Does Your Computer Need a Boost?

Dominec recently submitted an email to me, full of tips and tricks. Earlier, I posted his tips to create an iPhone ringtone yourself using iTunes, and your own music. He also sent in the following excellent tips for upgrading your PC.

Like it or not, that blazing fast piece of hardware you have in front of you will become obsolete in a few years. It won’t be able to run some of the newest applications, or run as fast as some of the newer hardware. This is the case for many people (including myself) who currently run on “less than favorable” hardware. So if you are looking to spruce up your computer a bit more, here are the top 5 things you should look at upgrading:

  1. Your monitor While it won’t speed up your computer, a new monitor will generally make your user experience a lot better. If you bought a computer over 4-5 years ago, you will likely have a CRT monitor. The colors are usually not as vivid, they drain a lot of power, and the resolution is terrible. A new monitor will allow you to view webpages better, allow for more of a multimedia experience, and even provide more functionality with some monitors containing USB ports, Card Readers and Optical drives. Additionally, if your response time is better (from CRT’s to LCD’s) you may even have the illusion that pages are loading smoother and faster.
  2. Your Hard Drive You can never have too much space, especially with the way technology is moving. That 40GB HDD you had 3 years ago just doesn’t compare to the type of storage you can get today. With more storage, you can hold more media files, run more applications, and even have the ability to dual boot your system. In addition, if you are able to buy a hard drive that spins at a faster rate (higher RPM), your data will load quicker, your OS will load quicker, and there won’t be as much lag with your system.
  3. The motherboard This applies especially to people who bought their computer directly from a manufacturer. Some old motherboards can’t support the new technology of today, such as more advanced PSU’s to cool your Dual-Core processors, and the faster DDR2 memory as opposed to standard DDR. Upgrading your motherboard is a very involved process, and not for everyone. If you are up to the challenge, it will improve every aspect of your computer. More USB ports, faster data transmission, support for more optical drives, more RAM, and faster processors are just some of the things to look forward to.
  4. Your RAM Often clichéd in the computer world is how much a RAM upgrade will do for your computer, especially for those thinking of running Vista (or any modern day OS). The best metaphor to compare this to is to think of your RAM as your desk. The more desk space you have, the more papers, office supplies, printers, and other hardware you can hold. With more RAM, you can have many programs open at once, call them into view quicker, and generally improve the speed of every application. The best thing about installing RAM is that it’s cheap, and easy for the novice computer user to do. It can turn an old computer with 256MB of RAM into a quick multitasking machine with a 1GB upgrade.
  5. The Processor If you plan to upgrade only one thing in your old computer, this would be it. The processor is what controls everything on the computer, so naturally, more power is never a bad thing. The best analogy here is a car. With a bigger engine, everything runs smoother and quicker. With a new processor, loading times will be shorter, pages will load faster, your computer will boot up and turn off faster… it really is something that will improve every aspect of your computer. Even for older computer that can’t support Dual-Core technology, you can buy extremely fast Pentium 4 chips for under $50. There is not a single part of your computer that will suffer, and all parts will thank you.