Why replace something if it is still working? That is a good question. Also when taking the impact of modern technology on the climate into account, it is our responsibility to not throw away what works. For this reason I have taken the effort to share 5 easy ways to improve your computer.
After owning half a dozen PCs I have found out that the most common thing to break is the processor or CPU, alongside the motherboard. One of the reasons these more easily break is that with time software becomes more demanding, requiring more processing power. In an effort to keep up older systems can overheat doing so.
1. Replace the processor
This brings us to the first thing to look at when it comes to improving your computer. You can actually replace the processor of your system individually.
Important to take into account when doing this is knowing exactly what hardware you already have. This can in Windows easily be found in the ‘This PC’ section or by going to the ‘Device Manager’ section in the ‘Control panel’.
For example, when you know what type of motherboard you have you will know what CPU will fit into it. When you know what CPU you currently have you can find out what would be a better version (such as with more cores and Mhz).
2. Replace the motherboard
As already described, the motherboard is one of the key components when thinking about replacing parts. But what if your PC is so old no available parts fit? Looking at a new motherboard can do the trick.
Since a new motherboard is basically like replacing the body of the computer, be sure to check if your current hardware would be compatible with the any new motherboard. In this way you can look at keeping what fits and replacing for example just the processor and motherboard.
Aside the compatibility of your current components, also take the size into account. Your case might be big enough for a Micro ATX size board, but too small for an ATX size one.
3. New RAM
Work memory or RAM is one of the eassiest to replace parts. These modules are slotted into the motherboard and can be replaced by merely opening the side and slotting in new modules.
Again, it is in this case important to know what RAM you already have and what your motherboard supports. For example, your motherboard version might support DDR 3 1600 Mhz RAM of up to 8 gigabyte. If you got a 1600 Mhz 4 gigabyte module slotted you can easily stick in another 4 gigabyte RAM module.
By adding more work memory you allow your computer to store more short term information. This can speed up load times significantly.
4. Going from HDD to SSD
If it be up to me the hard disk memory storage age is over. These type of storage discs that carry our files are slow, bulky and due to its spinning components easily break. Obviously we want fast, small and longer lasting memory storage. Solid state drives are the answer.
Replacing your HDD with an SSD would imply literally exchanging all your stored data with an empty vessel. For this reason it is important to make a back up, on for example a USB stick, of your important files.
Furthermore, adding an SSD also requires you to install or reinstall the operating system. I always find it a good moment to think about going open source with Linux or installing a new version of Windows or OSX. Also make sure your motherboard has the right connector to even allow for an SSD to be installed. A better HDD could be an alternative otherwise.
5. Cleaning up
We have been talking a lot about the hardware side of things, but what about the software? Obviously you can also do something without replacing components, namely making sure your PC is clean and ready to perform.
A good place to start is unistalling unneeded software via, for example, the configuration panel. But what can also really help is hitting Ctrl + Alt + Delete in Windows and seeing in the task manager what programs are running around. I have found it of great help to disable all unneeded startup and background programs, such as Spotify, Steam or Google updates.
Aside unistalling unneeded software and disabling unneeded startup programs in Windows you can also turn off certain features. By going to the performance tab in ‘Advanced systems settings’ you can speed up your PC by switching off things like fading animations for menu’s and the ability to preview images.
If any of these computer improvements are no longer feasible, then I believe you are ready to look at new computers.