Why buy a new computer when you can simply make upgrades to your current one? You’ll find that—with the right planning—it’s much cheaper to upgrade your computer hardware than to buy a brand new model. Upgrading also enables you to customize your computer so that it’s optimized for all the unique tasks that you regularly perform.
Upgrading is much easier than you think. You don’t need to be an electronics expert to do it. All you need is a basic understanding of:
- The basic computer components
- Your own computing needs
So before you start upgrading your computer, here are a few important things you should know.
Know Your Needs
What do you use your computer for? PC games? Digital editing? Audio production? Office programs? Web browsing? Streaming movies? Figure out what you use your computer for most often. This will help you determine which upgrades you need to make.
If you’re a PC gamer, for example, you might need to upgrade your graphics card. If you produce music, you might consider upgrading your computer’s audio equipment. Identify which facets you need the best performance from and upgrade the hardware accordingly.
Build Around the Processors
Your computer might benefit most from new processing units. Processors are likely to be your most expensive upgrade, so take caution when you’re selecting your replacement.
The two main processors in your computer are the CPU (central processing unit) and GPU (graphics processing unit). The CPU basically operates all your computer programs. A good CPU means fast performance. A GPU is tasked with creating all the visuals that are going to be displayed on your monitor. A good GPU means higher-quality graphics.
If you’re on a budget, you might have to choose between either a CPU or a GPU, considering that each can be very expensive. There’s an interesting article on the “GPU vs. CPU” debate that’s relevant for both PC gamers and anyone who’s looking to upgrade one or both of the processors.
A Good Graphics Card Needs a Good Monitor
Sometimes, your graphics card is only as good as your monitor. Your graphics card might be able to render images at a high frame rate, but if your monitor can’t keep up, you might suffer from a visual distortion called screen tearing. What’s screen tearing? Screen tearing is where one half of your screen is the correct image, while the other half of your screen is the outdated image that hasn’t been updated yet.
If you’re going to get a high-powered graphics card, make sure you also have a monitor that has a high refresh rate so you won’t experience screen tearing.
Don’t Forget About Ventilation
If you’re going to buy ultra-fast processors, be aware that these processors generate a lot of heat when they’re tackling intensive applications. Overheating could severely damage your computer hardware, so consider upgrading your computer’s fan. If there’s room in your computer, get a larger fan that can better circulate the air inside of the machine.
Also consider buying processors with built-in fans. Some graphics cards come with integrated single or double-fan mechanisms that cool the GPU. These are a great way to reduce the overall heat inside your computer.
Little Accessories Go A Long Way
Upgrades aren’t exclusive to internal hardware. You can drastically improve your experience by upgrading your sound system, peripherals, and monitor. Try an ergonomic keyboard, or a curved monitor, or surround-sound speakers with bass frequencies. These kinds of upgrades can go a long way in making your experience more immersive and intuitive.
Don’t Break the Bank
We’re guessing that the main reason you want to upgrade your computer is that you want to save money. If money was no object, you’d go out and buy an expensive, brand new, top-of-the-line model, right? Upgrading your computer hardware is a great way to give your computer the most up-to-date technology while also not breaking the bank.
When you buy a new computer, you’re buying new everything: a new processor, a new graphics card, new storage, etc. But when you upgrade your computer, you only have to upgrade the hardware that’s most important in improving your computer experience.
Now that the knowledge is deposited into your memory bank, you’re ready to give you’re a computer a makeover inside and out. Just be sure to do some research on how to disconnect the old hardware and plug in the new hardware. Watch a few tutorials and you’ll pick it up easily.