Tag Archives: upgrade

Should You Build Your Own PC?


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I had a caller from Australia the other night whose older computer has served him well for a number of years. He’s trying to decide whether he should build a new one, buy a new one off the shelf or simply upgrade his current system. He asked my opinion as part of his research. What are your thoughts? Which would be a better option for him?

I feel that if he can do it, he would be best off building a computer for himself. Always spend as much as you can afford, and buy quality components. Do your research on each part prior to choosing, and pick what you feel will work best for you.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Windows 7 – How Soon Should You Upgrade?


Add to iTunes | Add to YouTube | Add to Google | RSS Feed

I opened the phone lines a few nights ago, asking the community to call in to talk about Windows 7. We had some excellent discussions. This particular call was from Ray, asking me about whether he should upgrade his Windows 7 RC 1 to the full/final release now… or wait a bit. We also talked about differences in the different versions available of Windows 7, and what may work best for his needs.

As I mentioned, Ray is using RC 1 still on his computer. He says he isn’t having any issues or problems with it. He was wondering if he “should” go ahead and buy the full version now, or if it was ok to wait until the RC ran out. I told him that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Seriously, if his version isn’t causing any problems, wait to buy the full version until there’s a coupon or sale going on. Save yourself some money!

We also talked a bit about the various versions. He had heard from someone that with Windows 7, the Home Professional version is actually better to use than the Ultimate version. I do know that the big difference between Professional and Ultimate is additional language packs, and BitLocker. Kat and I discussed BitLocker a bit in a previous video. If those are things you need, then it would be worth it to get Ultimate.

Personally, I don’t think those things are value adds. I think they should just be part of the operating system, no matter which version you buy. But who am I to make the rules?

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code or download the video:

Save $100 on Windows 7 Professional Upgrade

The Windows 7 Professional Upgrade will not be available until October 22, 2009. However, if you want to pre-order now, Amazon has a great deal, which saves you a hundred dollars.

Amazon even gives a price guarantee:

if the Amazon price decreases between your order time and the end of the day of the release date, you’ll receive the lowest price.

There is a limit of three (3) per customer, and is an excellent deal. At least, it provides some top-end insurance. The price may be lower, but it can’t go any higher than this if you order now.

There is a Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor to see if your system can handle Windows 7. A small download is required in order to make use of this resource.

And finally, there is this stated caution on the Amazon page:

“We recommend that you experience Windows 7 on a new PC. While we don’t recommend it, you can opt to upgrade your current PC from Windows XP or another operating system to Windows 7…”

In this economy, there may not be the extra funds to go out and buy a “new PC,” as suggested. The upgrade may be the viable economic route to go – but do your homework. It seems that a hundred dollars (less a penny and with free shipping) is an economical way to have access to this new operating system.

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 clich├ęd 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.