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Slow Computer? How to increase the speed of your computer

Often computers can be slowed down, a cost effective and simple hardware update can make a huge difference in performance of your workstation. Adding more RAM (Random Access Memory, often just referred to as memory) can revive your current slow PC.

Several factors can contribute and affect the speed of your business computer. Here we will break these down:

CPU/Processor

The CPU manages all of calculations a PC performs. Today, consumer-class CPUs handle billions and even trillions of commands per second. The age of the processors can greatly influence the actual speed of a PC, if your computer is fairly new (as in 1 or 2 years old, and possibly older for higher end builds) it’s likely not bottlenecking your performance. Today, CPUs are equipped with two, four, or even more cores, which means the CPU can handle more calculations exponentially and consume less electricity.

RAM/Memory

Random Access Memory is basically the short-term memory of your computer. While your PC is loading and running applications, they get stored in the RAM. The RAM is much quicker than the hard drive, so your computer doesn’t need to spin its wheels looking for specific files and parts of applications. The more RAM you have, the more that can be stored in it. The faster your RAM, the faster your PC can sort through the data that gets temporarily pushed into it. Once your RAM is filled, your PC will depend on the hard drive to retrieve information, and that’s where things can start to slow down. Once you stop running a program, it will remove itself from the RAM to free up some space for everything else running.

Hard Drive

The hard drive is the storage device of a computer. For very high-end PCs, the hard drive is the bottleneck. In comparison to RAM, hard drives are very slow to access and write information. Once your PC needs to rely on your hard drive heavily for RAM, things are going to slow down. While it’s great that your PC can rely on your hard drive in this way for those times it needs some extra memory, it is likely this is the slowdown. Unfortunately, because hard drives are mechanical and have moving parts, there’s limitations to how fast science can make them perform. There are expensive solid-state drives, but as a performance-improving factor on a standard workstation, typically solid state drives aren’t the cost-effective answer.

Of course, there are software factors as well. Malware and Spyware can slow down your system, and after a lot of use, temporary files can slow things down too. Before deciding to upgrade your business hardware, you’ll want to have a local support technician run an evaluation on your business computer – it’s possible a little cleanup can make all the difference in the world.

The next step is upgrading the RAM. RAM is can be relatively inexpensive, even to double or triple your existing RAM with faster, higher performance memory. Often the cost of the new RAM itself will be between $50 and $100, and more than likely less than that, and that’s for a substantial increase, but it depends on your computer.

Contact your local IT company or local tech support guy to see how they can help you cleanup your computer.

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