Friday, May 27, 2011

Ten Things That Slow Down a Computer


New computers run fast, but over time they slow down. Some apparent computer slowness stems from the fact that newer systems come with better hardware. Even a high-end computer from two years ago can seem to crawl next to a brand new mid-range system. Not every computer slowdown finds it root in obsolete components. A number of factors contribute to diminished speed and, in the worst case scenario, leave a computer nearly useless.

Redundant Programs:
With computer security always a major concern, users sometimes install several anti-spyware and anti-virus programs. Yet, running multiple programs for the same purpose uses up system resources and slows down a computer.

Heat:
CPU (central processing unit) chips work best within certain temperature ranges. When the heat level exceeds the chip's threshold, it slows or even stops the entire system.

Insufficient RAM:
Every application demands a portion of the random access memory (RAM) to store working data. A computer with too little RAM cannot efficiently provide storage space for all of the working data, which slows performance.

Temporary Files:
Many applications generate temporary files as a normal part of their operation. These temporary files often get stored on the computer, even when the computer will not need them again, which slows things down.

Full Hard Drive:
Full or nearly-full hard drives do run slower. When necessary, a Window's computer will use virtual memory, a process where it frees up RAM by moving data onto the hard drive. A full hard drive limits this option.

Fragmentation:
Traditional hard drives write to physical platters inside the drive. Fragmentation occurs when the file data gets scattered in multiple places on the platters. Severe fragmentation slows the system because the system has to find the data spread out on the platters.

Background Applications:
Many programs default to a launch at startup setting. Most users do not need all of these applications during normal use. The programs simply run in the background, wasting system resources

Hardware failure:
As physical components, both the hard drive and the RAM can suffer from physical failure. If the failure occurs over time for either, it can yield system slowdowns.

Desktop Clutter:
When a computer system starts up, after getting the hardware up and running, it loads the desktop. A desktop with numerous files or large files takes significantly longer to load, as the computer must deal with every file.

Viruses and Spyware:
New viruses, malware and spyware hit the web all the time. These malicious programs will slow any system down, by wasting system resources like RAM or through intentional damage to the operating system and related programs.

Also See : How do I determine the speed of my Internet connection?

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