I found this in a few different places around the 'net - hopefully it's helpful:
Performance Increase Through My Computer
Easy enough tweak to usually find out about it on your own, but still, some of us still don't find it right away. So here it is:
- Start > right-click on My Computer and select Properties.
- Click on the "Advanced" tab.
- See the "Performance" section? Click "Settings".
- Disable the following:
Fade or slide menus into view
Fade or slide ToolTips into view
Fade out menu items after clicking
Show Shadows under menus
Slide open combo boxes
Slide taskbar buttons
Use a background image for each folder type
Use common tasks in folders
There, now Windows will still look nice and perform faster.