With the pace of technology increasing exponentially, we often find ourselves disappointed with our current computer system. Whether or not our system is actually slow doesn’t seem to matter after a few slow experiences. At Shoshana Technologies we see this all the time. In this article, we will explore the difference of perceived speed versus hardware speed and the practical application of break-neck computing speeds.
If your computer is less than 6 years old, you might be surprised to learn that your computer is actually very fast. Most users can do just fine on the technology of 6 years ago for their day to day computing. Simple applications like an office suite and a web browser require very little in terms of hardware. Computers can handle even heavier programs like Adobe Design products without experiencing slow downs. The trick is to prepare your computer for heavier programs by closing un-needed programs and web-browser tabs to free up system memory (RAM).
If you are absolutely convinced that your computer is too slow and that it needs to be replaced look into upgrading vs replacing. Most upgrade procedures cost less and will take less time to implement. Below we will show you how to perform the most common upgrade.
Before you upgrade you should know about your system speed and amount of memory. To find that information please do the following:
- PC users: Right-click on ‘My Computer’ or ‘Computer’ and choose ‘Properties’
- Look at the information displayed to find out the speed of your CPU, whether your system is 32-bit or 64-bit, and how much RAM you have.
- Mac Users: Click on the Apple icon and chose ‘About this Mac’
- Look at the information displayed to find out how fast your CPU is and how much RAM you have.
RAM: Random Access Memory
RAM is the short-term memory of your computer. It is used in every calculation and is required by every program. Having more RAM means that you will be able to run more programs faster.
Next go to http://www.crucial.com/index.aspx. Follow the prompts to enter your computer brand, type, and model number. Within a few clicks you can find the maximum amount and type of memory that your system supports. You can also see how much an upgrade will cost you.
Systems that are 5 years old or more and running Windows XP cannot use more than 3.2GB of RAM, so if you have 3GB or more then you shouldn’t try to upgrade. Newer systems running 64-bit Windows Vista, 64-bit Windows 7, or Mac OS 10.5+ can handle as much RAM as you can put into your computer.
A significant RAM upgrade will have your computer feeling like new and is very easy to install.
- Shut down your desktop computer.
- Get access to the whole computer (pull it out and put it on a flat surface).
- Unplug all but the power plug (the one that plugs into the wall outlet).
- Open up a side: if you run into a big metal plate once the side is open, try opening the other side.
- Once you can get inside look for the RAM. There are tabs on the long sides of the RAM to release the sticks.
- With the tabs spread apart, simply click in the new RAM. You can’t install RAM backwards so don’t worry about getting it wrong. If the RAM doesn’t fit either direction then you have the wrong type of RAM and will have to figure out the correct type before going further.
- After the RAM is installed replace the side of the computer, put it back where you found it, connect all the wires, and turn it on.
It may seem complicated reading these instructions, but once you can see inside your computer you will see that it is not a difficult procedure.
Here is a video to further explain how to install new RAM in a desktop computer:
Here is a video on how to install new RAM in your laptop:
Every laptop is different, but most are just a few screws away from an upgrade.
Look for our next blog post on upgrading your computer soon!