Out of the Blue

I had an experience yesterday that recalls a frustrating story related to my first PC. That happened when I installed an 80286 accelerator card into my 8088-based XT back in the day. This "turbo" XT was capable of running at 8 MHz, and the accelerator would sometimes lock up when it tried to boot into that blistering speed, requiring a reset to get it to properly run at 4.77 MHz. I continued to use this PC for a few years after the upgrade, and when it was time to junk it, I took apart the innards. Only then did I notice the 80286 card had a jumper that would have allowed it to run at 8 MHz. You can imagine my irritation when I realized I was missing out on added performance for years. This brings us to yesterday, when I installed a program tastefully named Blue Stacks that allows PCs to run Android apps. The installer informed me that the program would perform better if I turned on CPU virtualization. So I headed off to my BIOS to enable it. While there I noticed a setting called "Limit CPUID Maximum" that was also turned off. There was an explanation that this should be off for Windows XP, so I turned it on. I was pretty shocked when I booted the machine after those changes and found that this had cleared up an annoying bit of input lag I have experienced since my "upgrade" to Windows 10. I don't think I changed anything else, but it feels like I must have, because what I read about those settings does not seem to explain the performance improvements I've seen. This doesn't seem to be a factor in games, so that's sort of the good news that I haven't been missing out all this time along with the bad news that I'm not getting a free performance upgrade. The other good news is that I discovered this before this PC hit end of life like my 286 card and that I never noticed the lag I'm discussing under Windows 7. This machine is actually over seven years old now(!), but it still handles all the games I play. And now that the bit of lag is gone from my desktop apps I don't have any real reason to upgrade yet. Maybe this outlook will change when Cyberpunk 2077 hits. I'll just have to see.

Performance Enhanced Round-up
Thanks Ant and Neutronbeam.

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