The explosion of technology in the industry has created many opportunities and challenges for PC Gamers. Not only do new games come out, but new hardware is constantly being released as the next best thing. This makes the question of upgrading to newer parts a real challenge for some builders. There are many trade secrets about upgrading your PC, so we have narrowed it down to some of the most important to consider.
Why Upgrade Your PC?
Computers have become very embedded in our everyday lives, and even more so for gamers. We need them for work, research, browsing the internet, and gaming. In order to accomplish all of these tasks, these computers have to be fast, reliable, and extremely efficient at their jobs. If they aren’t, then an upgrade may be required. Below are some of the top reasons that PC’s need upgraded:
- The PC is Broken (Totally unusable)
- It’s Running Slow (Yes, that pinwheel is still spinning)
- I’m Out of Space – Everywhere
- The New Apps, Games, and Devices don’t work with your computer
If any of these statements describe your computer, do not fret. There may be an easier solution than smashing your rig.
Should I Upgrade or Buy a New Rig?
Whenever something breaks, be it on your car or your computer, the real question becomes “Is it worth fixing this, or should I just buy a new one?”. The struggle to answer this depends on a lot of factors. If you think that repairing it would be better, don’t act rashly. Consider the following questions before you ditch your rig, or try to repair it:
- Do you have the time to research and upgrade the parts?
- Is it really cheaper to upgrade?
- Is this the first upgrade you might do?
- Do you have the funds to buy new or upgrade?
- What do you want your computer to do that it currently cannot do?
What Should You Upgrade?
Sometimes it isn’t deciding if you should upgrade, but what you should upgrade that is difficult. In this case, there are three major components to seriously consider.
- RAM (Memory)
Upgrading your RAM is actually more effective than you may think. If you are out of memory, then it will be evident because your computer won’t be able to do very much at once. Most games use 2-4GB of RAM, but you need more in order to run applications in the background. If you are just browsing the web and gaming, 8GB of memory should be enough. Anything more than that will require upwards of 16-32GB of memory.
- SSD vs. HDD
Moving from the traditional hard drives to solid state drives is also a major component to consider upgrading. Upgrading to a Solid State Drive removes the moving parts, and it runs faster and more reliably than the HDD’s.
- Graphics Cards
Of all things to upgrade, your graphics card will most directly affect the PC’s gaming performance. Finding an older model graphics card will benefit your PC if you have a single monitor set up and are using 1080p resolution. The top of the line graphics cards like the GeForce 1080 cards are better for multi-monitor gaming and higher resolution like 4K. Knowing this, upgrading a graphics card can be expensive, but can last several years before needing to upgrade.
Are My Parts Compatible?
Something that many builders forget about when they are deciding to upgrade is determining if the new parts they want to order are compatible with the older hardware in their rig. There is nothing like ordering a new part to discover that it doesn’t work with the ones you have. Then you have to purchase even more parts in order to do the original upgrade. Here are some things to consider before purchasing that new graphics card, or upgrading any part:
- Do you have enough power for that graphics card?
- Do you have the right motherboard for your CPU?
- Will the cooling system you want fit in your case?
- If you upgrade this part is it going to cause bottlenecking?
- How old is all the rest of your hardware?
Sometimes considering these key things will determine whether it is truly worth it to upgrade, or buy a whole new rig. These few tips will also help you decide which parts to upgrade to versus some of the higher (or lower) end products.
Keeping these simple tips in mind when deciding what or when to upgrade your PC will enable you to make smarter, more cost effective decisions. It will also hopefully alleviate some stress from having to purchase new parts or fix your rig. Are you upgrading your PC? Share what your upgrade is with us on social media! Happy Upgrading!