Speeding up your Personal Computer

The first question that comes to mind is “why” do you want to speed up your computer?

  1. I want to play games on it.
    1. You need to look at the minimum and recommended hardware for that game.  It may either be cheaper to buy a newer computer or it may not be possible to upgrade your current computer to play that game (for example trying to upgrade the video on most laptops).
  2.  It is slower than it used to be.
    1. There are several things you can try to speed up your computer.
      1. Un-install any programs you are not using regularly.
      2. Disable as many programs that normally “startup” while the computer is starting up.  In windows 7 try running the “system configuration” program from search box or help menu.  You can also get “Autorun for Windows” from Microsoft.com to help you with this.
      3. Run the “cleanup temporary files” under system tools.
      4. Run the hard disk defrag after iii.
    2. If the above do not speed up your computer sufficiently you have 3 other choices:
      1. Back up all your data and personal preferences and do a “clean” re-install of your operating system.  Then re-install your anti-virus, run all the service pack updates, re-install your applications/programs and then re-load your data/preferences.
      2. Increase the available memory on your system.  If your running less than 2 Gigabytes of memory on a Windows computer increasing it to 4-8 Gigabytes will make a big difference.  The reason it will make a big difference has to do with what operating systems do when they run out of memory.  They write copies of part of the memory out to the hard disk into what is called “Virtual Memory” or the Paging file.  Anytime a computer has to read or write to the Virtual Memory the whole system is slowed down on the order of 100 times.  The only time this is not true is if you are using what is called a “ram drive” or the SSD hard disks that use memory modules in place of “regular hard drive” media.
      3. Replace your computer if it is a laptop.  Or try to do a motherboard upgrade if you have a pretty standard (ATX) desktop machine.



Author: Tom G

A baby-boomer with a long Technology-Geek history and a even longer career in non-Technology-Geek work (I took what I could get, when I could get it). Do you remember IBM punch cards? I do. I am working, semi-retired, moderately Senior Citizen with a need to not get bored. So I am considering the possible insanity of going to graduate school. If it happens, I expect to come out with an MA in Communications Study that will allow me to write better and speak about what I know better.

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