Optimizing Windows XP

Of all the culprits in your PC, of all the suspects for making your NLE experience a painful one, it is unlikely that Windows is it. Really, I am not a Microsoft fan, but I do recognize that finally, after all these years, Windows XP is the operating system they got right. However, as good as this OS is, you can still do some basic things to try to optimize it, or in laymen's terms, get the darn thing to do the job it was designed to do.

Setting the swap file location

The old school of thought with PC optimization was to set your swap file to 2.5 times the amount of physical RAM. However, now that RAM is so cheap and 1 GB is commonplace place, this rule no longer applies. In general, a swap file larger than 640 MB is unnecessary, and it eats up precious hard drive space.

Windows Updates

Generally speaking you should apply all Windows security updates when they are available. However, it's a good idea to take a look at the Pinnacle Web forum to make sure this will not cause Liquid Edition any problems. For this reason I recommend turning off Automatic Updates and applying updates manually.

However, turning off the auto-update function does mean that you have to remember to check the Microsoft update page on a regular basis to keep your computer secure.

Where the swap file should go is also a matter of heated discussion among the geeky part of the computer community. Some reason that placing the swap file on a second hard drive improves performance, while others say it just needs to be on a separate partition. My advice is to keep it on the C drive unless you see some really serious performance problems.

Service Pack 2

If you have SP2 installed, two warning messages from the Windows firewall may appear the first time you start Pinnacle Liquid 6. In this case, you need to click Unblock to add the Render Manager and Desktop applications to the list of allowed applications. These two applications are required by Liquid Edition to function correctly. Once they're added, you should no longer see this prompt.

Access the swap file by entering the System Properties for your computer, clicking the Performance section's Settings button, clicking the Advanced tab on the resulting Performance Options dialog, and then clicking the Change button (Figure A.3).

Figure A.3. Setting the Windows XP swap file.

Reducing the XP eye candy

XP has been compared to a toy interface, with too many unwanted features such as fading menus and brightly colored windows buttons. Although this is a subjective comment, it's true to say that the default XP interface uses a lot of resources that could be better used elsewhere.

To reduce the interface overhead, access the System Properties for your computer, click the Advanced tab, then the Performance section's Settings button, and select Adjust for best performance from the resulting Performance Options dialog (Figure A.4).

Figure A.4. Adjusting the look of XP.


  • Many Internet sites offer further advice on how to turn off unwanted servicesthe parts of XP that operate in the background. Performing a Google search for "XP services disable" reveals plenty of help. One such site is www.pcpitstop.com which has an online diagnostic program to help identify areas of your computer that are underperforming. But always make sure you are turning off something you really don't need.

Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6 for Windows
Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6 for Windows
ISBN: 0321269160
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 245
Authors: Paul Ekert

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