Streamlining the Menu System
Although the navigational aspects of Windows XP Professional have been around since the days of Windows 95, their graphical nature has progressedthey are more extensive in their use of colors and shading, and they drain more system resources. Trimming back the level of graphical representation in your Windows XP desktop can save system resources and boost overall application and network performance.
Follow these steps to get greater performance from your Windows XP system by trimming back the visual effects:
Select the System Tool from the Control Panel. The System Properties dialog box appears.
Click on the Advanced tab of the System Properties dialog box.
Click once on the Settings button in the Performance section of the dialog box. The Performance Options dialog box is next shown, with the Visual Effects page highlighted by default (see Figure 5). Notice that this dialog box lets you select between four options: Let Windows choose what's best for my computer, Adjust for best appearance, and Adjust for best performance, and Custom. Select Adjust for best performance, and click once on Apply.
Figure 5 Using the Optimizing visual effects performance to streamline the performance of your Windows XP system
Your system will take a few moments to redefine color schemes. The majority of the colors will now be grayscale, yet the performance of your system will be noticeably faster.
Click once on OK. Your system is now configured for the highest performance possible from a graphical interface standpoint.
Now if the grayscale is just too bland for you, you can also toggle up the performance of your system by using the following steps:
In the Performance Options dialog box, select Options instead of Adjust for best performance.
Clear the following options to still retain a colorful appearance to the desktop while getting greater performance:
Animate windows when minimizing and maximizing
Fade in taskbar
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Show shadows under menus
Show shadows under mouse pointer
Show translucent selection rectangle
Show window contents while dragging
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Use drop shadows for icon labels on the desktop
Click once on Apply and then click OK. Now you have retained the appearance of Windows XP, yet also greatly increased its performance.