Optimizing Asus EEE 900A

I just got back from my vacation around Thailand, so I will start to update things (Wii homebrew, Symbian apps, blogs, etc) again. Well, may be starting next week, I have a dental surgery this weekend and may need to rest. Anyway, this time I want to post about optimizing EEE 900A.

My wife was happy with her Asus EEE 701, but she would like something better with the same size. We sold the old Asus 701 to my brother, and she bought Asus EEE 900A. Compared to EE PC 701, the EEE PC 900A has a faster processor (Intel Atom 1.6 ghz vs the 900 Mhz EEE), more memory (1 gb vs 512 mb), bigger disk space (16 gb vs 4 gb), higher resolution (1024 x 600 vs 840×400), and better graphic processors (Intel GMA 950 vs Intel GMA 900). The only problem is the 16 GB SSD is much slower than the EEE 701 4 GB SSD. You can really feel it when running almost any applications, especially the firefox browser.

My wife uses Windows XP on the new Asus. After reading several blog posts and many forums, the conclusion is: to make everything faster, try to reduce the number of disk access. Here is how to reduce the disk access in Windows XP:

  1. Buy more memory, we bought 2 GB memory  (quite cheap, around 690 baht/20 usd) to replace the 1 GB default
  2. Allocate some of the memory (384 Mb for RAM disk). I set the environment variables TEMP and TMP to point to the RAM Disk. I also point firefox cache to the RAM disk.
  3. Turn off page file
  4. Disable indexing on all drives
  5. Disable System restore
  6. Don’t install firefox on the SSD. Firefox 3 will try to write its history every few seconds. I use Firefox portable on SD Card, and it is much faster now.
For Point No 2, actually firefox already has its own memory cache. But I choose to use RAM disk anyway, because it makes it faster when restarting firefox (as long as the computer is not turned off). When restarting firefox, the browser will reload all closed tabs, and having the cache in RAM disk makes it faster.
Some people suggest that using nlite to reduce the Windows component will make things faster (but I haven’t tried that yet). Reducing the number of services using the guide from BlackViper might also help (I haven’t tested that one also).

3 thoughts on “Optimizing Asus EEE 900A”

  1. Hey – cool article.

    I’ve just spent the better part of my sunday trying to get this thing running XP (1GB ram/16GB hd) and now I’m running through the SP3 update, soon (well, “ultimately”..) to go through your tweaks.

    I’m presuming I can shove a SD-RAM card into the D: drive and use it for a RAM disk in the interim, until I can get a RAM upgrade (which seems more expensive in Holland than Thailand. Next time I’m in Chaing Mai again I’ll have to see where you shop).

    Thanks again for the note – it’s much appreciated.



  2. If we can change time on how long buffer will be write to persistent state (ssd) to bigger value, maybe this can help to increace the ssd perfomance (async vs sync)

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