Byte Me Article 116 – There are solutions to PC slow down riddle

There are Solutions to PC Slow Down Riddle

After 16 years in business, I get used to seeing trends – especially as far as busy or quiet periods are concerned and normally around this time of the year (March) things run a bit slow.  Contrary to this, so far this year there has been no sign of things running slow and I have six technicians that are all feeling a bit overworked!  What we have been seeing is a large number of customers still using Windows XP machines that are wanting to speed them up – or replace them.

Windows XP was a brilliant operating system which had none of the problems of its predecessor (Millennium) or its successor (Vista).  Customers had a good run from XP and loved how stable and easy to use it was.  Typically anyone still running Windows XP will have a PC that is around 5 years old with 1 Gig of ram, a 200 Gig hard drive and a CPU rated at 500 or less!  When you compare this to a new PC with 8 Gig ram, a 2000 Gig drive and a CPU rated at 7000 it is easy to see that the new ones are at least 10 times more powerful on all accounts.

If you still have one of these XP computers there are a few things to watch out for.  Firstly, it is now an old PC!  Due to the rate of change of technology, any PC over 4 years of age is in the category of ‘old’.  If you think that it is appearing to be running slow, then you are right – it will be struggling to run modern software.  What you need to watch out for is a computer shop that suggests that they can speed it up significantly.  Yes, we can add more ram and uninstall some of the junk software – but even if we could double its speed, it is still a slow PC.

2013-03-23 Byte Me Article 116- Goodbye Windows XP

One thing we can’t speed up is the CPU (the actual brain of the PC), unless we also replace the motherboard, ram and sometimes the power supply.  However, in this case you would be investing a lot of money, you would be putting new parts with old, you would not have a full warranty and you would still be using XP.  This is the second worry!

Windows XP was great but it has had its day.  All operating systems have some flaws and vulnerabilities and sometimes these take a while to show up – this is why your PC is best set to receive Microsoft updates.  In the case of XP, Microsoft has stopped supporting it with updates and the newer kids on the block (Windows 7 and 8) are now far better.  Window 7 is already 4 years old itself – however it is a very refined and mature operating system which Microsoft will support until year 2020.

Windows 8 is not yet 5 months old but again it has received very good reviews.  Some will not like 8 as it looks and drives so differently to previous operating systems – however this is just personal opinion and those that embrace change will love it.  At present we are selling both 7 & 8 in equal quantities and can make Windows 8 look and act very similar to 7 for customers buying new laptops – which only come with 8 installed.

Either way you look at it, nothing lasts forever – which is especially true with computers, and it is far better to transition to a new PC when it suits you rather than when the old one has died. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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