The Cheapest Way To Speed Up Your PC

The Cheapest Way To Speed Up Your PC by: Matt Feichtenbiner

Is your computer running slowly but don't have much cash? Windows XP telling you that you have low memory? Then don't panic, adding memory to your current computer is one of the cheapest, easiest upgrades that you can do yourself! Don't start ripping apart your PC just yet though.

There's a few things you can do to make sure your getting the most out of your current hardware. For Windows XP go to control panel, system, advanced, performance settings, advanced, and then change under virtual memory. In this screen click the radio button that says Custom Size and put in the biggest number under Maximum Size that Windows will allow. It's based on the free space on your hard drive, mine is set at 4,096MB with an 80GB hard drive. Another thing you can do is shut off all those little programs sucking up your resources. Go to start menu and click run. Type in msconfig then click the startup tab.

This is a list of all the programs that start when you turn on your PC. A few may have icons in your task bar by the clock. If you recognize any you don't need just unselect them click apply and ok. Then you'll be prompted to restart your PC. If your are running XP you can turn off some of those visual themes to save some memory. Simply right click any where on your desktop and select properties. Then under appearance you can change your theme to the classic style which will speed things up a bit if you can still stand the look of your new 'old' desktop. Speaking of extra programs taking your resources you will want to have a good spyware program (if you don't already) since your computer is probably infected because your using the internet to read this! To see more on this go to:

Finally, the reason I wrote this article, getting the memory installed. Any new computer these days should have at least 256MB of memory. If your running an older system chances are your running on 128MB or possibly much less. I've still seen a few using as little as 32MB! There are many different speeds of memory to choose from but the basics are PC2100, PC2700, and P3200. PC3200 being the fastest listed here, is the best to get.

To find a good price on some memory go to Be sure that the memory you purchase is compatible with your current motherboard, check with the manufacturer to find out what you need. For instance if your motherboard only supports PC2100 (266MHz bus speed) then anything over is a wasted!

Installing your new memory is pretty straight forward. Remove your PC's case. Locate an empty slot, or remove the older memory if there are none. To install and remove memory there are two small 'handles' on each end that secure it into the slot, these must be lifted and then synched back down onto the new memory. Also, the memory can only go in one way, look at the grooves on it to see. Be sure to wear a anti-static strap during any procedure. The small static charges can damage the delicate electronics in your computer! To see a complete illustrated guide visit the link to my site below and go to 'upgrade' in the menu.

About The Author

Matt is the Webmaster at Your Free PC Guide offers free computer info. on many computer tasks including building, buying, upgrading, maintaining, cleaning, and more. You can also check out the free strictly PC classifieds at