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Speed Myths

Author: Harrison T. Greene

The speed of the computer, is the speed of the user
~Somebody else
So this article is going to be about the speed of your computer. I will start with by defining what a computer usually does, then how it is affected by speed. Next I will list some speed myths, and finally explain what one can do to really notice an increase in computer speed, and if it is really worth it.
A computer when in use, takes input, processes it, and then provides output. Sounds simple right? Well in order to do that it has to receive instruction, have a place to process these instructions, and finally have a way to put them out onto the screen. A computer does this by loading up instructions from the HDD on boot, sending the instructions to wait in RAM, the CPU then processes these instructions one at a time from RAM, and finally output is displayed through a graphics processing device that resides either on the motherboard, or on a separate graphics card, and then the cycle repeats over and over again until finally you shut down the computer.
So now that we know how a computer basically works, let’s take a look at some of the myths that are told that will help increase computer speed.
Myth 1: Having 64GB of RAM will make my computer so fast I won’t have to worry about upgrading anything else.
Why it’s a myth: RAM is important to a system. While I personally recommend that you have at least 4GB of RAM in your computer, you don’t really need more than 8GB, even if you’re a hardcore gamer. RAM only holds instructions, and whilst having a lot of RAM is good, the only people who really use more than 8GB’s of RAM are artists who make pictures with Photoshop, or people who mix digital media, or people who do rendering or process large databases of data. For the most part, you will be fine if you only use 8GB.
Myth 2: Changing my processor to the newest and greatest processor will make it so fast, people will be blinded by my computers speed.
Why it’s a myth: This only perhaps a half myth. While processor speed is important, and it truly can affect the speed of your computers performance, it doesn’t do so in the way you think it does. Most computers with a modern processor will seemingly run at the same speed as any other processor from just about the same family. The only time you will notice a difference in processor speed is when you handle huge amounts of data, play games, or compare CPU’s that are at least 5 or 6 years apart.
Myth 3: Getting the newest most beastly video card, will make my computer uber fast.
Why it’s a myth: The graphics card is almost never the cause of a bottle neck in regular system use. It can be the bottle neck in graphics heavy programs and games, but for the most part, it almost never plays a demanding role, in regular everyday system use.

Now that we’ve covered the myths, the big question here is how do we increase speed. Well we know that using modern processors is a must, but it will not really show much of a speed advantage. We know that we really only need 8GB of RAM to do things efficiently. We also know that graphics cards have little or no bearing on our computer unless we are playing games or doing video editing. This leaves us with the final conclusion that if we want to speed up every day normal usage of our computer. That what we must do is use a fast HDD. More specifically we want to use an SSD. So that solves all our problems right? Hold on because there are a couple warnings I would like to give to you about SSD’s. SSD’s while fast cost more money per gigabyte than a regular HDD. So while a 500GB HDD may cost $80, a 500GB SSD may cost over $400. Finally, SSD’s do not have any moving parts. So when you use an SSD and it dies, there is almost no way to recover the information, without paying an inordinate sum of money. For those two reasons, I really don’t recommend that a normal every day or business user really use an SSD. So unless you are okay with the thought about losing data, which there are ways to get around (and I will reveal them in my next article), I suggest you use a normal HDD for everyday use.
Okay Space Cowboys! I hope you learned something from this article, and if you’re ever looking to speed up your computer, or put an SSD in your computer, why don’t you come visit us on the web, or online at www.digitalsunrise.com