check for unecessary services running
also one of the best option
recopmile ur kernel
He runs Gentoo. He did compile his own kernel. Since he runs Gentoo, the only services running are those he typed in to run through rc-update. There are very few that are installed and run without you knowing about it. It does updatedb, as a cron job, and the file system maintanence of course but that is required anyway. Gentoo is not like Mandrake or Redhat.
I have read where most people set the nice to a different level. It runs so well you can't even tell it is running.
NOTE: updatedb is set to run a 3:00AM. If you, like me, are up and about at that time, you may want to change the cron job for that. If for example you boot up at 8:00AM and the machine was off at 3:00AM when it was set to run, it will start shortly when cron does the next check. If you don't use locate, you can remove the updatedb process all together. This usually only takes a few minutes though.
If you want to see what services are set to run, type in rc-update show, that will list them.
Hope all this info helps.