want to prevent, do you.

now, the pagefile has expanded, and the expanded portion is probably in a different area then the the original pf.

this is a fragment, and this is where the myth began.

but short sighted, because this fragment is discarded when you reboot.

obviously, the original pf has not changed locations, and it is in the exact same state on reboot as it was before it expanded.

if it was contiguous before expansion, it must be contiguous after expansion when you reboot.(obviously)

so the myth started because people misunderstood what was happening, they didn't understand that the os only expands when it needs to expand, and that any fragmentations disappeared on their next boot

the idea for best performance is to have an initial minimum so big, the pf never has to this sense, the pf will remain static, even though you have a dynamic setting

then, you still need to allow expansion just incase you were wrong about what the os might need

so in your case, you can set 512 as your initial minimum, leave expansion to 4 gigs. (the max)

your os will absolutely never expand the pf unless you put pressure on your ram resources...if this happens, you must have expansion enabled for smooth performance of the os

now, download this free pagefile defrag program...use it, once...your pagefile will remain contiguous forever after that, or until you change the initial minimum, or until you increase your ram if you are letting the os manage the pf entirely
of course if you develop bad sectors on your harddrive, the xp will remap the pf...theis happens with static or dynamic pf.

also some after market defrags try to move the pf on boot, and this can actually fragment the pf also...

I'm not sure if I was clear in my explanation, so let me know if not

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