How to Get Better CPU Speeds

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As software and multimedia becomes more demanding of computer resources, many people want to get the very best performance from their available hardware without constantly having to pay for expensive upgrades. Good maintenance and a few straightforward tweaks to your system can make a considerable difference in performance. Freeing up system resources leads to better CPU speeds.

Things You'll Need

  • Compressed air
  • Scan your computer thoroughly for viruses, spyware and any other malicious software. Malicious software can hog system resources and slow your CPU down. Microsoft Security Essentials is a free antivirus product that is available for download either from Microsoft's official website or through Windows Update. You may also want to try a more sophisticated paid antivirus program such as Kaspersky or McAfee. Complete a full scan with an antivirus product and restart the computer when finished.

  • Start "Task Manager" by right-clicking on the taskbar and choosing "Task Manager." Here you will see all of the programs running on your computer. Under the "Processes" tab, you will be able to see which programs and services are using your CPU. Close any programs that you are not using. Do not shut down any processes that you are not familiar with. It is perfectly normal for around 50 processes to be running. Most of these are genuine Windows services.

  • Stop programs from launching at startup. Many programs set themselves to run at startup by default when you install them. This unnecessary in many cases and also slows down your computer. Open the Start Menu, type "msconfig" into the "Search programs and files" box and press "Enter." Click the "Startup" tab in the System Configuration window. Deselect all startup options that you don't need. Ideally, there should be no more than a couple of programs selected. Click "OK" when done. Restart the computer for the changes to take effect. You can wait until later to restart.

  • Improve the cooling of your CPU. If your processor does not have adequate cooling, the system may automatically throttle back its speed. Open your computer case and locate the large heat sink and fan. Blow away any dust that has built up on the blades of the fan, using compressed air. Dust acts as as insulator and allows heat to build up. It also causes a computer to become noisy. Install a more efficient heat sink and fan that is compatible with your processor if cleaning does not make a satisfactory difference.

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