If you notice that your laptop has been losing performance Gradually until you reach a point where it does not meet your needs, it is likely that you have considered, directly, change equipment. Do not worry, it is perfectly normal, and in fact in some cases it is the only possible solution, but did you know that in many other cases you can give it a second life without too much effort?
So is. The passage of time, the wear and tear of use (and misuse) and the external factorss have a negative impact on the components of a laptop, and can end up greatly limiting its performance. Luckily, most of these aspects have a solution, and except for very specific cases, it is quite easy to solve them.
In this article we will share with you five tips that will help you improve the performance of your laptop in a direct and without spending money on new components. Remember that, to achieve the best possible results, it is important to apply all the advice that we are going to give you below.
As we anticipate we will focus on improving performance on laptops, but before we start we take the opportunity to remind you that a few days ago we also published a guide dedicated to improving performance in Windows 10 that Applies to any type of PC, that is, it doesn't matter if you have a laptop or a desktop computer, you can take advantage of all the recommendations you will find on it, so do not hesitate to take a look.
1.-Portable and thermal paste: a common problem
Thermal paste is one of the most important elements when it comes to keep working temperatures under control of components as important as the processor or graphics unit, so much that, in many cases, the temperature problems suffered by a laptop are due to the normal deterioration of the thermal paste over time.
Normally laptops come with pre-applied thermal paste in the area of the CPU and GPU that acts as a contact element with the copper base of the cooling system. Over time this element is degrading, loses properties and ends up drying. When this happens the heat transfer between both components and the dissipation system is reduced, resulting in a lower cooling capacity and at increasingly higher temperatures.
If we let the thermal paste degrade to a very high level our laptop will reach unsustainable temperatures and we will begin to notice a loss of performance generated by what is known as «Thermal throttling«, a protection mechanism that integrates processors and graphics cards to protect against very high temperatures. Through this mechanism work frequencies are limited to reduce heat.
In extreme cases we can suffer locks and reboots, or even our laptop may stop working. Luckily it is a fairly simple problem in many cases, although it depends on each particular laptop. Some have easy access to the CPU and GPU and are very easy to open, while in others the thing can be quite complicated.
Keep in mind that ultra-portable convertibles and other variants can have very limited internal access or even be impossible to open, so be very careful with this type of equipment.
To change the thermal paste we have to open the laptop, locate the area where the processor and the GPU are located (if you have a dedicated unit), remove the dissipation system, clean the remains of old thermal paste, apply the new paste, reassemble the cooling system and close the equipment.
2.-The energy plan matters: adapt it to each situation
Electronic components need to consume a certain amount of energy to function optimally and ensure a certain performance. If we reduce consumption the temperatures of these components will fall, and we may improve the autonomy of our laptop, but The performance will decrease.
We already talked about this issue at the time and we saw that, in the case of desktop PCs, it is best to opt in most cases for the high performance plan which brings Windows 10 by default. When we talk about a laptop we also have the option of switching between low consumption, balanced consumption and high performance plans, but the option to create personalized plans is much more interesting, since we can adapt it to our needs in a more precise way .
To create a custom power plan that allows us to increase performance in a balanced way we just have to follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key and type "Setting". We enter and follow the route «System> Home> Shutdown and Suspension ».
- On the right side we select the link that says «Additional Energy Configuration».
- Now we go to the left side and select the option «Create an Energy Plan».
- We choose the starting model among the options that appear («Balanced», «Economizer» or «High Performance») and enter a name
- We click next and go, we will have at our disposal a lot of configuration options to choose from to create our customized energy plan.
- In case we want to change the advanced settings of the energy plan that we have created, we must enter «Energy Options »>« Change Plan Settings »>« Change Advanced Energy Settings ».
3.-A clean system boot can be very useful
If we have a laptop with some very limited resources, especially as far as RAM In other words, clean system starts can help us start with a lower resource consumption, which, in some cases, can make a considerable difference and improve the user experience.
We are not facing something miraculous, but reduce the consumption of RAM between 200 and 1 GB can make a difference between being able to run certain applications or not, and it can also help us improve the fluidity of games, for example.
Clean boot supposes start the PC limiting to the maximum the applications and programs that would normally start in background. This is how we can activate it:
- Press the Windows key and type «Msconfig». We choose the result "System configuration".
- We go to the tab "Services" of the dialog box "System configuration" and activate the option «Hide all Microsoft services ». Finally we click on «Disable All».
- Now we go to the tab "Start" of the dialog box "System configuration" and we click on «Open Task Manager».
- We enter the tab "Start" of the "Task Manager", we select all startup items and click on "Deactivate".
- We close the "Task Manager" and we return to the tab "Start" of the dialog box "System configuration", we click on "To accept" and restart the computer.
4.-Maintenance and basic care
Every laptop requires some care and minimal maintenance to offer good performance and to keep in good condition. We have already talked about the importance of thermal paste, but at this point we will focus on two great enemies of any laptop worth its salt: the dirt and the neglect of their owners.
As time passes, dust and dirt accumulate in every corner of your laptop. You will notice it in a very clear way since it will be evident to the naked eye, but The most important thing is in what is not seen. I mean, as you could imagine, the dirt that accumulates inside the equipment.
As with any PC, laptops that have active cooling systems (fans) accumulate dust and dirt. Its effects are minimal at the beginning, but over the years, both can greatly reduce the effectiveness of fans and reduce your ability to Take out the hot air outside.
It can become an important problem, and if we join it to a thermal paste degraded by the passage of time The consequences can be very serious. Therefore, it is essential to regularly perform a minimum cleaning of the laptop internally, a process that is not particularly complicated in most cases, since it is enough to open the equipment and remove the dust and dirt accumulated. In my case I usually use the bristles of a clean and dry brush to remove the accumulated dust, but you can use a soft cloth.
In addition to cleaning the equipment it is important to keep it in good condition by giving it a series of basic care We leave you summarized below:
- Optimize storage units periodically using the Windows 10 tool.
- Performs periodic analyzes for malware and security threats. They can consume many resources and reduce the performance of your laptop almost to zero.
- Beware of the layers of customization and extensions, the latter for web browsers, since they can also consume many resources.
- Keep the equipment updated, both at the operating system and driver level.
5.-Increase virtual memory
It is a very helpful option for laptops that have low RAM (between 2 GB and 4 GB mainly), since it allows the system use a portion of the storage unit as virtual memory. In effect, this function "consumes" a certain amount of storage space of your HDD or SSD and uses it as memory.
Thanks to this function Windows 10 can get more memory when your computer's RAM is exhausted, be it a laptop or a desktop PC. Its operation is managed automatically by the operating system itself, which identifies the amount of RAM that we have installed and sets a minimum virtual memory base equal to that RAM and a maximum value three times the amount you have installed. For example, if you have 4 GB of RAM, the minimum virtual memory will be 4 GB and the maximum 12 GB.
Increasing the available virtual memory can help us improve system performance, and it is A fairly simple process. You just have to follow these steps:
- Press the Windows key and type "System".
- We came in «Advanced System Configuration> Performance> Configuration> Advanced Options».
- Once there we enter "Change" and uncheck the option to manage automatically.
- We indicate what unit we want to use and what values we want to use. Remember that they are expressed in megabytes
- We accept And that's it, we have more virtual memory available.