How can I speed up my CPU?


why does my computer run slow or staggered ?


This question was answered on October 8, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Here are some tweaks that can speed up your cpu.

Everyone wants their machine to run faster Most of us are stuck with Windows 98 by choice or otherwise We have compiled all the special tweaks we've made into this one handy article We focus on settings that improve the performance of Windows 98 and not on user interface tweaks These tweaks are designed for Windows 98 and Windows 98 Second Edition Make sure you have at least 64 MB of RAM, any less and your machine will lag Most of these tips also work for Windows ME - Millenium edition


You need to ensure that you have configured your BIOS correctly The BIOS is software embedded on your motherboard that loads and configures hardware before the operating system Failure to do so can easily slow down CPU and disk performance Consult your computer or motherboard's manual to ensure that all CPU caches are enabled, memory timings are set correctly, and that IDE data transfer modes are set correctly.


You need to ensure that you have the latest versions of all your hardware drivers The ones on the original Windows 98 CD-ROM are usually out of date Updated Video drivers can significantly improve the performance of your computer Select System icon from Control Panel, select the Performance Tab, if your computer is operating with ANY real-mode drivers, update that driver to a modern 32-bit version or replace that piece of hardware Ensure that you have no driver conflicts in the Device Manager of System Properties

Video Performance

If you experience slow screen redraws and you are running the latest drivers for your video card, try selecting a lower quality video resolution In the Display icon of the Control Panel, select the Settings Tab If the system is set for 24 or 32 bit color try lowering it to 16 bit color You can also reduce the Screen Area Upgrade to a new video card if this does not help

Server Role

If you have 32 MB of RAM or more, change your computer's File System Setting to Network Server so that it uses more 40K instead of 10K of memory for caching even though you are using a computer as a Desktop machine Select System icon from Control Panel, select Performance Tab, click on File System button In the Hard Disk tab select Network Server from the popup list

Hard Drive Port

Make sure your hard drive is not connected to the same IDE port as your CD/DVD-ROM Each IDE port is programmed to operate at the slower of the two devices on the port, so you could be slowing down access to your primary hard drive by leaving a CD-ROM on the same channel Put your CD/DVD-ROM on the Secondary IDE port


Windows does not utilize faster DMA IDE storage drivers by default Enable the DMA setting in the Device Manager for each hard drive and CD/DVD-ROM drive you have If you run into a problem with a device, disable DMA

SCSI Write Cache

Many SCSI drives do not have their write caches enabled Use a Mode Page Editor such as the one built into EZ-SCSI to enable Write Caching on all your hard drives

Minimize Autostarted Programs

Press CTRL-ALT-DEL while in Windows Notice how many programs are running in the background Each program steals memory and CPU cycles Offenders include: Fast Find, Office Startup, System Agent, Real Player, Norton To stop programs from automatically starting, remove the file from the Programs - Startup folder, left click on the icons in the System tray and turnoff automatic loading, or consult the help file of each program to turn it off You can also run MSconfig from the Run command, then click OK goto the Startup Tab and uncheck the programs you do not want to load

Removed Unused Programs and Fonts

Uninstall any Programs that you do not use Also remove any Fonts that are not used This will free up disk space and make the machine boot faster You should also remove any temporary files located in the C:\TEMP, C:\WINDOWS\TEMPORARY INTERNET FILES, or C:\WINDOWS\TEMP directories

Virtual Memory

Windows uses your Hard Drive as memory when RAM is full but its default configuration can cause a major loss of performance with the memory swap file getting moved around Select System icon from Control Panel, select Performance Tab, click on Virtual Memory button Select Let me specify my own Virtual Memory Settings The optimal memory setting is approximately 2.5 times your RAM size Use a smaller multiple if you have more than 128MB Set both minimum and maximum to the same number You should also locate Virtual Memory on your fastest drive Defragment with Virtual Memory off after setting this to minimize fragmentation Also make sure you system has at LEAST 128MB RAM to maximize performance.

You can run the System Monitor to determine the maximum amount of memory you use and double it for the fixed virtual memory setting

Stop Floppy Scan

Windows looks for new floppy drives each time you startup, there is no need to do this Select System icon from Control Panel, select Performance Tab, click on File System button, select the Floppy Disk tab Turn off the Search for new floppy disk drives each time your computer starts option If you add a floppy drive, turn this option back on.

Eliminate Boot Delay

Windows stalls 2 seconds during startup, waiting for keystrokes You can eliminate this delay by editing the MSDOS.SYS text file and adding "BootDELAY=0" to the file


Make sure you regularly defragment your hard drive with Window's built in defragmenter A drive with even 5% fagmentation can be very inefficient The Windows 98 Resource Kit includes WALIGN.EXE which allows the defragmenter to arrange your files in a way that allows programs to load faster.

Defragmenting with Virtual Memory off allows all your data to get optimized Just make sure you don not run any other software while it is defragmenting If your computer runs out of RAM, it will crash

FAT32 File System

While the FAT32 file system is much more efficient at dealing with lots of files and large hard drives, it does run a little slower than FAT16 Stick to FAT32, because the performance different is small and FAT32 allows you to take advanced of faster application launches


You can maximize Window's System Resources by disabling Sound Select the Sounds icon from the Control Panel In the Schemes popup select "No Sounds"

Need Help with this Issue?

We help people with technology! It's what we do.
Schedule an Appointment with a location for help!


Posted by Student of Katharine Gibbs School - New York on October 8, 2003