If your computer begins to have trouble running a powerful new program that you’ve installed, begins to run out of disk space, or simply begins to slow down in general, it can be tempting to simply do away with it and buy a new one. In some cases, however, this is not necessary, and money can be saved by simply upgrading certain hardware components of the computer you already have. “Hardware” simply refers to the actual parts that make up a computer (RAM, hard drive, CPU, Graphics card, etc). These parts can become outdated, or simply wear down as time goes by.
One thing to make sure of before upgrading, however, is that the problems you’re having are a result of outdated/worn down hardware. There’s no point in replacing a hardware component if it’s not causing the problem. A lot of computer “slowness” results from viruses or other malware working behind the scenes without your knowledge. Disk fragmentation, which gradually builds
up as you use your computer, can also play a role. These are just a few of the non-hardware related issues that can slow down a computer. If you suspect that any of these non-hardware related issues are causing your computer to run slowly, then you might want to look into a PC Medic Pro System Tune-up.
If you’ve done the above, and your computer still does not run to your liking, a hardware upgrade could be in order. In this case, the question arises as to which hardware component to upgrade. Here is a brief rundown of the roles played by each component.
- RAM: Random Access Memory. Plays a very important role in overall speed of the computer. If your computer becomes especially slow when you run many programs at the same time, a lack of RAM is most likely at fault. When upgrading RAM, keep in mind that if your computer runs a 32 bit operating system, it can support no more than 4 GB.
- CPU: Central Processor Unit. Often described as the “brain” of the computer. Some programs rely heavily on CPU speed, and so upgrading it can give a boost. Replacing a CPU, however, is not an easy task for those who are not experienced. Additionally, you might not see a performance boost from installing a new CPU if you don’t have enough RAM installed.
- Graphics card: Can have an especially large benefit if you play any graphics intensive games, or like to do video editing. Otherwise, unless you happen to know that you have a very old one, it might be useful to upgrade another component instead.
- Hard drive: If you are running out of space on your current hard drive, this is certainly a reason to upgrade. However, you could also look into buying a cheaper external hard drive. This is a good option if you have a lot of files on your current hard drive that you rarely use. If this option does not appeal to you, you could also look into the possibility of installing multiple hard drives onto your current computer. Many desktop motherboards support this option. Hard drives can also play a role in the speed of your computer. The hard drive’s RPM (revolutions per minute) determines how quickly the computer can access information from the hard drive. Upgrading to a hard drive with a higher RPM can often result in greater performance.
If you have purchased a new hardware component and would like help installing it, or you are feeling overwhelmed by the whole process in general, you can look into our PC hardware upgrade service.