Why is my computer so slow? Get a real computer tune up
Fast startup times and speedy operations are among the greatest joys of working and playing on a brand-new PC. After all, we all want our PCs to run at peak capacity, regardless of whether it is a budget laptop or a polygon-pushing gaming desktop. But, inevitably, that out-of-the-box performance fades away and we ask why is my computer so slow?
Eventually, every PC and MacBook will slow down, either gradually or suddenly. That's when a computer tune up and defrag proves its worth. Often, viruses, malware and adware take their toll too. To get your computer back to it's heyday performance, you need knowledgeable computer repair experts in person, not some online PC cleaner scam. At ClickAway, we’re proud to fight back and fix that slow computer.
What should you upgrade on your computer first? There are plenty of reasons that a computer can run slow, each of which can require a different fix. Some of the more common issues include slow boot-up and loading times, slow performance when switching between tasks, and poor performance in games. Not all of the following advice will apply to all situations. You should identify the performance issues your computer has and what causes them, to prioritize what components you should replace. ClickAway can do this during a free basic diagnostic.
What Should I Upgrade First? Replace the HDD with an SSD
One of the main components that you can replace to get a big performance boost, especially in booting and loading times is your hard drive. Old HDD hard drives are notoriously slow because they read and write data to a spinning disk. A modern SSD can read and write data more than three times faster than an HDD while using the same SATA connector. If your computer is modern enough to support an M.2 or U.2 connector, this read and write speed improvement over an HDD can be as much as 20 times.
In the real world upgrading from an HDD to an SSD can see your boot-up times change from two or more minutes to nearer 15 seconds. You’ll also find that large files and programs are quicker to copy or open.
SSDs are still somewhat expensive in comparison to HDDs but if you stick to a capacity of one terabyte or less, prices can be reasonable. As you’ll be replacing your operating system drive, this upgrade will require you to reinstall Windows.
Next – Upgrade your RAM
If you run into issues where switching between tasks is slow, or your web browser slows down with only a few open tabs, you may not have enough RAM in your computer. RAM is a type of fast memory used to store data for the currently running programs. By using the high-speed RAM, data can be accessed much quicker than if it was accessed from the hard drive, it also leaves the hard drive available for other tasks.
If you only have a small amount of RAM and you open too many programs, your computer will start to slow down as some of the data in the RAM is offloaded to the slower hard drive. If your computer is running slow and you can see that your RAM is at or near 100% usage, this will be your problem.
The absolute minimum RAM requirement for a computer running Windows 10 is 2GB. Realistically, however, this will not run well at all. Even with 4GB of RAM, you will likely regularly run into RAM related performance issues. In the real world, it’s recommended that you have at least 6 or 8GB of RAM in your computer.
Thankfully, most computers are designed to support RAM upgrades. Before purchasing new RAM though, you need to check what you already have and what your system supports. Most computers will have two, four, or eight RAM slots. You should ensure you don’t buy more sticks of RAM than you can use.
RAM comes in four different shapes. DDR3, and DDR4 RAM are used in desktop computers. While the connectors may look very similar, they are not the same, and you will need to get the version your motherboard supports. Laptops tend to use a smaller form-factor called LPDDR3 and LPDDR4, these types are also not compatible.
If you’ve got free RAM slots, you need to choose if you’re going to supplement or replace your existing RAM. Be aware, that is highly recommended that you do not mix different speeds or capacities of RAM; in fact, it’s best you ensure that all sticks of RAM are of the same brand and model.
Upgrade your graphics card
If you’re a gamer, what should I upgrade often leads to the graphics card. But some professional workstations may also be limited by an old and weak graphics card. If you’re playing games but struggling with low frame-rates or not being able to enable the graphics options you want, then it’s likely time to upgrade your graphics card.
In computer games, the GPU or Graphics Processing Unit is almost always the limiting factor in performance. Upgrading a GPU can be somewhat expensive but modern mid-tier graphics cards are very capable – if your resolution requirements aren’t too high.
Obviously, gaming at 4K or even 1440p is much more processor intensive than at 1080p. To game at higher resolutions you will need to be prepared to spend more money on a stronger graphics card.
Laptop gamers should be aware that it is impossible to upgrade the GPU built into almost all laptops. This is because the GPU processor is built into the laptop’s motherboard itself for space reasons. In desktop computers, however, graphics cards come as a separate expansion card that can be replaced and upgraded with relative ease.
For professional workstations, graphics cards can also be useful for applications such as rendering or neural network training. Having a more powerful graphics card will speed up your workflow. Performance benchmarks are often available so you can compare the rough performance advantage you’d receive in your workloads before you buy.
Answering the question, what should I upgrade, might lead you to examine your device peripherals. Upgrading your keyboard, mouse, monitor, speakers, headphones, or even your chair, can have a positive impact on your computer usage. The effect of some of these upgrades when using your computer for a long time each day can be quite significant and shouldn’t be underestimated.
Upgrading your CPU cooler can help your computer run a fair bit cooler, but the process is fiddly and time-consuming. Running cooler may help your computer be a little faster too if it was previously overheating under heavy load.
Unfortunately, upgrading the rest of the components in your computer, such as your CPU and motherboard can be a complex and time-consuming process, requiring you to rebuild most or all of your computer. ClickAway can give you a cost analysis between upgrading and purchasing a new computer. What should I upgrade on a PC or buying new is a question you should ask first.
When to know when – How to upgrade RAM?
Upgrading RAM on your PC is one way to make your computer far more speedy. Over the years, operating systems like Windows, software like Photoshop, and now even web browsers like Chrome, have built reputations for being unabashed memory hogs. Older PCs, meanwhile, often have between 2GB and 4GB of memory. Loading too many tabs in Chrome or keeping to many programs open on your desktop could use up all of the memory your system has to offer, slowing your system to a crawl.
A mere 4GB could work if you’re sticking to light tasks and not using Chrome, but 8GB is really the minimum we would recommend for a modern desktop PC, and 16GB is the sweet spot for most people consider its modest price increase from 8GB. Gamers with an eye towards future-proofing might even want to consider 32GB—the downside being increased cost, of course.
While swapping an old hard disk drive for a modern SSD is the most drastic hardware improvement, a Mac RAM upgrade lets you run more programs simultaneously. An iMac memory upgrade is an easy way to give your computer more multitasking juice. Upgrading the RAM on your old Mac computer is a quick and affordable way to get your device to handle all of those open tabs in your Chrome browser.
We recommend you upgrade RAM in pairs. For example, add two modules of 8GB of RAM instead of a single module of 16GB of RAM. It’s not so much about cost savings, as it is a performance consideration. Intel supports dual-channel architecture, which is optimized for memory in pairs. However, what you can do with your Mac’s RAM depends on your exact model.
Unfortunately, most modern Macs don’t allow you to upgrade the RAM yourself. Recent MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models have the RAM soldered to the motherboard. Some newer iMacs technically have user-upgradeable RAM, but doing so requires extensive teardown of the machine. We wouldn’t recommend trying a MacBook pro RAM unless you’re extremely experienced with electronics and your machine is already out of warranty. ClickAway’s Apple Mac technicians can tell you your options during a free basic diagnosis.
Other considerations to upgrade RAM
If your laptop will no longer boot up, it may be because one of your memory sticks has gone bad. We can open the laptop and use a process of elimination to determine which stick is causing the problem. We can then replace that particular RAM stick, allowing your laptop to boot up normally again.
How to install more RAM
Installing your own RAM can be done if you’re comfortable and skilled about RAM slots, heat sinks, motherboards and so forth. Otherwise, ClickAway’s computer tune up service can do this for you. Our technicians have been upgrading older PCs and Macs since 2002.
Computer Tune Up $199 - Includes Defrag & More
Why Is My Computer So Slow? Try a Tune Up
- Fix a slow computer with a Computer tune up of operating systems: Windows Vista/7/8/10 & Mac OS X including Mavericks/Yosemite/El Capitan/Mojave
- System hardware test (including hard drive, memory, and CPU) visual inspection of motherboard capacitors (desktops)
- Check for sufficient RAM and free hard drive space and recommend an upgrade if necessary
- Optimize operating system performance
- Remove unnecessary startup programs
- Delete temporary files
- Clean interior including fans and heat sink with compressed air
- Scan all drives, email, and external media
- On-site or in-store service
- Repair damage to Operating System
My Computer Is Slow | Virus Removal Needs
- Remove hard drive and scan contents for viruses and spyware / malware
- Multilevel malware / virus / spyware / trojan screening and removal
- Manually remove all malicious software not quarantined and deleted
- Install any relevant anti-spyware software
- Check for current version of anti-virus
- Industrial strength detection tools
- Guaranteed 100% removal of threats
- Networking & IT Service
- Data Management Services
- Software Upgrades
- Complete System Reinstall / Rebuild $99
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Is your computer running slow? A quality computer tune up can make your lethargic PC feel new again.
Remove Duplicate Files, Defrag, Increase RAM, Increase Speed
All computers eventually lose that day-one luster, becoming lethargic, unresponsive, and even unreliable. The operating system gets gunked up as apps are added and incompletely deleted, leaving behind drivers and all sorts of other system detritus. Their hard drives fill up with forgotten files we've abandoned in folders whose existence we've forgotten. A defrag is just one of the tasks you need to perform.
Programs build up enormous caches behind the scenes that we don't even know about. Eventually, our full hard drives choke the OS as it tries to run. Outdated drivers cease to work correctly. Toolbars and other nasty plug-ins can precipitously slow our browsers to a crawl. It doesn't matter how diligent you are, or what sort of productivity software you use to get the most out of your time if end up sitting around and waiting for your computer to catch up to you.
Our machines can become so impaired through use and neglect that we can no longer use Microsoft Word or play a PC game with the same speed and efficiency to which we have become accustomed. That's when we ask why is my computer so slow? Often, we ponder buying a new computer. But that's a drastic solution, and one that's frequently unnecessary. Instead, you can get often that fresh-out-the-box performance for tens of dollars—instead hundreds or even thousands—thanks to a relatively inexpensive computer tune-up at ClickAway.