What makes a computer fast?

August 4, 2008 at 16:31:06
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Hi, I used to think I knew what made a computer fast. My computer is a 2 GHz single core computer with a gig of memory. It's been fast for years and now it seems like it's slow all the time. I run Linux as my OS. My job, they gave me a dual core Intel 2.2 GHz computer with a gig of memory and that computer is slower than molasis. My work computer has an 800 FSB and dual core 2.2 ghz running Vista. It's way slower than my home computer. So, I want to buy a new home computer but I don't know anymore exactly what to look for to have a fast computer. I have another work desktop and it's dual core with a gig of memory and the thing is as quick as can be... It's amazing. I think it's dual core with around a gig of memory. It runs Vista and you click on anything and it just flies. I don't know what's different. I think these days, there's more to getting a fast computer than just looking at CPU and memory. You have to look at chipset and the whole picture. But I'm not sure how to go about starting to know what's good.

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August 4, 2008 at 17:41:19

Maybe a better question would be 'what slows down a fast computer'.

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August 4, 2008 at 17:44:25

Theres no one main thing that makes your computer fast, there are just lots of different things:
First one is free - make sure that you take good care of your computer, antyvirus, antyspyware, dephragment etc.
Make sure that your ram is fast and that all the sticks are of the same speed, or else they will all run at the slowest speed.
Always get a dedicated graphics card - doing this preserves ram and is the obvious thing to do if your a gamer.
Physically clean the computer often - ground, open up machine, remove the heatsink and use compressed air to remove dust, reapply thurmal paste and reassemble; this helps prevent instances where the cpu will overheat, perform slower in order for it to cool down and then overheat again etc etc.
This might not be that fitting in your situation, but just fyi, if your into building stuff from old parts - ie: rescuing stuff from skips etc, make sure that you think logically about what should go with what, for example, even though a 10gb drive is just about ample for a xp installation, considdering that most of them are 3600 or 4200 rpm, this makes them a poor choice as the rpm is to slow for xp; I suggest 5400 rpm and above only.

I haven't even touched the tip of the iceburg here - but i'm sure someone will make some additions to what i've said.

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August 4, 2008 at 18:11:11

A fast computer is one that has both an OS and application that is tuned and correct for that same said computer.

Computers are only fast because of some test or other means to determine what fast and slow is.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, are in my top 10

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August 4, 2008 at 21:00:35

A lean & mean computer is likely to be a fast machine.

The drag usually sets in when the user let things get out of hand, by installing & loading a boatload of good & badly coded drivers & applications on the system with reckless abandon.

Jabbering Idiots: Everywhere You Look!

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August 5, 2008 at 05:39:03

in my experience, if I try a friends PC and ifnd it is slow it is usually because they have loaded it up with so much security stuff that it strangles the computer to the point of it being unbearable to use

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August 5, 2008 at 06:48:17

I would just keep the 2.2 ghz that you got from work and Put in a fresh copy of XP pro,
Then just install the necessary programs.
That computer should run real good.

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August 5, 2008 at 09:07:18

Have you considered comparing apples to apples? That is, boot these different computers with a totally external source which has software for conducting accurate speed tests on the system. I really don't know what, you'd have to do some research on that. But, what you want is some kind of "live CD" or something which loads and configures for conducting the testing. That way you can see if there is really a significant difference in these different computers' overall processing capabilities or if it's just due to the particular software configuration on each particular machine. Maybe you can then identify what makes that work desktop seem so significantly faster than others. Using that information, you can then figure out what you want for a new home computer.

My guess is that the computer they gave you from work is running all kinds of crap in the background and whatever your try to do on it is only getting a third of the processing power.

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