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Lex asked: “I have a dell all in one that is a few years old and caught a virus some time ago. It is out of warranty. I have reinstalled windows 8.1 from a flash drive sent to me from Dell when it was still under warranty and upgraded to windows 10 but it seems to run slow. Should I revert back to 8.1 which is what was installed when purchased? Any suggestions of what I can do to speed it up to utilize it for voice-over work using the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 interface and Ableton live lite as well as other included software.”
Lex, if Windows 8.1 was working better for you, there’s no reason for you not to go back to it. Ableton Live requires Windows 7 or newer, so 8.1 should not be a problem.
Windows 10 famously launched with pretty low minimum hardware requirements, it doesn’t really ask for anything more than Windows 8, but there’s a big difference between minimum and ideal. Your computer may just be struggling to keep up with the newer version Windows.
If this is primarily a business computer that you just use for voice-over work, you might want to get rid of any software that you don’t need or use on a regular basis. A lot of programs like to keep services running in the background, and if your computer is already working a little hard to keep up with the software you use, you might as well make it a little easier on it by getting rid of other programs competing for resources.
At our studios, we also use System Mechanic on our computers and it has helped some of them run a little better, so you could give something like that a try, but if your Windows installation is fairly new, there may not be all that much it can do to speed it up.
When you say it “runs slow”, that could mean anything. I don’t suggest you downgrade back to Windows 8.1, as mainstream support from Microsoft ended January of this year. You’ll still get security updates until 2023, but that’s about it. Things you should check: are all of Dell’s drivers installed correctly? Check in the System Device Manager for little exclamation points. Speed issues after an upgrade can often be traced to drivers not loading.
You need to look at how much RAM you have. Microsoft claims 2GB is enough but, Lex, that’s pure baloney! We always suggest at least 8GB of RAM for audio work. And you may benefit from upgrading to an SSD. Bottom line, Lex, we’re of the opinion you should never downgrade software — always upgrade hardware to fulfill your needs. ESPECIALLY with the software comes from Redmond, WA!
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