Being an IT-pro and worked with PCs since they were invented in the early 80's what I, by sheer coincidence, discovered earlier today that I had done must count as one of my silliest or most stupid mistakes/misunderstandings ever!!
I work mainly on a laptop PC. It has a number of settings and you name it what, some in Bios, most in Windows XP that I run on it. Today I thought I should check exactly what type of RAM memory it uses since I am think of buying more. So I run a software for this that tells me more than anyone normally need to know.
One of the things it tells me is that the processor seems to be running at less than half the possible speed!! Now I of course start trying to figure out why, I run various diagnose software, I tinker with Bios-settings for Speedstep, the technology that allows the CPU to work at a lower speed to save battery life. Nothing helps.
I search the internet high and low and had started downloading a driver from Dell when I read something about the "power status" in an article online. Off to Control Panel and select Power Options. Notice that the selected "Power Scheme" is "Portable/Laptop" that sort of makes sense. Change this to "Always On". Back to the software that helped me spot the problem - and VOILA we now run at max speed...
So I have most likely run like this for months, I don't recall when I was last tinkering with these settings. What is obvious to me is that "Joe Average" would most likely not even be aware that the PC is running at less than optimal since most persons don't fiddle around there at all. It seems to me that this particular setting/options needs to explain what it actually DOEs to the PC rather than just quietly slowing things down.