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Review: DriverHeaven's TuneXP 1.0
by Eric Vaughan
April 10, 2004
I've noticed a few news posts this past week about the release of DriverHeaven's TuneXP 1.0. Frankly, I've seen and tried most every XP tweaking program out there and I'm so thoroughly unimpressed with 95% of them that my thought was "Pfft! Another weak-assed tweak program" and let it go at that. Then I saw a few forum posts at my hangout asking whether or not anyone used it and if it was any good or not. Not being able to answer the question, I decided to check this program out...
All I know about TuneXP is that it is the creation of David H. Kristensen, known as "d-force" at DriverHeaven. I popped over to the forums at DH and found this forum thread about TuneXP. There d-force is answering questions about his program. The fact that there is somewhere you can go to ask questions is a bonus. The fact that the program's author is there answering questions not only gives some added legitimacy to the program but also shows he is a stand up guy. So, off I went to download it. The download page made me chuckle a little. The program description says "This radical, new tool is the one of the best and most powerful Windows XP tweakers ever, supporting totally unseen tweaks, which is unique to the program." Hmmm, someone's been taking their marketing classes a little too seriously.
The program is only a 986KB download. Installation required only a click of a button and that you know where Windows is installed. Below is a look at the interface and a list of features:
A look at the tweaks
You'll recognize most of the tweaks. It's missing some tweaks that other programs have and contains some they don't. All-and-all, pretty much standard fare.
The Ultra-Fast Booting tweak aroused my curiosity. The author stated in the above forums that while this tweak uses the "defrag boot files tweak" it also use other tweaks that he will not reveal. So, I fire up my test system. It is a clean install of XP SP1 with only Acronis True Image and Raxco's Perfect Disk loaded. The system is tweaked to a certain extent, is completely clean and has been optimized with Perfect Disk. So, I wasn't looking for Ultra-Fast Booting Tweak to do anything. I ran a series of 3 traces with Bootvis (the old version). Here are the results:
Wow! You're not that impressed? I am. As I said, this system was already tweaked and the files laid out by the best defrag tool on the market. If it can improve boot times on this system, it not only works, it ROCKS!
Some Tweaks I Have A Problem With
OPTIMIZE PREFETCH - Uses unsupported and undocumented registry value of 5. MS states valid values are 0,1,2, and 3. I can only assume that XP would default to using either 3 which is it's default, or 0. Therefore I cannot validate what this tweak is supposed to do and if it works at all. I'm not going to say where the value is. Tweakers know where the setting is. FWIW, Many popular pay-for tweaking programs use this same value.
ACCELERATE DLL UNLOADING & DISABLE PAGING EXECUTIVE - Not really the fault of the author. I have these tweaks in my tweak guide and every tweaking program out there uses this tweak. I'm not going to tell you they don't work BUT I am currently collaborating with another person on an article with information you need to evaluate before using this tweak. Many of you may decide not to use this tweak after you see the article. (sorry to be a tease, it ain't done yet)
IO Page Lock Limit
While the values for this tweak are of much conjecture and argument, the settings this program uses may be a tad aggressive for the masses.
(For those who are new here. I stopped handing out "awards" some time ago. I just tell you what I think and whether or not I'll use it.)
While this program doesn't have all the performance tweaks I would like to see it has a few advantages:
1 - It's FREE!
2 - Very small download.
3 - Unlike many tweaking programs, it doesn't contain a bunch of garbage designed to make it look like it's more than it is.
The interface is clean and simple but I would actually like to see the program move away from the pull-down menu and just put all the tweaks in a window.
As I had said above, the programs description made me chuckle. While TuneXP is a nice little program, IMHO none of the statements in it's description are valid. Stop the marketing BS guys!
While most of the registry entries are well-known for the tweaks in TuneXP I would really like to see them documented somewhere in the program. We shouldn't have to guess at what the tweaks are doing.
Despite my little nit-picks with some of the things in TuneXP I very much like it. It is a nice little program now and I hope it continues to evolve. It is a good addition to any tweakers arsenal and I have added it to mine.
***April, 11, 2004
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