Start by taking stock of what you’ve got. Sometimes an upgrade simply isn’t worth the trouble and it’s painfully obvious. For example, if your car is 20 years old, demands a constant supply of spare parts and you sometimes move it like Fred Flintstone… then it’s time to replace the rust-bucket! However, if your car is decently modern and in reasonably good condition but happens to stall at stop signs, a few quick fixes can be just what the mechanic ordered.
This is how we apply the analogy to a computer: If the computer is less than five years old, is running Windows 7 or 8 and works reliably then upgrading it may be a worthwhile investment. If the computer is 5 years old or more however, then you’re far less likely to get a good return on the investment of new parts and you’re better off investing in a new computer.
If your computer does need to be replaced, chances are you already know this. But if you’re not sure and some days it could go either way, this will help. We’ve put together a list of the most common upgrades and the impact they’ll have.
Video Card Upgrade: It might not be your computer that’s getting old. Instead, games are getting more and more demanding. The days of stick-figure animations are gone and lifelike 3D is the new normal. With that improved experience comes a huge strain on your computer’s resources. If you have a gamer in the house, you can often turbo-charge your computer with a single component – a new video card. For hardcore gamers, this is actually a necessity, as some new games refuse to install if the video requirements aren’t met. Do you love smooth animations and responsive gameplay? Then a new video card may be the upgrade you need!
Hard Drive Upgrade: New hard drives are a popular upgrade, both in size and speed. Running out of space is less of a problem now, but speed is a major concern. You’ve no doubt sat there twiddling your thumbs and urging a file to hurry up and copy. Many people will upgrade to an SSD (Solid State Drive) that has zero moving parts and can find/transfer data in a flash. They even make booting up lightning fast! And you’ll have the option of keeping your old drive for general storage, complete with all your existing data. If storage is more important than speed, then upgrading to a larger hard disc drive may be the upgrade for you.
Memory/RAM Upgrade: Some cheaper computers are under-powered from day 1. In truth, most of the ones in the department store could use at least an extra 4GB of oomph! Sometimes though, even a great computer falls behind as new applications come out and need more resources. Adding extra memory can revive your existing computer and set it up for a couple more years of happiness.
Where to Draw The Line: There are other upgrades to consider, such as the CPU (basically the brain); and the motherboard that all the parts plug into… but once you’re in that territory, it really is time to go for a full replacement. You’ll save money by getting a computer that meets your needs and can grow with you.
Is your computer letting you down? Give us a call at 715-255-0325 to help you with upgrading or selecting a new computer.