TUCOWS ARTICLE

How To Speed Up Computer Efficiency - Part 2 of 2

Read part two of this two-part series on getting maximum efficiency out of your PC!
Published: Jul 21, 2008
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows

Speed Up Computer Efficiency - Part 2 of 2

by Piers Allen of Uniblue Systems

Last week we looked at a couple of things you can manipulate in order to improve the performance and efficiency of your PC. We talked about RAM and the CPU. Today we'll look at some other things that can impact performance.

Storage

Including hard disk size under performance enhancement tips is a little moot, since it will have little impact on performance per se (except that it is possible to buy hard drives with faster read/write capabilities). However, since running out of hard disk space will probably be one of the primary reasons you dispose of your old computer, and get a new one, hard disk management is an essential aspect of extending your PC's life. Generally speaking you have three options: 1) clean out you hard drive to create more space; 2) replace your old hard drive with a bigger one; and 3) manage your data storage by moving out some data to an external device.

We will cover how to clean out your hard drive to create space, in a later section. Explaining how to replace your hard disk is beyond this article, however suffice it to say that this will require you to reinstall all your software onto the new drive and then move all the data across to the new disk. At some level this is going to require you to copy data from your old hard drive to your new one, which without some form of external device, is going to be demanding.

You are better off anticipating this problem and to start looking at creating specialized off-line storage system (a few TB should do the trick). Although this might be a little costly you will now have some serious space to play with and can start regularly backing up all your home PCs. You can then move all your big media files and sensitive documents across to the storage device leaving your PC and laptop with just essential documents and media.

Power supply

Something often overlooked is the power supply. Although only a minor point you need to remember that if you do upgrade the hardware by, say, adding an extra hard drive, or a blu-ray player, you’ll also be increasing the drain on the PC's power. The consequence of this could be that, unless you upgrade your power supply, you could cause system instability and possibly PC crashes.

Software

Having done all the major things we can do to the hardware to improve performance let’s now look at the software you can use to boost your system. The PC performance enhancement software available on the market generally covers the following areas: registry optimization, hard disk cleaning and defragmentation, application memory tuning, and driver update management.

Registry optimization applications focus on the fact that with use the PC's registry is updated and modified by the operating system. This can result in the registry becoming fragmented, accumulating erroneous, incorrect and obsolete entries, slowing your PC and making it crash more often. Registry boosting software will also defragment the registry and remove the dodgy registry entries, such as those placed there by poorly written software that has since been uninstalled without removing references to itself from the registry.

Hard disk cleaning and defragmentation applications reduce hard disk clutter by finding and deleting unnecessary files, while uninstall features totally remove unwanted software more effectively. Another matter they address is hard disk defragmentation. When saving data to the hard drive your computer will fit that data into available space. If the information is too large it will instead break up the file, slotting it into available slots dotted around the hard disk. This makes that file slightly slower to retrieve, when needed by the computer, and so defragmentation software can speed up your PC by bringing this distributed data back together in contiguous spaces.


About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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