The Same Page

Okay, the deal here is to try to get everyone fairly close. Not everyone operates a computer in the same way. Namely, people personalize thier computers with all kinds of garbage, myself included. This stuff seems small, but each one makes you pay a little price in performance and a whole bunch of them added up costs you a significant amount of performance. To get the most performance out of your computer for any game, we gotta disable some of this junk.

Click Start, Run, type msconfig and hit enter. A window will open with some startup options and some tabs named for files. Click on "Startup" and uncheck anything you dont really use, the more you uncheck, the more available RAM you will have to play the game. This is a great way to free up available system resources, and the more of this stuff you disable (you can always go back and re-check the box to enable it again) the more system resources you will have free...dont remove System Tray though...everything else is safe. Then reboot for these changes to take effect.

Windows comes with all sorts of junk that allows you to customize your computer. A friend of mine is very fond of the seascapes themes and he has a cursor that changes to crabs and fish and stuff as he does things. It drives me nuts. That sort of crap causes endless problems. So the next thing to do is right click on your desktop and click Properties. Set background to [none], set wallpaper to [none]. Click on the Screen Saver tab, choose [none] from the dropdown list. Click on the Effect tab. In the Visual Effects box, uncheck everything except for Show Icons Using All Possible Colors (your option to uncheck that or not). Click on the Settings tab and double check that your desktop is set to High Color (16 bit). Click okay and reboot.

Remove any schemes from your desktop. Just use default cursors, windows, effects, icons, ect. Remove or disable any useless programs that may be running. For instance, I have this thing...its pretty cool, actually...but I keep her in a cage most of the time...check out Tahni. Thats the sort of thing I mean by useless little programs. She is cute and all, and kinda neat when you are doing office-type stuff, but she is just gonna cause problems when you try to play games.

This stuff may seem small, but it adds up. People might think, "Nah, he's stupid, my wallpaper dont take up no resources." Well, they do. A little bit. And every little bit adds up. Wallpaper alone isnt too bad, the thing is most people dont have just wallpaper alone, they have wallpaper and a wallpaper changer, like Webshots. I do. Its great for slideshows. But it takes up space when you are playing games. Turn it off.

You might not want to do this stuff, or you might not be able to do this stuff. Thats ok. But remember this sort of stuff was specifically designed to amuse the inhabitants of office cubicles and keep them from going nuts and machine gunning down thier was NOT designed with the average gamer in mind. This stuff has no place on a high performance gaming computer. If you like that stuff and dont want to go thru the hassle of disabling/enabling it every time you play the game, thats okay. But its going to cost you a little bit of performance. This stuff eats RAM.