From an end user perspective, IT managers need to be concerned about training end users on the new interface, as well as delivering an improved user experience for best adoption of the new platforms.
This article focuses on improving user experience, via improved performance at the desktop level.
Windows 7 was an operating system that provided a significant increase in performance over previous Windows iterations. Windows 8, the successor to Windows 7, has been designed to provide an even bigger increase in performance due to efficient memory and CPU management. However, you will not see much of a boost in performance if you are running Windows 8 on a low-end computer or laptop. Fortunately, you can make Windows 8 run much faster by tweaking certain aspects of the operating system.
Windows 8 has let go of a number of visual effects that were found in Windows 7, but it still has enough effects left to cause a major strain on memory and processing power. If you are experiencing screen tearing and lag when opening, closing or moving applications around the screen, your computer may not have the resources available to run the default user interface normally. This issue can be remedied by using a built-in configuration tool named Performance Options. To open Performance Options, go to “Search” on the Charms Bar, select “Settings” and then enter “Performance Tools” into the search box. Now select “Performance and Information Tools” to open Performance Options. Next, select the “Visual Effects” tab, then click the radio button next to “Adjust for best performance.” Click “Apply” to save the changes. Applications will now start to run faster due to the freed up memory and processing power that were previously dedicated for visual effects.
Defragmenting your hard drive using a disk defragmenter is another great way to make Windows 8 run faster on older hardware. Grouping together file fragments makes it easier for the hard drive to access data, therefore speeding up data transfer rates considerably. Windows 8 comes with a built-in disk defragmenter that has the ability to defragment select partitions. To get to the disk defragmenter, open File Explorer and click “Computer” on the left-side navigation pane. Right click the partition that contains the Windows 8 installation and select “Properties.” Now select the “Tools” tab and click “Optimize.” Once again, select the Windows 8 partition on the “Optimize Drives” window and click “Optimize” to defragment the partition.
If you had used Windows 8 for some time, you would have noticed the User Account Control notifications that pop up whenever you make changes to applications or important system files. These notifications are accompanied by a dimming effect that taxes the resources on older hardware. Fortunately, you can lower the amount of UAC notifications that show up by changing the UAC security level. First, open the “Charms Bar” and select “Search.” Click “Settings” and type “User Account Control” into the search box. Now press “Enter” to open the User Account Control Settings window. Move the slider to a level below the default security level and click “OK.”
Running your computer on the latest drivers available can also create a huge impact on performance. Using the latest drivers for your video card and motherboard not only increases your computer’s performance, but also fixes issues that were present in older drivers. Windows 8 comes included with drivers for most hardware devices, but using latest drivers downloaded directly from a device manufacturer’s website provides additional configuration tools that you can use get the maximum performance from each device.
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