Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What makes a computer slow/fast?

  1. #1


    Posts : 44
    Windows 8.1

    What makes a computer slow/fast?


    In general, what makes a computer slow? Considering its not any form of malware or having too many stuff installed.
    By slow I mean, e.g., when youre playing a game and it takes a long time to switch to another window.

    When I hear about it, RAM and processor are the first things that come to my mind, just from what I can remember people saying (I think?), but what could also be the reason for this? What needs to be upgraded to improve that? And can it improve when you upgrade only one of the components, or would you need to upgrade more than just one (could one of them be stopping the other one)?

    Yes, it may be a total newbie question... Im a total newbie, upgrading my computer for the first time and I would like to understand how it works, at least a bit of it.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Welcome lunix,please fill in your system specs System Spec - Fill In Your EightForums System Spec,people will jump in,telling you what to upgrade or not,considering you tell us what you are up to with your PC,your Personal Computer that is,get it?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    This is just a sampling of what can be done:

    Increase any PC's performance with these 10 steps - TechRepublic
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 44
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by proudtobegreek View Post
    Welcome lunix,please fill in your system specs System Spec - Fill In Your EightForums System Spec,people will jump in,telling you what to upgrade or not,considering you tell us what you are up to with your PC,your Personal Computer that is,get it?
    Yes, thank you, I just did
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 44
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Nuccii View Post
    This is just a sampling of what can be done:

    Increase any PC's performance with these 10 steps - TechRepublic
    Thank you!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    These days, it's honestly due to hard drive seek times and fragmentation. It wasn't like it was 10 or more years ago where a better CPU or a better GPU or more RAM would fix performance issues. These days, it's incredibly common to see quad core CPUs, 4+ gigs of RAM, a real decent GPU (mGPU or dedicated graphics) all being ran by an 64 bit operating system.

    The hard drive in most PCs since about 2005 are all SATA and that has a throughput (depending on if SATA I, II, or III) of about 600 MB/sec. A hard drive at best maybe can pull off 150 MB/sec, BARELY even saturating the bandwidth at all.

    This is why when the Solid State Drive came out, it was a joy of euphoria because NOW there is a storage medium that can actually make SATA III look slow, hence why PCI-E SSDs are the top of the line for performance because SATA is too slow. When you run that modern quad core, 4+ gig RAM, a dedicated graphics card with 64 bit Windows, performance is stellar and solid every single boot.

    Essentially, hard drives limit the modern PC's processing potential because it's only able to process at best 150 MB/sec of data at a time versus average 500+ MB/sec on a SSD; which allows the system to be put to more rigorous performance.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    There's many degrees of Slow-Fast, very relative it is.
    One part is Hardware, Processor, memory, storage and not to forget OS too. Each one builds to other so nicely balanced system is best and fastest in it's category.
    Other part, starting with OS is software, on any particular system some programs would execute very fast but other might drag like it will never finish.
    Choosing computer by the software to use on it, is the first consideration which can make it seem fast or slow. Some SW needs as many cores as possible, other needs single thread speed, another would love whole bunch of memory and some depend on storage speed.
    You can turn that around and start with hardware and than choose what SW you will run on it. There's SW that can seem to run just as fast on a relatively slow computer just as fast as on top of the line system and SW that will choke on the best one.
    So, there is no such thing as fast or slow computer, it all depends what you are using it for.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 44
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    There's many degrees of Slow-Fast, very relative it is.
    One part is Hardware, Processor, memory, storage and not to forget OS too. Each one builds to other so nicely balanced system is best and fastest in it's category.
    Other part, starting with OS is software, on any particular system some programs would execute very fast but other might drag like it will never finish.
    Choosing computer by the software to use on it, is the first consideration which can make it seem fast or slow. Some SW needs as many cores as possible, other needs single thread speed, another would love whole bunch of memory and some depend on storage speed.
    You can turn that around and start with hardware and than choose what SW you will run on it. There's SW that can seem to run just as fast on a relatively slow computer just as fast as on top of the line system and SW that will choke on the best one.
    So, there is no such thing as fast or slow computer, it all depends what you are using it for.
    Thank you for your answer!
    Oh, and - Serbia? Croatia here! ^^
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 44
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    These days, it's honestly due to hard drive seek times and fragmentation. It wasn't like it was 10 or more years ago where a better CPU or a better GPU or more RAM would fix performance issues. These days, it's incredibly common to see quad core CPUs, 4+ gigs of RAM, a real decent GPU (mGPU or dedicated graphics) all being ran by an 64 bit operating system.

    The hard drive in most PCs since about 2005 are all SATA and that has a throughput (depending on if SATA I, II, or III) of about 600 MB/sec. A hard drive at best maybe can pull off 150 MB/sec, BARELY even saturating the bandwidth at all.

    This is why when the Solid State Drive came out, it was a joy of euphoria because NOW there is a storage medium that can actually make SATA III look slow, hence why PCI-E SSDs are the top of the line for performance because SATA is too slow. When you run that modern quad core, 4+ gig RAM, a dedicated graphics card with 64 bit Windows, performance is stellar and solid every single boot.

    Essentially, hard drives limit the modern PC's processing potential because it's only able to process at best 150 MB/sec of data at a time versus average 500+ MB/sec on a SSD; which allows the system to be put to more rigorous performance.
    Thank you!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by lunix View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by CountMike View Post
    There's many degrees of Slow-Fast, very relative it is.
    One part is Hardware, Processor, memory, storage and not to forget OS too. Each one builds to other so nicely balanced system is best and fastest in it's category.
    Other part, starting with OS is software, on any particular system some programs would execute very fast but other might drag like it will never finish.
    Choosing computer by the software to use on it, is the first consideration which can make it seem fast or slow. Some SW needs as many cores as possible, other needs single thread speed, another would love whole bunch of memory and some depend on storage speed.
    You can turn that around and start with hardware and than choose what SW you will run on it. There's SW that can seem to run just as fast on a relatively slow computer just as fast as on top of the line system and SW that will choke on the best one.
    So, there is no such thing as fast or slow computer, it all depends what you are using it for.
    Thank you for your answer!
    Oh, and - Serbia? Croatia here! ^^
    Hello neighbor, thinking of making new machine ?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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