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5. Maximizing Performance > 5.3. System Hardware

System Hardware

Not every performance problem can be fixed from within Windows. Here are some things you can do to your hardware to improve performance.

Managing IRQ Priority

Most components directly attached to your motherboard, including PCI slots, IDE controllers, serial ports, the keyboard port, and even your motherboard’s CMOS, have individual IRQs assigned to them. An IRQ, or interrupt request line, is a numbered hardware line over which a device can interrupt the normal flow of data to the processor, allowing the device to function. Windows XP allows you to prioritize one or more IRQs (which translate to one or more hardware devices), potentially improving the performance of those devices:


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