Almost everyone wants their computer or laptop to run a little faster, and the internet is full of information. However, all of those tips might not be so helpful or even true. When it comes to computer or laptop advice, you should always take it with a grain of salt unless it comes from a reputable resource that has expert level knowledge of your particular computer configuration.
Here are 5 “tips” to improve computer or laptop performance that will do nothing more than waste a little time, money or even cause other computing problems.
1. Disabling Windows quality of service (QoS)/Windows Update will free 20% of bandwidth.
Somehow somebody got the idea that Microsoft reserves 20% of bandwidth for Windows Update. We aren’t sure where the rumor started, but we are sure of one thing – it’s not true. In fact disabling the service can cause programs like VoIP to behave unreliably. The rumor became so prevalent that Microsoft released an official statement as early 2006 dispelling the not so useful tip. However, the information still seems to be lingering. Do yourself a favor and just nod and walk away if you get this less than useful piece of information.
2. Defragmenting your hard drive too much will wear it out.
Not only is this piece of advice not true, it is so untrue, the opposite is true. Reducing fragmentation can dramatically reduce to the amount of disk access required to read and write files. For example, if you have a disk that is fragmented into 30 segments and you access 3 files a day for a week, that will result in 630 interactions with the disk. In this example, defragmenting the disk may result in 75 to 100 disk accesses, but that small effort will reduce the daily access to 21 since the disk will then be in one segment – resulting in a total of 121 accesses even when you include defragmentation. The numbers will obviously be much larger in the real world, but even this simplistic example shows you should ignore this defragmentation advice.
3. You have to buy an expensive, name brand hard drive to get the best performance.
There are many branded specialty hard drives that promise speed at a premium. These drives are fast, but likely not fast enough to justify the extra investment in all but the most special of cases. You can get the same performance for a fraction of the cost by buying a hard drive with a similar configuration and performance statistics and then use a technique called “short stroking” to minimize the physical space the drive heads have to move between. You can save some cash and still have a fast machine. That sounds like a good deal to us.
4. Using anti-virus/anti-spyware/anti-malware will slow down your computer.
This particular myth is wrong and dangerous. It might have been true a long time ago that anti-virus and other malware applications negatively and drastically impacted performance, but it’s no longer true. Computing constantly changes and improves. Anti-virus and malware software is no exception. Most operating systems now provide low level access and regular updates to computer protection software resulting in a minimal performance hit. If you use a computer, you should have anti-virus software pretty much without exception. The news (or even your friends) is filled with stories of the nasty things that viruses, trojans and other malicious digital beasts can do. Unless you like computing mayhem – go ahead and skip this dangerous gem of advice.
5. Your computer is running slow because you have too much stuff installed/saved.
This sounds so logical; how could possibly be untrue? Easy. Computer performance in all but a few cases has nothing to do with how much data or how many applications are on the machine. As long as a computer has around 15 percent of the hard drive free, there is typically not a noticeable performance impace. The number of applications actually executing could definitely cause you a problem, but installs – nope – this myth is busted.
Computers have grown so sophisticated so quickly many people aren’t sure of exactly what to believe. That is why it is important you take time to research your questions with the manufacturer, vendor or professional services organization like RGB Computers. If you have questions, feel free to contact us anytime.