Quick Tips To Speed Up A Slow Computer, Part II
Paul Watson, PC Technician Friday, February 10th 2012
Looks Aren’t Everything!
There are OS features worth having and then there are features that might look nice, but don’t really contribute to the overall health or well-being of your computer performance! Certain desktop themes in Windows – noticeably Aero – can really deliver a hit to computer performance.
A slow computer can be caused by many things, but any time you tie up a computer’s memory or its processor, you run the risk of slowing down. To avoid that, you generally want to avoid things that take up too much memory or overtax your processor.
Sadly, Aero does both. Aero provides that cool little effect that allows you to “see through” the window frames to the images and windows that are behind the active window frame. “Visual effects” in Windows don’t really improve your user experience and they certainly don’t help your computer performance. In fact, they reduce performance – often noticeably – because they consume both memory and processor cycles.
To get your computer back to business, you’ll want to optimize it for performance, rather than for “visual effects.” To do this in Windows 7, right-click your Windows Desktop and choose Properties>Advanced. From there, adjust your settings to provide the best performance, and you should notice that your Windows experience speeds up. If you still like some of the “eye-candy,” you can also choose a Custom setting to balance between the slick visual effects and the need to get work done.
Check out this tip, especially if you’re still using the factory configuration for your laptop computer. Most laptops start out with two strikes against them: an out-of-date processor and limited physical memory. Depending upon the make and model of your laptop, you may also be contending with hard limits on the amount of memory you can add or the kind of processor your computer can run.
Knowing your hardware limits will help you determine whether or your laptop can provide you with some interesting effects to look at. Desktop computers are less likely to be processor-challenged, but if you’re looking to tune up your performance, Windows’ visual effects represent a few processor cycles that you can claw back.
Photo Credit: woolennium, via Flickr