Make Your Computer Run Faster!

Computer Performance...

This article is about how to start approaching the concept of improving your computer's performance. Quite frankly, it can be a daunting task to start if you don't know much about it. I'll keep this as short and straightforward as possible.

Software:

There are many pieces of software out there that slow your computer down, and many others that help speed it back up. Spyware, adware, viruses, and other unwanted programs clog your system up and cause it to perform poorly. Furthermore, file build up over time can do the same thing.
Tips:

  • Occasionally use a virus scanner, such as the free on you can use online called the Trend Micro Housecall.
  • (Optional) Also use another program, just in case, such as a good spyware scanner like Spybot S&D.

    Adware/spyware is the primary culprit for slowing down a computer.
  • Use a computer cleaning program such as CCleaner, this clears file buildup and fixes your registry.
  • Upgrade your browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, don't. Get Google Chrome.
  • Remove unused programs. Go into your computer's control panel and find the area to remove programs, browse through here for programs you no longer want, or never wanted, and remove them. Be careful, do not remove things just because you don't know what they are. Give it a quick Google search first.

    In most operation systems, you're looking for the windows menu, control panel, and then 'Add/Remove Programs' or 'Programs - Uninstall a program'.

    Often times programs you don't want come bundled with programs you do!

    Be sure to remove these. Common things to see are various search bars, weather bug, coupon programs, and things of that nature.
  • Defragment your harddrive regularly, I would say once every few months at least. Windows comes with this tool by default, just look for the Disk Defragmenter.
    You could also consider a program like Defraggler to help you out.
  • Delete old and unused files. The clutter just makes it worse.
  • Disable programs on start-up. Many programs by default start when you turn on your computer. You should uninstall them if you don't want them, but if you do you may not want them all the time. Check the program settings to see if you can disable the program on start-up. Then you can run it when you want to.
  • One program that can do a lot for your computer all in one is TuneUp Utilities. I highly recommend checking out this program!


Source

Hardware

I will not talk about purchasing upgrades for your computer but if that's what you are interested in, look into RAM upgrades, processor upgrades, and graphics card upgrades.


For those who are really interested in computers, particularly PC gamers. You may want to know about overclocking. That is, basically to inform your computer to force your hardware to run faster. It can harm your computer's hardware, but if done properly, will almost never permanently damage it. However, I highly recommend further research on the topic if you want to take this route. [Also note, this most often voids warranties.]

  • CPU Overclocking: You can overclock your CPU quite often in the BIOS, but occasionally, if you are lucky, there motherboard manufacturer will have a program designed to do it for you. I would recommend Googling something along the lines of 'overclocking 'YOURCPU' on 'YOURMOTHERBOARD' and see what comes up. Also check the software that came with your motherboard.
  • GPU Overclocking: GPU (Graphics card) overclocking tends to be much more simple, and can be very useful for gamers. Both ATI and nVidia (2 major graphics card makers) allow overclocking via their card drivers. For nVidia you need to unlock 'coolbits'. For ATI you may only have to locate the overclocking section in the default drivers.

General Tips

  • Turn off your computer when you are not using it!
  • Clean dust out of your computer every few months.

Maintaining a well performing computer is quite simply all about upkeep and making sure not to let stuff build up on the machine. Whether it be old files, programs, viruses, spyware, anything; if you don't need it, don't keep it. If you're afraid you might need it, back it up on a disc, flash drive, or put it into a zip file and stash it away in a location of your hardware that you don't normally access.

This more or less covers what you need to know, or at least a starting point, on maintaining your computer. With this information and perhaps some Google searches you should easily be able to keep your computer in working condition.

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