solstyse Posted January 24, 2013 Share Posted January 24, 2013 Here's some advice for those who either can't afford a new computer, or find themselves thinking, "Just one more year! I can't justify it yet!" I have done some experimenting on a 3 year old HP g42-230 running Windows 7. I admit, it's not as barebones as you can get, since some people here are still using xp, but I hope that everyone who seems laggy can get some help from this. Here's how to improve performance while keeping eye candy sacrifices to a minimum.1. Tweak windows, if that is your OS. Most onboard graphics will be either ATI or Nvidia. For Ati cards, search "CCC" without the quotations. Slide all adjustments from quality to the extreme end of performance. the visual difference is barely noticable.Now click start and type "power options" and click "show additional plans." select "high performance." You can dig deep into the advanced settings of this feature, but you don't need to.Again from start, type "Advanced system settings." click on that, then click on "performance." Here you can disable most aero features. Leave at least the last four turned on, though, or it'll look like Windows 2000, which isn't worth it.2. Be picky about your viewer. They do not all perform the same. I tested a lot.Firestorm, I found to be resource hungry.Neirans was unstable on my computer (graphically)Kirstens worked fine, but the UI wasn't my styleCoolviewer and Singularity looked too "old" for me, but performed well right as installed.Exodus and Catznip both looked alright, and after changing a few preferences worked very well for me.LL's own CHUI (which is an alternate viewer that I really hope becomes their main) had a very modern look, and all preferences were already set for performance. The only thing I didn't like is that the chat window, and any other open window stay opaque when you're walking, while they go transparent in the viewers I like to use. That is the one and only thing that prevented CHUI from being my top pick.In the end, I chose Catznip. It just barely squeaked ahead of Exodus and Neirans.But I used the preference settings in Chui to optimize it. Which brings us to our next part.3. Optimize your viewer. You can find a balance between performance and quality.Turn off anything you don't use. A lot of people specifically mention voice.Set graphics to "mid" That will still look good. Maybe not photo-quality, but you'll still have transparent water, basic shaders, etc. You can do more here, but I chose to still have some visual appeal, so I left it at the "mid" default. There was an immediate difference. Now from graphics click hardware, and disable "anisotropic filtering." The only difference I saw from doing so is that sl seemed to speed up.Set bandwidth to about 1500.Strangely, Firestorm seemed to respond a bit less to these preference changes than the others did. but the counterpoint is that Firestorm has my favorite UI.Now, for the not so free stuff. Because if you find youself resorting to this, the next time you slow down, you're going to have to sacrifice either some money, or some eyecandy. So if you follow this guide, then start saving up.1. Run resource monitor to see where your hardware weakness is before you buy anything. Whichever graph shows highest on average is where your weakness is. This is much more important on a desktop than on the test laptop I used.I found that memory usage was spending longer than I would have liked above 80%, so I upgraded from 4gb to 6gb. It made a big difference in performance for $20.Network usage for me was low, with an occasional spike. If yours is high, then you would benefit most from a new router.CPU usage is the one that you can do little with, on a laptop. On a desktop, you can replace your cpu or gpu. But on the lappy, usually you're stuck with what the factory gave you. Unfortunately for me, the test computer comes with an AMD Turion dual core APU with Graphics Chipset AMD M880G with ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 . But, by optimizing my viewer using the preference settings I'm posting, I managed to lower CPU usage by 10%, which makes a noticable difference.Finally, as your old laptop chugs along, and you start looking to newer machines, keep in mind that a desktop will typically have a longer lifespan before it reaches the point of being unsavably obsolete. As bottlenecks in performance on a desktop become apparent, parts may be changed one at a time to overcome them. With a laptop, your only option is often to replace the whole computer.Hope this helps someone. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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