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Old 1st July 2020, 22:02   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Northern West Virginia
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There are so many ways to make a seemingly old, slow computer much faster without replacing it if you're not using software/games that are on dependent on the whole machine for high-spec hardware.

A simple USB upgrade like what you are doing does wonders for very little money. I remember when I did the 1.1 to 2.0 job and how much difference it made, and I imagine it's as noticeable from 2 to 3 now, although since I just recently made that upgrade with the recent regutting of the computer, I haven't done any large file transfers over USB 3 yet. In other words I'm just as new to USB 3 on this box as you.

Another big upgrade for an affordable price that I do for people is just a SSD with a fresh operating system install, even if it's just the same OS as before. SSDs are sooooo much faster than spinning hard drives so long as there's SATA connectivity. That also allows the older HDD to be used for mass storage. The fresh install of the operating system usually removes any bloat and other garbage that has accumulated over the years, especially for people that aren't aware of just how much stuff accumulates and taxes the hardware.

Back in the day, it was RAM. The low-RAM machines were always using the HDD as virtual RAM, making it far slower than it would be with an extra pair of sticks, and a cheap RAM upgrade would speed things up.

When these kinds of things failed, it was usually the issue with the processor, which usually meant a whole new machine since sockets changed too often.

Or, you could just have the person learn the very basics of Linux, since there are very light and hardware friendly versions out there that are reasonably easy to learn, such as "lubuntu" which I sometimes play with on ancient boxes.

Now it seems that most programs (or I guess I have to call them "apps" now) can run on dozen-year-old machines without issue and if not, just a small upgrade like those mentioned above. There's a lot of Core2Duo and older boxes out there still doing video chat, Office, web browsing, media playback, and other business/work applications out there and with the right upkeep, they're fine. I only felt the need to upgrade due to the video editing issues I was having. It's also nice to have a fresh, fast box now that I am working at home. Fewer hardware concerns mean better uninterrupted focus on work.

Don't forget to live before you die.
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