Revitalize your PC and save money

By: Kay Brener

Buying a new computer when the old one seems to have gotten too old for your taste may prove to be an expense that you cannot afford. Instead of cracking you head thinking about ways to make extra cash for such an investment, try upgrading your old computer so you can make it work as well as other, newer models. Here is the smartest way to do it.

Consider what your PC already has inside and make a note of it. There's no sense in upgrading your memory if you already have the maximum amount your motherboard will allow, and if you're seeking a performance boost, doubling your RAM can often be easier and cheaper than doing a CPU transplant. A good PC upgrade plan consists of knowing your current hardware, doing a little research, and finally, doing the hardware install.

Memory-also known as RAM or random access memory-should be at the top of your list when considering your upgrade plan. Installing more memory usually results in a noticeable spring in your PC's step and a saving of cash. Before purchasing more RAM, be sure to consult your PC's manual to discover the type of memory your PC's motherboard is compatible with.

Usually, high quality RAM works well with a high bus frequency CPU, so take this aspect into consideration when you go shopping. Also, if you intent to upgrade your CPU as well, make a comparison to see what configuration fits your pocket best.

When I say graphics card, you see big cash saying good-bye to your wallet. Let me tell you something: you do not need an expensive, end of the line graphics card, unless you intend to run on your computer the latest 3D video games or complicated video editing software. If, instead, you do not care for all this and you are another type of user, then ponder more if you really need a new graphics card or not.

If you use your machine just for surfing the web, writing e-mails and Word documents, then take the graphics card off the list. Remember, we are talking hard cold cash here, and it will be too expensive to purchase a $600 graphics card just to play Solitaire. There are also other aspects, if your graphics card is too old and it is need of dire replacement. See what kind of slot your motherboard has for the graphics card - PCI, PCI Express or AGP and plan your purchases accordingly.

With MP3s, digital photographs, and videos quickly eating up precious hard drive space, a hard drive upgrade is a must if you don't want to run out of space for future files. Grafting on an extra 200 gigabytes to your system for your files to reside on is faster and less of a hassle than having to backup to a thumb drive or DVD.

Another great plus of new hard drives is that they come with a special software that provide you with the ability to transfer all of your old hard drive into the new one. This means that you do not have to install Windows all over again and you do not have to appeal to intermediary backup solutions just for this. You will surely enjoy the advantage of having a new faster hard drive that will save and load files at a speedier rate than you experienced before.

There are also other aspects to be regarded when upgrading your PC. If your model is a brand computer, such as Dell, HP or IBM, putting on a new motherboard may prove to be quite a challenge. So, changing the motherboard during your upgrade effort may require other expenses, such as a new case for your computer.

Even it is seems like a hassle, an upgrade to your PC will do justice to your needs and your wallet, as well. You will end up paying less than you would if you decided in favor of a new machine, but only if you plan thoroughly ahead.

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Kay Brenner is a PC troubleshooting expert who restores slow PCs, saving you time and money wrestling with a sick computer. To learn how to avoid computer problems, download a free PC Health Check

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