Why Do Videos Run Slow on My Computer?

By Rianne Hill Soriano

Videos running slow may be caused by hardware or software problems.
i icons for video and audio image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com

Videos that don't run properly in video software or a web browser may be caused by either hardware or software problems. A sub-par video card, RAM or computer processor and sometimes even outdated video players and old software drivers can cause problems such as the video playing out of sync with the audio.

Video Card

The video card is a device connected to the computer's motherboard that is used to handle the processing and rendering of image to the computer's monitor. Very old video cards may not be able to play certain videos like high definition (HD) videos, as they require the use of more powerful video cards. Updating the video card driver software may be enough to play videos properly in the computer.


The RAM (random access memory) is responsible for storing temporary data needed when operating the computer. If you have low RAM--516MB and below--your computer will have a hard time playing videos properly since there is only a small storage space to utilize the needed data.


The computer processor feeds strings of instructions to order, execute and process data. It selectively stores required data in its cache for quick retrieval. It works with the RAM and other storage devices to do various tasks needed by a computer application. Although processors of even new, low-end computers sold in the market as of 2010 are relatively faster now, an old processor, especially a single-core processor, provides slower performance when playing videos. There are many dual core or even quad core processors already available in the market today. These processors are required in computers used for editing videos. A 2-GHz processor is good enough to play HD videos.