Byte Me #40 Sluggish PCs struggle with virus scanner update

19 February, 2011

“I just updated my virus scanner & now my PC is real slow” – one of the things we often hear from new customers – quite regularly.  What is often the case here is that they have an older PC or laptop and have just decided to put a virus scanner on it for the first time or have just updated an old virus scanner to the latest version.  The rate at which new viruses, malware and other threats are being written (by their moronic and destructive creators) is just astounding.  To combat this, the companies that produce the virus scanners have to create more and more comprehensive software.

On a modern PC or laptop these ‘anti-virus’ programs run quietly and efficiently in the background, however on an older PC they can take the lion’s share of resources, leaving very little speed or capacity for the actual software that the owner is trying to use.  Worse again if this older PC / laptop needs a virus removed or needs a ‘tune-up’ it will cost sometimes more than what the PC is worth at today’s labour rates to have a professional sort it out.

This leads to the next question.  So many people ask me how long a PC or laptop should last.  For the above reasons (if it is being used on the Internet) I would normally never recommend more than 3 to 4 years and as little as 2 years if it were a budget PC in the first place – because the IT/Internet scene is changing so rapidly.  In contrast to this if you have a PC (in industry for instance) that has to operate just one particular program, doesn’t have to access the Internet, is kept free from dust & is constantly protected by a UPS from power surges, then you could get 10 years of life – this example as you can imagine however is rare.

With the pace of IT and in particular the advancement of CPU’s we find that an average benchmark score (measure of processing power) for an Intel CPU from just 5 years ago is around 200 whereas today it is easily 3000!  In a lot of cases we find new customers hanging onto their old PC just because they are literally frightened that no one will be able to get all of their old information across to a new model (they had obviously never let an IT professional help them in the past).  There is no good reason to hang onto an old PC that makes you frustrated and wastes your time.

While you are sitting in front of your PC, you are its captive audience and we all have better things to do than wait for something to happen that should be instant.  Why wait another 6 months for the ‘next fastest’ model to come out if you are presently using something that is already only one tenth the speed of the current models?  Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.


2011-02-19 Byte Me Article 40 - The Pace of IT

  • February 18, 2014