Not certain of anything with XP (use win2k which seems to be the same without bells & whistles).
Just tried a search of the help files in 2000 for "hardware profile" and it brings up an overview, removing/adding/copying profiles etc. etc.
win2k also mentions the "docking station" option - if that means anything.
As to the performance issue - sorry, I don't know of the effects (if any) on performance.