A new computer is a big expense, and one that not all of us can afford. They don’t tend to last more than a few years before they start slowing up and the software on them becomes completely obsolete. But that doesn’t mean the end for your old computer. There are plenty of things you can do to stretch out their lifespan and delay the inevitable upgrade. Whether you want to keep your current computer working, or breath life into an old one you have lying around, here’s how to get the best out of an old computer.
Upgrade Your Hardware
The best way to blow the cobwebs out of an old PC is to upgrade the hardware. It will cost you a fraction of the price that buying a new computer will, and it can bring your old computer up to speed with the latest models. There are some computers that you won’t be able to upgrade but for the most part, you should be able to replace the RAM and the hard drive. One of the best ways to make the computer run a lot more smoothly is to install a Solid State Drive. They are a quite a bit more expensive, but the difference is noticeable. Your computer will load up faster and applications will open immediately, making your old computer run like it brand new. If your computer is particularly old then you might need to source parts from companies like digisemi, that specialize in obsolete components. Upgrading the hardware on your old computer will allow you to run much more up to date programs.
Overclocking is the process of making computer hardware run faster than it is supposed to. You can essentially push the components to their very limit, maximising their performance. This is a good option if you cannot replace certain pieces of hardware in your old computer. You might be stuck with an outdated graphics card but you can make the best of a bad situation by overclocking it. Click here for a how-to guide on overclocking your graphics card.
It is a good idea generally to do regular maintenance on your computer, but this is especially important with a very old one. There might be a reason that it is running so slowly, a virus for example. You should run diagnostics to make sure there aren’t any major problems that are affecting performance, you might find that the computer itself is ok and there is something causing it to run badly. You could also consider wiping the computer and reinstalling the operating system from scratch to clear out anything that might be clogging up the system.
Check the Programs You Have Installed
Over the years, computer hard drives get filled up with endless amounts of programs. You probably don’t use ninety percent of them. Go through the whole list and gather all of the applications that you actually need to have on the computer. That doesn’t include things that you might get round to using in the future. Then uninstall the rest of the programs on there. You’ll immediately notice a difference. There are also a lot of alternatives to programs that you do use on a regular basis. Many of these common applications are very cumbersome and clog up the computer. There are plenty of other options out there that will perform the same function, without slowing things down.
Once you have cleared out all of the junk and switched to the best programs on offer, you can optimise them to run at full capacity. Internet browsers are one of the main things to look at. There are a few simple tricks, like reducing the amount of history it stores, that can make it run much quicker. Make sure that you don’t have hundreds of useless extensions running on your browser and try to choose one that is known for its speed.
If you’re still having trouble with clunky programs, it might be worth taking a step backwards. If your hardware doesn’t meet the requirements for certain applications, even after you’ve upgraded it, then you have no choice but to use an older version. This doesn’t mean you have to use a primitive version of software without any of the features you need. Usually, stepping back a few years will suffice.
Once you’ve got the computer working at speed and running all of the programs you need, you could think about upgrading all of the add-ons that you use with it. The range of keyboards and mice you can get might be a lot larger than it was when you first bought your old computer. Changing out your old, clunky keyboard for a slick modern one, will give you the same user experience that would get with a new computer.
Before you throw that old computer away, give some of these things a try, and see whether you can bring it back to life.