Upgrading Your Computer

Upgrading Your Computer

Upgrading your computer is usually driven by necessity. Generally speaking, its a case of wanting your computer to do something that it currently cant do or do particularly well. Below are some generalities on the upgrading process, whether it be a component upgrade or a whole computer upgrade. For advice on your particular issue, its best to email or call me on 07771 588577 and discuss what you would like. Whether it is worth upgrading is dependent on a number of factors including cost and the age of the machine. Bear in mind that most computers have about a 5 year life.

Sometimes upgrading one part of your computer necessitates upgrading another part too. For instance, upgrading your graphics card may require upgrading your power supply to cope with the extra demand for power that the graphics card requires.  Let us cover some commonly upgraded components.

Upgrading your Computer RAM (Memory)

RAM is the short term memory of the computer. Ram is cleared every time you switch your computer off. Having enough RAM to cope with all the back ground tasks and application running in the foreground is crucial to the smooth running of the computer. Each computer has a limit to the amount of RAM it can have installed but its almost certain it can take more than was installed in the factory where the computer was made.

RAM and upgrading your computer

This is the RAM picture for the current laptop I am using to write this section of the article. Overall installed RAM is 12gb (Gigabytes), as shown in the top right corner. 11.4 gb below that number shows what RAM is available. The Graph above that shows memory usage. In this case 7.2gb  with 4.1 gb available. If you are using only half or three quarters of your RAM for your everyday tasks, chances are you have enough RAM in your PC for your needs. If its above that 3/4 mark you might want to think about upgrading it. Depending on what you regularly do with the machine depends on the amount of RAM required.

Upgrading your Computer Graphics Card

Laptop graphics cards, 90% of the time, cannot be upgraded but a lot of desktop graphics cards can. Common reasons for upgrading your graphics card can be for gaming or for running 2 or more screens. As well as upgrading the graphics card you may need to upgrade the PSU (Power Supply Unit) too. This is because a lot of high end graphics cards require more power fed directly to the card from the PSU rather than drawing it from the motherboard as low end cards do.

The 2 major companies that make the graphics hardware are Nvidia and Radeon

Upgrading your Computer PSU (Power Supply)

As mentioned above, often a PSU is required when upgrading the graphics card. A PSU is measured in Watts and the more power required by your pc, the greater number of watts your upgrade PSU should be.

Below is a PSU calculator link, there are a number of different websites that do this but I have chosen one from Coolermaster

Power Supply Calculator

Upgrading your Computer Hard Drive – Long Term Memory

If you run a standard Hard Drive then you should consider an upgrade to a SSD (Solid State Drive) as this is the biggest performance boost you can do for your computer. Below is a video showing the speed advantages of an SSD.

Cooling and Additional Fans

First off, before spending money on upgrades it might be worth cleaning the fans. Also, investing in a can of compressed air may pay dividends. It’s useful for blowing dust out of fans on the computer.

Also, position may be affecting cooling performance. If there is not much space around the machine for cool air to get into it, that may impact on its cooling abilities. After all the cleaning, the Desktop is still not cooling effectively, it may be time to consider additional fans to keep cooling the machine. Depending on the size of the fan mountings in the PC depends whether you need a 80mm, 92mm, 140mm, 200mm or other size fan.

Upgrading Your Computer – Fans

Motherboard and CPU.

The Motherboard is usually upgraded in conjunction with the CPU (Processor). Motherboards are usually categorised by the Socket, which is the CPU fitting. Common Intel Sockets are LGA 1200 and LGA 1151, while AMD common sockets are AM4 and AM5. If you want to upgrade either you need to make sure that the old CPU is compatible with the the new motherboard and vice versa. But, usually the Motherboard and processor are done together.

 


FAQs

  1. How often should I upgrade my computer? Upgrade frequency depends on usage and needs. Indeed, or regular users a major upgrade every 3-5 years is common.
  2. Can I upgrade my laptop, or is it limited to desktops? There is a limit on upgrade options for laptops. Typically involving RAM or storage. Check your laptop’s specifications before attempting upgrades.
  3. Are professional upgrades expensive? Professional assistance may incur additional costs, but it ensures a hassle-free and error-free upgrade process.
  4. What should I do if my computer becomes slower after an upgrade? Slowdowns post-upgrade may indicate compatibility issues or inadequate testing. Revisit the installation process and seek professional help if needed.
  5. Is it necessary to upgrade both hardware and software simultaneously? Not necessarily. Assess your needs and prioritize upgrades based on performance bottlenecks.

Upgrading your Computer

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