Tech Q&A: Some slow PCs can't be made much faster

Steve Alexander, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Business News

Q: About three months ago, I purchased an HP Pavilion laptop, model 17-ar050wm, that is clearly the slowest PC I've ever owned or used. I had a technician look for anything that could be turned off or deleted to make the PC run faster, but it hasn't helped. Is this a problem with the PC that I'll have to live with, or is there a remedy?

Tom McGrady, New Richland, Minn.

A: It is a problem that you will have to live with, although there are some workarounds to make the PC go a bit faster.

Online forums list many similar complaints about this 2018 HP laptop model, and they're all the result of the same problem: The PC's main processor and memory have to shoulder the entire computing load for the PC's high-definition screen.

Some PCs (typically the more expensive ones) solve this problem by including a secondary chip with its own memory to help with heavy-duty graphics processing. Because your PC has no secondary graphics chip, it runs slowly when its HD screen displays a lot of graphics.

One reviewer of this laptop noted that "graphics heavily slow down the processor, sometimes to the extent that even a simple web page will not load instantly" (see


That said, there are a few workarounds to moderately speed up your PC:

-- Don't leave multiple web pages open (particularly those that update automatically).

-- Don't run multiple programs at the same time.

-- Check the list of programs that automatically start when the PC does, and turn off unnecessary ones (see


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