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Common Computer Misconceptions


As a computer technician, I hear a lot of things about computers every day that make me think, "Wow that sounds logical, but it's totally wrong."

Here are a just a few of the most common misconceptions people have about computers.


1. More RAM will make my PC faster.

Well yes and no. A more accurate statement would be to say that:

"A computer without sufficient RAM will not be as fast as it could be"

An analogy I like to use is that of a man carrying some water. If the man has a 5 litre bucket and wishes to carry 5 litres of water, then giving him a 10 litre bucket will not allow him to carry it any faster. However, if he only has a 2.5 litre bucket then he will have to make twice as many trips.

As a rough guideline, here are the minimum amounts of RAM I recommend for different versions of windows:

Windows XP: 1Gb

Windows Vista/7 32bit: 2Gb

Windows Vista/7 64bit: 3Gb


2. My Computer is slow because I have too many photos and videos

This is completely untrue.

Unless you have some software on your machine that is constantly accessing your photos or videos they will not slow your machine down.

You can store as many non-executable files as you like on your hard drive, provided you leave windows sufficient free space (about 10%-20%) for its needs.


3. If I leave my computer on it will last longer

This is an interesting one.

While it is true that repeatedly turning your PC on and off will cause thermal fatigue effects and shorten its lifespan, the effect is negligible.

In fact most hardware failures we see, are from machines that have been left on for a great deal of time and built up a thick layer of dust over the internal cooling surfaces. This causes the computer to fail prematurely due to overheating.


4. I have an Antivirus package so I can't have picked up a virus

Unfortunately no antivirus package is 100% effective.

New viruses are released every day and it takes time for AV software manufacturers to examine these new nasties and create a defence for them. During this time you are vulnerable and should you contract one of these new viruses it will typically attack your AV package and disable it leaving you open to all the older viruses floating around the internet.

JF Computer Services

31 Ridgeway, Nailsea, North Somerset, BS48 2EG

01275 546155