Why Do Computers Slow Down?

My machine is not an old antiquarian piece but a two-year old Pentium 4 with some fancy bells and whistles that I've modified into the computing equivalent of General Lee of the infamous Dukes of Hazard ... then why does it slow down?

If you are like me, you're probably always sitting at your computer running all sorts of programs at work and, in your free time, surfing the web looking for all sorts of information, listening to MP3s, watching a couple of DVD movies, and dedicating some serious time to your favourite games. What remains of the day is dedicated to shut-eye. Even food is mostly consumed in front of the screen.

If you are like me, your computer is slow! Mind you, my machine is not an old antiquarian piece but a two year old Pentium 4 with some fancy bells and whistles that I have added to transform it into the computing equivalent of General Lee of the infamous Dukes of Hazard.

If you are like me, you are at a point where you are thinking that your hardware is not powerful enough to support the more recent games and the latest applications, be they for work or pleasure.

Computers slow down for a variety of reason. However, it doesn't have anything to do with outdated technology except for gaming where graphics cards rule. Even here, however, I believe you can still make some serious changes that will boost the performance of your PC.

Today's programs are power-hungry applications that eat away at your processing power greatly slowing your computer especially if yours is a couple of years old. Large amounts of RAM are required to store all the data from displaying icons and images to streaming music and playing the appropriate sound effects to creating temporary files on your hard drive for recovery to making sure that your internet connection is up and running all the time. Windows constantly switches data from your RAM to your hard drive storing the less important data in the latter and recalling it to the former when it becomes important. This creates more and more delays and bottlenecks and may eventually crash your system. What's worse is that if you don't have some decent firewall, anti-virus and spyware software, your PC is probably infected with background processes that are working away doing harmful or unimportant stuff that further increases the burden on your processor and RAM.

If you are like me, you will have experienced your Windows screen freezing or stalling for a few seconds as you switch from one program to another, at times making you wait for as long as half a minute. This morning, in fact, I was trying out a performance optimiser that froze my computer for about four minutes. However, problems of delays and related glitches are, more often than not, caused by software conflicts and bad settings rather than insufficient hardware power. Yes, hardware does effect BUT, in most cases, you can maximise what you have and postpone the investment of another $1000+ on an new system further in the future. By optimizing all your system settings and by monitoring resource usage more carefully, these problems can be avoided, resulting in a faster, smoother and more stable computing experience.

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