Speed up your slow computer. Seven ways to boost performance.
Is your sluggish laptop or desktop PC bogging you down? Unless your computer is really ancient, there’s hope: you can rekindle the fiery performance of your trusty machine by following these simple steps…
Clean up your act
1. Remove the hogs. Almost every computer is burdened by programs that are never used. These apps hog your laptop or desktop’s resources, slowing it down to a grinding waste of time. It’s easy to free up precious resources and make them available to the programs you actually want to use. In Windows, simply go to your Control Panel and use the Add/Remove Program section to uninstall unwanted software. On a Mac, just drag the program icon from your Applications folder to the trash.
2. Delete cookies and temporary Internet files. These files you pick up along your Internet travels occupy your computer’s memory. Performance suffers. The fix is easy. Inside your browser, go to Tools, then Internet options and delete cookies. In My Computer section of your Windows computer, right click your C drive and perform disk clean up to remove the unwanted files. On a Mac, drag unwanted files from Finder to the trash. Be sure to empty your recycle bin or trash. This will get you back up to speed.
3. Defrag the dregs out of your disk. Over time, files and file fragments are scattered in different parts of the hard drive (disk). Your machine has to work harder to read the information, so it takes longer. Disk defragmentation tidies up all the files and folders on the hard drive. The Disk Defrag tool sits in the Programs and System Tools section. It may take an hour or longer to complete the tidying up, but the performance boost is instantly noticeable. No need to defrag a a solid state drive (SSD); Windows does this automatically, spreading the data evenly across the drive.
Still not satisfied? The next step would be to look into upgrading your hardware. Some upgrades will suit certain situations and users better.
4. Increase RAM. While RAM is easily the cheapest upgrade you can make, most modern computers aren't going to see a huge performance benefit from upgrading. The standard 4GB should be enough for the average user, but if you use many programs at once, or run RAM-intensive applications like Photoshop or a video editor, you may need more RAM.
5. From Hard Drive to Solid State Drive. Upgrading to an SSD is one of the best upgrades you can make in terms of general speed boosts. It can reduce your boot time and speed up the launching of applications. It won’t encode video any faster or make your games run more smoothly, even though they will load faster. An SSD is especially great for those using slow launching programs (think Photoshop).
6. Processors. Desktops are easy to upgrade, but only some laptops are upgradable. This upgrade would be most useful for those doing processor intensive tasks, like encoding video or audio. Multi-core processors will help with multitasking, especially during such intensive processes. Faster processors also boost gaming. An Intel i3 should suffice for the average user but for intensive use, an i5 or i7 would be more appropriate.
7. Video Cards. Into gaming? Ranking up your performance level needn’t be a challenge. Nothing boosts your gaming speed like a new video card, and it's easy to find one in your price range. If you aren't a gamer, you needn’t look too closely at upgrading your video card, as any semi-modern PC can handle everything else you'll throw at it, including HD video. Focus on the other upgrades instead.
Get help. These are the usual and easiest interventions to perk up performance. Again, as mentioned above, the most appropriate upgrade depends on your machine and your unique needs. A consultant at Gsolutions will advise you on the best route to follow – what to upgrade or whether to upgrade, or whether replacing your computer is the best way to get you performing at your peak.