Without knowing the specifics of your setup, there are a few things you can do:
- Make sure you have enough RAM for the types of applications that you're running - if you're mainly browsing and working on MS Office-type documents, 4 GB is likely to be enough (especially for 32 bit systems). If you're running more memory intensive applications like Photoshop, running virtual machines, doing software development with a lot of tools running, or gaming, you will probably need more RAM (8+ GB)
- Check your Windows Experience Index - According to this post:
Try using Using the Windows Experience Index, which is a feature built
into Windows, you will understand how well Windows will perform on a
specific PC, and make the buying process of new PCs, hardware
upgrades, and software simpler.
To determine your WEI score, click on
Start and then right click on
Properties from the menu and the
window opens.Click on
Windows Experience Index under the
section in the middle of the window. This opens the
Information and Tools window.If you haven’t run the
yet, click on
Run the Assessment in the bottom right hand corner of
the window. If you have already run the assessment, you subscores and
score should be displayed in the window.
The memory score measures the bandwidth of moving
data into and out of memory in Mega Bytes per Second. The higher the
bandwidth, the better the memory.
Not having enough memory is a limiting factor on performance. As a
result, the amount of memory in the system constrains the score value.
The amount of system memory is determined by the overall system memory
minus any memory reserved for graphics (if any).
- Make sure that your machine is not infected by any malware - run antivirus and other diagnostic software to make sure your system is clean. Infected machines can have performance issues because the malware is diverting your system resources for other purposes.
- Confirm that your system has enough free hard drive space - if your hard drive doesn't have much free space, system performance can suffer.
- Switch to a SSD - these flash devices offer significantly faster I/O than disk-based products, albeit at higher prices for smaller capacities.
Finally, Microsoft also has a page devoted to optimizing Windows 7 performance. Key suggestions:
- Try the Performance troubleshooter
- Delete programs you never use
- Limit how many programs run at startup
- Defragment your hard disk
- Clean up your hard disk
- Run fewer programs at the same time
- Turn off visual effects
- Restart regularly
- Add more memory
- Check for viruses and spyware
- Check your computer's speed
- Don’t settle for slow
Ultimately, there are a lot of factors that can impact system performance. One or more of the factors above are likely to be limiting factors - addressing those issues can improve perceived peformance of your computer.