Computers are essential in any modern home or business, even in the face of the plethora of tasks Smartphones are now capable of performing. Many computer owners however, do not realize just what the machines are actually capable of, beyond word processing and entertainment. Check out these 5 facts you should know about your computer, to make the most or your device and even save money on your bills.
1. It’s Easy to Repair a Slow Computer
Computers are relied on for everyday tasks like emailing, watching online videos, creating and visiting websites, and communicating with others on social networks, so when your computer starts slowing down or seems to be on the fritz, it may be tempting to hastily replace the machine. You shouldn’t be so quick to discard an otherwise-working machine, however, as many can be fixed with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Most of the time, when your computer starts becoming slower, ‘lagging,’ or encountering more frequent errors, software issues are responsible. Software issues can always be rectified through one method or another, so there’s no reason to replace your computer due to software problems.
Most software issues can be resolved by re-installing the specific program that’s causing errors, be it a stand-alone application or the entire operating system. You will need to check for the Operating System (OS) license key on a sticker on your computer to reinstall the operating system. Sometimes an antivirus program can even resolve software issues without the need for re-installing software or reformatting your OS. Re-installing the software on your computer should return its speed back to the pace it was when you first brought the computer home.
2. You Can Save Money with Your Computer
Computers use a lot of electricity, and can demand your attention when budgeting for utilities bills, but there are ways to save money and reduce electrical usage with a few simple settings on your PC.
Just how much electricity does a computer use? It depends on the specifications of the computer, but in general a gaming PC can use over 1000 Watts when being utilized for resource-intensive applications or games, while standard office computers often operate on a 250W power supply. The impact on your electric bill from a single computer can range from $10 to $600 per year, or more, depending on how often you use the machine.
The best way to cut down on your electric bill with your computer is to adjust the settings so that a screen saver comes on just minutes after you’ve walked away from the machine. You should then set the computer to go into hibernation or ‘sleep-mode’ after an additional 5 or 10 minutes. Computers in hibernation or sleep-mode use much less power and only take a second to wake and use. These settings can be found in the Control Panel on Windows-based computers.
3. It’s Easy to Upgrade Parts in Most Computers
If your computer can’t keep up with the latest software or games, or lags when playing media, you don’t necessarily need to throw it out. Consider adding more RAM or a better graphics card to improve your computer’s performance.
Cutting-edge graphics cards can run $200 or more, but if you’re just looking for smoother video streams, lower end models can make a huge impact on older machines and, much like RAM, can often be added to a PC for less than $50. Adding RAM, graphics cards, and other hardware is often as simple as unscrewing a couple of screws and snapping the new hardware into place.
4. There’s an Easy Fix For Loud Computers
One of the most concerning noises that can emit from your computer happens to be one of the simplest to fix. Laptops and desktops that have become increasing louder, making noises reminiscent of car engines, often just need a simple cleaning of their fans. Remove the outer case panels of your machine and clean any dust from your fans or heatsinks with condensed air or Q-tips for silent, efficient computing.
5. Your Computer Can Analyze its Own Health and Fix Issues
Many computer owner’s don’t realize that computers can repair a lot of issues on their own with built-in software. Running out of storage space? Simply run the Windows Disk Cleanup Utility.
If you’re experiencing memory or storage errors, or the dreaded ‘Blue Screen’ try running the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool. As a general tip, the F1 key can pull up a help file in most Windows-based applications, which can help you troubleshoot any issues on your computer.
Knowing these 5 facts about your computer can save you money and extend the life of your machine. Some of these tasks are often thought to be best left to professionals, but with a little practice and study, you can perform most repairs, upgrades, and changes to your computer by yourself.