My Lenovo Ideapad Z580 has a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and (nominally) a 1TB HDD. It runs Windows 8.1. I am a keen photographer, and an enthusiast of Photoshop CC alongside Adobe Bridge. I also have an extensive range of other software on the computer. I have a huge number of image files on the HDD, which now has only 76GB remaining free. I am increasingly finding, these days, that after I've been working on the computer for a hour or two (usually editing image files) it runs slower and slower. Functions within Photoshop (cropping, for example) which normally take a second or two can eventually take a minute or more to complete. At this stage, if close Photoshop and Bridge, leaving only Internet Explorer 11 open, I find that even it is running grindingly slowly. If I restart the computer, all functions return to normal for a while. Then, after a while, the same symptoms start to recur. My first thought is to fit a larger hard drive, with the idea that might give Photoshop more scratchpad space. But I don't know whether this would work. My next thought is to add extra RAM to the laptop, but I discover that the 8GB it already has is the maximum that this model will support. So, I'm now considering a new computer. But when I look at real upgrades to my current spec (ie: Core I7, 12 or 16GB RAM, 2 TB HDD) I find that the prices are pretty eye-watering. I'd be very grateful for any views on my best option for improving the performance of my existing computer. 1. What do you think is the most significant "throttling" factor on my computer? 2. Would an bigger capacity HDD prevent the slowdown that I'm experiencing? 3. As I can't upgrade the RAM, would a fast USB drive - say 32GB - make a real difference, if it's installed as a Readyboost device in a USB 2.0 port? All thoughts and views would be gratefully received, please.