Monday, September 09, 2013

What Windows Hardware Do I Need to Improve PC Performance?

Making sure you have sufficient Windows hardware will make a huge difference in how quickly your computer will run and assure a better computer experience and less frustration. For Windows to work best, it must be supported by the right processor, operating memory and hard drive.

Windows XP Computers
XP has been around for many years and will continue to be an operating system used by millions of people. One of the reasons that XP is being used in the small “Atom” type micro-laptop is that it does not require as much power as Vista. Still, it does require enough power to work at optimum. The configuration I recommend:

  1. Pentium IV, Celeron M processor or equivalent – it will run on a slower Pentium, but you’ll be happier with the IV’s performance
     
  2. 1 to 2 GB of RAM (operating memory) – it will run on less, but not without some frustration.
  3. 160 GB hard drive or larger – it will run with an 80 GB, but if you take a lot of digital images or have many programs, you’ll benefit from the extra space of a bigger drive.

Windows Vista / 7 Computers
Vista uses a lot of resources, both memory and hard drive space. Don’t be fooled by advertisements selling Vista PCs with 2 GB of memory, you’ll just end up buying more. The configuration I recommend:

  1. Dual-Core processor – Pentium will not get it done for Vista and forget using computers saying they are "Vista Capable" - they are not.
  2. 3 to 4 GB of RAM (operating memory) – it will run on less, but not without a lot of frustration.
  3. 320 GB or larger hard drive – it will run on less, but if you take a lot of digital images or have many programs, you’ll benefit from the extra space of a bigger drive.
These hardware configurations will minimize Page Filing (swapping programs in and out of memory and onto the hard drive) and assure that your computer has enough horsepower to run the operating system as well as your favorite programs.