IN THIS CHAPTER
Squeezing extra performance out of your hardware might sound like a pointless task given how cheap commodity upgrades are today. To a certain degree that is truefor most of us, it is cheaper to buy a new computer than to spend hours fighting to get a 5% speed boost. But what if the speed boost were 20%? How about if it were 50%?
The amount of benefit you can get by optimizing your system varies depending on what kinds of tasks you are running, but there is something for everyone. Over the next few pages we will be looking at quick ways to optimize the Apache web server, both the KDE and Gnome desktop systems, both MySQL and PostgreSQL database servers, and more.
Before we start, you need to understand that optimization is not an absolute term: If we optimize a system, we have improved its performance, but it is still possible it could further be increased. We are not interested in getting 99.999% performance out of a system because optimization suffers from the law of diminishing returnsthe basic changes make the biggest differences, but after that it takes increasing amounts of work to obtain decreasing speed improvements.
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