Upgrading can be a difficult job for little reward or a simple job with a massive gain. Every single item on a PC can normally be upgraded or changed, and often it's a relatively inexpensive way of gaining additional functionality or performance.
What sort of things can be upgraded then?
One of the most popular and probably easiest upgrades you can perform is to add additional memory to your system. Most PCs, at the time of me writing this, are supplied with between 256MB and 512MB of RAM. While often a good starting point, 128MB of RAM is the minimum recommended requirement for Microsoft® Windows® XP. This means performance will substantially increase the more RAM you add to your system.
Often a useful upgrade is a second hard disk drive. A replacement hard disk drive can decrease start-up and load times for your system. Often the best way of performing this kind of upgrade is to replace your existing hard drive with the new one and keep your existing hard drive as a drive to hold your documents. Hard drive technology is constantly improving and it is likely that faster hard drives are available now compared to when you bought your PC, so even if you only have room in your system for one drive, replacing it can still be extremely worthwhile.
Have you bought a game recently and noticed that you can only play it with most of the settings set to
medium detail or quality? If you have, you may need a video card upgrade. Upgrading your video card can be a very simple procedure, take out the old card, replace it with the new card and immediately performance is improved. There is a vast selection of video cards available, and generally, you get what you pay for. The top of the range cards are the most expensive, but they offer astonishing performance levels. Your games will take on a whole new lease of life.
There are lots of other things to upgrade on a PC.
- You can upgrade your monitor very easily, a large screen monitor or TFT flat panel can improve eye strain and stress levels.
- You can upgrade your processor (CPU) to a faster model. Upgrading the CPU is a challenging task for a novice but the performance gains can be huge.
- Your mouse and keyboard can be improved upon. An optical, cordless mouse and keyboard can improve your comfort levels and productivity.
- Upgrading your speakers. Have you ever watched a DVD movie on your PC and thought "Wouldn't it be great if I had surround sound"? Well, why not change your speakers. Most PCs sold are supplied with a pair of standard desktop speakers, but you can easily purchase a full Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound kit.
- Upgrading your sound card. Some PCs aren't supplied with a sound card capable of Dolby Digital 5.1, in which case, you could upgrade that too.
As you can see the possibilities are endless and at the end of it you can have a completely new PC in the same old case. But what about other upgrades? Well, there are digital cameras, scanners, printers, webcams, wireless networking kits, card readers and much more. Have a think about what you'd like to do and it's likely there is a way of doing it with your PC.
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