The New Computer Smell
If you’re like most people, you get excited about buying a personal computer. A new computer will always run faster than an old one and it will boot up much quicker. Applications and games run smoothly without slowing down. When you go online, pages load immediately and you can surf quickly from one site to the next. Your computer may slow down over time and stop running as fast as it used to.
It can happen for many reasons. This can often be fixed by cleaning out your hard drive or running diagnostics. You might have a virus on your computer. Once you have removed the virus, the computer’s performance will be restored. But what if your computer still runs slowly after you’ve done everything?
Your computer may be slow despite having removed viruses and tried to improve performance. This could indicate that your computer cannot handle the increased demands.
We tend to install more software on our computers and try to run multiple applications at once. To run software applications and games correctly, new software can need more resources like faster CPUs or central processing units.
If you’re like me, you prefer to have multiple software programs open or multiple internet browsers open at once. This allows you to use more computer resources. The slower your computer runs, the more resources you use.
Computer technology is constantly changing, and this is a problem. Software developers are creating more resource-intensive software programs to meet the growing demand for feature-rich software applications. Computer manufacturers continue to produce faster and more expensive computers in order to meet increasing software demands. I believe this is a vicious circle where the computer user must buy a new computer every few decades to keep enjoying a fast, enjoyable computing experience.
It’s not something I’ve ever had to worry about. I’m a certified computer technician and have been building computers and fixing them for more than 15 years. I don’t go out to buy a new computer if I need a faster computer. Upgrades are a way to get out of the cycle of computer purchasing. My computer can be upgraded instead of buying new. This allows me to get a faster computer for a fraction the price.
It is possible to end the cycle of computer purchases. You don’t have to be a professional computer technician to do this. It is not necessary to be an expert on computers or be able use a screwdriver to understand how to upgrade your computer.
Computers are made of software and hardware that work together. Computers can appear very complicated if you don’t know how they work. Once you have a basic understanding of how computers work, it is possible to reduce the complexity.
A computer can receive input and produce output at its most basic level. Computers receive input from input devices like the keyboard and mouse (hardware). We give the computer input by clicking on a link, or moving the mouse across the screen.
The input is created by clicking the mouse or pressing the keys on the keyboard. This signal is sent through the computer, and converted into digital data that can be used to interpret the instruction from the operating system, game, or software. (software)
The computer processes digital instructions data and outputs it as an image, words or printout.
A computer’s ability to quickly receive input and create output is what makes it fast. Although there are many components that a computer requires to function, three main components directly impact how fast it can work.
These three components are the main ones that make computers fast and handle input processing.
Motherboard or Main System Board
CPU (Central Processing Unit)
RAM (random access memory)
The Motherboard, which connects all of the hardware on the computer without getting too technical, is the component that connects them all. The Motherboard could be described as a data-freeway that connects all components of the computer. It allows them to communicate and transmit data.
Each component of the computer connects directly to the Motherboard via a data cable or by being connected directly. The Motherboard connects to the following devices and components: CPU, RAM Memory (hard drive), CD ROM/DVD, DVD drive, video card, sound card, modem, key board, mouse, modem, modem, modem, keyboard, mouse, and monitor.
Additional peripheral devices can also be connected to the Motherboard via a variety data ports. These include a printer and digital camera, microphone and even an HDTV. These peripheral devices can be connected to the Motherboard via one of many ports, including a USB (Serial-ATA), Parallel, Firewire, SATA (Serial) or HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface).
The Motherboard was the data communication infrastructure that allowed communication between all devices. The Motherboard’s ability to transmit data at a speed that is faster than others is what makes it more efficient. It can be viewed as a street. The data bus is like a street, and the data buses are like cars driving down the street. The older Motherboards communication was equivalent to a two-way, two-lane street with a speed limit 25 MPH. The new Motherboards function as 8-lane highways at 200 MPH.
Because they allow for more data traffic at higher speeds, new Motherboards are quicker.
The brain of the computer is the CPU, or Processor. The CPU executes all instructions you ask it to, such as Windows XP and Windows 7. Although they can only execute one instruction at once, CPUs do so quickly that it appears they are performing multiple tasks simultaneously or “Multitasking”.
Because their “clock speed” (or “clock cycle”) is faster, newer CPUs are more efficient. Clock speed refers to the speed at which a CPU is able to execute instructions. Clock speed can be thought of as the timing of a metronome which helps musicians maintain the correct musical time. The front of a metronome is equipped with a hand that swings back and forth according to the time interval. It ticks like an alarm clock as it swings back-and-forth. The CPU ticks at a fixed interval, just like the metronome. However, it ticks at a very fast rate that is measured in Megahertz or Gigahertz. Every tick of the CPU’s clock cycle, the CPU executes an instruction.
Not only can new CPUs execute instructions at extremely high clock speeds, but they can also contain multiple CPU Cores. Each Core can execute its own instructions. A Dual Core CPU can execute two instructions simultaneously, while a Quad Core CPU can perform four. These CPUs are available in six Cores, and they can send and receive data more quickly through Motherboards than older Motherboards.
RAM, or Random Access Memory, is where you store all instructions that you ask the computer to execute. Each interaction we make with our computer creates instruction data that the CPU needs to process. Even the most basic interaction like moving the mouse around the screen requires multiple instructions for the CPU. It is easy to see how running an application such as Adobe Photoshop or playing a computer game can generate a lot of instructions for your CPU. Although the CPU can execute many instructions quickly, it is not able to do them all at once. This is why we need somewhere to store instructions until they are processed. RAM was designed to solve this problem.
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