How to upgrade your slow computer

The way I like to think about what makes a computer fast is the following analogy. Imagine a person sitting at a table in a library reading books and periodically getting up to get more books to read. For this process to be fast three things need to be quick.

  • The person reading the books needs to be fast
  • The table needs to be large enough to read a lot of books without getting up
  • And the process of getting more books to read needs to be quick as well.

For computers to be fast these three things also need to be fast. These three things relate to computer parts as follows.

  • The Processor: The person reading the books
  • The RAM: The table needs to be large
  • The Storage: The speed of getting more books

When you buy a new computer these three things are the most important things to look for because they will determine how fast the machine is. The term “You get what you pay for” applies to the point that the more you pay the faster these three things generally will be; however, there are other things that machines offer as well which determines how much the machine costs.

Computer Processor

Computer Processor

Processor - The Person doing all the reading and getting books

The processor (person reading the books) is the most important thing to look for when purchasing a new computer in terms of speed because in a lot of cases you cannot upgrade the processor once you get the new computer but you can increase the amount of RAM and the long-term storage (speed of getting more books). Having a fast processor would be similar to a speed reader compared to a person learning how to read for the first time.

How do I upgrade my slow computer

There are two ways to upgrade slower computers and make them faster. To make computers with slow hardware faster you will need to install faster computer parts. So as I mentioned above the two parts to upgrade to significantly increase the speed of a computer is the RAM and the long-term storage

(RAM) Computer Memory

(RAM) Computer Memory

(RAM) Computer Memory - The size of the table

If you're sitting at a small table then you have very little room to read; however, if you make the table bigger than you can read a lot more and be more efficient without needing to get more books. The amount of RAM on the computer is like short-term memory, the more RAM your computer has the more it can do at once and increasing the amount of RAM makes your computer much more efficient.

Slow computers usually come with 2GB or 4GB of RAM; however, for modern computers to be really fast an ideal amount is 8GB or more. Many computers can easily be upgraded from 4GB to 8GB or even 16GB and this will make them a lot faster. This will give the computer a lot of room to hold what it’s working on and this will allow the processor to do everything it needs to without needing to stop what it’s doing to retrieve more information Ex: Stop reading and go to the shelves for more books. This will make the computer run cooler, faster, and increase the longevity of the computer.

Western Digital SSD

Storage (SSD) VS (HDD) - Library bookshelves holding the books

When you need to get up, find a book, and bring it back to the table it takes time away from reading this slows down your progress. When you make it very fast to find books and get them back to the table it makes it so that time can be spent on reading the books. View WD SSD on Amazon

Solid State Drives (SSD) VS. Hard Disk Drives (HDD)

In order to explain how an SSD can make a computer a lot faster, I am first going to explain the alternative type of drive called a Hard Disk Drive.

A regular hard disk drive (HDD) has a spinning disk and an arm that reads the disk similar to a record player. When you need something from a spot on the disk the arm moves to that area to read the information then it moves to another area to read other things and the process continues as you use the drive.

The act of looking for a book then finding it on the bookshelf is the same as how a computer finds information on a Hard Disk Drive (HDD). A computer does this over and over again and this can slow down the machine by taking time away from reading.

Also when a computer creates a file it stores it in a small spot on the bookshelves, then as you create more files it stores the next file on the spot beside the first. If you add to the first file and the spot beside it is taken then the processor needs to create the file on another spot in the library. This would look like the person going all around the library to find parts of a single book.

SSD - Instant Storage

SSD - Instant Storage

An SSD does not have an arm and the process of retrieving books to read is basically instant. Hard Disk Drives (HDD) can be upgraded to Solid State Drives (SSD). When you upgrade an HDD to an SSD you will notice a huge improvement in performance. View Crucial SSD on Amazon

Computers with Solid State Drives are much faster, can boot in seconds, and retrieves files almost instantly making it so work does not need to stop as often or for as long to retrieve files Ex. More books. Because of this an SSD runs quieter, is cooler, and can run a lot longer than HDD.

If I could only choose one:

  • I would choose an SSD upgrade; however, if the computer only had 2GB of Ram I would choose more Ram.

How to get the most out of your computer

The best way for a computer to run really fast is to have lots of RAM and a fast SSD. This would be the same as having a big table for reading books and not having to get up if you read to get other books.

If the person has a big table to hold books that they are reading then they will not need to get up as often to get more books. Also if the time it takes to get more books from the bookshelves is very short then the person can focus on reading and not need to stop and take as much time to get up and get more books.

If you would like to have an SSD or more RAM installed on your computer please contact me and I will do an awesome job of getting your computer to work really fast! To see all of the stuff I can help with you can visit my homepage here.

About the Author: Andrew

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2 Comments

  1. That was an excellent analogy you gave for the 3 parts!

    The Processor: The person reading the books
    The RAM: The table needs to be large
    The Storage: The speed of getting more books

    The processor cannot be altered. Speed comes with changes to the RAM (like short term memory the more there is the faster it is.) Storage means no to hard disk drive and yes to solid state drive.

    Thanks for your excellent article.

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