I want to breathe new life into my Windows XP Home SP3 system.

Ok, so, I've noticed that my XP Home SP3 system is a tad slower than I think it should be (especially compared to other systems with worse hardware). So, what I'm going to do is go through as many of my often used apps as I can and replace them (or not) with quicker, snappier, more effecient and just generally overall better programs. So, here's what I currently use.

IM/Chat - Pidgin, mIRC
Internet - Firefox 3.0
Skins/Styles - Windowblinds
Dock - Objectdock
Spyware - Spybot S&D, AdAware, SpywareBlaster
Virus - AVG
Firewall - ZoneAlarm
Cleanup - CCleaner
Defrag - JKdefrag
Office Apps - OpenOffice
Burning - Nero
Torrent - uTorrent
Monitors - EVEREST trial, Speedfan, CPU-Z, GPU-Z
Stress Tests - Prime95, Memtest

So far this is what I have found that seems to be applications that seem to be just as good or better than what I currently have.

Pidgin --> Miranda
AVG --> AntiVir
ZoneAlarm --> Comodo

Any other suggestions or something even better than what I found? A more efficient skinning and visual styles program would be awesome at the least.
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  1. What is slower that not enough info, i repair,clean and build machines i get customers that say my computer is still slow after you cleaned my machine of viruses, spyware,defrag and tuneup.

    I then found out they were talking about there web surfing which is impossible for me to fix because i found out that they were on dial-up lol.

    Playing games is a combo of video card #1, amount of ram #2 and cpu power #3

    changing apps will have little effect of speed of games also spyware can slow your system down to a crawl and is the #1 reason for poor system performance.
  2. Why does everyone assume I'm automatically talking about games? THIS ISN'T ABOUT GAMING, IT'S ABOUT GENERAL SYSTEM PERFORMANCE!

    What I'm saying is that I'm trying to get faster, more responsive and more efficient programs for my own personal use that still do their job and do it well. I already understand all of my hardware and how good it is/isn't for gaming, but what bothers me is that when it comes to general performance, like how quickly things load and how fast I can switch between programs, etc, I feel slow compared to other systems.

    I'm also not talking about web surfing either because I already know my internet speed fairly well and I like the speed I already get.
  3. Ahh well that is a number of factors your hard drive being one for loading time, that can be tweaked through defragging, there is defragging and there is defraging +systems files.


    boot speed:
    Always make a backup of your registry before you play around with it.

    You might want to streamline what starts on your computer also the more garbage apps that load at start long it takes to boot your os up i personally only let av monitor and thats about it by using msconfig.

    This also frees up alot of ram some apps that load into your computer can eat alot of ram, ram is also needed for multiple programs the more you have the better you can switch between apps.

    2 gigs of ram is a good amount to have when working with multiple programs.

    The problem is that re-skinning xp can take a toll on its performance taking up alot of ram space and slowing down your system.

    And finally spyware, spyware can slow your overall system performance by quite a bit i had one customer took 20 mins to boot his pc to desktop lol took me 2 days to clean he had almost every spyware know to man on his system by the time i was done i got his pc booting up in 8 secs.

    start with:
    spybot search and destroy 1.6
    avg antispyware

    now these 2 programs they can really speed up your system if your infected by spyware

    Combofix: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/combofix/how-to-use-combofix
    Smitfraudfix: http://siri.geekstogo.com/SmitfraudFix.php

    You have to use caution when using the 2 above programs make sure your system restore is tuned on and make a restore point before using them to be safe.

    and finally to improve multi tasking in xp: http://www.selfseo.com/story-12517.php

    And yes your video card even with apps has some effect on speed because it needs to render your desktop having a pci video card or agp can reduce your productivity esp if your doing video editing or photo manipulation.
  4. Well I already handle all the spyware, viruses, defraging and startup programs on my computer pretty well. I've used msconfig, Spybot, AdAware, AVG and defrag programs quite a lot.

    Still, the boot defrag tool looks useful and maybe that speedy bootup trick will help.

    Also I'm going to try and use some extra Windows skins that don't require a third party program, that should help.

    As for multitasking, I already have a dual-core Athlon X2 3800+ that's overclocked to boot and my computer has 2 GB of DDR2 800 RAM, so hardware shouldn't be a problem.

    Ultimately though, I do plan on reformatting my machine soon and then doing the best I can to install as little as possible to keep my machine free of crap, but also get it secure.
  5. Try a faster (rpm) HDD - like the Western Digital Raptor series (10,000 & 15,000 rpm). Will do wonders, if you can afford it.
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