Upgrading a 5 year old computer

by on August 24, 2009

Q: My computer is about 5 years old. It has a 1.2GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, and a 38 GB hard drive that shows as half full. How do I improve its speed?

A: Everyone wants to tweak their computers to get the best speed out of them, especially computers that are a few years old. The biggest questions becomes, is the cost of upgrading and the improvement in speed worth the money or would the money be better spent on a new computer.

In your case, since you only have 512 MB of RAM, there is a chance that spending $30.00 or so to upgrade to 1 GB of RAM would improve your speed. It is hard to tell if it would improve it enough to make you happy though. I would opt for trying the RAM if I had a friend with some extra RAM lying around but I don’t think I would opt for the RAM option in your case if it cost money. The reason for this is that a 1.2 GHz processor is between 1/3 to 1/2 the speed of most the processors you will find in the $400.00 desktops that are flooding the market.

If your computer was 2 or 3 years old and you wanted to try to make it last another year then I would suggest doing the RAM upgrade but since you are already at the 5 year mark and even the lower end computers are considerably faster than what you have I would not suggest it.

One free thing you can try is to reinstall windows. A fresh install of windows will get your computer back to how it used to run 5 years ago. It would remove programs you don’t use anymore and clean things up so that it can run more efficiently. Don’t expect this to make your computer feel like a brand new one by any means. It is something you can do to try to get a few extra months out of it though. Just make sure to backup all your files and programs before doing this.

Read Question Here