Improve Performance by Turning Off 3D Effects

by Barry Dysert
(last updated April 14, 2014)

If you're pushing the limits of your CPU, you may be looking for ways to eke a little more performance out of your system. Toward that end, you may find some benefit in turning off 3D effects. Of course, your visual experience won't be as dazzling, but if you need a bit more speed, it may be worth the trade-off.

There are nearly 20 effects that you can adjust, but there's also a means to have the computer decide what's best. Or, if you prefer, you can simply indicate that you want things adjusted for the best performance, and Windows will select which elements should be adjusted.

In order to get to the point where you can adjust your effects, go to Start | Control Panel | Performance Information and Tools. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. Preparing to adjust visual effects.

At the left side of the screen click the link named "Adjust Visual Effects." Windows displays the Visual Effects tab of the Performance Options dialog box. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2. The Visual Effects tab of the Performance Options dialog box.

The dialog box details quite a variety of effects you can turn off and on. You can tinker with each of them, but it may be more efficient to select either the radio button titled "Let Windows Choose What's Best for My Computer" or "Adjust for Best Performance" (which clears all the effects). You may even want to take a snapshot of your current system's settings and click the top radio button to see what happens (you can always click Cancel if you don't want the settings to take effect).

Once you have your options the way you want them, click OK to have them immediately go into effect.

 This tip (13066) applies to Windows 7.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 30 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer.  He is currently a senior software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. ...

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