Even if just a few years ago your PC was top of the line, nowadays it may not run so well as computer-related technology advances at incredible speeds. Unfortunately, the fact that the device takes a long time to boot, launch applications or respond to your commands can be very frustrating and not everyone has the money to buy a new computer. However, there are a few other solutions that you can try to make your old PC run better. Here are some of the best ones:
Before you start spending money on new hardware, I recommend trying to optimize your computer as best you can from the software-side:
- Clean install your Windows - as far as I'm concerned, the best solution for a PC that's being unresponsive is to do a clean Windows installation, which basically means formatting the C drive and reinstalling the operating system on it.
- Use a system cleaner - system optimizers aren't as good as they promise, but some tools like CCleaner are really helpful for repairing registry errors, removing broken shortcuts, cleaning temporary as well as junk files and managing the list of program that starts automatically along with Windows. (You want as few applications as possible in the startup list.)
- Uninstall unneeded software - I know that it's cool to have a program installed just in case you may need it, but cumulatively, these applications and games slow down your system, so you should uninstall the ones you don't actually use at least once a week.
- Upgrade the operating system - it may sound weird, but newer operating systems are better optimized so they manage your system's resources better. Furthermore, if you're using Windows XP or Vista, they are no longer supported by Microsoft, which means that they're also unsafe.
Of course, hardware changes are the ones that will mostly influence your PC's response times:
- Keep your components clean - the accumulation of dust slows down your computer more than you can imagine, so you should either clean it yourself or have a professional do it at least every six months.
- Buy an SSD - trading in your regular HDD for an SSD will bring a very noticeable speed boost to your computer. In case you can't afford a high-capacity SSD, buy a small one and only install your Windows on it while running games and apps from your old hard-disk. The difference in speed will still be quite big.
- Upgrade your RAM - Other than an SSD, buying more RAM is the next best way to improve your computer's overall performance. Just make sure that you buy the type of RAM that's supported by your motherboard (DDR3, DDR4, etc.) It's not very expensive and it's easier to do than upgrading your CPU.
Truth be told, none of these solutions will make an old computer run as well as a new high-end PC, but unless you're using an incredibly old computer, the speed difference should be noticeable. Additionally, you could also try overclocking your CPU, but that will take a bit more effort.