Last updated on September 21st, 2018 at 05:36 am
Is your PC older than 5 years? Then it’s time to consider upgrades. If you have a laptop, you may want to consider buying a new machine. However, if you have a desktop, you can pick and choose which components to replace with better parts and save yourself some cash.
Upgrading your PC can either be easy or difficult depending on the hardware part you want to replace. For example, if you want to upgrade the monitor, that’s a super easy task even a computer savvy kid can accomplish. All you have to do is buy a new monitor and plug it in.
Then there are other upgrades that are a tad bit more complex. As a rule of thumb, consider if the hardware is located in the CPU or outside it. If the part you want to upgrade is inside the tower case, then you would need to do more than plug out the old part and plug in the new one.
Upgrading an older PC is a comprehensive process in most instances. Users would need to consider both software and hardware issues when trying to replace crucial components like the processor. This article will provide a quick and detailed brief on how you can start upgrading your older PC.
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Begin with an Assessment
Think you are ready to outfit your PC with the latest parts? Don’t be too hasty. First get an assessment of all the parts in your computer. You should know the systems your PC can support before you start upgrading.
First, do a software assessment and think about the type of supporting hardware you might want. For example, if you want to run a particular game, you might want to upgrade the GPU. If you want Bluetooth, you would need to install a Bluetooth hub in the tower case.
Keep this list in mind: computer processor, RAM capacity, HDD or SSD capacity, GPU, motherboard type, and cooling system. You will need these stats when shopping for newer parts.
Before you even contemplate an upgrade, you need to be clear on exactly what it is you hope to achieve. If you only have a vague idea that you want to “make your PC faster”, there’s a good chance you’ll end up disappointed. It’s easy to splash out money on something that won’t even address your problem.
Consider Why You Want to Upgrade Your PC
So you really want to upgrade your older PC, but do you know exactly why you need to do so? Quite commonly, PC users want to upgrade their computers to make them run faster. Then again, these types of needs may not require pricey hardware upgrades. If it’s speed you are looking for, you can try simpler tricks like deleting unwanted files and defragmenting disk drives.
Do keep in mind that upgrading an older PC can be a pricey process. The expenses can vary depending on what you want to upgrade. Still, it’s best to know exactly why you want to spend money on upgrades. Perhaps you want to improve the gaming experience on your PC or optimize it for better entertainment options. Knowing why you want new PC parts will help you research the parts you most need to spend money on.
Choose the Right Parts for Upgrading
Finally, it’s time to choose modest upgrades for your computer that are truly worth spending money on. Here are some of the most common parts you can consider replacing:
Improving the RAM capacity is a worthy upgrade for both older and newer PCs. A modern PC needs at least 4GB of RAM. You can improve the performance of your computer by upgrading the RAM to 8GB or more. Ideally, you can aim for 16GB of RAM, or 32GB if you really need it.
As mentioned above, think about why you need to upgrade your computer before buying more RAM. For example, if you are equipping your PC for gaming, then buy as much RAM as you can afford.
Still relying on an old Intel Pentium or a Celeron processor? Then you can certainly consider upgrading this part to make your PC more powerful than it used to be.
Keep in mind that upgrading the processor is a complex and pricey process. Think carefully if you really want to upgrade the processor or just want to buy a new computer.
One of the most popular upgrades for desktop PCs is the graphics card. A newer graphics card can allow your computer to run newer games and graphics software.
Before you upgrade the GPU, make sure the other parts of the computer are compatible. The GPU should be compatible with the existing processor and RAM capacity. More importantly, it should be compatible with the type of motherboard that’s in the tower case. Lastly, the cooling process of your computer should be able to keep it fanned unless the unit comes with its own fan.
You can consider replacing an old 500GB HDD with a newer model or an SSD. This replacement doesn’t have to be expensive or complex. However, do understand that replacing an HDD with an SSD may cost some storage space.
There are many other parts you may think of upgrading, such as the cooling system. Buying the right part is largely similar for each part: Research the part you want and hunt online for the best price.
Calculate the Price of Upgrades against Buying a New PC
Do sit down and crunch the numbers to understand whether upgrading your dusty and aged PC is actually worth the money. Would it be better to just buy a new computer instead?
There are no easy criteria to determine whether you should upgrade parts or buy a new machine. If it’s a specific improvement you want, such as more memory, then you can easily upgrade that part. In case there are many parts that need improving, then you need to consider the overall costs of custom improvement versus the retail price for a new computer.
It depends on how old your computer is too. If it’s older than 7 years, then you are probably better off buying a newer PC with the latest parts. But if your computer is less than 6 or 7 years old, just upgrade specific parts.
You should do an additional calculation and price all the upgrades you need. Compare this against how much it would cost you to buy a new computer. The price difference between the two should be more than a hundred dollars.
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Upgrading an older PC can definitely improve its performance and save you the cost of buying a brand new computer. However, you shouldn’t approach the upgrading process rashly. Start by listing the parts you hope to upgrade and what you want to get out of it.
Then you need to calculate the expenses for everything you need. In some cases, buying a new computer might just be worth it than buying many new parts. Once you have taken all this into account, you will be ready to upgrade your aged PC.
Ollie Mercer blogs extensively about tech-related topics. He’s been interested in the industry since college days. Born and raised in the Big Apple, he currently resides in California, closely following tech industry trends.