performance Archive

Boost Your PCs Performance with a SSD

ssd-256gb-driveSome time ago we said that SSD Solid State Drives are the Wave of the Future. Sure that may be true but no one really knows when that notion will take effect or when SSDs will actually replace hard disk drives (HDD). In the meantime SSDs are primarily used to significantly boost the performance of computers if you have the extra money to spend.

If you have dished out your life savings to build the ultimate super computer rig then you probably have opted for an SSD or two. If you have not then you may have already explored how a SSD can benefit you.

SSDs are not like spinning hard drives where all of the factors come in to play to get the best performance in an HDD. Hard disk drives you have to look at several specs to get the best bang for your buck such as rotational speed, interface type and cache memory which all factor in to let you know what type of performance you should expect. With new SSDs on the market you will primarily only look at the capacity. The current most popular “affordable” sizes for SSDs are 2.5-inch 64gb, 128gb, 256gb and maybe some 512gb configurations. Unfortunately to replace those 1TB hard drives you have in your current PC with enough SSDs to equal that storage capacity will cost you pretty penny.

Did you know that adding a SSD to just about any computer will increase its performance? The biggest gain in performance using an SSD is to use it for your boot disk or store the operating system on it. That is when you really get a boost in performance. To take that a step further you can upgrade the drive controller that will allow even more throughput than standard SATA controller configurations.

No noise, less heat, less power consumed, no moving parts, and high data transfer rates. That’s all of the major advantages that you get in an SSD when compared to an HDD. Sure SSDs are expensive but do you want to pay for a big boost in performance or not?

Example of current price list for SSDs:

ssd-price-list

Have you ever experienced the performance gains of an SSD? Have you already made the switch to an SSD. Tell us what configuration you have using an SSD.

Popularity: 14%

How To Revitalize An Old Desktop Computer

old-cpu-caseIn today’s economy many of us could really care less about replacing our current desktop computer with a new one. We would rather spend that money on other necessities in life. If your current desktop computer is starting to perform slow and needs either to be replaced (by your current standards) or just upgraded to hold you over for another 6 months to a year, then you can take a few steps to revitalize it.

Making sure that you purchase the right parts for upgrading your computer is a major key to saving money. Not only can you go broke buying the wrong upgrades for your system, but you can easily spend over the amount that a new system would cost in the first place.

Upgrade your RAM

Depending on what type of desktop computer you have, chances are that you can start by upgrading the system RAM. RAM is relatively cheap now days and you can save even more money by shopping online for the best deal for RAM. Do your homework first before upgrading RAM. Some computer manufacturers like to ship their systems with RAM that takes up all available slots and others may leave you with one or two empty slots. Find out what your system specs and requirements are first and then shop for the appropriate amount of RAM so you will not buy something that does you no good. In rare cases, you may purchase a stick of 2gb’s of RAM thinking that it will give you an additional 2gb of RAM not knowing that your system has two slots taken up by 1gb sticks of RAM each. A single 2gb stick or RAM would be a waste as it would only upgrade you to 3gb of ram because one of the 1gb sticks would be replaced.

Upgrade your Hard Drive

Upgrading to a new faster and bigger hard drive is also a relatively inexpensive upgrade that can increase performance on an older computer. Many new hard drives have increased transfer rates and larger buffers. This will allow your programs to open quickly and enable you to access files faster. It may also put you at ease knowing that your hard drive is less likely to crash due to old age.

Upgrade your Video Card

A new video card can bring life back into an older computer. Many older systems from big PC manufacturers such as Dell, HP and Sony will use integrated graphics built onto the motherboard. These are good for basic video operations and only one monitor. If you wish to upgrade to dual monitor support and speed up your older system then using a new video card is key. You must be careful when finding a compatible video card for your older PC. Some new video cards have power requirements that your system cannot support. It is best to look at your current system’s specs and find out of you can support a new video card.

Operating System Upgrade?

The operating system is one of those touchy upgrades that may not benefit you by upgrading. Upgrading from Windows XP to Vista is a bad idea because it will not give you any type of performance boost and could drain your system even more in terms of performance. The CPU in an older system will be bombarded by extra utilization and you will be very unhappy.

Avoid CPU Upgrade?

The CPU in your computer is probably another area that you may want to avoid upgrading. Very few computer systems greatly benefit from a CPU upgrade not to mention it can cost you well over $200 which is well over the budget of the first two upgrades that we mentioned, RAM and hard drive.

Monitor Upgrade?

What about your monitor? Chances are, unless you have a really old system, you have a LCD monitor. The size of the monitor is really personal preference if you have an LCD display. A larger monitor will not really increase any type of performance but be more pleasing to your eyes. If you have an older CRT monitor, then it may be time to upgrade to at least a 19 inch LCD display. They run relatively inexpensive now days and can be had for around $120.

Do you have any suggestions for our readers that may consider keeping their current system and upgrading it for a little more performance? Have you read our post on how to Restore Your PC to Like-New Performance?

Popularity: 20%

Restore Your PC to Like-New Performance

restore-new-computer-performanceDoes your computer run like it did when you first booted it up out of the box? It is possible that your PC lacks the performance that it had when new. You can restore it back to like-new performance by cleaning up some of the garbage files, registry entries and even potential parasites that could all be hindering its performance.

One question that you may ask is how your computer ends up in this situation in the first place. It is rather easy and can almost be compared to maintenance on a car. You regularly change the oil on your car to keep it running well right? Well, on your PC, you do not necessarily need to change any type of fluids, but rather the software that is running on the computer. Starting with the files and applications that you do not need or use is a good start.

Delete any unnecessary files and uninstall any applications that you no longer use or are outdated. This will not only free up hard drive space but it will alleviate the load on your CPU. Your registry may require being repaired with a registry cleaner application. These programs are designed to seek out registry problems and fix them thus freeing up resources on your computer allowing it to run faster. Remember, registry entries can cause applications to load into memory utilizing valuable CPU resources.

Using an anti-virus and/or an anti-spyware application is also a good idea so that any installed parasites can be detected and removed without causing damages to essential system files. This process is easy to perform provided that you have installed an up-to-date anti-spyware/anti-virus program. Spyware, Trojans and virus lurking on your computer will greatly hinder performance. Using an anti-virus or anti-spyware program alone sometimes is not enough. You may be required to update other software applications such as the Windows operating system to apply the latest patches. This can be done by visiting the Windows Update link here.

If you are on a budget, then you can still perform many of these functions without purchasing expensive software. Many companies offer free virus and spyware scans. In addition, free registry tweaking programs are available over the internet. You must be mindful of the many scams on the internet. Do not end up downloading and installing any type of rogue program. Check the website of the application and make sure it looks legitimate and has substantial contact and company information.

Popularity: 4%