Let me ask you a question if I may: at your church, how important is the performance of a computer system in your church production setting? My guess is that your answer is the same as mine…. it’s important. Having sluggish computer system performance is just not acceptable. I think you would agree with me.

There is nothing worse in my opinion than a sluggish computer system in a church production setting. Typically church production systems get more heavily taxed than a normal computer system that is used per se in an office environment. We multitask them with many things, church presentation software, multiple graphic/video capture cards, social networking tools and many other apps and processes in order to communicate the gospel with excellence and power. It’s for this reason that these heavily taxed systems need to be “beefed up” so that they can offer the performance capabilities that the church production demands every time they are used.

If we agree that computer system performance is important, then we have to do something to our existing computer systems as they age to keep them in an up-to-date high performing state. My recommendations for doing this to computer system’s that are between 1-4 years old are to perform 2 key hardware upgrades (i.e. put faster parts in them). These upgrades are guaranteed to boost performance.

What are these 2 hardware upgrades? Glad you asked.

Let’s start with the first one:

1. Use an SSD (Solid State Drive) for the operating system and applications – SSDs offer superior read and write performance and are well suited for use as system drives. There are all kinds of SSD’s on the market. SSD’s are significantly faster than a standard mechanical hard drive since they are chip based, instead of having a spinning disk inside with mechanical arm mechanisms that perform the read/write operations. The typical access time for an SSD is about 35 – 100 micro-seconds, whereas that of a rotating disk is around 5,000 – 10,000 micro-seconds. They are also more durable, and operate better in more extreme temperature conditions.

They are typically more expensive than a mechanical hard drive, but will definitely make your system boot up faster, bring up your programs faster and perform better over long periods of time. For your data, I would recommend putting that on a mechanical hard drive.

And lastly, here’s the second one:

2. Add Memory – Installing more memory speeds up performance by assigning more data to the chips and relying less on the hard disk, which makes launching and switching between apps quicker. Generally speaking, (and making the assumption that your system has a fairly decent processor in it) if you add more memory to your system, this is a fairly inexpensive way to boost performance. Adding memory is often considered the most significant upgrade you can make to increase performance.

As with upgrades to any computer system, you should always consider the cost of the upgrade vs. the cost of a new system. If the cost of the upgrade exceeds what the system is worth, then it’s not worth it. However, if the upgrade cost is significantly less than what the system is worth, it’s a wise investment that will bring forth great results.

What other upgrades have you done to your church production systems that has increased performance? Let me hear your thoughts and comments!

Bryan Brooks runs the blog, TechSabbathHabit, is an author and technology coach. He owns two small businesses, KB Media Group, LLC,  VITAL Production, LLC and serves as the Director of Technology at The Fathers House Church in Vacaville, CA.