How to speed up a Slow PC
The first step to fixing a slow PC is to verify that your machine is the actual source of the problem. Videos that seem to buffer forever, and websites that take ages to load, may not be your computer’s fault. Many people mistakenly identify a slow system as the problem when it’s actually not the PC, but their broadband connection.
1. Upgrade Your RAM
RAM or Random Access Memory is an integral part of both photo and video editing. For most people, 8GB will be plenty for most photo editing and general use applications. If you plan on working with video, then 16GB or 32 GB are even better options.
Upgrading a system to 8GB is easily doable for around $50, and upgrading to 16GB can be done for around $110. RAM does come in many different types, and sizes, so it is important to find out what sort of RAM is accepted on your Motherboard. I recommend getting the fastest RAM accepted by your Motherboard
2. Replace Your Mechanical Hard Drive With An SSD
Beyond the RAM, probably the biggest thing you can do to speed up any older system is to switch out the old HDD for a new super-fast SSD. Unlike in previous years, SSDs are now fairly inexpensive to add to your system. I was recently able to grab a 128GB drive for about $80, not bad at all.
If you upgrade your SSD, I recommend transferring your OS to run off of the SSD.
3. Upgrade Your Graphics Card
Most of you have probably already done this, or at least have heard of doing it. Upgrading your graphics card or installing multiple graphics cards (if your board supports it) can greatly increase your performance for many applications including gaming and video rendering.
High-end cards run for as much as I spent on my PC total, but you can still get really efficient and quality cards for under $200.
4. Upgrade Your CPU Cooling
This one is one of the best ways to improve performance and increase the stability of your system. Stock CPU coolers are simply not that great. They do the job of keeping your CPU from melting but put any sort of stress on your system and they will hardly be able to keep up.
There are two ways that you can go to upgrade your CPU cooling: An upgraded air cooler or a water-cooled system. There are other ways, but these are the two cheapest and most common ways.
5a. Upgrade Your CPU
The CPU is the brain of your PC if it is getting old think about upgrading to the latest chip that will still work in your motherboard. CPUs, depending on how old, and what brand/model you need, can range from as little as $100 to $300 or even more for higher-end processors. But this is a great way to extend the life of your current system without the need to completely go out and buy an all-new PC.
Find our what CPU socket your motherboard has, then do a simple Google search for CPUs compatible with that socket. Find the most powerful one that still fits within your upgrade budget and you are good to go. Replacing a CPU is pretty simple these days, you only need to be careful of static and bending pins. But if you are careful, it’s no problem.
5b. Or, Overclock Your CPU
If an upgrade to your CPU is out of the budget, or you don’t want to deal with replacing your current processor then overclocking your current one may be a better option for you. Not all CPUs are capable of being overclocked, so you may not even be able to do so, but overclocking, when done safely with sufficient cooling can help you squeeze the most out of your system. It is also a lot safer and easier to do now than it has been in the past.