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Increase multi-tasking performance on W2K?

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I was wondering how I can improve multi-tasking performance in Windows 2000. I like to have a lot of applications open, and whilst the system remains stable, performance (and switching between tasks) drops when more than a few resource hogging programs are opened.


Previously I have used the 'Win32PrioritySeparation' tweak in NT4 (or manually set process priority levels in the task manager). In 2000 and XP I have been told that you can fine-tune the priority separation tweak. I've read a few articles on the MS knowledge base (but as I am not a programmer, or systems administrator by profession it just made my head spin).


In addition I've heard that values located in the key below:


HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Executive


can be tweaked also (but since I haven't the faintest idea what they do I have steered clear).


What I am looking for is a system that remains as responsive as possible without compromising stability. I would assume that to achive this (and overcome the problem of 'process hogs') is to ensure that all processes are allocated an equal amount of system resources.


I could really do with some expert advice on this.


Athlon T-Bird 1.1Ghz, 512RAM, Windows 2000 Pro SP4

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I have been experiementing with various values in the priority control key, and have found a decimal value of 37 suits my needs (short quantums [fixed length ones for forground applications] with a medium boost). Applications like Dosbox (which is particularly resource intensive) can be helped along by tuning cpu cycles and frameskip (or manually adusting the priorities of other open applications).


btw sysinternal's 'process explorer' is a great little utility, the ability to 'suspend' processes I have found invaluable. Why didn't MS added this functionality to the standard taskmanager by default?


I had tried adjusting the 'AdditionalCriticalWorkerThreads' and 'AdditionalDelayedWorkerThreads' beforehand (set both to '2'). However not wanting to compromise system stability (death by tweaking through ignorance) didn't push things. I assume the performance gained will vary according to hardware set up and applications used, which is why you weren't more specific on what values these should be set at?


However further guidelines would be appriciated if at all possible. For example do both the values listed above have to be the same? (why). Is there a suggested limit to set them at? (ie does it affect system stability beyond a certain level?). Does this tweak conflict with any others that I should be aware of?


Thanks once again.

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Thanks for the info Alecstaar, 'you live and learn' as they say.


I have decided to stick with a value of 2 extra critical and delayed worker threads for now, and add more if needed.


I tried setting apps to 'realtime' with this tweak and suprise suprise, as you said: smooth as glass instead of a near lock up (and I only have 1 cpu).


Thanks again

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