7 tips to keep your computer alive longer & maximise its performanceMaria Vera
Before founding KLIM I assembled and repaired computers. Now I would like to share my experience with you to avoid you repeating the most common mistakes.
First of all, I would like to clarify that I don’t know your level and IT skills, so some of these tips may seem quite obvious to you. This eBook is written for PC (Windows) users in mind. Mac users have the advantage and disadvantage that they have a lot less flexibility when tinkering with hardware or software. Please also note that this isn’t an exhaustive list either.
1. What’s pointless
- Despite popping up everywhere, there are frequently found tips that aren’t actually all that useful to help your computer last longer. Defragmenting your hard drive. If your hard drive is an SSD drive, you shouldn’t do this. If it’s not an SSD drive, you can do it, but not too often. This lead to a significant gain in speed under Windows 98, but with later
developments, the effects have become quite negligible.
- Cleaning the registry. Again, something which was very useful 20 years ago, but isn’t anymore. This won’t really affect your PC’s performance and you might even eliminate entries you shouldn’t be eliminating.
- Deleting shortcuts from your desktop. This is completely useless. The little icons on your desktop are merely shortcuts, very small files. If you wish to eliminate a program you don’t use, you’ll need to uninstall it completely.
- Installing another anti-virus software. Unless you take many risks on the Internet, it’s recommended you simply use the basic anti-virus provided with your OS (in Windows, it’s Windows Defender). Another anti-
virus software will more likely slow your computer down than bring any tangible benefits as they are quite often very poorly optimized.
- Installing an optimization program. Many programs promise to optimize your PC, the vast majority are malwares (not the kind of programs you want on your PC). And as a general rule, you’ll lose more speed than you could ever stand to gain.
A computer that’s overheating won’t stop working immediately but it will wear down the components slowly but surely until one of them breaks. This can significantly lower your PC’s life expectancy.
The other risk is that your PC will automatically shut off in order to avoid being damaged. Laptop PCs are more likely to overheat than desktop PCs. Add to this that replacing a fried or faulty component inside a laptop is much rickier than with a desktop PC. Here is a simple rule to remember:
> 75° = overheating
> 85° = major overheating
> 65° = overheating
> 75° = major overheating
This is just a rule of thumb. Temperature tolerance can vary drastically between different laptop models.
How to measure overheating?
You have the choice between many different softwares. Among them we can recommend Speedfan and HWmonitor. The greatest laptop killer of all time has to be bed quilts. If you’re using your laptop PC in bed, make sure the vent isn’t blocked. Try not to use it there for too long. When using it on a hard surface, the little rubber pads allow for your laptop to be elevated a little, this isn’t the case when you’re using it in bed.
Let’s be honest here, we’re involved in the sale of laptop coolers, so we have a vested interest in telling you about the dangers of overheating your computer.
However, do note that any professional will confirm the risks overheating entail for your computer.
3. Switch it off?
The age old debate.
Do you systematically turn your computer off ?
Do you leave your computer on for months at a time ?
Well, in both cases you’re probably wrong.
By never switching your computer off you don’t give it a chance to delete temporary files which, as time goes by, tend to clog up your computer’s memory, and it also cannot install any updates.
Sleep mode is extremely effective nowadays. Switching your computer on and off too often could become quite taxing on your hardware. The recommended solution thus falls in the happy medium of switching your computer off every 2-3 days.
Obviously, don’t just press the power button. Switch it off properly.
4. Preserving battery life
Should I leave it charging past 100% ? Should I let the battery run out all the way to 0% from time to time ? Are these myths ? No.
The battery is most often the very fist component to show signs of weakness. The advantage being, they are relatively simple to replace, but it will still cost you around 50€. Many studies have been made on this subject. Ideally, here is how you should treat your battery:
- Charge it up to 80%
- Let it run down to 40%
- Charge it up to 80% again, and so on
Some studies have shown this method could multiply your battery’s life expectancy by 4. The scientific reasoning behind this (simplified) is that each of the lithium-polymer cells of the battery is charged at a certain voltage. The higher the charged percentage, the higher the voltage. The higher the voltage, the more stress each cell is put under. The more you stress each cell, the faster your battery will degrade over time. It is also recommended to let your battery run out completely from time to time all the way until the computer shuts itself down.
Finally, if you really want to preserve your battery, you should take it out and use it only when you need it (when there is no power outlet).
Overall these tips on battery life are quite restricting, it falls up to you which one you think are worth the hassle to you. At the very least, you’re now informed!
This is something many people forget. Your computer accumulates dust. The fan can clog up more, the computer will heat up more and lose in speed. Cleaning your computer every 6 months is recommended. You can also Google it and find out how to clean your computer for yourself.
6. Uninstalling bloatware
You’re surely careful with what you install on your computer. And that’s a great thing! But there are high chances your version of Windows came with a whole bunch of pre- installed bloatware. You might think that you can trust your manufacturer, that they put these programs there for a good reason.
Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Not all pre-installed softwares are bad, but most are absolutely useless and will just take up space or even slow your PC down.
Uninstalling these programs one by one isn’t a bad idea, but it can be somewhat time consuming. There is a tool to simplify this task for you : PC decrapifier (get the free version). This program will give you a list of recommendations. Select the programs that you wish to uninstall and click on “Next”.
7. Water and fall damage
Water and fall damage are responsible for 90% of laptop failures during the first 6 months. Obviously there’s always going to be accidents, but often some of those accidents could have been avoided. The latest Samsung mobiles are waterproof, however, PCs portable or otherwise are clearly not. A few centiliters can completely destroy your computer.
The saying “better safe than sorry” is particularly true in these cases as it will be almost impossible to restore.
As such it’s highly recommended to have an extremely strict no liquids policy around your computer as well as being careful with it in general. Having a cup of coffee near your computer can very quickly turn into a disaster when it’s knocked over and your computer passes away.
Mistreatment of laptop PCs is also a big issue. A colleague was telling clients to picture their laptop PC as being a plate, you would, at any cost, try to avoid shocks to your plate when holding it, as you know it might break, do the same for your laptop PC. This could save you a trip to customer service.
I hope you enjoyed this read and that these tips will help you keep your computer running longer and at higher performance!
KLIM™ Technologies is specialized in cooling equipment. We came from nothing, belong to no large corporation, have no outside investors. Our success only depends on our customers’ satisfaction. This is why we offer quality, durable electronics for a fair price. Our goal is that you can make your purchase with total peace of mind. Additionally, we have a 5-year ironclad warranty for our products, which is exceptional for electronics.
We believe that we should put our money where our mouth is. If you enjoy the product, we win. If we fail to deliver, we lose.
If you have any questions regarding your product, our team of product specialists will get back to you within 24 hours. Reach out anytime at [email protected].