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I want to either programmatically or manually measure how much PC performance increase I get after using a Windows optimization program. There are several programs on the market that do this and I want to be able to tell which ones do it the best, etc ...

What values within Windows OS are good to use for measuring performance of the computer as a whole?

Should I be measuring application load times? Should I be measuring CPU processing times? I'm not really sure what would be the best way to really figure out how fast and smoothly a Windows machine is running other than simply noticing it visually.

Edit: things usually being optimized are:

  1. registry,
  2. temp files,
  3. unnecessary files,
  4. empty folders,
  5. browser history,
  6. defragmenting registry,
  7. updating drivers,
  8. defragmenting hard drive, etc ...

Let's say there is a program called AmazingComputerOptimizor and then let's say that I wanted to see what kind of performance increase this program gave my computer or any other computer. What kind of things can I test and measure within a PC running Windows to show how much performance was gained by the use of this AmazingComputerOptimizor?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

things usually being optimized are 1) registry, 2) temp files, 3) unnecessary files, 4) empty folders, 5) browser history, 6) defragmenting registry, 7) updating drivers, 8) defragmenting hard drive, etc ...

'optimizing' the registry is at least debatable, 'temp files' i'd rather delete than optimize :)

In case you're using XP, Bootvis is a great utility to monitor the startup process, CPU benchmarking is rather moot as the measures you're talking about hardly affect the computing power of your processor (unless you tweak the services and/or disable unnecessary/unwanted background programs). You might see an improvement of your HDD performance after defragmenting the drive.

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Bootvis is indeed handy if you want to dig into boot optimization. See also TuneXP. And... lots of people say BootVis doesn't optimize your boot, just measures it, but I'm pretty sure there's an Optimize function in one of the menus. And I think it might have helped me in the past... –  Nathaniel Jan 31 '10 at 4:45
    
This might be one area I can measure, but is it only for WinXP? I want to be able to do performance tests and keep measurements for various operating systems like Win2k, WinXP, Vista, and Win7. –  Brian T Hannan Feb 1 '10 at 19:45
    
@Nathanlie - The Bootvis optimizations were already implemented in Windows XP by default, but its great to analyze the startup process and find culprits if there are any delays. –  Molly7244 Feb 1 '10 at 19:46

PCMark Vantage is a way.

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a) you have to buy it, b) it seems like it is focused on gaming stuff. –  Brian T Hannan Feb 1 '10 at 20:24
1  
You can use the trial and PCMark benchmarks the entire pc, 3DMark does the GPU part –  Ivo Flipse Feb 2 '10 at 7:33
    
@Brian: Try out the trial version. PCMark is not the same as 3DMark. –  Svish Feb 2 '10 at 16:31

I use AMD CodeAnalyst. If you provide the source code it will provide time and event based profiling with respect to the entire system. You can analyze the program and inspect bottle necks within the program and compare it to current running process on your system. I have an Intel processor so I am only able to do time based profiling (you'll require a AMD processor to get event profiling), however, I am satisfied with the profiling provided. AMD CodeAnalyst

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I'm not trying to analyze code here, but this might be helpful if I was. I am trying to analyze overall system performance. –  Brian T Hannan Feb 1 '10 at 19:40

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