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Tips for improving performance on a super cheap ($400) laptop?

#1Im with StupidPosted 3/15/2014 2:30:02 AM
My gf just got a cheap laptop ($400ish), basically just for browsing the internet, watching netflix, and writing papers, and hopefully all three at once without the computer slowing down.

I'm afraid I don't have the specs on me right now. I know the cpu and gpu were pretty bad, it had 4gbs of ram, and windows 8.

Any tips for getting the best performance out of it? I'm gonna play around with it tomorrow so I've been trying to think of what all I can do to improve it.

-I was thinking about trying something like Ubuntu, but I've never actually used it, and I don't think she'd want it, so that's probably not much of an option.

-Setting the power usage to high performance will hopefully help a bit, right?

-I'm sure there are a lot of unnecessary programs installed and background programs running that I could either uninstall or disable, any good guide or tool for figuring out which ones to remove? I just heard of the program razer game booster and it says it disables unnecessary background programs, anyone have experience with it or other programs like it?

-I know lowering the resolution of a game can help performance, but will lowering the resolution of the whole laptop help performance for say like, having lots of tabs open in a browser? I'm guessing not, but wanted to check.

-Are firefox and chrome fine for browsers, or are there better ones designed for low end computers to give faster browsing?

-Any drivers I should look into updating? Would updated drivers for the gpu help non-gaming performance?

-I should probably check to see if things like java and flash are up to date, right? I know she was having trouble with a browser game called realm of the mad god, which seems crazy to me even if it is a super cheap laptop, so I'm hoping updating those can help, but I'm not sure what else to try.

Any other tips? I'm gonna play around with it tomorrow and run a few browser games, emulators, low graphic indie games, maybe a few free2play games with better graphics, and maybe WoW on it's lowest setting at 800x600, just to get a feel for how it handles.

There's a good chance she'll return it for a slightly more expensive one ($500ish), but figured I'd see what could be done with this one before we bring it back.

Thanks!
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#2jedinatPosted 3/15/2014 2:35:00 AM(edited)
Pretty much all your ideas aren't really going to do anything for you, lol.

I mean sure, updating drivers is good, but probably won't help much. Removing bloatware is always good, but isn't going to do any miracles.

Don't touch the resolution.
#3fataliPosted 3/15/2014 3:46:06 AM
Some types of bloatware do slowdown a PC, you may win a bit of performance cleaning it up.

If the laptop came with Mcaffe or norton, get rid of those too and get a lighter antivirus, maybe even use Windows's .

That game is available in steam for free, you could try to run it directly from there instead of running it from a browser, that should speed it up a bit.
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#4tuffguy34Posted 3/15/2014 12:05:50 PM
Disable aero. It tends to cause issues with integrated gpus especially intel in my experience.
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#5ArkonBladePosted 3/15/2014 12:43:02 PM
specs would help.

normally now you can get a quad core laptop for around $400-$500,

The GPU is never any thing special but should let you run games ok with it. as long as you are not a FPS junkie.
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#6EgoKiller801Posted 3/15/2014 1:13:06 PM
It sounds like your GF is working with a similar laptop as mine. My specs:

Core i3-3120M @ 2.50 Ghz
Intel HD Graphics 4000
Windows 8 64-Bit
4 GB RAM

So yeah, not exactly running a gaming rig here. I got rid of all my bloatware that came with the damn thing and also Norton (came with it). Norton really seemed to cause me issues. I would recommend to get rid of it. Windows Defender seems to be fine and not consume ridiculous amounts of memory. It also doesn't sit there and bombard me with "Your subscription expires in 13 days! Renew now!" messages every day. Also, when I left it on there stupidly after the subscription ran out, it still consumed memory and did nothing. Get rid of that jerk.

I don't really have any non-gaming issues, although I don't do a ton of multi-tasking. Weirdly, I too played Realm of the Mad God for a while, and the issues I was having with it involved my less than satisfactory internet. Making sure your Java and Flash are up to date couldn't hurt though (most browser games are Flash though btw, although i think some like Runescape are Java-based).

On my older laptop, I tried out Razer to see if it would help, and it seemed to not do much at all, so I really wouldn't recommend it.

Checking to make sure your drivers are up to date should just be something you do, but I doubt it would help your cause.

As for browser... I use Firefox and love it. Many people love them some Chrome though. Can't go wrong with either one, and they are both better than Internet Explorer that's for certain.

As for WoW... Never played it, but by all accounts I've heard, it's not terribly intensive. If your GF's laptop has similar qualities as mine, she could play some decent games. I can play games like The Witcher, Minecraft, Fable 3, and Torchlight 2 without any troubles.

As others have stated though, we can't really tell what's going on without the specs. Knowing what your OS and RAM is a start, but knowing what your GPU and CPU your packin' will be something needed.
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