Saturday, October 22, 2005

Make your computer run faster!

OK, So I put that site meter gizmo on this moron blog and it tells me things...all sorts of creepy semi-intrusive things about people reading this stuff...none of which I or anyone else really cares about.

However, site meter did tell me some stuff, that being an engineer, I now feel obligated to reflect back to my readers.

A) Most of you are using a 32 bit color depth on your video settings. FYI - the human eye is incapable of discerning 32 bits worth of color depth - it buys you nothing, zippola, zilch. Just a bunch of worthless data your machine is sloshing around that just costs performance. The human eye CAN distinguish more than 16 bits of color depth, but the difference between 16 and 24 bit color is almost undetectable for ordinary web surfing and playing of video clips. If you do a lot of photo realistic editing/retouching and such, maybe 24 bits makes sense - but for the vast majority of people 16 bit depth is perfectly acceptable and will probably run visibly faster than 32 bit. Give it a try, you will probably like it.

B) Most of you (90%+) are running Windows XP or Windows 2000. The installation DEFAULT for these systems is to ENABLE some completely retarded "feature" called "transition effects". What this does is make your fast computer feel like an old 286 when you're navigating through menus. Did you knowingly pay hard cash for Windows software with intentional delay loops in it to make it feel slow? Probably not, but that's what you got. Right mouse button click on the blank desktop. Select "Properties". Select "Effects". Then disable that transition effect brain deadness and watch your machine start to feel like a new machine.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Very helpful.

Red A said...

My Windows XP desktop properties does not bring up an "effects" tab.

Is this normal?

Purple Avenger said...

Its there somewhere in the properties Red.

They moved some stuff around in XP that had been in the same place for W2K, W98/ME.

Might be called animation or something like that.

Unfortunately I'm typing on a W2K machine right now. I wouldn't touch XP with a cattle prod ;-> I have seen this on the demo machine in CompUSA and I altered it on a few of them, so the setting is available somewhere.

Red A said...

Found it on my home comp. Thanks.

G said...

it is on the appearance tab. Thanks for the advice Purp, i just need to remember to change this at home too.

Not surprised though.

Sp ceMarine said...

The difference between 16 and 24 or 32-bit color is nowhere more apparent than in gradients. You'll probably see banding with 16-bit, whereas 24 or more will appear to form a smooth blend. Granted, in most cases when you have a 24-bit image (any JPEG out there) and force it into a 16-bit display pallete (throwing away a bit of the information) you probably won't notice the difference in any particular color, but there is information lost -- this is noticeable when looking at images which feature areas of similar (yet very slightly different) colors next to each. Your eye CAN easily distinguish the difference in this case -- however 16-bit may map both colors in the image to the same color in the display.

As for performance, this is only an issue (1) on computers more than several years old, and (2) through remote-desktop programs (RDP, PCAnywhere, etc.), which default to 16-bit anyway, or (3) with ancient graphics hardware. Modern machines may even perform better in 32-bit than any other mode, since no calculations have to be done to down-convert the 24-bit image pallete to a 16-bit color space, and since graphics functions are hardware-accelerated.

For much more effective ways to speed up XP graphically, try turning off shadows under popup menus, menu animation, window transitions, and using the Windows Classic theme. Using 16-bit color locally on most systems probably is of negligible benefit, if it even helps speed things up in a noticeable way at all.

Purple Avenger said...

As for performance, this is only an issue (1) on computers more than several years old

So why does anyone make faster machines?

Performance is always an issue.