At one time or another Microsoft Windows users will notice their system working slower than when they originally got them. This issue has been around since the early versions of Windows and it will continue even in the most advanced version of the Operating System. There are many reasons why a system may seem to slow down performance as time goes by, being in the IT world for over 20 years and servicing thousands of computer throughout my carrier I’ve seen firsthand what works and doesn’t work to improve system performance. At the same time, many not so honest companies have been flooding the market with products that do little or no improvement to a computer performance.
So let’s go over a couple of quick points that will help you make your system faster:
Remove unwanted programs from starting up automatically: Many of the applications you install on your computer add a system entry to start when the computer starts. This is a noble thing to do as the application will be ready as soon as you need it but in at the same time it will be taking system resources even when it seats idle. Some of those applications create an icon in the quick toolbar next the time but others simple load themselves into memory. A key point here is that there are many legitimate applications that start automatically and should stay that way but there others that do so even without your consent.
To check what applications load during start up you can type msconfig from the run box on Windows 7 or you can load task manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del, selecting Task Manager and then select Startup.
In the example below you’ll see how the Startup entries look. You can disable them just by removing the check mark next to them and clicking on OK. The new settings will take effect next time the system boots up.
As stated earlier, you have to pay attention what you disable from the Startup menu Keep in mind that removing from the Startup menu does not remove the application from the system or deletes any data, if you still need to access the application you can do it the same way you always have, it may take a bit longer to start but once it loads it will be business as usual.
- Add more Random Access Memory (RAM): Adding more memory to your system will help your system perform better greatly. Long story short, when your system accesses information, be data, a program, etc., it pulls that information from the HD and loads it into memory (RAM) for quick access. The more programs you have opened the less memory that will be available causing the system to execute (run) the programs from a space on the hard disk known as virtual memory. Of course I’m over simplifying computing architecture but that is what it boils down to so adding more RAM will help the system run more applications from memory thus making it faster.
Keep in mind that all systems have a maximum RAM limit, if you maxed it then you can try some of the other points but you can’t extend memory beyond what the hardware supports.
- Add a better Graphic Processing Unit (GPU – or video card): As adding more RAM, adding a better GPU to your system will immediately boost its performance exponentially. The basic difference between the GPU and Video card is that the GPU has its own memory and sometime even its own processor to process graphics even faster. Always check to make sure the GPU you are buying is supported by your system.
- Run on Solid State Drives (SSD) hard disk: Accessing information from a SSD is many times faster than accessing information from a regular HD. This point is a little bit tricky as you may have to reinstall everything on the SSD drive if you are already working on the system. Luckily there are many migration and ghosting tools that can be used for this.
Remove Unnecessary programs from your computer: You’d be surprised how many programs are installed on your computer without your consent. Be it that they were preinstalled with your system or they simply piggy back to another program you installed always check what programs are installed on your computer and remove those you no longer need.
- Install a faster Central Processing Unit (CPU): if the system allows it you may be able to upgrade the CPU to a much faster version.
Keep the hardware drivers updated: Hardware comes with glitches and bugs and manufacturers fix those issue by issuing newer firmware version.
- Switch to a New System all together: the truth is that you may spend more money on upgrading your existing system than actually buying a more powerful unit. There’s so much you can do when it comes to upgrading a computer and after that the only solution may be just to get a new one.
This are simple things you can do to improve your computer performance. Yes, there are many commercial applications that claim to do marvelous things but they seldom work, some are free, others you have to pay for.
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