What to do if your computer is running slowly
Submitted by Craig Rabe, president and CEO of The Computer Café
My computer is running slowly. Should I fix it or buy a new one?
The answer varies depending on your circumstances. If your computer is less than 3 years old and you are not demanding more from it than you were when you bought it, upgrading your RAM (memory) and giving your computer a tune-up is probably all that’s needed.
To significantly speed up a computer, most people need to give their computers a tune-up and to possibly remove some software that might have been recently installed. Certain antivirus suites are major culprits as far as software slowing down computers. The main reason these programs slow computers down is because they install a lot of processes as part of the suite and use a lot of memory.
Then your computer is low on available memory, it will run very slowly. Available memory refers to the RAM in your computer, not the hard drive space, so deleting files from your computer will not speed up your computer. If your computer has less than 1GB of RAM, you will want to upgrade to at least 1GB for better performance.
If you are simply browsing the Internet and checking emails, a 3- to 5-year-old computer will most likely suit your needs just fine with at least 1GB of RAM and a tune-up. However, if you are demanding more from your computer, it may be time to consider a new system. If your computer is more than 5 years old and it is running slowly, your money would probably be better spent on buying a new one.
The Computer Café has operated retail computer stores in Arlington and Winchester, Mass., since 1996. The Computer Cafe is a computer store that sells and repairs computers and supports the IT needs of small businesses. Rabe received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical and computer engineering from Clarkson University in 1992. He started his career as a technical sales representative for Arrow Electronics selling semi-conductors and computer systems.
As of July 6, 2011, The Computer Café was was a highly rated service provider on Angie’s List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check AngiesList.com for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie’s List.