If your computer is more than a year old, chances are it does not run at the speed it did when it was new.Maybe you have even tried registry cleaners and spyware removal programs to speed it up with little or no success. While these programs have some value, they are not the main reason computers slow down over time.Neither is it likely to be your processor unless your computer is more than 6 years old. Most processors are under-utilized. They are so fast that they are overkill for the average user – often operating at only 1%-10% of capacity.You can check this for yourself on a Windows PC. Hold down the Ctrl Alt keys and press Delete. On the pop-up, click Task Manager and read your CPU Usage.This will give an accurate reading of how busy your processor really is.Even if it is as high as 50%-75%, it is still not fully utilized.So if that is the case, you do not need a new computer with a faster processor to gain more speed. But if you do buy a new computer, it will run fast.Not because the processor is so much faster, but rather because there are fewer programs and files loaded on it initially, and it will probably have more Random Access Memory (RAM).
RAM is the key to the speed.When we talk about computer speed what we really mean is not processor clock-speed, but the speed with which pages load, files open, and programs respond. While your connection to the internet has some impact on this for online activities, as long as you are using at least a Cable or DSL service (and not dial-up) your internet connection is probably not the issue.The deficiency is most likely with your RAM, for two reasons.1) As time passes, new program releases become larger and web content increases exponentially in size and scope. Ergo, more RAM is needed to handle the bulkier footprints.2) Factory-installed computer RAM is usually well below maximum capacity. While it was sufficient for your system at the time of purchasewith only the original operating system installed, you have probably since added programs, service packs, updates, and all kinds of photo, video, music, and data files. Whether these files reside on your computer or you access them online is irrelevant.It still takes RAM to enable them, especially whenmultiple windows are open.If you are wondering why computer manufacturers do not consider your future needs by maxing out RAM at the factory, there are two factors.1) They want to keep costs down. Larger RAM modules are more expensive than smaller ones.
2) They want more computer sales. They do not make RAM. They buy it from memory manufacturers (and re-brand it as theirs). And they do not make any money if you upgrade the memory later from a direct manufacturer. Yet, they can expect consumers unfamiliar with RAM upgrades to buy a new computer sooner rather than later.Considering the average cost of a computer RAM upgrade is about $100, and in some cases as little as $40, it is far less costly than a new PC.And anyone can do it. If you max out your RAM, you may even have more than would come factory-installed on a new computer today; which would again be the minimum for what that system can handle. The most daunting cost of a new computer is often the soft cost. By that I mean, all the time it takes to set up services and devices again, and transfer all your programs and files from one to the other. It is not uncommon for the Saturday morning computer purchase to turn into the weekend-long PC deployment project.But a typical RAM upgrade takes less than 30 minutes.
Visit here for a complete step-by-step guide to RAM upgrades
Chris Regan is a full-time IT solutions provider and a free-lance writer and marketer.