Burton Kelso, Tech Expert
How to Find Out Why Your Brand New Desktop or Laptop Is Slow
Updated: Feb 21, 2021
You go out to purchase a new computer because your old computer is running slower than it used to. You think everything will be faster and easier once you get that new computer home, but you notice that your desktop or laptop computer lagging. I know there is a group of you who would make the statement 'You should have purchased a Mac', but in reality, most of you focus on price rather than system specifications when getting a new computer. Most people who purchase Mac don't have to worry about system specifications, but purchasers of Windows computers do need to keep an eye out for the right configuration. So if you're wondering why that new shiny computer is running slow, it's probably one of these reasons.
Before I list out the reasons why that new computer is running slow, I need to share that Macintosh and Windows computers are essentially the same on the inside. I'm sure all of the parts on the inside of both computers come from the same factories in Taiwan. Apple makes a point to make sure they make their computer top of the line. This makes purchasing a Mac easy as all you have to worry about is what size screen you need or if you want a desktop or a laptop. Windows computers work as well as Macs, but they are usually designed for different price points to appeal to users from all economic backgrounds. The problem with this is that lower price Windows computers you purchase might not handle your high tech needs. Regardless, Windows or Mac, here is what you should be searching for:
1. Not enough computing power. In many cases, that new computer you purchased may not have a fast processor or enough RAM. The processor allows the computer to process information. The faster the processor, the faster it will run. RAM helps your computer do more at once, meaning you can have multiple files and programs open at the same time. When looking at computers don't focus on the brand name. Get a computer with an Intel i5, i7 or i9 processor. As far as RAM, make sure your new computer comes with 8GB, 16GB or more of RAM available. How much you need is going to depend on what you plan on doing with the computer. For most people who use a Windows or Macintosh computer, I recommend at least 8GB of RAM, but 16GB offers a better computer experience.
2. You got a computer with an old school hard drive. Even though (SSD) or solid-state drives have been around for a while, there are some computer manufactures that will install older mechanical hard drives in computers to keep the price lower. These drives can slow your computer down because unlike SSD, the drive has to spin around to find your information like an old school vinyl LP. SSD drives work super fast because there are no moving parts. This allows your computer to start faster, find documents and files quicker, and just improves your overall computer experience. Even if your computer is a couple of years old, you might want to consider upgrading to an SSD. The price of installation is a fraction of the cost of a new computer. Plus, you can transfer an exact duplicate of your old computer hard drive to the new drive and you won't miss a beat.
3. Your computer came loaded with a bunch of unwanted software. You won't see this with Apple computers, but Windows computers will sometimes come loaded with what's called 'bloatware'. Bloatware includes all of those useless trials and games that you will never use. These third-party programs are a source of revenue for the computer manufacturer. The best thing to so when you get a new computer is to completely uninstall this junk from your computer.
4. It was your Internet that was Slow, not the computer. With much of the work you do being on the Internet, it's easy to get confused if your computer is running slow vs a slow internet connection. Visit Speedtest.net (www.speedtest.net) to check out your Internet speed. You should have a download speed of 25 Mbps or higher to be able to take full advantage of video conferencing, emailing, file sharing, and more.
Improved speed is the main reason you should invest in a new laptop or desktop computer. Don’t let a lagging computer disrupt your productivity. Follow the steps I have outlined every time you invest in new technology. Looking for More Useful Tech Tips?
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