In addition to the performance enhancements built into its latest iteration of the Windows client, Microsoft is offering additional tools for download for customers and partners that want to squeeze all the extra juice from the OS. Case in point, the Windows Performance Analysis Tools, also referred to as the Windows Performance Toolkit, was released ahead of Windows 7, and included as an integral part of the operating system’s software development kit. Microsoft underlines that while “the WPT Kit is useful to a broad audience,” the tools will serve better specific audiences including “system builders, hardware manufacturers, driver developers, and general application developers.”

End users are missing from the enumeration above, and for good reason. The Windows 7 RTM Performance Analysis Tools are, in fact, designed to ensure a high level of hardware and software performance before the finalized products and solutions make it into the hands of home users. In this sense, the Windows Performance Toolkit is set up to permit the analysis and measuring of both system and application performance not just on Windows 7, but also Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008. More »

Learn how your hard drive and graphics card impact your system’s performance, and dig deep under the bonnet to discover and fix hardware issues.

In previous guides we have looked at improving your system’s performance by simply removing unwanted programs. The next area we want to understand is the impact your hard drive and graphics card have on your system.

Before we start examining your computer, we need to see what Windows Vista believes is possible from the system when it’s working at its best. Searching for ‘Performance’ in Start Search should lead you to the Performance Information and Tools analysis of your system. If any numbers are low, then you may wish to consider looking at these areas for replacement. My laptop has a lowest rating of 4.3, which is more than adequate, but should one number be low compared to the rest, I would consider replacing that element. If your computer is running low on RAM, for example, it will use the hard drive as an extension of memory, but this deals a fatal blow to your computer’s performance because the hard drive can be 1,000 times slower than memory. In my experience, a Windows Vista PC with just 1GB of memory will struggle unless your system is only lightly used. More »

Following the availability of Windows Vista SP1, Microsoft is now offering additional resources tailored on the service pack. Case in point: Windows Performance Tools Kit, version 4.1.1. The Windows Performance Tools Kit is a set of performance analysis tools designed to integrate seamlessly with both Vista SP1 as well as Windows Server 2008 SP1/RTM. On April 1, 2008, Microsoft updated Windows Performance Tools Kit to version 4.1.1, permitting system and application performance analysis for the latest versions of Microsoft’s server and client operating systems. According to Microsoft, the tools are aimed at a select group of users from driver and application developers to hardware manufacturers and systems builders interested in testing the performance of Vista SP1 and Windows Sever 2008. More »

Windows Performance Tools Kit, v.4.1.1 (QFE) is, as the product’s label states, a collection of performance analysis tools. The resources are an integral part of the Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5, and essentially offer an update to WPT Kit v.4.1.0. In fact, it is WPT Kit v.4.1.0 that was shipped as a part of the Windows Server 2008 SDK. With version 4.1.1 Microsoft has resolved a couple of issues, including the fact that Windows Performance Analyzer did not execute when double-clicking an ETL file, and failed to perform power state transition analysis.

“Windows Performance Tools Kit is now shipping along with Windows SDK for Windows Server 2008 and .NET Framework 3.5. A mouthful both, to be sure, but if you use either regularly it won’t be long before they become just ‘xperf’ and ‘the SDK’. More »