Windows 2000 - Improving Compatibility/Performance guide

CPU Priority

You can improve Application/Game performance further by changing its CPU priority. Changing the priority of a process can make it run faster or slower (Depending on whether you raise or lower the priority), but it can also adversely affect the performance of other running processes. You should also be aware that increasing the CPU priority might lead to reduced system stability while playing the game. Lower the CPU priority by one if you find this to be the case, e.g. From Realtime back to High.

There are 2 ways you can do this.


  1. Open the directory where you have your game installed, e.g. D:\Voyager Elite Force. Create a New Text Document. Now open this text file & add the following lines.

echo off

start /priority game.exe

Replace priority with the desired CPU priority (realtime, high or abovenormal for best performance). Replace game.exe with the executable file for the game, e.g. stvoy.exe. Save the text file & close it. NOTE – You may need to place the game.exe in between “” should you find a spaces in the exe’s name, e.g. Unreal Tournament.exe. For titles like this use the following command line start /priority “game.exe”.

Now click on Start, Settings, Control Panel. Open Folder Options, then the View tab. Untick the setting Hide file extension for known file types. & select Apply. You must rename the text file now & its file extension, most important being the file extension, rename it to game.bat or something similar, most important is the .bat file extension. Once this change is made the icon for the file will change;

To open it right click on it & select Edit. You may now restore your Folder Options settings. Below is the game.bat I’d use for launching Voyager Elite Force.

echo off

start /realtime stvoy.exe

Now you can launch the game via this game.bat file to load it with a higher CPU priority. NOTE – The game.bat file must be placed in the game directory for this to work, although there is no need to enter the game directory into the game.bat file at all.

  1. This next method allows for greater control of CPU priority. Load the Application/Game, again in this example Voyager Elite Force. Now press ALTTAB simultaneously to be dropped back to the Windows desktop. Now right click on the Taskbar & select Task Manager, then the Processes tab.

Now right click on the game.exe & select Set Priority. Then select the CPU Priority you wish to give it. Set it above Normal to give it a higher CPU priority, which can improve performance & vice versa.

You should note that some games also use an ICD too, so you may want to increase the CPU priority for this too, e.g. as shown above I’ve set the priority for stvoy.exe & STVOY.ICD to Realtime.

Again, press ALTTAB to re-enter the game, albeit with the CPU priority changed. Performance improves from changing the CPU priority can vary, although the performance improvement will be greater should you have multiple background programs running.


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