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50 ways to speed up Windows Vista
Discover tweaks and techniques for speeding up your Windows Vista-powered PC with our collection of top performance-enhancing tips

1. Add more memory
The simplest way to improve performance is to add more memory (RAM) to your system – 1GB (1024MB) is the minimum recommended amount, but add as much memory as you can afford or your system supports - up to a maximum of 4GB if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows Vista. Visit Crucial's web site below for details and pricing based on your exact PC make and model.

Crucial Memory Selector

2. Use your USB flash drive
If you’ve got a spare USB flash drive with at least 256MB free space, you can use it to help give your system a helping hand. Plug the drive into a spare USB2.0 slot and – when prompted – select Speed up my system.

3. Configure Readyboost
If the option doesn’t appear, or you want to override Windows Vista’s recommended settings, click Start > Computer, right-click your flash drive, choose Properties and switch to the ReadyBoost tab.

4. Buy a new flash drive
If you want to purchase a flash drive specifically for using as a ReadyBoost device (remember, it’s no substitute for real RAM), opt for a model with faster read/write times (such as the Gizmo Plus! from here) for the best results.

5. Overclock your graphics card
You can tweak your graphics card to squeeze a few extra frames per second out of playing games. Use a tool like PowerStrip (click here) or ATITool (click here) - still in beta and needs to be run as an Administrator) to optimise your display, but note you’ll be stressing your graphics card and shortening its life by doing so – you may even damage it by attempting to overclock, so think carefully and remember it’s all at your own risk.

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