A slow computer can be one of the most frustrating things for a computer user. Where you attempt to start up your computer it takes an age, you try to load a program – it takes an age. It can sometimes even make the slowest typist seem quick as your computer struggles to catch up to display the text as you type your document!
The biggest question is why does this happen? After all – your computer wasn’t slow when you bought it? In fact, at the time, your computer was pretty quick! Where did it all go wrong?
Generally the reason why your computer may be particularly slow is simple – not enough resources in particular not enough computer memory or RAM. Here is what I mean:
The majority of people with an older computer will be using Microsoft XP as their operating system. When XP first came out most computers were supplied with 256mb RAM. Even up to a few years ago 256MB of RAM was supplied in the entry level computers. This wasn’t a problem – sure the computer would run slower than it’s potential but it would still work ok.
What people do not realise is things have changed – and drastically when it comes to computer. The boom of broadband has meant computer needs to be secure when accessing the internet. Most people are now familiar with the fact they need security if they are going online. What people don’t realise is that the programs that are protecting you have grown in size and resource demands. Only a couple of years ago your average Norton Security would have been less than half the size and require less than half the amount of RAM it does today. If you consider your original PC was already running on the limit before it is clear to see why it now may be struggling.
Another larger resource demand that has occurred recently is the Automatic Windows update of service pack 3. After this update was release many people complained their computers had slowed and grinded to a halt. This is again due to security update and improvements within XP that need extra resources to run.
The bottom line is, 256MB RAM for XP is not enough. 512MB and you are still struggling. 1GB is optimal but the more the better. Right up to 2GB.
There is no way around having these security applications and updates – you just need to expand your memory in your computer and give it a whole new lease of life. You will be surprised how much this small chip can make such a large difference to the usability of your computer.
RAM prices do vary greatly depending on the exchange rate but at time of writing this article you can upgrade your computer to 1GB or RAM for about £40 or less. This will make a huge huge difference to the speed of your machine
You can usually check how much RAM is on your computer by using the following methods:
Check if you have a sticker on the front of your PC – it usually tells you!
Right click on your my computer icon on your desktop and go to properties. You should see the memory listed here.