My wish list and recommendation:
Below are some of my shopping choices with Greek prices as of 07/04/2014.
CPU: Two choices here, the 4-core i7-3820 3.6GHz at 286€ and the unlocked 6-core i7-4930K 3.4GHz at 555€. The choice here really should be the 6-core, unless you live in Greece!
MOBO: Here again we basically get 2 choices, the affordable ASRock X79 Extreme 6 at 220€ and the Asus SABERTOOTH X79 for 304€
RAM: Corsair DDR3 32GB (4x8) 1866MHz Vengeance 364,00 €
GPU: For most users, the Nvidia based GTΧ 750Ti 2Gb is already overboard at 170€ but I highly recommend it for its amazing power efficiency.
Window 7 tweaks
- First thing I do is start a fresh install of windows with the minimum of hardware – especially with HDD I want only the boot SSD.
- After Windows, I start installing drivers for chipsets, network and graphics
- Then I turn off “User Account Control”: Head to Start, select Control Panel, select System and Security, select Change User Account Control settings under the Action Center header and select the slider on the left and drag it down to "Never notify".
- I am continuously running the Windows Update feature during the whole installation process. By the time I have installed my last program, windows will be up to date. It will take a few restarts but this will make sure your system has no vulnerabilities.
- Next I turn off “System Restore”: Head to Start, select Control Panel, select System and Security, select System, select System Protection (on the left side), in the System Protection Tab select a hard drive listed under "Protection" that has "On" in the column, select the Configure button, select the "Turn off system protection" radio button and drag the "Max Usage" slider all the way to the left. Then select the Delete button if you wish to get rid of the current backups and you’re done with a couple more OK presses.
- Next I disable “Windows Search”: From the Control Panel, select Programs, under Programs and Features select "Turn Windows Features on or off". Scroll down to Windows Search and uncheck it and then select the Ok button.
- Next I remove Remote Assistance features and set my windows swap file to a static size. From the Control Panel select System and Security, select System, select Remote settings (on the left side) and uncheck "Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer” option. Also ensure "Don’t allow connections to this computer" option is checked. Select the Ok button to apply the settings. While the System Properties window is still up, go to the Advanced tab and hit the Settings button under Performance. Hit the Advanced tab and then the Change Button under Virtual Memory. Uncheck the automatically manage paging file if checked and select the Custom size. I opt for a total of 50GB together with my RAM. In other words, if I have 16GB of Ram installed. I will opt for 34GB swap file. To make it static input the same size for both min and max sizes. Press ok and then reboot.
- Next I will turn off unused Windows 7 features. This can help regain some space and free up resources by uninstalling unneeded features you never use. Click Start, click the "Control Panel" option, go to "Programs", go to "Programs and Features", click "Turn Windows features on or off" from the left pane. Now uncheck all the features that you don't use in Windows. Click the "OK" button when finished and restart the system for the changes to take effect.
- At this point I make sure all my drivers are updated, if not, concentrate on finishing those.
- Next I turn Off the Hibernation File since this is a Workstation after all. From the Run command (I have this enabled from my Start menu Properties) I type CMD and the then at the command prompt I type “powercfg -h off” and press enter to delete it. Then I type exit to close the window.
- Next I turn off indexing. I’m a photographer and only search for and index my photos which are handled by Lightroom, so I don’t need windows to waste resources on such services. From the Start menu, click Computer, right click C: drive, select Properties and uncheck drive indexing. Click apply, ignore all warnings and wait for the process to finish.
- Next I will delete all of windows update files from C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\ Download. Just select all of the files there and delete them.
- At this point I am ready for my first actual Shutdown. This applies all the changes and is also a good time to plug in all your secondary drives, add-on cards or other hardware.
- Once in windows again I find and apply all needed new drivers
- I now move the following folders off my C: drive to a secondary drive. “My Documents”, “My Pictures”, “My Videos”, “Desktop”, “Downloads” and “My Music” Go to your User folder. Right click your user folder you want to move (eg: "My Pictures"), click "Properties", click the "Location" tab and change the destination to another location by clicking "Move..." and selecting the destination (eg: "D:\Pictures"). If there are two of the same folder in the User folder after the move you should delete the empty one located on the C: drive. Do not delete the other User folders, only duplicates that come up after the move within the User folder. If the folder already exists that you are linking it to you may want to merge the folders.
- Next I change my power options: I select high performance, so my disks don’t go to sleep. From the Control panel, select Systen and Security, then Power options then High performance. This is usually OK for most, but I go a bit deeper and then select "Change plan settings". From here I click "Change advanced power settings", expand the hard disk option and change setting to "never", next expand the Sleep option and change setting to "never" and then click OK.
- Then I will disable all unneeded services. I use “Black Vipers” recommendations for a lite registry (look here)
- Lastly I will run Windows Experience Index Assessment which will make Windows recognize my SSD as well as other things. (eg. turns off disk defrag for the SSD)
Free System Maintenance & Protection:
- Comodo Internet Security. The best combo available with virus protection, firewall and a safe finternet browser.
- If all you want is an antivirus program, then Avast is probably the best free Antivirus program out there.
- The best "cleanup" utility I have ever used is CCleaner. It cleans up all your temp files and cleans your registry better than any other software I know. NOTE: After every use, I like to use the Micosoft’s own Disk Cleanup utility. From the start menu, go to All Programs, Accessories, System tools and then select Disk Cleanup. It does a good job and I usually select all the cleanup options.
- I don’t defrag my drives much like in the old days (pre SSD / win XP), but if you feel the need to, please try Defraggler. It’s free and does a good job. Don’t use defragging of any sort on SSD drives, it’s an absolute waste of time.
- Another free program worth installing is Revo Uninstaller. It’s the best free uninstaller available and does a great job at keeping uninstalls clean.
- Firefox with the AdBlock add-on.
- Last and not least, visit Ninite. Here you select all the free files you want to install, and Ninite will install and update them without ads, toolbars or clicking and reboots, all in one go!
- Last and not least, visit filehippo for all your freeware needs, very clean and trustworthy site.