Computers are wonderful works of modern technology. They make tedious and complex work done faster and more accurately; however, computers may also slow down due to many factors. When that happens, productivity may be reduced, and the whole situation can be annoying.
Factors that Affect a Computer's Speed
Your computer's speed can only go as fast as the hardware limitations allow; however, there are a lot of factors that prevent computers from running at their best speed. Learn more about types of computer platforms which may affect your speed.
- Disk Fragmentation. The hard drive is a computer's main storage device, where data from the operating system as well as other software and files are stored. When this is badly fragmented, it takes a lot of time for a computer to read the data stored, not to mention it consuming a lot of system resources. In the end, it significantly slows down the computer.
- Registry errors. The registry is a file where crucial information and software preferences are stored. Data that the operating system uses, as well as other software installed, is placed there. When this file is damaged due to malware (viruses, worms, spyware), faulty software, or a hard disk scratch, the computer may slow down or even malfunction.
- Faulty software and drivers. Even though software is made to perform a specific task, sometimes it even causes your computer to slow down. Incompatibilities with hardware or faulty programming (bugs) are some of the common reasons why software can slow down computers.
- Low disk space. The operating system needs enough free space to use a swap or paging file. The same thing goes with some other software. When there isn't enough space, the computer's overall performance is degraded. Plus, you will always get a nag screen telling you that you are running out of space.
- Insufficient RAM. RAM or Random Access Memory is a type of high-speed memory where instructions from the OS and software is stored. There must be sufficient RAM so that software will be able to load their instructions; otherwise, the paging file will be frequently used. Since the paging file is stored on the hard drive, it will affect system responsiveness and overall speed.
- Hardware defects or problems. Any hardware attached to the system, such as a damaged hard drive or processor, may slow down the whole computer if it malfunctions.
- Processor speed. The processor acts as the “brain” of the computer. It is the one responsible for arithmetic and logical operations; however, it may have limited speed or clock rate. Software that uses a lot of system resources, mainly processing cycles, may in turn eat up everything, slowing down the system or even causing it to crash.
Getting Rid of Computer Slowness
The first thing that you must do to get rid of slowness and get back that speed is to identify the source of the slowdown. The best and easiest way to determine the problem is to check everything in this list. Here is what you do:
- Defragment your hard disk. Defragmenting is a process of arranging fragmented files in a storage device in a contiguous manner. Most operating sytems come with built-in defragmenting software that you can easily use. To know more about defragmenting, read the “How to Get Rid of Disk Fragmentation” found on this site.
- Repair the registry. The registry is crucial to a computer's performance. Use registry cleaners to get rid of errors and bloat (Learn how to get rid of registry errors). RegCleaner is an example of a free registree cleaner.
- Free up space in your hard drive. You can either remove unnecessary files and programs or back them up on another drive or storage device or simply buy a bigger capacity hard drive. Hard drives don't cost that much now and you can buy one that has several hundreds of gigabytes of storage space for less than $100. (Tips on how to get rid of unwanted programs)
- Add RAM or reduce active software. If you notice your page file usage going up, then it's a sign that you need to upgrade your computer's RAM. A temporary solution is to reduce the number of software running in the background. Non-crucial software like IM clients, P2P software, and email clients are examples of software that should be disabled temporarily while using other programs .
- Update software and drivers. Software and hardware manufacturers regularly release updates for their drivers and software products. Updating them will eliminate previous bugs that may have been causing problems. Visit the websites of the software you use or use the auto update feature in some applications.
- Upgrade your processor. If you often use resource-extensive applications like image and video editors and computer games, you should consider upgrading your processor to the one recommended by the software. Just make sure that the processor is compatible with your computer's motherboard.
- Have it checked. If you notice frequent slowdowns, crashes, or weird noises that weren't present before, the best thing to do is to have your computer checked by an expert. Rattling sounds can mean a damaged and about-to-fail hard drive or frequent freezing or hanging. You may be using a faulty processor or RAM.
The faster your computer is, the better. All you need is a little bit of patience and a keen eye for the causes of the slowdown and you'll be going back to using your PC at top speed in no time. If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy how to build a computer at MonsterGuide.net.
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