RAM and Hard Drive Upgrades
Is your computer sluggish? Or maybe it no longer supports the games you play? Whatever your reasons for needing to upgrade to a better hardware, there are primarily three things you can upgrade on a computer: the hard drive, the RAM memory, and the video/sound/graphics cards.
Upgrading your computer’s RAM
RAM (Random Access Memory) is the temporary storage memory used by your computer. The more programs you use, the more RAM you need, and the slower your computer will be if you don’t have enough.
Adding RAM is often the cheapest upgrade you can make to speed up a slow computer. Although it may have had more than enough RAM when you first bought it, after a few years it will have trouble keeping up with the demands of the latest programs. Greater RAM means that the computer won´t have to rely on the hard drive for memory and with more memory, you will be able to operate more programs and software simultaneously.
When upgrading the computer´s RAM you must identify the type of RAM it is using. To do this, right click the Start button, then click System and you will see the Installed Memory (RAM) information. As a rule of thumb, if you have a 32-bit system, you will need 2GB of RAM. If you have a 64-bit operating system, we recommend a minimum of 6GB of RAM.
Upgrading your computer’s hard drive
Movies, music, and all those Steam games you bought in the sale will quickly fill your hard drive space. Upgrading your hard drive may also be a requirement when you need to perform a system update, a software update, or run a new operating system. Hard drives tend to become less effective and reliable over time, therefore, if you have used your hard drive for a long period of time and don’t want it to suddenly stop working, thus, putting your valuable information at risk, you should consider upgrading it.
Solid State Disks (SSDs) have read and write speeds many times greater than classic hard disks. Before purchasing an SSD, do check that it’s possible to get inside your computer and that yours is compatible with the SSD. If it’s just a few years old, it probably is. Really old models might not have support for SSDs (but a computer that elderly isn’t going to be worth upgrading anyway!).
Upgrade your desktop’s graphics card
A graphic card basically turns processed data into video signal before sending it to the output or to your display. You may need to upgrade your graphics card if you have problems with your current card, for a better performance (especially for gamers) or to support dual screens. NOTE: This mainly applies to desktops – it is not possible to change a graphics card in 99.9% of laptops.