The following procedures will tell you what these features are, how they work and how to disable one or all of them. It's your choice which features you turn on and off in Windows.
After you have made these changes to your system, measure success. It your computer is still not as fast as you think it should be, follow the instructions in the article "Top 9 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer".
Also, reducing the visual effects in Vista can result in speed increases for your computer without much if any noticeable change to the look and feel.