What component upgrades increase a computers performance?


When buying a cheap new laptop or desktop, the cost-cutting process often involves using a slow processor or hard drive. Luckily, these parts are easy to upgrade yourself! Just look up your computer’s hardware compatibility list to see if you can upgrade, but make sure you don’t also need a new motherboard.

Certain upgrades will depend on your knowledge of computers. Upgrading graphics cards is one example: while it increases speed, sometimes there isn’t room inside the case or other components may not be compatible. Skip this upgrade if you’re not confident doing it yourself.

If done correctly, upgrading should add at least a couple of years to the life of your computer.

As long you’re not trying to run demanding programs like virtual reality games or Photoshop on a machine bought in 2009, then there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t be able to double your working speed by updating your components. Just keep in mind that certain parts are more beneficial than others when it comes to speed. Make sure the upgrades you have planned are actually going to work and not cause more problems.

Whether you’re simply looking to upgrade your old PC to make it a little bit faster or hoping to try out virtual reality gaming without spending hundreds of dollars on a new computer, the following list should help you plan which components are best suited for upgrading your computer’s speed. We have explained this further in our previous post about what you should upgrade on an old computer.

When thinking about what can be done to increase the speed of your computer, upgrading your hard drive and adding more RAM are good places to start as these components play a large role in how quickly information is processed.

A Hard Drive Upgrade

Upgrading an old or underpowered hard drive with a new solid-state drive will result in better speeds when it comes to reading or writing files. Not only will this reduce load times, but you may notice fewer lag instances. This upgrade can help computers that use any kind of Microsoft Windows running system, Mac OS X, Chrome OS or other Linux-based operating systems. With storage capacities skyrocketing thanks to manufacturers like Samsung and SanDisk bringing down prices, there’s no reason not to choose a bigger SSD for that new computer.

hard-disk-disassembled If your computer runs Windows 10 or 8, then upgrading to a Solid State Drive (SSD) may be a slightly better option than an upgrade to its traditional counterpart. Many people’s only complaint with SSDs is their capacity; however, they also tend to run much faster than traditional hard drives.

If your computer runs Windows 7, then upgrading to an SSD is arguably the best upgrade you can make because of its relatively low price point. The more expensive software packages tend to be quicker than their free or less expensive counterparts ; however, this may not always be the case. While they are slightly slower than SSDs , they are still much faster than traditional hard drives.

RAM Upgrade

Another way to increase the speed of a computer is by upgrading an old or underpowered RAM drive with a larger solid-state drive. This will give your system access to more memory, reducing lag and increasing load times. This upgrade can help computers that utilize Microsoft Windows running systems, Mac OS X, Chrome OS or other Linux-based operating systems.

The amount of RAM you “should” have varies depending on the applications you use, but typically 1GB of RAM for every 2 large programs should be enough. For example, 1GB of RAM for Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Microsoft Word 2013 should be sufficient if you only open those two programs simultaneously. If you want to game while using other memory-intensive procedures, then upgrade accordingly depending on how much memory that process takes up.

Upgrading RAM can increase performance significantly. If your laptop or desktop is slowing down, check the user manual to find out how much memory it can take. You might be able to pack in more than what’s already there, giving you a nice speed boost for very little money!

When shopping for additional memory, consider DDR3 vs DDR4 and SDRAM vs DDR . These represent different speeds. For the most part you’ll want to stick with the same speed as your current RAM. If you’re adding more than what’s already in there, go for faster and watch out for compatibility issues.

When done correctly, upgrading should add at least a couple of years to the life of your computer.

CPU Upgrade

A third way to upgrade your computer’s speed is by installing an upgraded processor chip (central processing unit). The CPUs are one of the most important aspects of any PC because they are the brains of your computer. Installing a faster CPU will allow you to multi-task more smoothly, reducing lag within graphic-heavy programs like Adobe Photoshop or even gaming applications.

These days, most computers already come with an i5 or i7 processor that will be good enough for just about any task. However, if you have an older computer running on an outdated Intel Pentium Duo Core Processor , then there is no question that it needs replacing.

Last but not the least

If you want to speed up your computer, the first thing you should do is make sure you have all the most recent updates. A new operating system (like Windows 10) has more efficient code that will help your computer run faster, but it can’t work any miracles if you let files pile up over time! This means uninstalling unnecessary programs and deleting temporary internet files.

You could remove unnecessary files from your computer to free up space, however you might want to back up any important documents first because deleting them would be permanent unless they’re on an external storage device.

A good knowledge of hardware and software and how they both work together can help immensely in improving computer speed. So next time you’re looking for a performance boost, try one of these methods before changing out parts or spending money!

Always remove old hardware before adding new! If you have one USB 3.1 port and one 2.0, don’t expect them both to run at full speed simultaneously. Hardware is usually backwards compatible with older standards, so if your PC still has room for it, go ahead and swap out devices occasionally – just not all at once.

If you’re in Melbourne then you are in luck as our technicians do upgrades to PCs for homes and businesses.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...