Tune up your PC for performance

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Over time, Windows PCs get slower; it’s the nature of the beast! These free tools and info can help restore your computer to its glory days and improve the 3D experience.

Beware that changing stuff in your PC has always some degree of risk. Although the risk is minimized on the proposals made here, before rushing to the tools please read the basics about this subject and do a complete virus scan:

The basics:

  1. Scan for virus and other malware. Any serious PC cleaning and optimization should begin with malware scan so, before you get too hip-deep in trying to speed up your PC, a sweep for virus and other malware must be run. Use your own antivirus to do a complete virus scan (if you need a free one look for Microsoft Security Essentials or Microsoft Windows Defender, the version already included in windows 8.0-8.1). It is also advisable the use of some more specific tools such as Malwarebytes (www.malwarebytes.org) or SuperAntiSpyware (www.superantispyware.com)
     
  2. ccleaner (https://www.piriform.com/CCLEANER). Cleans your temporary/trash files but also your registry. It has other useful functions, one of them assists in editing and removing undesirable (sluggish) programs from windows startup.
    ccleaner is widely used and one of the top popular applications for windows cleaning but there’s much more to it than clicking a single button. You may benefit a lot by knowing a bit more about it: How to Use CCleaner Like a Pro: 9 Tips & Tricks
     
  3. Intel Driver update (http://www.intel.com/p/en_US/support/detect)
    Old drivers can impact negatively on performance. Updated drivers are essential to tune up a PC. Some PC's leading brands come with update driver tools (for the bios, graphic cards, main boards, etc.) installed, but others don't and since windows own update utility (very) rarely updates hardware drivers, your PC may be using some very old drivers (from the nineties, lol). Intel Driver update can help a lot, it scans your PC and updates Intel drivers.
    Other vendors of graphic cards, main boards, etc., have their own update tools and/or the updated drivers to install manually.
    Remember: always use driver update tools very carefully, because problems may occur otherwise!
     
  4. Update your graphic card drivers, this is crucial for 3D performance.
    • If you still got them from when you bought your PC, you should use those specific vendor tools to update; if not look for them, or updated drivers, in the vendors web site.
    • If you dont but you know your graphic card engine, AMD, NVIDIA, ..., you can still look at their web sites for tools (http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/auto-detect-tool  or  http://www.nvidia.com/Download/Scan.aspx?lang=en-us) or try to find updated drivers in the site.
    • If for some reason you can't update your graphic card, the next tool (SlimDrivers) may help.
       
  5. SlimDrivers Free (https://www.slimwareutilities.com/slimdrivers.php). One of the few free tools that does the complete job: scans your PC installed drivers , compares them with the latest version and gives the option to download and update (other similar programs I know only only alert about old drivers). Before using SlimDrivers Free you should use Intel Driver update tool and other update tools you have that are specific to your PC hardware (graphic cards, mainboards, etc.). After updating with them you can use SlimDrivers Free to update the remaining PC drivers.
    Remember: always use driver update tools very carefully, because problems may occur otherwise!

If you want to go a step further in cleaning and optimizing your PC, try this more advanced (free) program:

  •  Advanced SystemCare Free (http://www.iobit.com/) includes a very complete and powerful set of tools that can do all sorts of cleaning and optimization, including:
    • spyware and security scanning,
    • driver update, that, most probably, may detect some updates missed by SlimDrivers,
    • PC cleaning,
    • disk management, duplicates finder,
    • Windows Start up editing and add on management,
    • special performance mode profiles, including a games boost,
    • ...
    • a handy RAM and CPU meter gadget it installs on desktop screen.

      Use each tool carefully. Try to understand what it does before changing or erasing stuff in your PC.

  • An alternative software to try: Glary Utilities (http://www.glarysoft.com/).

The above tools have worked well for me, but there are no guaranties. Use them at your own risk and be careful. Don’t just start ripping things out of the OS without knowing what you’re removing.

Did you found this info useful? Please comment, share with us your tune up tools, and enjoy!

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