Q: I have a relatively new Toshiba Qosmio laptop that’s designed for high-performance computer gaming and has a video accelerator card to improve graphics. But I use the laptop to run two video editing programs that require a lot of computing power.
Despite all the PC’s power, I’m still getting stuttering playback on some of the videos I edit, even those with a limited number of special effects. I think this means I need more RAM (random access memory), so I’ve been trying use the additional RAM on the PC’s video accelerator card, an Nvidia GeForce GTX 770M. But the video editing programs can’t access that RAM. What can I do?
Paul Kinsella, Chanhassen
A: You do need more high-speed memory for your video editing work. Typically that would mean more RAM, which can store and retrieve data much faster than a PC hard drive.
But you can’t make your video editing programs access the extra RAM on your PC’s video accelerator card, because that RAM is dedicated to gaming. And even if you could, it would add only 3 gigabytes to the 16 gigabytes of RAM that your PC already has.
A better way to get more high-speed memory is to use the Windows “ReadyBoost” feature that’s been available since Windows Vista debuted in 2006. ReadyBoost allows your PC to supplement its RAM with as much as 256 gigabytes of high-speed memory from attached flash memory devices, such as USB flash drives (those using USB versions 2.0 or 3.0) or camera storage cards (those using the Secure Digital or CompactFlash formats). For details, including how to turn on ReadyBoost, see tinyurl.com/ns5bcmc.
The only situation in which ReadyBoost won’t help is if you have the Toshiba Qosmio model that comes with both a hard disk drive and a 256-gigabyte “solid state drive,” which is a flash memory device that fits inside the PC. The ReadyBoost feature is disabled if you’re already using the solid state drive.
Q: Since bringing my laptop home after a trip out of state, it will no longer print anything from the Internet via my Google Chrome browser. If I use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, I can print my Yahoo e-mail, but I still can’t print anything else online. I can still print from the Word and Excel programs on my PC. What’s wrong?
Fred Simon, Miami
A: Because only your ability to print from the Internet is affected, I suspect the problem is not your laptop, browser or printer, but some malicious software your laptop picked up during your travels. Try running the free security programs Malwarebytes (see tinyurl.com/lm3wdcb) and CCleaner (tinyurl.com/okyvdo7).
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