In this post we’re going to look at a couple of thing to do to improve your system performance. At some point in time every PC (Personal Computer) user you will experience lag in processing or execution of program(s), either when playing a game, watching movie, using some common software program (packages) like Microsoft Office and Photoshop, you will experience slow system performance at some point.
Slow computers can be caused by many factors which includes low disk space on the HD/HDD (Hard Disk/Hard Density Drive) RAM (Random Access Memory) you have installed on it and how many you are using (yes, sometimes you don’t use all of your RAM as supposed) Processor, broken shortcuts of files/program and even computer Virus/Malware/Adware can be factors that influence how fast or slow your computer runs.
For this post we will look at the Hard disk and RAM
Hard disk is an electromechanical data storage device that uses magnetic storage to store and retrieve digital information whenever needed, this is also where all the documents, programs and files are stored in the computer mostly known as “Local Disk C” except if modified during windows installation by the user, the amount of space your hard disk has, has a great influence on the speed of your PC.
To check the hard disk, press windows key + e to open the explorer, there you’ll see your drive(s) depending on the partition. You’ll see xxx GB free of xxx GB on each drive(s).
In the above image we have a hard disk with space of 464GB with 198GB free space. This hard disk has enough space which in other words isn’t a factor affecting the system performance of the PC if it is running slow.
If your hard disk has a low memory space, it will be indicated with a red bar instead of blue, you might also get a pop up box that says “Low disk space” from time to time. This will cause several issues like slow booting time, programs might not start or close immediately when launched or closed like they use to and much more.
To solve this problem you can free up space by deleting some files, uninstalling some programs, resizing partition(s) (Not recommended), moving files to your secondary partition(s) or even doing a disk clean up. Deleting files, uninstalling and moving files to other partition are basic stuffs, we’ll skip those and jump to disk clean up and system defragmentation.
Disk Clean-up is a great tools that erases unimportant files you have on your computer like event logs, cache, broken links etc. this tool can be found by clicking the start menu and typing ‘Disk Clean up’ and click the icon, for windows 8 and above users you have to click ‘Clear disk space by deleting unnecessary files’
after this, the tool will start scanning for unnecessary files on your computer to delete, it will take some time depending on the amount of files you have, when scanning is done it will show you a list of files to delete, you can select/deselect the ones you wish to delete or keep, you can also click on ‘clean up system files’ to do a deeper scanning of files on the computer. When all the scanning is done all you have to do is click ‘Ok’ and the ‘Delete Files’, you’ll notice that you have more free space than before after this.
Disk Defragment is yet another wonderful tool you can use to improve your system performance by defragmenting it. Windows OS stores files and programs on a hard drive where there is space, over time a hard drive can become fragmented with thousands of files broken up in many location across the drive. This can slow the computer’s response time because it will take longer for it to access information on the drive. What defragmentation basically does is organizing, sorting and placing files according to how you use your PC, after defragmentation is done, your computer is most likely to run faster.
To defragment your computer click on the start menu or press windows key and type ‘defrag’ you might have to choose (2) “Defragment and optimize your drives” for windows 8 and above users.
This windows will pop up, now all you have to do is click “analyse” this will analyse your drive and let you know if you need to defragment it, if it doesn’t say there is need, you won’t benefit much even if you defrag it, but after analysing and it tells you to defragment your drive by showing the fragmented files mostly above 5%, just click on “Optimize” and let it do its thing.
RAM (Random Access Memory): Now this is very important, for your PC to run adequately at a reasonable speed or very fast you need to install a minimum of 4GB RAM on your PC, though depending on the types of programs and software you have installed on your PC a lower RAM might not be a problem. Some software come with recommendations on the amount of RAM you should have on your computer to make the software run smoothly, having lesser RAM on your computer when you run the software will cause serious lag and might even make it crash. To check the amount of RAM you have on your computer, press the windows key + e right click on a white space and click properties.
The border lined information indicates how many RAM you have on the computer, 4GB RAM is installed but windows uses only 3.92GB, this window also allows you to see other details of your computer like the system type (referring to the version of windows bit installed whether 32-bit, 64-bit or even 84-bit) you should know that the type of bit installed on the computer affects how it uses the RAM because a 32-bit (windows) computer cannot use more than 4GB even if you have/install more than that on the computer. If you don’t have low disk space and your PC, and have tried the above tools, you might want to check your RAM and see the amount of GB you have on it.
Stay tuned for our next post where we will discuss about other factors that can affect your system performance.