A lot of readers here use Macs, but many use PCs, and if you’ve got an older system it can be very inexpensive and easy to tune it up for much better performance, instead of buying a whole new computer. In this post, I’ll go over some good ways to do this well for very little money, including using freeware.
Upgrade Your RAM. Memory has an enormous impact on how today’s operating systems and applications perform. If you’re running any recent version of Windows, try to get to at least 2GB of RAM. Going with 1GB results in serious performance hits, and the old benchmark of 512MB is completely archaic and unworkable.
Upgrade Your Processor. Processors aren’t the towering drivers of overall system performance that they once were. If you have an older one, though, consider upgrading. Here’s an easy tutorial.
Update Drivers. With Version Tracker, a free online tool, you can do a free scan to see if any of your drivers are out of date, which some of them probably are, and get recommendations for which driver updates you need.
Clean Your Windows Registry. If you don’t clean out your Windows registry regularly, booting your system and other tasks can become painful. Glary Utilities is freeware with a very automated registry cleaner. (Make sure to make a registry backup first.)
Upgrade Your System’s Wi-Fi. Especially if you are using Draft-N Wi-Fi already in your house, it makes sense to upgrade older systems to be able to take advantage of it. Prices for Wi-Fi adapters fall under $50 in many cases.
Upgrade Your Graphics Card. Many older systems have graphics cards that are seriously behind the times. Here’s a good tutorial on doing an upgrade and you can look to graphics card providers such as nVidia for excellent cards that don’t cost too much.
Don’t Forget Tweaks. You can do a lot of easy performance-enhancing tweaks to your system and Windows if you use Tweaking Companions as your guide. Check it out.
Do you have any favorite upgrades for an older PC?