If you own a older computer with only 1GB of RAM and a 1GHz CPU which is the minimum system requirement for Windows 8, it will run slower then newer computers with a faster 2GHz CPU, 4GB or more of RAM, and a SSD hard drive, but there are some simple tasks like disabling startup programs and services from loading up during startup, switching to a more lightweight antivirus, and using system utility software Advance System Pro which you can do to make Windows 8 faster for most tasks like web browsing, e-mail, and online video watching.
You can disable third party Startup programs which load on your computer in the Task manager’s startup tab. You access the Task Manager by searching for it in Windows Search, or right clicking the Taskbar, and picking start up tab. In The Start up tab’s you can disable third party programs like chat programs from starting up by clicking on them, and clicking disable in the bottom right corner of the Task manager. Do not disable third party antivirus and firewall software if you use them.
Switching Antivirus to Webroot SecureAnywhere Antivirus 2013- 3 Devices or just using the default Windows Defender Antivirus for Windows 8 can make Windows perform faster since some antivirus might slow down your computer. Cloud based Antivirus like Panda Cloud Antivirus also use less computer hardware resources, so they won’t slow down your computer because it uses its internet servers to protect you from viruses and malware. I used Panda Cloud on slower computers, and It does not slow down my PC when in use. But, you’ll always need to be logged into the internet, so Panda cloud is not very good for computers which are offline a lot because of no internet or Wi-Fi signal like on laptops, and tablets which are not connected to the internet at all times. It is also important to regularly scan your computer for virus, malware, and spyware programs to prevent malware from slowing down your PC.
If you use your Windows 8 computer as a print, e-mail, file, and multimedia server, disabling Windows Defender, and using Clamwin, and schedualing weekly scans may be best for your computer performance since Clamwin does not have an active real-time shield which could make your computer slower when in-use.
Disabling Windows Services can make Windows slightly faster, or have no effect on performance in my experience if your computer meets the minimum system requirements for Windows 8, but may make your computer faster when using multiple programs at once. You can disable services in the Services tab in Windows 8 Task Manager. Learn more about disabling services and startup programs with MsConfig, and Services.msc by reading my How To on using Services.msc and MSconfig to make your computer faster.
Disabling Animations for Windows 8 can also make Windows video settings faster if you use an older or slower video card. You can go to your control panel in windows by searching for it in Windows 8 search, or opening it in the drop down menu in Windows Explorer file manager, and pick view by large icon in the top right of the control panel window. Look for the icon shortcut labeled System, and click on it. Click on Advance System Settings, and click on the settings button under Performance . In the Visual effects tab, Click on the Circle radio button labeled “Adjust for Best Performance”, and click the apply button on the bottom right of the Window, and click OK.
Changing the background wallpaper on the desktop to a solid color could make your computer use less system resources especially if you have a very high resolution monitor with a lot of pixels like 1o80P HD Monitor. You can change the wall paper to a solid color by going into the personalization program in Windows 8 by right clicking the desktop , and picking personalize. In personalize, click on the desktop background link from the drop down menu pick Solid color, and pick the color which you like most, and click save changes on the bottom.
Keeping Windows 8 well maintained by doing a disk defrag, disk scan, disk clean up, registry cleanup, registry defrag, malware scan, security updates, Windows updates, virus scans and other maintenance tasks can also make your PC faster. I like using Advance System Care Pro 6.1 because it automatically cleans up temporary files, defrags my hard drive, and do scan disks when I am not using it, or I use the Quick or Deep scan feature in Advance System Pro. There is also a Turbo Mode option which defrags your RAM, turn off background programs, and services to make your computer have more available system resources and switch to a high performance power plan. Turbo Mode is useful when you are using big programs like games, photo editors, video editors, and office suites where you need more free memory and CPU resources.
Closing unused programs in Windows 8 Modern Start screen, on the Taskbar, and system tray in Windows 8 classic startmenu can make Windows 8 Faster. To close programs in the modern start screen, you position your mouse pointer to the top of your monitors edge, and press on the left mouse button and drag your mouse down the page with your hand until the window is at the bottom, and release your finger the left button. You can also use ALT-F4 keyboard shortcut key. For desktop programs in Windows 8 desktop, you close them by right clicking on the Taskbar or system tray button/icon, and pick close, or exit if available. Some system tray icon like Antivirus programs can’t be closed.
If you are using a multi-window and multi-tab program like web browsers, office suites, etc, close windows, and tabs which you are not actively using to free up RAM, and CPU resources to make your computer more responsive.
I notice some Startbutton and Startmenu programs for Windows 8 use a lot of RAM when in use, so I recommend a free program called Classic Shell Startmenu and Startbutton Desktop replacement program which seems to use the less system RAM and CPU resources. Classic Shell only brings back the Startmenu and Startbutton, and does not bundle other things like an App store, and extra features and themes which can slow down Windows.
Note: Before you upgrade your Video card, CPU, or hard drive, and RAM, make sure your computer power supply have enough wattage to handle your new computer parts to avoid overloading your computer’s power supply, and damaging your PC.
Simple Hardware upgrades to make Windows 8 faster
If you are used to the new Windows 8 Start Screen, uninstalling or not using a startbutton program will make your computer use less RAM, and CPU resource, or you can just exit it when you don’t need it by right clicking on the startmenu button program on the bottom right, and picking exit or close in the right click menu.
Adding more RAM is the cheapest and simplest way to make your older computer faster, but you need to buy the right type of RAM for your computer or laptop motherboard, and the right speed of RAM. For example, if your computer uses DDR2 PC4200 533MHz 240Pin Desktop DIMM RAM, you need to buy DDR2 PC 42oo 533MHZ 240Pin Desktop DIMM RAM for your computer. If you use Windows 8 32Bit, the maximum amount of RAM Windows 8 can see is 4GB or less depending on how much RAM your video card and other parts have. For Windows 64Bit, you can have over 4GB of RAM. If you can afford upgrading to 4GB or more RAM, and use Windows 8 64Bit, it is a good idea to upgrade to 4GB or more RAM to make Windows faster.
It can be somewhat hardto install RAM for new computer users because you need to open the computer, it only goes in one way in your motherboard’s memory slot, and you need to push it all the way in. It is a good idea to hire someone, or find someone who knows how to install RAM to help you install the RAM on your PC. You can also use SD cards and other types of memory cards for Readyboost if the memory cards are fast enough for readyboost.
Windows 8 also has a feature called Readyboost which let you use faster USB Flash Drives like Patriot 32GB Razzo USB Drive with Ready Boost Ready Certified to simulate RAM to make Windows faster. After you plug in your USB Flash drive, Windows 8 will ask you if you want to use it for Readyboost. If you have 3GB or more RAM, or don’t use a lot of RAM intensive programs like games, and video editors, Readyboost may not make a huge performance difference.
More Advance Hardware upgrades which will make your Windows 8 computer even more fast
Upgrading your desktop computer’s video card can also free up some RAM on your system, and make your video performance faster in Windows 8, and a lot of new versions of programs like web browsers like Internet Explorer 10, FireFox 18, etc uses the memory, and CPU on your video card to make the program run faster. Most video cards these days use PCI-Express video cards, but older video cards use mostly AGP and sometimes PCI video cards which are slower.
You can also upgrade the CPU if you are not using the fastest version of your CPU on your desktop computer, but upgrading your CPU to a faster one is not very easy for new computer users, so I recommend hiring a computer technician to upgrade your CPU since you need to find the right one, and it can only be installed one way.
Installing Windows 8 on a Solid State Flash Memory drive instead of a hard drive would make programs load faster because it is all digital, and does not rely on slower mechanical parts like a hard drive. The slowest SSD is faster than most hard drive. A SSD will also improve your Swap file performance.
When should you buy a new computer with Windows 8 or build a new PC?
If your computer is using a single or dual core CPU, DDR1 RAM, and very slow video card, it may be more worth your money to buy a budget Windows 8 computer from a PC maker like HP, Dell, Lenovo or Acer vs. upgrading many parts. I recommend buying a new computer when your computer becomes unreliable like constant crashes, and freezes instead of always replacing parts which maybe hard to find because they are not being made anymore. Plus, with a new PC, you get a warranty, and a few years of free technical support until your warranty expires.
You can also hire a computer store or technician to re-use your hard drive, CD/DVD drives, video card, expansion cards, case, and Windows 8 install, and just upgrade the motherboard, RAM, CPU, and other parts for a few hundred dollars or less because you do not have to re-buy the hard drives, CD/DVD, Video card, case, or power supply if they are still usable to build a new desktop computer.
Buying a motherboard optimized for Windows 8 with the UEFI