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Will Some Cleaning Up Be Enough Or Do You Need A New PC?

Old PC

Richard in North Pole, Alaska listens on NewRadio 970 KFBX and asked:

“My wife has an older computer. It’s a couple years old. When she’s on Facebook and wants to run a video that’s on the Facebook page, it jerks and jitters. I wanted to know if that would be a problem within Facebook or a problem with her video card in her computer.”


The video player on Facebook works fairly well, we’d say. Certainly on par with YouTube, by comparison. Could the performance of the computer negatively affect the video playback? Absolutely it could.

But so can Internet bandwidth. To stream an HD video you need a fairly stable 5 megabit per second connection. Depending on the resolution and bitrate you might be able to use less, but our general rule of thumb is 5 megabits per stream for HD, 25 megabits per second for 4K (or UltraHD) video.

If her computer displays buffering symbols when these problems occur, That sounds like bandwidth. If it simply skips sections of the video, That sounds like dropped frames, which would point to the computer.

Does it work with YouTube or Vimeo? In other words, is this a general video playback issue or is it a problem with Facebook? If you do a little sleuthing, you can figure out what’s going on. It’s either bandwidth or a too-slow computer. If other computers on the same network are having no issues, that would probably rule out bandwidth.

It might be time to go shopping at the computer store.

Jai sent us a message about how much of an improvement people can actually expect from cleaning up an old computer

Jai said: “On this weekend’s episode of into tomorrow you had a guest on who suggested that if you had an old computer that was running slow, it wasn’t necessarily because the computer was old but rather because it needed “maintenance”.

This is misleading, sure it could be possible that the cpu is being slowed down due to malware, spyware, toolbars, or other add-ons that may have been unwittingly installed by the user, but more likely slow downs are attributed to out-of-date processors running updated versions of programs that are too demanding on the user’s current CPU and/or RAM configuration.

I work help desk at several small office buildings around the bay area and it infuriates me to no end when people tell me they want me to speed up their computer–“it’s not running fast like it used to anymore”.

It’s hard to explain to them that it’s slow because they have recently upgraded to Windows 10, and are trying to use Internet Explorer 11 with 12 tabs open on a dual core processor from 2006 with 2GIGS of RAM. Ughhh, please help dispel this rumor that slowing computers are just in need of “maintenance” which–lets be honest–usually consists of clearing cache, deleting temporary files, uninstalling bloat-ware, and running malware bytes. And that it may, in fact, be time for a hardware upgrade. Love the show. Thanks

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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