Defragmentation Made Easy

15 09 2008

For those of you who skip the HDD defragmentation process because it takes ages (especially with bigger HDDs). And that situation only got worse in Windows Vista’s defragmentation tool. I looked up a solution, and fortunately found a new piece of software that works to make your life easier and defragmentation faster. And best of all, it’s FREE.

The new software is called AusLogics Disk Defrag. Official web page: http://www.auslogics.com/en/software/disk-defrag

I tried it on my PC, and the results are amazing. It gets the job done in just about 4-5 minutes on a fragmented 30 GB partition. Which is WAAAAAY faster than Vista’s bundled tool.

I don’t know what’s the exact secret behind the speed increase. I know it doesn’t defrag free space (with the current version), but that’s the only difference I found between this program and Vista’s.

I trusted it because it’s rated 5 stars on Cnet.com, 2Cows, and MajorGeeks. It also has its own video review on Cnet, and it’s currently in the top 10 downloaded utilities from Download.com. And it’s a new application, and fully compatible with Vista.

Unlike many others, I believe defragmentation is useful, and COULD speed things up for you. Even if you don’t notice any performance difference, defragmentation prolongs your HDDs lifecycle, and helps prevent sudden HDD failures. So, spare a few minutes every week or two and help out those poor HDDs.





Enable AHCI Under Vista

17 08 2008

Finally, I have found a way to enable the AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) controller driver under Windows Vista. I tried to enable it before installing Vista but couldn’t find a way to do so without using a floppy drive.

Anyway, the other day I was looking for a way to enable the NCQ (Native Command Queuing) capability of my HDDs, and stumbled upon these two articles, which present an alternative way to enabling AHCI (under XP or Vista) without the need for a format and a reinstall:

HOWTO: enable AHCI mode after installing Windows XP

How to enable AHCI without reformatting Windows Vista

Now, you are surely asking if I had gained any performance improvements from AHCI. And to tell you the truth, I didn’t notice any improvement. I know it’s there, and I know some of the AHCI benefits are not noticeable at user level, but are useful for the HDDs, because AHCI enables power management routines not available under the normal IDE mode. And it enables NCQ which is helpful in extending the HDDs lifecycle, and efficiency.

Learn more about AHCI in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AHCI





FSX Likes Vista!

14 07 2008

Tried Microsoft Flight Simulator X on Windows Vista the other day, and to my surprise, it runs much faster than Windows XP! Much faster equaling more than 10 FPS increase!

I was so surprised actually, but loved the fact that I can now try all the new wonders of DX10 (I have the Acceleration Xpack installed). The game looks prettier now, and runs faster, what more could I ask for?!?!?

In case you were wondering about the settings, I have:

– Scenery complexity set at very dense.

– Autogen at Normal.

– Water set to 2.0 Max.

– Ground scenery shadows on.

– Light bloom on + AA + Aniso.

– Traffic at 20%.

I have to mention that setting the framerate lock to unlimited brought additional performance to the game, also about 10 FPS increase. For some unknown reason, the game runs slower even if I set the FPS cap at 60 FPS.

Well, it doesn’t even matter how I got this extra performance boost. For now, I’ll just sit and fly!! Oh, and by the way, a big thank you to the guys at ACES Studios, great job..