You can improve the performance of your PC by killing unnecessary processes. Those unnecessary processes use a small amount of processing power and eat up a good portion of your memory. Just bring up the control panel and see how many processes there are. How many of these do you really need when doing resource intensive tasks like 3D rendering and gaming? Not many.
If (using windows XP) you go to: Control Panel < Administrative Tools < Services you can see a description of what each process does. Over half the processes are unnecessary for rendering and baking scenes in Blender. You can stop a process by selecting the process and clicking “Stop”. By stopping the processes you don’t need you can speed up your render time by three or 4 percent. That might not seem like a big improvement, but when rendering takes three or four hours, it is definitely worth it.
Ok, now you have started to stop processes by manually clicking stop for every process. This is a pain! If you double click on the process in the Services window, a dialog comes up with several options. There is a drop down box with the startup type options. You can set the process startup to automatic or manual. By setting the process startup type to manual the process will not start unless you start it manually. This is fine if you are never going to need the process. But some processes you need to use most of the time and only need to turn off for resource intensive tasks(processes like your anti-virus program), so these you will still need to manually start and stop in the Services window.
So I will show you a better way to manage your processes.
You can create a MS-DOS Batch file to stop all the processes you don’t need. You can also create a Batch file to start them again once you’re finished rendering. Creating a Batch file is easy. First, get the name of all the processes you don’t need (use the name at the top of general tab in the properties dialog, not the name of the process in Services window). You can find a list of all the unnecessary processes at OptimizingPC.com, check it out. There are dozens of processes you think you need but don’t. You could even stop the Explorer process while rendering or gaming! (I would not recommend it, but you could). To now create the MS-DOS batch file, right click on your desktop and create a new text file. Rename it to StopProcesses.bat. Now right click on it and click edit. In notepad write the following line of code for each process you want to stop (_processname _being the name of the process you want to stop) :
net stop _processname_
Add a new line of code for each process, then save the file. Now when you run the file it will stop all the processes you don’t need! You can also create another file to start the processes again. Just type this line of code for each process you want to start.
net start _processname_
You now can stop and start all the processes you don’t need by just running a batch file!
Note: I learned this from an IT guy. I am not an IT guy so if you see anything that is not completely accurate or incorrect please let me know. I am using XP so I am not sure how this works on Vista or Windows 7.