Programs and games are becoming more and more hardware intensive. We all know the memes about Chrome just eating all of your computers resources, usually the RAM, and not delivering much for that, and that is true. Often, you open up your Task Manager, and all you see is resources eaten left right and center. Yes, upgrades in the software and the latest graphics in games are excellent, however, for the average person who can probably only buy a beast of a pc every 5-7 years, this is a nightmare. Are there ways to “increase” the speed of your computer, without breaking the bank? In this article, we’re going to look at 3 ways to do just that!
- Decrease boot-up time without new hardware
Turn off as many start-up apps as possible. This one comes down to personal preference, but this is something I always do, with a beast of pc, or a potato of a pc. Why do I say turn them off? Starting something up, even waking up in the morning, can be very difficult, even for the most efficient machines. This is why I go through all the automatic startup apps on my computer (under Task Manager), and I disable everything I don’t think I’ll need when I turn on my computer. This includes Skype (which Microsoft has now made non-negotiable even though 90% don’t want it), Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox and Steam (or basically any gaming application). This is just to name a few, you’d be surprised how many are actually under the Startup tab. Disabling these will make a stark difference to Startup time on your computer. You can open these applications up once your computer has loaded into Windows without any difficulty.
- Get an SSD?
An SSD or solid state drive makes a HUGE difference in loading performance. This difference can be felt on a potato computer too. For example, before upgrading to my new computer, my old one was an i5-3rd generation with 4GB RAM and a GTX 660ti. When I upgraded from a standard hard drive to a solid state drive, my life changed – no exaggeration. An SSD no longer has moving parts as a hard drive does. Therefore, it runs at least 13x faster compared to a standard hard drive and is a lot more energy efficient. You will notice a massive difference in loading times of Windows, applications and most games. While having an SSD won’t make the graphics look better, it definitely helps when loading into a game.
What size do you need? While this comes to cost, you can pick up a 120GB Crucial drive for a decent price, just to install Windows and your applications on. However, I recommend nothing smaller than a 250GB drive, if you can afford it at least. Have a look at the pricing for the Crucial 120GB, and the 250GB.
- Add More RAM
All applications and games use RAM on your computer. RAM is used by the CPU to store information that needs to be accessed quickly. RAM is only used while the computer is on, and any information in the RAM is lost when the computer is turned off. As mentioned earlier, we know an application like Chrome to be very RAM dependent. So increasing your RAM will increases the amount of space for the information to be stored on, in turn decreasing the load time of your applications, especially those that use a lot of a RAM. A personal standard minimum for a “working” computer should around 8GB, that is sufficient to do a little bit of gaming as well, like Dota 2 and CS:GO. For a gaming computer, you do not want to look at anything less than 16GB.
So what RAM should you look at? There are so many different brands on the market; it can get a bit overwhelming to choose one. I recommend looking at Crucial RAM, and if you’re a gamer mainly the Ballistix Gaming RAM. Please be aware that not all RAM is compatible with older Motherboards. You will need to confirm that the RAM you are fitting is compatible with your motherboard and that the speed of the RAM is compatible with your CPU.
So we’ve taken a look at the “cheaper” or more cost-effective ways to increase the speed of your current computer. However, the best way to go about, and this is if you can afford it, is to purchase a complete upgrade kit. This would generally include a new CPU, Motherboard, and RAM. Then including a new SSD and a graphics card, you’re good to go. This is costly but is the safest way to go to ensure that all the components work with each other (especially buying the upgrade kit with the CPU, MOBO, and RAM).
I hope the above information helps you get every ounce of speed out of your computer that you can squeeze, and if you haven’t tried any of the above tips yet, give it a go, and see if it works for you – it worked for me. Thank you to Syntech for letting me use some images from their site. If you think of any additional ways, please don’t hesitate to drop me a message in the comment section below and I’ll be sure to add it.
Hi there! My name is Corbyn and I enjoy love writing tech guides on a variety of topics. I always answer comments so if you have anything you want to ask or suggest, please go ahead and I will reply within 48 hours. If you are interested in getting your hardware or software reviewed, please use my contact form and we can talk business. Thanks for visiting my blog!