I'm a SW engineer. I'm just curious why computers become slow over time.
"Slow" here I mean from a usual user PoV:
- It takes more time to launch an application.
- Application UI takes longer to respond user interactions. Sometimes even freeze and unresponsive.
- Playing video files on local HDD becomes noncontinuous.
- Sometimes I type some text in "Notepad" program, when I finish pressing the keyboard, the characters have not shown up completely.
Of course, I googled. I know Wintel alliance. But I have downgraded Windows to an old version. That does not mitigate. As a SW engineer, I'm not satisfied about the sayings that SW needs more HW resources, malware, etc. That does not explain my confusion.
I'd rather believe that it is HW performance degrading. But I cannot explain why.
I have an old PC which was bought at the same time as Windows 7 released, i.e., late 2009:
- HW: Intel Pentium T4200 CPU, 2GB DDR2 RAM, HDD.
- SW: Windows 7. Lots of application SW.
- Performance: Can play 1080p x264-encoded mp4 videos smoonly.
Now, year 2022:
- HW: Added 2GB more DDR2 RAM, replaced the HDD with an SSD.
- SW: Reinstalled a fresh Windows 7 and disabled Windows Update. Only necessary SW (web broswer and video player).
- Performance: stuck when playing 720p x264-encoded mp4 videos.
Why? Same SW, even "improved" HW, but degraded performance.
- Heat. Lots of dust cover the fans. That degrades cooling capability.
- Power supply. The well-known "peak performance" issue on iPhone: Apple deliberately lower CPU frequency if battery health is < 80%.
Same situation with another computer (a mainstream model) bought in 2018. One and (almost) the only difference is that Windows 10 keeps updating over time. Its slowness can be perceived conspicuously by a human.