For a long time, I have believed that the Windows ecosystem has been completely stagnant. This is why I eventually migrated to using Macs whenever I could, and today even for my office purposes I use a Macbook. It is just more stable and just works. This should not be remarkable, but considering windows laptops struggle even with waking up from sleep, there is a reason why Windows is on the decline.
I realized about ~15 years ago that programs not built by Microsoft suck on the Windows platform. Since then, 99.99% of the programs I use on my Work/ Home PC has been Microsoft only — in the hope that it would keep my machine stable — No such luck!
If anything, the rot spread, and now even programs authored by Microsoft which run on the latest and greatest Windows 10, still crash and burn on my “Aircraft carrier” Workstation with insane specs and my “Tank” laptop. This is why I have never believed that a thin Windows laptop works great, considering my Workstation can barely do it.
Visual Studio 2019 manages to somehow run slowly or even hang on a machine with Intel Xeon 4GHz+ speeds with 10 core, 20 threads, 32GB ECC RAM, RAID 5 nVME and a $1000 Nvidia Quadro video card.
I think one of the biggest reasons why I no longer keep any of my personal data on Windows PCs is that I lost all the data I had on Windows before I got my first Macbook ~13 years ago. Since my Mac, I have never lost anything.
Even something as basic as a windows backup simply does not work “by default”. You have to buy third party software to do it reliably. It has gotten so bad than even for the few windows PCs I do use at home and work (only for developer purposes), I store useful data in separate drives so that even if the OS drive dies and Windows cannot be restored, I still have my data.
It is amazing isn’t it, when you think of the below:
- Too many unstable Windows updates
- Crashing and burning all the time.
- Will not perform well unless you are horribly over provisioned (Xeon, ECC RAM, nVMe and greater than16 GB RAM)
- Cannot do basic stuff as wake up after sleep without crashing
- Tired of BIOS updates
- Too many unstable Office updates if you have Office 365
- Cannot backup the entire PC properly without third party software
The list goes on & on…
I thought nobody would ever get to fixing any of these things, and zero innovation has been done in Windows for a long time. So, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Dell Precision Optimizer app:
Granted this works only for some of the newer Dell Business PCs. If you purchased your Dell business PC in the past few years, you will be able to find this with some difficulty from the Dell support website and install it like I did.
It sucks that Dell releases programs like these and does not inform loyal customers who have spent tens of thousands of dollars on Dell Workstation Desktops & Laptops.
I was a bit worried about doing this initially, but you can experiment when your overall experience is so shitty that you can’t get any worse anyway:
Just note that it won’t let you download the program unless you have a newer Dell Business PC.
This works pretty well. It basically lets you pick the top five programs you use on your PC, and it learns from your usage of these programs and customizes the PC settings to optimize it for your usage. Apparently, it uses machine learning and stuff to do something amazing — and looks like in this case, that may be correct to some extent.
I can say for sure that there has been significant improvement in some of my PCs where I use development tools like Visual Studio 2019 & SourceTree.
If you are able to download it, you should give it a try. It takes a while to learn and then will prompt for a reboot — and it can take ~30 minutes in some cases to apply the settings, but once done, you will notice significant improvement in your workhorse programs.
Do note that I have the latest drivers on my Dell PCs using the Dell Command Update Utility. I am not sure what will happen if like many people, you have not updated the Dell stuff in a while. I suggest you do that before you try using this program.
I actually feel sad about the 90% of non technical people who buy a laptop just expecting it to work, and yet have to deal with sometimes twenty Dell or Windows updates constantly interrupting their work by rebooting their PCs or crashing “in between”. How did the world come to this?
To be continued…