I mostly answered in my previous answer, please see: How to speed up my vb.net application?
I only want to add about Windows effects and Aero. These effects does not belong to your system, but to the OS and this is the user who defines which ones are used. Your application cannot get rid of most of them.
However, if you want, you can get rid of Aero. More exactly, you can deny playing in Windows games with everything which lies inside your window border. It is more or less clear how to do it in your client area of your windows, but how to do with the non-client area, which includes title bar and the borders. It may makes sense, to create your own style, fully independent on Windows settings.
Here is my prescription for that: get rid of non-client areas at all! Here is how: set its property
It will remove non-client areas completely. But you should understand that you will loose the application icon and its menu, title bar and the ability to drag a window, all buttons: no minimize/maximize/restore, etc. You will need to simulate it all by you own controls. But this time, fully custom. Well, come to think about, you asked for it. :-)
Yes, I read about DWM effect, but it is what it is…