Hardware Acceleration Setting on Win XP


Under what conditions is it advisable to have the Hardware Acceleration settings set to off or minimal on Windows XP ? Also if set to maximum does it use more of the processor ?

In particular I would like to know what the optimum settings are for trading so any help is appreciated.

Hi Paul,

Are you having problems?

If not then just stick with the defaults.

Most trading apps like TWS and Seirra Chart have minimal impact on a machine, even older ones.

For example I can run TWS, Seirra Chart, Forte - Java IDE and a Java trading app on a PII 350Mhz with 192M Ram concurrently without a hitch using XP.

Oh and I can even lump MarketMaker on top as well. It then does creak abit but it is useable neverless.

Hi Paul,

I agree with JonnyT about this.

But, if you insist - why not get a free pc tune-up over here: http://www.pcpitstop.com/ - I think it's a great site. You'll notice that they use a wider benchmark of overall performance than speed.

Going beyond this, then the forum on http://www.overclockers.co.uk is the best place to look for tips on performance, IMO. :)

I hope this helps.


JonnyT and Mayfly,

Thank you for your responses. I have visited pcpitstop and it has highlighted some perfomance issues including spyware from RealOne which I thought Iwas rid of and a sprecific issue with defragmentation.

I was wondering if either of you know if any of these defrag programs are any better than the one that comes with Win XP ? I do defrag often but I guess that trading data causes ongoing fragmentation issues. I know when I was writing music using hard disk recording you had to defrag almost daily.

Any advice is welcome

Broadly speaking Paul the Win defragmenter is useless when compared with say diskeeper (which I use). My experience was that the Win defrag just wasn't dealing with what was needed as a result of daily downloading of data for my charting. Since I started using diskeeper I have noticed marked improvements in various ways ( too detailed for this thread). It was recommended to me by a networking pro. I use the domestic version on my small network at home. The program is very flexible and defrag can be run in the backgound, sceduled or instituted manually. Additionally there is a boot time defrag which addresses folders. Look at www.executive.com. There are others that claim to be better in various ways but I think that diskeeper is a market standard
Best wishes
Have just visited the exec software site and see that boot time defrag is only available in the "pro" version of the latest release (8). I use 7 which included it in the domestic version. I run Win XP Pro.
I'm lucky enough to have a copy of version 8 pro that emule gave me...


To answer your question, I use Norton’s Speed Disk program which comes as part of Norton Utilities and/or System Works. I’ve used this for years and I’m perfectly happy with it.

I run Win XP Pro and Fat32.


Thanks again for the replies. I have gone for the exec software and run the tests. The boot defrag took all night but is done now and I had a warning that it was not stable so I am now pleased that it is.

I will run the defrag in the background during the mornings but make sure it is off when trading.

I suggest you consider running the boot defrag on a weekly or monthly basis. You'll find that it only takes minutes if it is done regularly and I think that it is time well spent.
In response to the original question.

I don't believe that hardware acceleration is required other that for very high level graphics work or games.

For what we are doing it is better if it is turned right down. This way there will be fewer hardware problems - hang ups etc.