PC Performance

I use my PC day in and day out to run my online business. So it’s important that my PC doesn’t get gummed up with bloatware and hidden processes that eat up memory.

Chrome is my work-a-day browser but I don’t like it. I use it because I have to – there are browser extensions I use that aren’t available for other browsers. And I don’t like that Google (who own the browser) track everything I do through it.

It’s also a memory hog.

I have over 100 tabs open at any one time and I’ll easily open and close another 100+ tabs per day doing research. Chrome doesn’t clean up after itself. Little bits of memory get eaten up each time a tab is opened, and not all that memory is released when a tab is closed.

Keeping A PC Ticking Over

System Mechanic Dashboard

I use a tool called System Mechanic to monitor and tune up the health of my PC. Part of it sits in the background keeping my PC running smoothly. Part of it is an app you run to clean up various aspects of your PC.

As the hours go by each day, I can see from a gadget I’ve added to my desktop that my RAM (system memory) usage climbs and climbs until my PC starts stuttering and things like opening Save windows take 10s of seconds.

That’s pretty much all down to Chrome not cleaning up after itself. Cleaning the temporary internet files it creates doesn’t affect how it uses RAM.

Another consequence of its bad memory management is that when RAM usage gets high, I frequently get the infamous Waiting for cache issue where Chrome just sits there doing nothing. Well, it is doing something in the background; and whatever it is doing, it pretty much freezes my PC. It’s then time to go for a long coffee break until Chrome finishes what it’s doing before other processes start running again.

System Mechanic has a function to Defragment Memory. This essentially releases and frees up memory held captive by Chrome and other processes. I use it a couple of times a day to keep my PC running smoothly.

But Chrome is such a RAM hog that, inevitably, I have to shut it down completely. And that can take several minutes(!) depending on how much RAM it’s chewed up. On the bad days, I have to do a cold reboot to fully clear out Chrome’s effects on my system and get a fast-running PC again.

Another issue I have with Chrome is that it insists on loading every page on every open tab when you start it. If my internet connection is active I can see RAM usage shoot up from 29% to 77% in a matter of seconds. It then stays there and a cold boot is required again.

So I have to switch off my internet connection, start up Chrome, then click every open tab to get Chrome to attempt to load each page and fail. This way it uses minimal RAM per tab.

You may wonder why I have so many open tabs. I have affiliate offers open, review pages, research pages, things I need to switch between quickly when checking earnings at affiliate sites, writing posts or reviews, researching stuff to post on social media sites. I do categorize stuff into Chrome windows. Chrome will display a max of 91 tabs on a 1680×1050 resolution screen. Additional tabs can be open in the window but are inaccessible (they’re hidden to the right beyond the last visible tab). And if you don’t remember that they’re there, that’s another way for Chrome to eat up your RAM.

Slow PC

Another way my PC can get slowed down is from the various bits of software I install. I have to do this to review various apps and bits of software for you guys. Uninstallers don’t always clean up properly and some apps, even if useful, may have a detrimental impact on PC performance.

And, over time, as stuff gets installed and uninstalled, software and files on my hard drive become more and more fragmented. System Mechanic lets me defragment my drives and it re-aligns the program data on my drive too so software runs more efficiently.

It also gives me control over the boot sequence for the PC. I can turn startup software on or off (for faster boot times) and can delay some services during boot time to again boost startup performance.

System Mechanic also allows me to clean up, compress and backup my Registry. Another performance boost.

There’s also the Active Care module where you can set up how you want System Mechanic to automatically tune up your system.

Anyone who uses Windows knows that as time goes by, their PC gets slower and slower. It doesn’t matter what version of Windows you use.

I have a dedicated games PC I built. It runs Windows 10. The only software I have on it are games and related software from Steam and GOG (games suppliers). So a minimal number of installs compared to my work PC.

It used to boot in about 30 seconds. Now it takes about 4 minutes. What I found was that after Windows Update downloaded and installed an upgrade, my PC would get slower. Nothing else would have been added between successive updates, no new games, no additional software.

Windows Update alone kills boot performance, at least on Windows 10. It probably does the same on all versions of Windows though I’ve no proof of that. It’s merely a supposition.

The iolo Labs Tests

Recent benchmark tests performed by iolo Labs have shown that using the Startup Optimizer tool in System Mechanic can significantly improve PC boot time performance.

Over 40 commonly used programs and browser add-ons were installed on four PCs with varying processor, hard drive and memory configurations, including a convertible tablet, ultrabook, desktop and notebook. Diagnostic tests were run to analyze the effects of System Mechanic on these and other major components of a PC.

Results

  • The total aggregate score (across all PCs) for Startup Time was: 89.77% improved.
  • The Windows 10 Desktop took 148.4 seconds to boot, but after running System Mechanic, the PC was up and running in 48.2 seconds–over 200% faster.
  • Optimizing with System Mechanic had a dramatic positive impact on the time to boot a Windows PC

For each PC’s startup results, see the chart below:

Benchmark Charts: Startup Speed

The above data illustrate that System Mechanic can improve the startup performance of a PC. Moreover, the tool within System Mechanic that allows this improvement contributes to the overall performance of a PC by preventing unwanted applications from launching at startup in the first place.

Startup Optimizer specifically discovers unnecessary bloatware executing during your system’s boot, which if left unchecked not only slows startup but causes performance drain the entire time your PC is running.

Startup Optimizer alerts you to these unwanted startup items, and allows you full control over which non-critical ones to leave turned on and which you want disabled from launching at startup. The result is a faster, more responsive computing experience.

How Metrics Were Tested

Performance metrics were collected during tests run five times before and five times after System Mechanic was installed on each machine, with the scores averaged to deliver results across the following categories:

  • PC Boot Time
  • Internet (Download Speed)
  • CPU (Processor)
  • RAM (Memory)
  • GPU (Graphics)
  • Drives (HDDs and SSDs)

To measure boot time, or Windows startup time, iolo Labs recorded data using the Windows Event Viewer (Applications and Service LogMicrosoft-Windows-Diagnostics-Performance/Operational, Event ID100).

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