What components to upgrade?

computer upgradeUpgrading a computer is not rocket science. If you are handy with the screwdriver, you could do it. But it requires some careful and methodical work. If you are all thumbs, or an impatient type, you could still carry onwards on your upgrade path, but it is not a shabby idea getting a computer-wise friend to help. Below are listed the most practised PC upgrades, accompanied by typical prices, and detailed how-to-do-it information so you don’t get lost.

One advice: Do not expect to be capable of upgrading the PC's microprocessor. Two or three years ago, a processor upgrade from companies like Evergreen Technologies and Kingston were popular and readily available. But they are usually not a viable option anymore as today's motherboards are made for specific processors operating at specific speeds. Even if you can upgrade to the faster CPU, you will find that it will not make a massive difference in the overall system performance. The processor is one of many components in your PC which must work together in order to achieve maximum performance.

Hard Drive
No matter the tast your PC has to perform, you can not have enough hard disk space. That is especially true if you are an MP3 addict or you process your movie files. Any older PC probably comes equipped with the relatively „small“ 40GB to 60GB drive. After the RAM, hard drives are essentially the next most used PC upgrade. Drives are getting bigger, and their price keeps falling. Now, a fast 120 GB hard drive is priced a $85; a 320 GB drive at $100; and the huge 1 TB drive at $140. Big drives give you the space to expand. You could either replace the existing drive (the new drives are usually with software to copy the files from the existing drive) or get the new drive to use it in conjuction with your existing drive.
In the past, upgrading your hard disk drive was a practised upgrade. But, today hard disks are becoming so large most users will not run out of space anytime soon. However, if your computer could run out of disk space, you are happy with the specifications of the computer, and you are considering the ideas pf upgrading or purchasing a new one, adding a new drive to your computer is a cheaper and often quite simple upgrade.

memory upgradeMemory
Upgrading the PC's memory is still one of the effective - and most economical - ways to boost up the PC's performance. It is also perhaps the most popular upgrade. Today's applications and operating systems run faster thanks to large amounts of RAM; if the PC is an year or two, chances are it came with only 1GB of memory. Fitting such a PC with 2 GB of RAM (around $40) will have a noticeable difference on overall speed, more so with today's memory-demanding applications like graphics-intensive games and office suites. Plus, the PC with more memory is quite unlikely to behave strangely or lock up.

Graphics Card
If are working with photos from tbe digital camera or playing PC games, a newer graphics card will not only make the images pop up on the screen faster, but could produce sharper and higher-resolution images which are easier on the eyes. The newer graphics card is the easy upgrade which pays off. But note that we are talking about the "value" cards. Professional cards from $250 to $400 demand cutting-edge systems that have fast processors that go above double or triple core 2 GHz and loads of RAM, which is a must-have if you are a serious gamer that wants to take full advantage of the newest, most advanced games. With the new complexities and improvements of graphics in the games many older computers and computers with an inefficient video card can become really slow. Adding a newer video card is frequently an easy to accomplish upgrade and is quite cheaper to purchasing a whole new computer.

Sound System
Most new PCs come with mediocre at most sound systems, with both the in-sound circuitry and all the important speakers. If you are into PC music, the new sound card with latest-technology speakers will make a difference for you to hear. Numerous choices are offered, from the inexpensive to the wallet-emptying, but losing $75 to $100 for the new sound card with $50 to $100 for the speakers could give you the sound system which rivals the stereo system in the living room.

Not all upgrades require opening your PC case. Since you literally spend all the PC time looking at the monitor, investing into a newer and bigger monitor could be better than buying a new PC. You could opt for one of the hotter new flat-screen LCD monitors. They are bright and even crystal-clear. Undoubtedly a 15-inch LCD monitor (worth $150 to $200) is a huge improvement over the small conventional CRT display (do not forget, when comparing CRTs to LCDs, LCD size can be compared to a CRT's viewable area diagonal, usually about an inch less than the tube’s size). And prices are also falling: You could go for some big 19- or 21-inch LCD for some additional hundred dollars ($300 to $400).
Although the new display will not improve the computer performance, adding an LCD or flat-panel display, perhaps increasing the size of the display could make using your computer a much more pleasant experience. If your display is 17" or ecen smaller, you are using a monitor and not the flat-panel display, provided you have the room to make it happen, the upgrade is easy, while not demanding a lot more than purchasing a brand new computer. Also, if subsequently you do decide to purchase a better computer you will not have to buy a newer display. One of the coolest things about the monitor upgrade is you could continue to utilize it when you finally get to buy your new PC - just plug it in.

Disc drives

Adding a better disc drive like a faster CD-R/CD-RW (A CD burner) or the DVD drive could be a fantastic upgrade to your computer which either has a slow drive or is not equipped with a CD-R/CD-RW/ CD-ROM /DVD. If you burn or make lots of your discs, then a new burner could greatly decrease the amount of time it takes to burn each disc. In addition, the faster drive could also help when you are installation something or loading any of your DVD or CD programs. Apart from those two examples, the upgrade is more of the newer feature than the performance upgrade.

Be it upgrading or buying something new, give careful thought to what you are doing so you do not feel sorry later.