Windows Vista Power Tips From a Microsoft Guru

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  1. Jason

    Jason

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    <H1 class=title>Windows Vista Power Tips From a Microsoft Guru</H1><DIV class=abstract><CITE class=author>By Erik Larkin, PC World</CITE>

    These hidden tools will help you get maximum performance from your Windows Vista PC.</DIV><DIV class=segment><DIV class=detail>

    <SPAN>Want to know what's going on behind the surface of your Windows Vista PC--and how to make it run better? Beyond the eye candy of the Aero interface lie some new tools that will help you monitor and maximize the performance of your system.

    We got a look at some of these tools from one of Microsoft's own ├╝bergeeks, Mark Russinovich, at the recent Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC). If you've been serious about digging into the inner workings of Windows, there's a good chance you've used a tool created by Russinovich. He founded Sysinternals, a company that developed Process Explorer, a much more powerful version of Windows Task Manager, as well as a slew of other utilities. Sysinternals was bought by Microsoft last year.

    Here are a few of Russinovich's favorite Windows Vista tools:

    Performance monitoring: Russinovich uses Windows Vista's Resource Overview, a nicely upgraded utility that provides at-a-glance system performance charts for CPU, disk, network, and memory usage. Clicking any of the four charts provides detailed information on how much each resource is being used by currently running tasks. Preston Gralla has written about it for PC World, along with the companion Reliability monitor tool, which can quickly show all program, hardware, and OS failures, as well as software installs and uninstalls. The Reliability Monitor can show, for instance, how many times a particular program has crashed. You can reach both monitoring tools through the Reliability and Performance Monitor toolset by clicking Start and typing </SPAN><SPAN>perfmon</SPAN><SPAN> in the Start Search box.

    CPU cycle usage:</SPAN><SPAN> One thing you won't see in these built-in monitors is Windows Vista's new ability to measure and report a program's processor usage based on CPU cycles over the entire time the program has been in use. Russinovich says such a report can provide a more accurate view of the drain on CPU resources than you can get in XP, whose Task Manager only shows how much of the CPU a process is using at that moment.</SPAN><SPAN></SPAN></DIV><DIV class=detail><DIV class="gchild chrome1 left"><DIV class="ggchild c1 first"><DIV class=img>[​IMG]</DIV></DIV></DIV>

    <SPAN>To see the new data, download and unzip the Process Explorer utility. Right-click one of the column headings (such as 'Process') and click Select Columns. Choose the Process Performance tab, and then CPU Cycles. You can sort the display by that column and see which programs have eaten up the most CPU resources.

    SuperFetch RAM usage: If you do keep an eye on Windows Vista's system performance stats, don't be surprised to see the reported amount of free RAM drop steadily over time, even if you're not opening new files or programs. This trend can sometimes indicate a memory-guzzling program bug, but Russinovich says you'll also see it as a result of the beneficial SuperFetch feature, which attempts to learn which tasks you'll perform at certain times and preload that task's data into avail
     
    Jason, Jul 8, 2007
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