When you bought your current desktop a few years ago it seemed like the fastest thing, especially compared with the PC it replaced. Now that it's starting to feel slow itself, what should you do about it? You can either replace it entirely or upgrade a few parts to make it work faster. In fact most times the upgrades you install into your OLD PC will make it out perform anything you can buy new for under $600.00 Here's how to tell which course of action is the best for you.
Will an Upgrade Help?
What's the thing that bugs you the most? Is it the fact that programs take a while to load? Or that it takes forever to boot your desktop? Does your PC start out fine but slows down once you've been using it for a while? If that's the case you should be able to upgrade a component or two and get on with your life.
Memory. Back in the old days of computing, when systems topped out at 128KB of memory, you had to quit out of a program to open a new one. Now multitasking is the norm. Most four-year-old PCs came with at least 2GB of memory, with 4GB or 8GB being even better, especially when you consider that you can watch Web video in the background while doing something else like webpage layout in another window. Your computer's workload is compounded when you don't close tabs in your browser and you end up with 150 open tabs at once.
SSD. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are based on flash memory rather than the platters of traditional hard drives, and reap speed benefits that may make you think you have a new PC under your desk. The SSD's inherent speed will make you a believer the first time your system boots up in less than 20 seconds. The time it takes to launch apps should drop from a minute to a few seconds.