Slow PC? – Probably the most common complaint with a PC that is a few years old is that it is slower than it used to be. The temptation is to splash out on a brand new model with faster components and peripherals, which is probably what the likes of Microsoft would like us to do. Buying a new PC isn't necessarily the best option, and comes with the headache of having to transfer all your old applications and files from the old one – not a trivial task. There are some far cheaper and easier options:
Cleanup and tuning – over the years you have no doubt installed many applications and utilities, many of which are configured to start automatically at boot up or login. As well as using up limited system resources at boot and login, they also use valuable memory which in turn effects performance. With some clever tools I am able to identify those unnecessary resource hogs and remove them from your system. Your PC will start up noticeably faster and be quicker to use.
Memory – the more applications you run, and the more people that log in concurrently on a shared computer (ie with switch user), the slower a PC will run. Generally adding more memory will always make your PC run faster. There are some checks I can do to see if your PC is memory constrained, and I can then advise on the type and amount of memory to buy (there are many different types out there, and it is easy to buy the wrong one). Memory modules typically cost from £20 to £30.
Disk space – whilst not directly related to performance, older PCs were supplied with quite small disks by today's standards. And with photo, music and video storage now prevalent, space has often become an issue. Again, disks are relatively cheap (£40-£50), but there are newer and faster disks available which will improve system performance (if you buy the right one). You then have the option of replacing your main or only system disk (complex, as you have to copy or clone everything from the old one), or adding a new second disk (which might also give a performance advantage). Some thought is then required into how best to integrate the second disk.
Broadband speed – given where we live most of us tend to be some way from the telephone exchange which certainly impacts the speed of our internet connections. There is some scope for tuning a PC to improve performance, and certainly I can measure and advise whether your connection is as fast as it should be.
And if you do decide that a brand new PC is the way forward, then I can advise on the most suitable model for your needs. With the advent of dual and even quad core processors it can be quite difficult to compare like with like – a new PC will typically have a lower clock speed than your old PC, and yet might be much faster.
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