How to Speed a Slow Processor

by Justin A. Mann

Computer processors, or "CPUs," are small devices inside PCs that act as the central brain of the computer. CPUs run the computer by performing most of the data calculations a computer encounters. Slow processors severely hamper computer performance by limiting the amount of calculations the computer can perform over a period of time. Slow CPU speeds are caused by enabled power saving options in the control panel, a bottleneck of CPU intensive processes hogging all the CPU power, and by severely fragmented hard drives, which decrease the efficiency of your PC and CPU immensely.

Navigate to your "Program Files" menu and click the "Accessories" folder. In Accessories open "System Tools" and click "Disk Defrag." Select your primary hard drive, usually "C," and click the "OK" button. Performing a defrag on your hard drive reorganizes your hard drive data logically and efficiently, cutting back on the time the CPU spends looking for data, and giving it more time to perform the desired task instead.

Hold the "Control," "Alt," and "Delete" keys and click "Task Manager" in the dialog window that opens. Click the "Processes" tab to bring it to the foreground. Look through the list of running processes. Close any CPU intensive processes running that are not vital to your PC, such as the Windows Sidebar and any background program processes. Each process removed frees up more of your processor's power for more important tasks.

Click the "Start" icon and choose the "Control Panel" option. Open the "Power Management" link. If your computer lists several preset power options, choose either "Balanced" or "High Performance," depending on your needs. Click the "Advanced" link and adjust the power settings to your liking. The most important field is the "Minimum CPU Usage" field. Editing the Minimum CPU Usage sets the level of CPU activity the CPU constantly maintains, even when not performing many process. A high number in this field concentrates all of your CPU power on any tasks it is performing.


  • check Some older desktop computer models do not have "Power Management" options. Little can be done outside of defragging, process removal, and physically upgrading the CPU, to further increase CPU speed.

About the Author

Justin A. Mann has been a freelance writer since 2007. Mann is experienced with computers and all things relating to swimming pools, and he uses his knowledge in these fields to write articles for various websites. Mann is an English major at East Central University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera cpu 9 image by Robert Molnar from