Improve the performance of a Windows 10 PC

To start this guide, you should know that this is not for everyone. You have to be able to identify the characteristics of the equipment, not be afraid to open your machine to replace a spare part and know, if necessary, how to deal with an unforeseen situation. This article is therefore oriented for experienced users, computer technicians or those who wish to learn, by being well informed and asking a question before making a false manipulation. For this, our free forum is open to help you make the right choice and avoid disappointments.

Situation

Have you recently bought a “cheap” computer and it is already particularly slow?

You made the update Windows 7 to Windows 10 because of end of support for W7 and everything is slowed down compared to before? (nothing abnormal)

Do you want to throw your machine out of the window so much that it lags and you can’t stand waiting several seconds to open a program?

Don’t panic, there may be solutions!

Explanations

Why is your computer “lagging”? First, it’s not because you have too many photos on your hard drive. Many people think that it is necessary to “empty” the hard disk for the PC (or the Mac) to recover a correct speed of execution. Except if there is less than 1GB of free space on your system hard drive (local drive C), it is not the presence of thousands of photos that will slow down your machine. No need to delete photos or move them to an external drive. A real backup = having the files in two different places, not just on a USB hard drive which can easily fail, due to a bad drop for example.

If your PC is several years old and it was sold with Windows 7 or Windows 8, it’s a safe bet that its configuration is not optimal for Windows 10. If you needed 4GB of RAM to be comfortable on Windows 7, the Microsoft operating system in version 10 is no less greedy in material resources …

Recommended configuration for Windows 10

Two things are particularly important in the hardware configuration of a Windows 10 PC:

  1. Hard drive speed
  2. The amount of random access memory (RAM)

The rest is much less important than you might think. If the processor (CPU) is considered to be the engine of a computer, a 2015 model does not have to be ashamed of the latest generations sold in 2020. It is the end of the Moore’s law and doubling the computing power every 18 months. Today, processor performance no longer changes significantly and this element no longer needs to be replaced every two or three years to maintain a high-performance PC, even for video games.

The weak point of most commercial computers is the hard drive. For more than ten years, this has always been the weakest element of configurations: high capacity but average execution speed. Consumers do not understand it so they do not pay attention to this detail. Or, when we told them the price of an SSD or a Raptor, much faster but of reduced capacity, the choice was almost always oriented towards greater capacity, to the detriment of performance.

In the early 2000s, Western Digital released the WD Raptor, a super fast 10,000 rpm hard drive that far outperforms its counterparts stuck at 7,200 rpm. Since then, the SSD has succeeded in democratizing and offering correct storage capacities at affordable prices. The SSD has become essential to obtain a high-performance computer, whether for gaming, for making 3D or simply for office automation. A few tens of euros well invested for years of correct use of his machine.

What parts should I replace in my computer?

SSD drive

Easier to do with a tower (CPU) but not impossible on a laptop, replacing the traditional hard drive with an SSD is the best thing you can do to improve your PC’s performance.

You should know:

  • check if you can change your computer disk
  • buy an SSD drive (the easiest step)
  • save files
  • replace the disc
  • clone or reinstall the operating system

It is therefore not within the reach of all computer users. Just as the majority of motorists leave their vehicle to a mechanic or garage to change oil and replace brake pads, most PC users will prefer to leave these tasks to a specialist. And they are right. But a preventive safeguard will always be advised, the expert is not infallible and losing years of family photos is always tragic.

The choice of the disc is rather simple. There are two types of SSD and the most common is in the “S-ATA 2.5 inch” format: a small box that is easy to replace. In rare cases, you will have to buy an M.2 SATA but this means that your machine is already equipped with an SSD.

Add RAM

There are two ways to increase the RAM capacity of a machine: add modules when there are slots available or replace a small module with a higher capacity RAM. If 4GB turns out to be a minimum to use Windows 10 on a basic and occasional basis, intensive users will prefer to double this value. Whether you’re working on office tools from morning to night, doing photo editing or studying computer science, opting for 8GB of RAM is a smart choice.

Advantage of RAM: the operation is fast and there is no need to reinstall the operating system. The taking into account of the addition of memory is immediate and the improvements are perceived after a few minutes.

The capacities of the RAM modules are 2, 4, 8, 16, 32GB per unit. Except in specific cases, it will not be necessary to upgrade to a total of 16GB of RAM or more.

Please note that you must choose the exact reference of the RAM currently installed to avoid any incompatibility. The choice of a RAM module is much more complex than that of an SSD, it is better to be assisted to find the right reference.