How to Upgrade Processor Speed

A computer's central processing unit, or CPU, is sometimes referred to as the brain of a computer. A CPU carries out the millions of calculations necessary for a computer to operate. The speed of a CPU has a direct impact on the speed a computer can run its programs. Upgrading a processor's output speed can increase a computer's performance.

Step

Limit start up applications. Many applications start up when your computer turns on that are unnecessary and slow down a CPU. Click "Start," then "Run," and type "msconfig" and click "OK." Go to the "Startup" tab and uncheck any startup services that you have installed since you got your computer but do not use. Programs like winamp, AIM, media players, and other programs often launch at startup, even though there is no need for them to do so.

Step

Increase CPU cooling. A hot CPU runs much slower than one that is kept cool. Install extra case fans in your computer or install a better CPU heat sink or CPU fan. Running your computer with the case open and a large fan blowing across the motherboard is one way to make it run cooler temporarily while you prepare a more long-term solution.

Step

Defragment your hard drive. This makes it much easier for the processor to access and process information. To defragment click "Start," "All Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools," then "Disk Defragmenter." Note that defragmentation can take a long time, so you may want to run it overnight.

Step

Install a new, faster processor. Perhaps the most effective way to upgrade your processor speed is to replace it with a faster processor. To do this, you have to open the computer case, unscrew or unclamp the CPU heat sink and fan, unclip the old processor, and put in a new CPU. Then reinstall the heatsink and fan, and close the case. (see Resources).