Why Is My Computer Slow?

Computer Running Slow?

Computers are no different from any other electrical/electronic device. They have been made with built-in obsolescence and hence performance declines and a computer slows. We here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service get asked this question frequently. In fact, we get asked why a clients computer is slow on just about a daily rate. Well, consider a light bulb, when it is new it gives out the maximum light.  However over time, little by little the light bulb gets dimmer and then one day, click and nothing, it’s died.

When light bulbs (practical incandescent light) were first commercially “invented” by Thomas Edison in 1879, it was discovered shortly afterwards that if they made them too well then the market would shrivel up and die as everyone would buy one, two, three etc and then never buy any more ever again. Welcome to built-in obsolescence!

Built-in Obsolescence = Computer Slow Down

Electrical components after they are manufactured are then graded by that manufacturer. Basically there are several grades. Military being the highest and Grade 1, Grade 2 and so on. The costs of the Military units would be far higher than the lower grade units sometimes by a couple of zeros. Unfortunately, purchasing Military spec units is not possible generally for commercial manufacturers.

The components as above are then tested for durability, endurance and performance. The top units are then selected for Military, then not quite so good for Grade 1 and so on down to the units which don’t work at all and are recycled.

Commercial electrical/electronic manufacturers then purchase the units for their various products all based on cost factors. So, theoretically, a more expensive computer/car/fridge/aircon unit should have a longer life expectancy than a cheaper unit. If only this was so.

Durability and Performance

It is not only the life expectancy which needs to be looked at but the durability, the endurance and the performance of that article.

How much will the component degrade over time?

How well was the manufacturing process controlled and what of all the other components?

What was the Quality Control process like?

Who is the company who made the unit?

What ethics do the owners and shareholders have?

How much value does the company put on their name/brand?

There are many many factors governing the electronics industry as in any other industry and hence the products they produce, but in the end, it is all about costs and profits.

computer slow

Components Age = Computer Slow Down

The Hard Disk Drive (HDD) can start going slower and slower over time (and use) so the computer slows down until 5 seconds seems like 5 minutes. This is because it is trying to retrieve data and because it is slowing down this process can therefore take longer and longer.

Electronic components slow down as the Integrated Circuits (ICs) are slower passing an electrical current through their gates (on/off switches). So switching from on to off can take longer and hence the “process” of whatever it is doing takes longer.

Capacitors become more and more inefficient and eventually burst their tops.

Heat can cause ICs to get too hot and in some case fry their components, therefore making them run slower and hence hotter, which is a vicious circle.

Poor power from the mains can put higher than normal bursts of volts into the electronic/electrical circuits of a computer. This can cause damage to the computer and again it slows down as it tries to cope.

Some of the newest CPUs (Central Processing Units) have over 7 billion transistors built into them. All that in a bit of silicon which is about 2 mm in thickness and 35mm square and people wonder why electronic components don’t last “forever?”

The above are some of the reasons for a computer slow down due primarily to age. The next article on ‘Why is my computer slow?‘ will be on the software reasons. Stay tuned and if you need help, give us here at Affordable Computer Repairs and Service a call on 3397 1215 or 0409 974 707.