"Adjust visual effects for best performance" should really be called "Adjust visual effects for crappiest appearance"


In the Performance Options control panel, on the tab labeled Visual Effects, there is a radio button called Adjust for best performance. If you select it, then all the visual effects are disabled.

But the name of that radio button has been wrong for a long time. It doesn't actually adjust your visual effects for best performance. It just adjusts them for crappiest appearance.

Starting in Windows Vista, a lot of visual effects were offloaded to the graphics card. Consequently, the impact on system performance for those visual effects is negligible, and sometimes turning off the effect actually makes your system run slower because you disabled hardware acceleration, forcing operations to be performed in software.

For example, if desktop composition is enabled, then a backup copy of a window's entire contents is kept in video memory, even if the window is covered by other windows. Without desktop composition, the window manager uses the classic model which follows the principle don't save anything you can recalculate: The contents of an occluded window are not saved anywhere, and when the window becomes exposed, the window receives a WM_PAINT message to tell it to regenerate its contents.

This means that, for example, when you remove a window from the screen and expose the window underneath, the desktop compositor can show the contents of the underlying window immediately because it saved a copy of the window in video memory and has been keeping it up to date. On the other hand, if you disable desktop composition, you will just stare at a blank window underneath, and then you have to sit and wait for that window to repaint itself.

Congratulations: By disabling desktop composition, you made the act of uncovering a window run slower. (You will see the same effect when switching between maximized windows.)

Okay, so if unchecking these visual effects has negligible and sometimes even a negative effect on performance, why do we still present them in the Visual Effects control panel for people to disable?

Because enthusiasts who think they are so awesomely clever looooove disabling anything that makes the computer look pretty, because they're convinced that effort making the computer look pretty is clearly done at the expense of performance. They observe that if all the visual effects are disabled, their machine runs fast, but that's not a controlled experiment because they failed to measure how fast the computer runs when the effects are enabled. (By similar logic, sticking a banana in your ear keeps the alligators away.)

These are the people who think that a bare computer motherboard on a table with components hanging off it runs faster than a computer packed into an attractive case. And even if you demonstrate that it doesn't actually run faster, they will still keep their computer in its partially-disassembled state because it adds to their street cred.

The Visual Effects settings page turned into a sort of unintended psychology experiment.

Comments (59)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Oh cool I never found that option on windows 7 before.

    After playing with it I think that "Adjust visual effects for best performance" should in fact be called "Turn off pointless stuff". I turned it all off, windows seems to work much better now and look like it should. I know that's not what your article things, but it all looks and works much better now! So thank you :)

  2. Jack B Nimble says:

    Years ago I had a video card which had expandable memory slots (okay, maybe it was many years ago). I noticed that Windows would freeze or crash if hardware acceleration was enabled. Fortunately there was an option to disable it in Windows; so I just used that for awhile. Later it occurred to me that the expanded memory might be the problem (I had purchased it with the memory already installed). After removing it (and taking my video card down to 2MB of ram) I was able to enable hardware acceleration without Windows dying.

    So at least that option can be useful for identifying hardware issues.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As a corollary to JX's comment… if you separate the items into "pointless visual candy that just annoys me" and "actual hardware acceleration", I might be inclined to leave on the actual hardware acceleration.

  4. Programmerman says:

    I ran a caseless monstrosity once upon a time. I think I got to use it twice before something knocked the motherboard and rendered it unbootable. Alas, that's what happens when you take your caseless monstrosity to lan parties: they're so much harder to transport loosely packed in a box instead of neatly mounted in a case.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The same argument could be made for Metro, but there's no opting out of that; of course I suspect that decision was made primarily with financial interests in mind.

    Also, I thought the check box (or radio button, in this case) was the mating call of the loser.

    [Yup. This is a dialog box created by people who were not confident in their feature. It was an escape hatch in case the autodetection failed. Nowadays, computers are powerful enough that pretty much everybody can handle the "just do it" setting. -Raymond]
  6. Anonymous says:

    "Not a bear in sight.  The Bear Patrol must be working like a charm."

  7. Dan Bugglin says:

    Funny you posted about this, just the other day my work PC decided to disable rendering window contents while dragging.  This is more annoying than I thought it would be.

    Now I have to file a support ticket to see if they'll change the setting to "Adjust for best appearance".

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think the snark against enthusiasts is a bit unwarranted here. That checkbox had a real effect on XP, because XP was so bad at automatically choosing what's best as it promised to. And, because Microsoft left it nearly a decade to release a worthy successor to XP, XP tips and tricks have gained a mindshare that is only just beginning to dwindle.

    Had you blogged about the fetish for turning off system services in certain quarters, for example, your criticisms of enthusiasts might have been fairer.

  9. Dan Bugglin says:

    @Jack Actually safe mode also disables hardware acceleration so that is a way to help pin down such problems as well.

  10. Anonymous says:

    What Matt said. Before Aero and desktop composition, that option ("adjust for best performance") was probably accurately named, since most (all?) of the eye candy was software rendered. It could have been removed in Vista, but I'm not sure it was retained to appease performance enthousiasts. More likely it was just inertia.

    I'm happy there are at least some loser mating calls left in there. The "custom" option allows me to turn off all animations (including smooth scrolling) and transparency, something which has nothing to do with performance and everything with not distracting me. The Ease of Access Center also offers this in the form of "Turn off all unnecessary animations", but that was a later invention (and I don't know but am pretty sure that doesn't include turning off smooth scrolling).

  11. Anonymous says:

    I always use "Adjust for best performance" not for the sake of performance, but simply because Microsoft's idea of "pretty" is clearly different than mine.

  12. @Silly:

    This isn't just graphics performance though. The extra WM_PAINT messages are handled on the CPU. This means that the CPU has to do something instead of the processor being able to sleep. This uses up extra electricity, so over the course of a year, the extra painting will increase your electricity bill. If the power station that supplies your system isn't a green one, then this will mean that more pollutants are pumped into the atmosphere and thus speed up the rate at which we destroy the planet. So please, think of the environment, turn on hardware acceleration.

    @Matt:

    The thing is, would 7 have been such a worthy successor if Vista didn't exist in the first place? DWM used DirectX 9 in Vista because of the lack of DirectX 10 capable video cards, which caused issues with memory usage, 7 would have had this problem too if Vista didn't exist. WDDM 1.1 added direct access between system memory and video memory IIRC, this helped increase performance, again, would this have happened if Vista didn't exist.

    Then onto another source of hate, would UAC have been any better in 7 if Vista didn't exist? By the time 7 came out, people had gotten used to it, and companies had started writing low privilege aware applications. If there was no Vista to start this and take all of the hate, then 7 would have been exactly the same. Sometimes the "dud" versions of Windows are required for progress to happen.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The performance is still a valid reason if you're running through Remote Desktop Connection.

    The performance is the greatest reason if you're running Vista or 7 on an old machine, where the graphics card may literally melt with the heat generated by offloading the window manager to it. This is specially apparent in laptops with non-ventilated DX9-era GPUs.

    Granted, enabling hardware acceleration will improve speed even in these old computers, but since the card will melt, they won't perform for long. Hence, disabling hardware acceleration is the only way to ensure it'll still have any kind of performance, faster or slower, for years to come.

  14. Anonymous says:

    [Yup. This is a dialog box created by people who were not confident in their feature. It was an escape hatch in case the autodetection failed. Nowadays, computers are powerful enough that pretty much everybody can handle the "just do it" setting. -Raymond]

    Which still performs its primary function whenever the machine does not have accelerated graphics (VM, pulled graphics drivers as they bluescreen, pulled graphics card and put S3 card in to get last bit of RAM out of a 32 bit machine, etc.). The auto-detect on W7 and up will sometimes say it's fine to use DWM even when there's no graphics card.

    I have one other reason for using it, that is without retina displays I'm ridiculously sensitive to anti-aliasing and have to use bi-level rendering everywhere. Guess why I'm not running W8.

  15. kinokijuf says:

    On the topic of appearance: How to select custom titlebar colors (background and text, active and inactive) in Windows 8 without enabling high contrast mode?

  16. Anonymous says:

    I do not disable the features because of performance, but because of my eyes and usability issues. Basically, I am disabling just all the animations as there are (a) making my eyes hard times in keeping focused on the content, (b) there are too many animations, (c) some programs, including the native MSI wizard-based installations, are making crazy things (closing and opening windows animation for each wizard step), (d) it does not make me confident when I am on the right page when scrolling by PgUp/PgDown, as it constantly changes the canvas and I need to wait on each page until it finishes the fancy animation, (e) etc.

    And I am upset when a program does not respect the settings. Unfortunately, literally none of the fancy WinRT apps respects my settings (mostly because the WPF/XAML animations does not offer seamless way in respecting the setting, for example by specifying an attribute that this is just a fancy animation so it might be fastened if the user disabled animations).

  17. Anonymous says:

    I too check this box regularly, because all the modern animation stuff and the layered, blurred and rounded edge distracts me.

    Only allow to drag full windows though.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I had a coworker who used the same logic, but also applied it to the journaling in the file system. He honestly thought that having it on would slow his system down to a crawl so he either hacked the registry to turn it off, or simply used FAT instead of NTFS.

  19. I view that option as a fire escape. Sure, > 98% of users won't use it > 98% of the time. But it's really handy to have when you need it.

  20. Anonymous says:

    You're not convinced by people who write "my puter [sic] feels like it runs more smooth" on the internets?

    Man, that's enough performance analysis for me!

  21. Anonymous says:

    @Cresens2k. Thanks for the tip. I have to admit not remembering playing around with the Desktop Composition setting and not bothering to discover its meaning. At any rate, when I select it, click Apply, close the window, and then re-open it, the option is de-selected again. Maybe this is due to the Classic setting, or maybe I just need to reboot my machine and retry. Off topic: my environmental legacy… http://www.youtube.com/watch (dark humour warning).

  22. Anonymous says:

    I had to disable graphics hardware acceleration in Excel 2013 because it caused my screen to go blank, so I guess in some cases this may be necessary.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this article. My question then is what should we do in a virtual environment? If we are setting up something like a VMWare environment in a server farm where users are creating VMs and connecting through remote desktop, does the above still ring true?

    [There's a TechNet article on the subject, to which I defer. -Raymond]
  24. Anonymous says:

    Thanks Ray to mention this. I had a laptop which was the first generation of wireless and mobile thing. I was so frustrated with its performance when it was on wireless, I was almost disable anythings that I can put my finger on them. I hope the "Modern" configuration will make me feel better..

  25. Anonymous says:

    "Because enthusiasts who think they are so awesomely clever looooove disabling anything that makes the computer look pretty, because they're convinced that effort making the computer look pretty is clearly done at the expense of performance."

    Er, they have a pretty good reason to think this:  you labeled the feature "increase performance by disabling the pretty stuff."  Next you're going to add an "enable my computer to fly" checkbox and then mock people for believing that if they enable that checkbox, their computer will be able to fly.  Silly users!

    It seems like the person who should be mocked in this situation is whoever decided that disabling automatic window buffering should be included in the "improve performance" checkbox.

  26. Anonymous says:

    This blog post is just too awesome. I hope it gets the attention it deserves, it is just so true about the type of people who can't resist fiddling with settings and then spouting such nonsense on forums and blogs spreading disinformation around.

    I'll definitely be linking to this!

  27. xpclient says:

    Not to mention it is not even as fast as XP GDI performance because of GDI hardware accelerated functions in drivers being killed by Vista's redesign of the display driver model.

  28. Anonymous says:

    @Crescens2k

    Mojave! This is why Windows 8 is a dud, Microsoft is using it to get everybody used to Metro for Windows Blue. (Hence why it didn't even get a decent title.)

  29. Anonymous says:

    What about when Windows automatically switches to Aero Basic to "improve performance?" Is this just because the video memory is full?

  30. Entegy says:

    @xpclient I think you've gone full on bonkers now dude. Really!!!???

  31. SimonRev says:

    @Entegy — Actually while I usually disagree with XPClient, he has a point here.  GDI lost a lot of graphical acceleration moving to Vista.  On the other hand, by the time Vista came around, CPUs could handle most anything you can throw at them in GDI.

  32. Anonymous says:

    [There's a TechNet article on the subject, to which I defer. -Raymond]

    I don't think that link goes to a place that answers his question.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I think you all have to remember that Raymond in this blog is not stating that this applies to 100% of the systems out there. There are certain situations where turning this off improves performance, but I think it is safe to say as long as you have a fairly modern piece of hardware (because let's remember here, Windows to its credit will run on fairly old hardware), then the blog post applies. If you are running it on very old hardware, then you should be just grateful it runs.

  34. Anonymous says:

    There's also the problem of DWM using all video memory for itself and when you have multiple displays and VMEM runs out, everything just slows down to a crawl…

  35. Anonymous says:

    All post it is just unreal lie.

    In fact open services.msc in Windows XP and in Vista+ and look and feel that columns on Win XP without DWM – drags more smoothly without any lags.

    It is looks, as MS's and in your's blog bad playing with good face. Sorry, but, DWM – suck (i know what do DWM, and i know that it is in generally – good idea, but fundamental API interaction it is still too bad, even on windows 7). Windows 8 – another mistake. Thanks.

  36. Anonymous says:

    And in addition – fade in/out effects on popups – it is slow, not by hardware. It is slow (for me) by appearance of them. I.e. i can react much faster when some things appears immediately, without any delays (which include any animation). But in other case – natural shadow, around window – it is really cool thing.

    Sorry for previous comment, but – it is true. But as anything at our life – other-side always exist. My (not only my) criticism, of DWM – is why good known fundamental API's becomes slow, while new API doesn't exist, – 3/4-rd generation of incompatible XAML – it is just joke. Nobody doesn't want use it, 'cause it bad by design, and nobody will use it for real applications. It is just for games on phones. :D Over 20 years fighting by having UI disign guidelines, and just kick them all! D3D… just froget. It is still needed ONLY for games, same as many years ago.

  37. Entegy says:

    Under Vista, disabling desktop composition helped on weak/integrated graphics. Nowadays, I leave the effects alone since I know what it's doing now. The only thing that's off in there for me is save thumbnails, which I think is a default setting, no?

    I've told people that disabling the visual effects is really only a troubleshooting thing, but I do know some people who will setup machines and immediately hit that radio button. *sigh*

  38. Anonymous says:

    In these days (>10y) of good enough computing, I choose the settings that make me feel the most comfortable. For my work laptop that's currently classic with 'Custom' and 'Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts'. The machine has 8 cores and 16Gb of RAM and some NVIDIA card. Do you think I give a rat's *** of its graphics performance?

  39. Anonymous says:

    Well, Raymond mentions "all those options" and then talks about "desktop composition" in detail.  There is some conflating going on here!  

    Using that radio button DOES improve performance.  Perhaps performance would be even better if you first check that radio button, then turn "desktop composition" back on.

    As for the items that really DO hurt performance, let's talk about some of the other items besides desktop composition — which are included in the "best performance" radio button (as a few commenters have touched on):

    It takes less TIME to not "fade or slide" than it does to "fade or slide menus into view", "fade or slide ToolTips into view", "animate windows when minimizing or maximizing", "slide open combo boxes", "smooth-scroll list boxes", "fade out menu items after clicking" than it does to do all of those things.

    When a dial box opens instantly, or a window appears instantly instead of gradually getting larger, your system *has performed better*.  If "performance" is measured by how long it takes to get something done, then by NOT doing them, the system is performing better.

    I turn off "enable transparent glass" because I personally hate, hate, hate how it looks.

    The only thing that really makes for crappy appearance is turning off "smooth edges of screen fonts".  If you leave that turned on, and then turn off everything labeled "fade", "animate", and "smooth scroll" (seven checkboxes in Windows 7), your computer will definitely DO things FASTER.  Faster = taking less time.  

    I do leave "desktop composition" turned on.

  40. Anonymous says:

    "I had to disable graphics hardware acceleration in Excel 2013 because it caused my screen to go blank, so I guess in some cases this may be necessary."

    -snark- It's supposed to be blank. Blank and CAPS LOCK.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I turn most of the animation settings off and leave everything else on. Not due to performance impact of doing the operations; but because one has to wait for the animation itself has to complete before one can continue to use the UI.

    @Dmitry: If you are getting stuttering with the DWM turned on, then your machine has an extremely underpowered graphics card. That is, your graphics card was slower at performing these operations under DWM than your CPU was at redrawing via WM_PAINT messages. Even Intel's GMA integrated graphics from around Vista's release timeframe don't have stuttering problems. If you're still running a 7 year old machine then fine, but that isn't most people.

  42. Anonymous says:

    Had you blogged about the fetish for turning off system services in certain quarters,

    for example, your criticisms of enthusiasts might have been fairer.

    Uhh, that seems to be the reverse of actual fact. By disabling unnecessary services you free up system resource, improve performance, and hugely reduce your vulnerability footprint (there have been entire Patch Tuesdays in the past where zero of the fixes, and therefore zero of the vulnerabilities applied to me because I wasn't running whatever it was that was vulnerable in the first place).  People always wondered why my Atom-based netbook booted faster than their latest, greatest Core-whatever, and it was because I turned off a pile of unneeded crap.

  43. cheong00 says:

    I think that setting is relevent when WinXP is just released, when the entry level spec. is 64MB RAM only with 1-8MB shared to onboard display card (configurable in BIOS). The "desktop composition" option could easily starve display card memory on such system, let alone older system running Win9X. It makes sense to turn the option off on such systems.

  44. cheong00 says:

    These are the people who think that a bare computer motherboard on a table with components hanging off it runs faster than a computer packed into an attractive case.

    I think it dated back to an article in some computer magazine that suggesting "by laying everything flat on table, it provides better cooling and you should be able to overclock to a higher CPU frequency.

    I also remember people armed with liquid nitrogen attempted to overclock a P4 3.0E CPU to 4GHz speed. There're always people to try everything to claim they got better speed than others.

  45. Anonymous says:

    I also remember people armed with liquid nitrogen attempted to overclock a P4 3.0E CPU to 4GHz speed. There're always people to try everything to claim they got better speed than others.

    Dunno if that's been successful but somebody got a P4 up to 10GHz. Liquid nitrogen + overvolts + not trying to use FPU or MMX somehow did it.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Raymond, the powers that be have broken your RSS feed – it now just shows a list of other peoples blogs.

  47. Mike Dimmick says:

    @Yuriy Gettya: Yes, WDDM 1.0 on Windows Vista did do that. It's fixed (or at least massively reduced) in WDDM 1.1 on Windows 7 – try updating your graphics card drivers.

  48. Anonymous says:

    A former customer of mine had one of those laptops that John Doe was talking about. There had been a recall of laptops in another region to resolve the problem, but the manufacturer claimed that the recall did not apply to that customer.

    Needless to say I was forced to disable the hardware acceleration.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Are you saying that Visual Studio 2012 is optimized for speed?

  50. xpclient says:

    @Entegy, ignorance is bliss.

  51. Anonymous says:

    "Because enthusiasts who think they are so awesomely clever looooove disabling anything that makes the computer look pretty, because they're convinced that effort making the computer look pretty is clearly done at the expense of performance."

    Not everybody is quite that deluded.

    I tend to disable many of the visual features of current UI's because I prefer the simpler look. That's probably my age at work.

    Also, while animations can be efficiently rendered, they do take time to display. A perfectly efficient 250msec animation still takes 250msec to display.

  52. Anonymous says:

    @Entegy, xpclient is dead-right on this one.

    @SimonRev, not quite. If you have two computers side-by-side, one with XP and one with Vista+, you can notice that GDI is really fast in XP and usually just barely tolerable in Vista+. Of course, it'll depend on the applications you test, so you should test with a GDI intensive application, and then it'll be really intolerable.

    @Dmitry Azaraev, learn bit more english (hope understand this way).

    @Neil, I feel you.

    @xpclient, now you're just being rude.

  53. Anonymous says:

    I would categorize this sort of thing under "folk models of computer performance" (similar to the paper a while ago describing "Folk Models of Home Computer Security", which was quite good).  Along with RAM "optimizers", registry "cleaners", disabling the page file, and so on, a lot of enthusiasts and others all subscribe to fallacious ideas of how a computer actually performs.

  54. Anonymous says:

    @Crescens2k:

    On the contrary, quite a few GDI featues that was hardware accelerated in Luna was emulated in software in Vista. Thus, if you want to save energy, don't use Vista, it's bad for the environment.

    @Joshua:

    Bi-level rendering (!Smooth edges of screen fonts) is NOT the solution if you want to turn of cleartype's color fringing. Grayscale anti aliasing have been in windows since Pluspack 95! Still waiting for windows to support vertical cleartype though, but I suppose tile gui on servers was more important.

    DWM/WDDM is a joke, usually runs out of video memory in 2D mode on a 512mb card if you use resolutions with 10+ millions pixels.

  55. I'm reminded of an acquaintance back in the mid-90's who made a point of always booting Windows 95 in Safe Mode on his laptop … after all, what kind of idiot would ever want to run in an UNsafe mode?

    On a machine struggling with something resource-intensive, like Windows Update (quite how checking for updates managed to cause disk thrashing on a 512 Mb machine, I shudder to think!) a quick "net stop themes" was enough to help matters.

    Shorter version of article: "optimisations sometimes aren't". I'm inclined to agree with the comment earlier that disabling composition is generally the wrong choice for "best performance" these days in most cases. Animations really, really irritate me, though: even if all the computation is offloaded and the GPU is otherwise idle, it's still consuming some resources, taking up disk space to store – and when it's a transition effect for a UI operation, it is delaying the result being displayed, slowing down the user experience. (Something that particularly irritates me on a certain popular cellphone handset…)

  56. Anonymous says:

    What about the laptop battery time question ?

    Will "Adjust visual effects for best performance" have any affect of increasing the battery time?

    GPUs eat power too and are commonly more hungry too.

    GPU is just another CPU of sorts, only more specialized. So are you not only postponing the problem.

    GPU's are not a magical black hole that can eat and eat without getting full (bandwidth, processing speed, etc).

    It's all the hype to make the GPU do everything and let the CPU be the task master.

    What will happen when every single app use the GPU to the point of it reaching its limitations.

    Will another new kind of CPU be invented to postpone the problem even further (CPU + GPU + New CPU like special card)?

    Procrastination never works. The longer you wait to fix the hole in the ceiling the worst it will get and the more needs to be done to fix it.

    Is there some logic i'm not seeing that justifies the GPU offloading hype?

  57. Anonymous says:

    I love this blog, but I found this post a bit off-putting.  As Matt said, the snark is a bit unwarranted.  It seems like you're setting up a straw man here in the form of the "enthusiast", and then knocking him down.

    As several people noted, animations do take time.  That's what an animation is:  a sequence of images in time.  If animations are disabled, the UI will, in actual fact, be snappier.

    Certain animations are useful.  For example: since the beginning, Mac menu items flash a few times after they are selected.  I feel uncomfortable on system where this "confirmation animation" is absent.  Without it, often there is a moment or two where I find myself wondering whether I actually selected the desired item, or whether I selected anything at all (maybe the mouse-up accidentally occurred outside the menu, or in a disabled item or a divider).  Similarly, after hitting a keyboard shortcut, it is helpful to leave the appropriate menu title hilighted for a moment, even if the command completes instantaneously.  I always wrote my classic Mac apps so that this would happen.  Many apps didn't do this, though.  Hardware became faster and faster.  I hit Command-C to copy something to the clipboard… and then my OCD kicks in and I hit Command-C a few more times, because the command completes so quickly, there is essentially no visual feedback and it seems like nothing is happening!

    But these days, many animations serve no purpose from a usability standpoint:  it is pure eye candy.  No one should have any confidence in these new "features".  Thank heaven for the option to disable them.

    There is the aesthetic aspect as well.  When I configured my current Windows XP system years ago, the first thing I did was find the checkbox that disabled the hideous faux-Aqua windows with their beefy title bars.  (Sadly, the new Apple never provides such checkboxes; and moreover, seems to actively conspire against UI customization, like Shapeshifter.  That is one of the things I love about Microsoft:  they provide you the checkbox.)  Maybe this just makes me an old fart, but I will never use a version of Windows that doesn't give me the option to revert to the NT 4 look.  UI should not be subject to the whims of ever-changing fashions.  My 2002 Mercedes C230 has the exact same "UI" as the 1981 Mercedes 240D that preceded it.  It is righteous.

    I still use a MDD Power Mac G4 at home.  When booting in OS 9, it is snappy and fast.  When I reluctantly boot it into Mac OS X, it seems — and objectively IS — sluggish and slow, mostly because of the UI.  Worse, performance varies inversely with the number of windows I have open.  The more windows I open, the more sluggish the Aqua UI becomes.  Well, it must be all the window backing stores or compositing or whatever expensive tricks they had to do in order to get full window dragging, transparency, etc.  The older, "inferior" OS 9 does not have this brain damage.

    The bottom line is, I use a computer to get work done, not to be entertained.

  58. Anonymous says:

    I turn most of visual effects off not for performance, but because I dislike all those animations.

    And some of them are plain evil and unbearable, like "slide open combo boxes".

  59. Anonymous says:

    <quote>

    Because enthusiasts who think they are so awesomely clever looooove disabling anything that makes the computer look pretty, because they're convinced that effort making the computer look pretty is clearly done at the expense of performance.

    </quote>

    It's a little unfair to call out on those of us who believed this actually improves performance, as the button is clearly called "adjust for best performance." In any case, I like the Windows Classic theme, which disables composition altogether. So these were wasted 5 minutes to try and restore that setting to "best appearance."

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