Hardware Mismatches Can Cause Slow Computer
Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, July 30th 2010
Always Check Hardware Compatibility
Don’t dismiss the notion that your computer is slow because you’ve got mismatched hardware or mismatched hardware and software. These incompatibilities exist and can cause serious performance deficits.
Before you upgrade your computer or replace a piece of hardware, check the processor, memory and operating system requirements carefully. Also check to make sure that you’ll have working drivers for your operating system. Manufacturers don’t always go back and write drivers for older operating systems, so you can’t assume that the new device will work on your old computer.
Before you upgrade, check the memory requirements for your operating system, applications and hardware devices. If you’re trying to skimp along on the minimum recommended RAM, you’re almost guaranteeing yourself poor computer performance. Rather than making your upgrade a multi-step process with a lot of troubleshooting thrown in, consider upping your complement of installed memory.
Before you upgrade, check the video requirements for your device. Some devices or software applications have specific video requirements in terms of video memory, version numbers and graphics processing power. In addition, you may need to upgrade your video driver to make your computer run more smoothly. This is especially true of gaming applications and other graphics-intensive programs like drawing, photo editing and design software.
Before you upgrade (especially an OS), check the hardware compatibility for all of your old equipment. If you plan to use the old peripheral equipment but it’s unsupported by your new OS, your chances of getting a happy result are minimal. You may either have to postpone your upgrade or replace older hardware sooner than you had planned to.
If you’re planning to purchase a USB device, check the port speed requirements. Newer devices require USB 2.0 ports to perform well. Older, slower USB ports may cause your applications to hang or prevent your device from being recognized or accessed properly. In this case, you may have to upgrade your USB ports or choose a less finicky device that will work on older, slower USB ports.
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