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How to improve pc speed

Last response: in Windows 7
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May 30, 2012 1:12:48 PM

Hello, i am wondering how to improve my pc speed. i know the basic stuff like cleaning cookies, uninstalling programs and defragmenting. I want my computer to go fast because that stuff doesnt help, can anyone give me some free programs or tips to help me.

Core 2 Quad Q6400
Radeon 4870 512 mb
4 gb ddr2
400 gb 7200 rpm

More about : improve speed

May 30, 2012 1:24:18 PM

The cheapest way to increase speed is to add ram. You can also do a wipe and reload. Thats the only way to make sure everything is cleaned out. Or simply build a new system.
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May 30, 2012 1:26:40 PM

Hi,

Get a program called Ccleaner: www.piriform.com/CCLEANER

Run the cleaner and let it also scan and fix your registry. That should make a difference.

If you are running Vista or Windows 7 you can also adjust the visual effects in Windows to increase speed.
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May 30, 2012 1:33:03 PM

Alright, janvleis is somewhat right. CCleaner hasn't really been proven to speed a system up (infact some tests indicate it may slow the computer down). Dough is correct, increasing RAM will boost your system, but only marginally. The best way to speed the system up is to go with a new system. I do not recommend upgrading since the system is already old and there are no worthwhile upgrades. Save some money and get a new Ivy Bridge system
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a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2012 1:35:35 PM

you have enough ram

buy a solid state hard drive then see the difference--at their lowest price ever now --in the uk at least

but from a software point of view as suggested run ccleaner

and run the built in disk cleanup

and run msconfig and disable any start up entries that arent necessary
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May 30, 2012 1:48:33 PM

OC your processor, it should give you a nice improvement.
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May 30, 2012 1:56:50 PM

mcnumpty23 said:
you have enough ram

buy a solid state hard drive then see the difference--at their lowest price ever now --in the uk at least

but from a software point of view as suggested run ccleaner

and run the built in disk cleanup

and run msconfig and disable any start up entries that arent necessary


^ Hey OP this is your answer right here. I agree a Solid state will give you the most noticeable performance boost. You can get a 60-90 GB SSD for a Boot drive/OS and use other for Data.
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a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2012 1:57:37 PM

Spend some money and update some of your aged hardware. GPU especially.
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a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2012 1:58:05 PM

I'll start with a few questions, then give some generic advice.

What 'speed' do you need? Are you playing video games and need more performance, or are you surfing the web, watching video, using office, etc and your computer gives you a lot of hourglasses

Are you willing to spend money? Are you comfortable putting new parts in your computer?

What operating system? (windows xp, vista, 7, etc)

If you are gaming and want to upgrade your video card (which is a very good place for improvement, as 4870 is a good card but it's dated), what PSU do you have?

Is you computer a branded computer like a dell/hp/etc or is it a self-built or shop-built pc?


Now, as said above, adding some ram can help you in general office/surfing/etc. but you already have 4Gb so unless you have a 64bit OS, you will see absolutely no benefit. Adding an SSD can also make your computer feel much faster for most desktop applications, they will make your computer boot much much faster, and your programs should load quicker; I would recommend a 120gig for all purpose usage, which will cost 110$-140$

Again, as said above, if you are comfortable backing up your personal files and wiping your computer and starting fresh (very easy if you have a branded computer, as they give you a restore disk or restore HDD partition) can greatly improve your computers performance (back to what it was when new) for things like surfing/general use.
A much easier but less effective alternative is to run msconfig and clean up startup tasks:
goto start->run->type "msconfig" and press enter->click the startup tab here you find a list of everything your computer runs at startup, go through this list and disable things you don't need always running like office, adobe, etc (google things you don't recognize and make your own judgement, you can't break your whole computer, but you can make some things like scanners stop working until you reenable their startup task).

Upgrading your video card to something like a 7850 (check tom's list for best gfx card for the $$ at your price range, anything over ~150$ will likely be an improvement, but the more you can spend the longer it will give you good performance), though at some point your CPU is likely to bottleneck you (depending upon the games you play)

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May 30, 2012 2:21:48 PM

For free solutions, I agree with using ccleaner - it will kill your temp files and help fix registry corruption. I would also run an antimalware scanner like malwarebytes.

The biggest speed improvements would be to install your OS on a solid state drive and upgrade your graphics card. For the SSD, I would recommend Crucial - simple, efficient and reliable. You can find them as cheap as $85 for a 64GB drive which is more than enough to hold Win7 but I would recommend a 128 GB which are constantly on sale on newegg. For GPU, you have a lot of options based on the price you're willing to spend.

Your processor isn't bad by any means and you would likely have to upgrade your motherboard and RAM in order to be able to step into a newer processor so I would stick with what you have for those components until you're ready to rebuild your rig. The ivy bridge i5/i7s are fantastic - definitely would be a whole new world of computing for when you're ready to make the switch but you can definitely get more like from your current quadcore.
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a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2012 2:27:29 PM

@ DjScribbles - Very good evaluation, so just some comments.
If Not planning on upgrading the system in the very near future, Limit your upgrade components to what you CAN carry over to a new system.
1) The SSD (SATA III) is backwards compatable with your SATA II interface. This can then be moved over to a new system. It will greatly improve the reponsiveness, that is Boot time will be considerably reduced and programs will load very quicky - programs will NOT run faster. Concur on size go for 120/128 gig SSD, a 60/64 gig SSD is the MIN size and requires close monitoring so that you do NOT go above 85->90% utilization (a 60/64 gig SSD is really ONLY 50/54 gigs usable!!). Min size should be a 80 -> 90 Gig SSD
The HDD is the biggest single bootleneck - an SSD is from 20->40 times faster than a HDD.

2) IF gamer, yes update GPU. This can also be moved to a new system. If Not a gamer, then skip.
3) stay with your 4 gigs as DDR2 can NOT be moved to a new system. Unless you are swapping in and out of virtual memory (using the HDD like ram), more ram will not improve performance that much. As stated if using a 32 bit operating system - 4 gigs is max anyways.

4) Overclocking CPU. I have a E6400 which Oced to 3.2 GHz fairly easily and is a notable improvement. If not mistaken the Q6400 goes to 3.0 fairly easily, Higher with a little more effort. HOWEVER, do not OC if you are using the stock HSF, you need a 3rd party HSF to keep temperatures down. Look at OC guides to see if you are confortable with this (ie google overclocking Q6400). OC must be at least 20% higher than stock speed to notice any improvement.
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May 30, 2012 3:05:56 PM

By looking at your system I don't see any blatant reason why your computer should be running slow*. Have you investigated the possibility of some malware present in your system? I've worked for an IT helpdesk at a small college for several years and the number 1 complaint is the system is running slow, and the top three reasons are 1) poor maintenance (temp files, fragmentation,registry issues), 2) malware (virus, trojan, worm, etc.), 3) expecting too much from their computers (usually economy level hardware which is not the case for you).

I do not believe upgrading is necessary unless you are trying to play the latest and greatest games on max settings. If you are gaming, which based on the fact that you have a 4870 I presume you are, and if you can be satisfied with some medium settings and sub 1600x900 resolutions then your components should be fine but overclocking may be something to look into.

If you do upgrade, I would look at the new Ivy Bridge i5's**, 8GB (2x4GB) of low latency 1600MHz DDR3***, and a z77 motherboard. A Solid State Drive would definitely be a great improvement but seeing as your motherboard probably does not have SATA III, the CPU/RAM/South bridge combination will end up being the bottleneck of your system leaving you wanting to upgrade them any how. After upgrading the parts listed above you will almost assuredly have SATA III ports on your new motherboard and if you have money left in the budget for a SSD then by all means get one, after doing research of course.

I apologize for the length but this is of great interest to me.


*by average computer standards, not enthusiast level computers.
**the i5-3570(k) is in the same category of performance in Best Gaming CPUs For The Money: May 2012's CPU hierarchy chart and is cheaper overall, and the K version offers great overclocking potential, and Ivy Bridge natively supports PCIe 3.0 with the z77 chipset.
***8GB is the recommended minimum in Memory Upgrade: Is It Time To Add More RAM? but they do not find more to be necessary unless using 4GB or more as a RAM disk for your pagefile, 2 DIMMs to allow for dual-channel mode while maintaining the best potential for overclocking (fewer DIMMs is better), 1600MHz is the fastest non-overclocked speed Ivy Bridge supports and price/performance diminishes greatly above 1600MHz, and low latency is under-rated in the general community.
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May 30, 2012 3:40:47 PM

RetiredChief said:
If Not planning on upgrading the system in the very near future, Limit your upgrade components to what you CAN carry over to a new system.
1) The SSD (SATA III) is backwards compatable with your SATA II interface. The HDD is the biggest single bootleneck - an SSD is from 20->40 times faster than a HDD.
2) IF gamer, yes update GPU. If Not a gamer, then skip.
3) stay with your 4 gigs as DDR2 can NOT be moved to a new system. As stated if using a 32 bit operating system - 4 gigs is max anyways.
4) Overclocking CPU. OC must be at least 20% higher than stock speed to notice any improvement.


I heartily agree with the idea of upgrading in steps with the idea of future compatibility, however:

1) The addition of an SSD will increase the workload of the CPU and RAM as the SSD will be able to deliver data more quickly and allowing for less downtime but by the same token will accomplish tasks more quickly. Problem is, if SSD out-paces the CPU/RAM then the perceived performance increase will be diminished, not negating the value of upgrading over a HDD but leaving the user itching to remove or widen bottlenecks, and DDR2 coupled with SATA II will likely be the bottleneck requiring a core system upgrade (CPU/RAM/MoBo). I suppose it comes down to if the user is an enthusiast, hardcore gamer, or casual gamer.
2) GPU is fine for most games, although 512MB will certainly require using system memory in most modern games, bringing back the issue of DDR2 vs DDR3 and the speed and latency of each. Again, enthusiast, hardcore gamer, or casual gamer?
3) 32-bit is most likely if using XP or Vista, 7 is offered in both but 64-bit is mainstream. 4GB is enough for casual gamer but not for anything more, and the speed and latency of the users RAM will have a bearing on perceived performance as well.
4) The Core2 Quad Q6400 is 2.133GHz stock, with 266MHz FSB and CPU Multiplier of 8. The Q6400 was never in a retail machine thus the user most likely has some variation of ATX setup. With the RIGHT chipset this processor can achieve a 333MHz FSB yielding a 2.66GHz O.C. which is nearly a 25% increase (very noticeable) however, this is somewhat of a best case scenario.

I am not trying to be argumentative but rather playing devils advocate if nothing else, putting as much pertinent information out there as possible. All of the advice so far has been very good and I hope the user gets as much information as possible to make the most informed decision.
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May 30, 2012 6:49:11 PM

My main problem is the boot up performance from the "starting windows" icon to waiting 3-4 minutes after i log in. I disabled all the unnecessary startup programs, installed ccleaner already and overclocked my cpu along time ago. Im fine playing games at medium settings with my 4870 and 1440x900 monitor.

If i was going to buy a SSD, i would have no idea how to use it.

Full PC specs

Windows 7 Professional
Core 2 Quad Q6400- coolermaster hyper 212
4gb ddr2 500mhz
Asus tek- P5G41-M LE
Radeon 4870 512 mb
Antec 650 watts
HAF 912

I have no plans of upgrading this pc ( except a SSD ) or building a new one for a while.
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May 30, 2012 6:55:14 PM

Then yes, a SSD would be your best bet for now. You would use it just like any other drive, install it into an open slot in your motherboard (could actually just set it somewhere as there are no moving parts to be damaged from minor bumps) connect SATA and power. Only thing is you would have to reinstall windows onto this new disk, which is easiest done by disconnecting all hard drives except the SSD to avoid confusion, and install as normal, once this is done you may reconnect the other drives and drag the files you wish to store on the new drive over, otherwise delete all but your user folder from your old drive. Install your programs, when doing so you always can chose where to install it, although you may have to chose the non "express" setup, install programs you want to launch quickly to the SSD, install others on the HDD.
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Best solution

a b $ Windows 7
May 30, 2012 8:25:26 PM

My experience with OCZs has been mixed, had one of the two I own fail 6mo after purchase, they were taking forever after i shipped back, after a month I finally called them to see what was up, they had somehow not shipped the replacement drive, so they overnited me a vertex3 to replace my vertex2. Had I called sooner I woulda probly had it back sooner, but I was busy, but the upgrade was appreciated.

I've heard Crucial M4's recommended alot, along with Intels and Samsungs (the non-Sandforce controller gang).
When you get the SSD, simply unplug your main HDD, install the SSD, check that your BIOS is set for AHCI mode, put windows on it, then plug your HDD back in, and you've got all your old data back.

There are lots of things you can do to optimize the limited space on your SSD. Most importantly:
http://thessdreview.com/ssd-guides/optimization-guides/...
These tricks will improve speed, reduce write cycles, and reduce the size of Windows.

You can offload your users (and Program data directories) via this method:
http://lifehacker.com/5467758/move-the-users-directory-...
which makes it alot easier to use your computer the way you do with an HDD without cluttering your SSD.

I personally only use a 60GB SSD, with windows installed on it, and use SteamMover to copy a game or two to my SSD, this keeps my boot times low, and lets me put long-load-time games on it (such as Dragon Age, Witcher, etc where you load often and it takes forever, it makes these games much more immersive simply because every door isn't a 5 minute break)


Though, you can also just do a clean install of windows with your current system, you may find your boot time more tolerable without any cost, this of course requires backing up your settings, files, save games, etc. (not a bad thing to have a backup lying around though). My guess is a clean windows install will have you down to ~1minute boot time. An SSD would get you to about 20sec or so.

I would go for the SSD personally, they really do improve the perceived 'speed' of your computer (not so much performance though).
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October 13, 2013 11:38:47 AM


A slow computer is frustrating. Read this post for emergency tips to troubleshoot your slow computer.

The OS constantly reports running errors? Computer freezes or even gets crashed every now and then? Here in this post you will learn some emergency tips to speed up a slow PC and what is more important, get a plan for such issue.

What Cause a Slow Computer?

Frankly, many aspects can affect the computer running speed and performance. To make it clear and logic, I will simply present you with some common computer errors and the main reasons related in most cases in the list below.

If the computer is clean from any virus infections, common computer issues and corresponding reasons are here to stay:
Retarding responding of the entire OS to your movements ---Lack of disk space (This scenario can result from junk files, excessive unnecessary programs installed, too many tasks processing at the same time, comparatively low configuration of the computer.)

Sudden OS freezing---too many tasks processing at the same time

Occasional OS errors and slow OS running--bloated registry files or registry errors or incompatible programs installed

OS crashed---serious system errors in terms of either software or hardware

Programs unable for normal use--- incompatibility or the program consuming overloading system resources

Black screen or blue screen---software errors or hardware errors

Data Corruption.
Adware & Spyware.
Not enough hard drive space.
Left over programs and bad files.
Missing Windows updates or outdated drivers.
Computer is overheating.
Unnecessary Startup Programs Running in the Background.
Hard Disk Fragmented & in Need of Being Defragmented.
Hard Disk Errors May Be Corrected with "Check Disk".
Hard Disk Needing "Clean Up".
Windows Registry Issues Viruses.
Anti-Virus Security Programs.
Your PC May Need More RAM.
I suggest you a software speed up pc solve all your problem of slow pc as mentioned above.
I think you like my reply

Regards,
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November 11, 2013 8:23:05 PM

Maybe it's because of registry errors. You can go to http://www.registryproblemsolver.com/ to fix those errors. It might speed up the startup and performance of your pc. You can go for free version and see if it made a difference.
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