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8 Ways to Speed Up Your PC

  • January 2018
  • PC Troubleshooting
  • 29
Speed Up Your PC

Looking for some quick, easy, and inexpensive ways to improve the performance of your PC? In today's blog we'll show you some of the SACA-approved ways to give your PC a bit of a boost. As always, if you need any help performing any of these steps yourself, you can always contact SACA support at (888) 603-9030 or support@sacatech.com for assistance.

And if you decide that you'd rather just buy a new PC, SACA can help you there too - simply give us a call or send an email to sales@sacatech.com and we'll find something that fits your needs for less than what you'd find anywhere else.

First Things First: A Little Spring Cleaning

You might be eager to slap some cool new hardware into your PC, but hold on there - let's first make sure that it isn't software that's causing the problem.

Let's start by cleaning out all of your old junk: temporary internet files, old applications that you installed but never used, and anything else that we don't need. If your hard drive is full of junk, it will slow down your machine.

CLEAN OUT TEMPORARY FILES

Over time your computer becomes a bit like a hoarder of things like temporary files and forgotten downloads. The best way to get rid of all of this for free is to download CCleaner and use it to clean your PC. They have a paid version, but the free version is the one most people use and it works brilliantly for cleaning out all the hidden junk files that you normally never see.

Using CCleaner to clean up unwanted files
Using CCleaner to enable or disable startup progams

CCleaner being used to clean unwanted files off of a PC and to enable or disable startup programs for the Windows OS.

KILL THOSE UNNECESSARY STARTUP PROGRAMS

A lot of programs, rather annoyingly, decide that you will definitely want to run them every time you turn your computer on. On your behalf and without asking your permission, they load themselves into memory when you start your computer up, hogging resources. Let's put a stop to that using the STARTUP PROGRAMS feature of CCleaner which lets you delete all of the programs that you do not need to start up when you do.

CLEAN OUT ADWARE AND MALWARE

When was the last time that you ran a thorough virus scan on your PC and cleaned out any adware that you may have picked up? Adware and its sometimes criminal cousin malware can both slow down your computer if left unchecked. If you do not have a good anti-virus program that you can use, I recommend using the free version of Malwarebytes, one that is used and trusted by millions of people globally. Download it and use it scan your computer and remove any adware, malware, or viruses it finds.

If the above steps didn't help, let's move on to the next set of steps: hardware upgrades.

Recommended Hardware Upgrades

At SACA we recommend two primary hardware upgrades to clients looking to improve the performance of their PCs: adding an SSD and adding RAM.

An SSD is installed in a laptop

A gray SSD, still to be installed, sits on top of an installed HDD on the back of a laptop. You can also see RAM sticks at the top left.

UPGRADE TO A SOLID STATE DRIVE (SSD)

The best way to speed up a PC with a hard disk drive (HDD) is to add an SSD. Simply put, an SSD is a lot faster than an HDD, and upgrading from an HDD to an SSD should increase your PC's performance by a lot. (Check out this video from the PC manufacturer ASUS for a good side-by-side comparison of the speed of an SSD vs. an HDD in two similar computers.) The Samsung 850 EVO SSD is pretty much the industry standard when it comes to performance and reliability, and most of the models with capacities between 128 GB and 500 GB cost between $100 and $200 - though make sure you pick the version that's compatible with your machine!

INCREASE YOUR RAM

Another upgrade to consider is to add more RAM (random access memory), which your PC uses as high-speed storage for actively-running programs. The more RAM you have, the more programs and more resource-hungry programs you can have open at the same time. 16 GB RAM is more than enough for most people. If you can afford it, get the highest-speed RAM your PC supports from a well-known brand like Corsair or G.Skill.

Not sure if you have an SSD or how much RAM your computer has? One way to find out is by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to bring up the Task Manager and then select the Performance tab. If you select Disk or Memory from the options on the left, you'll see the model of the disk drive (which you can Google) or the type and amount of RAM in the top right.

If you want to try to install these components yourself, there are plenty of helpful guides available online, like this one from PC Mag on how to install RAM. You might find it a lot more convenient to just call up your IT Allies at SACA and let us handle these upgrades for you, though.

Next Steps

If cleaning up your PC or adding an SSD or RAM didn't help with speed, you still have a couple more options left:

Dell Latitude 7280

If your PC is more than 5 years old, you might want to consider buying a new PC like this Dell Latitude 7280 with a 2.4 GHz i5-7300U CPU, 16 GB RAM, a 256 GB SSD, and Windows 10 Pro.

FIND & FIX THE PREVAILING ISSUE

Your PC may be dealing with problems that can't be solved by any of the above steps. For example, your PC may be infected by malware that can't be detected or removed by a free AV solution like Malwarebytes. Or it may be being slowed down by an unrelated software or hardware problem. To get the issue diagnosed and fixed, you could try to solve the problem yourself, or have a professional PC technician like those at SACA Technologies to troubleshoot the issue for you.

REPLACE THE PC

If your PC is at least 5 years old, it may simply be too old to benefit from a cleaning or upgrade. SACA Technologies can help you find PCs that meet your exact needs at prices you won't find anywhere else. If you'd prefer to shop for yourself, though, we'd recommend that you find a PC with at least an Intel Core i5 CPU, 8 GB RAM, an SSD, and (if you're buying for your business) Windows 10 Pro.

GIVE HOSTED DESKTOPS A TRY

Hosted desktops are web-based Windows OSs that you can access from anywhere via the internet. One of the benefits of hosted desktops is that they're always fast, even when you access them from old and/or low performance PCs. So your employees are never hampered by slow PC performance, and you don't have to upgrade and replace your PCs as often, saving money. You can visit www.ironorbit.com to sign up for a free, no-obligation demonstration of the technology.

Conclusion

To increase your PC's speed, try removing all of the unnecessary junk, then try adding an SSD or more RAM. If that doesn't work, try taking your PC to a professional technician if it's a relatively new PC to get it fixed, or simply replace it if it's 5 years or older.



Andrew Saca

About The Author

Andrew Saca, Co-Founder & CTO at SACA Technologies
LinkedIn Email

Andrew is SACA's Director of Technical Operations & knows just about everything there is to know about IT. In his spare time, he likes to mentor young entrepreneurs as a member of the Founders Network.


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