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How do you know when it’s time to upgrade your computer? Think about it! It might be one of the following reasons.
  1. You want to add a new feature to your computer. (example: adding multiple monitors or adding a webcam)

  2. You are looking for greater speed and performance. (example: for gaming or generating greater throughput)

  3. You acquire some new piece of software that justifies the upgrade, or you acquire some new piece of hardware.

  4. In an attempt to resolve a computer problem, you determine that a component needs to be replaced. At that time you decide to upgrade that component.

Of course, these are not the only reasons to upgrade your computer, but, they do give you an idea why.

The computer case is not an item that is upgraded very often. There are not many design changes from year to year. You may decide however, that you require more drive bays then you already have, or you may need more USB ports on the front of the case, or you may want flashing lights on your computer case. These may be reasons to upgrade your computer case.

The power supply is replaced more often only when it fails. The only reason other than that is when you add other hardware that requires more power.

The motherboard is replaced when the original fails or when you are looking to increase its throughput, speed, and performance. This includes the desire to increase the number and type of connectors on the backplane and the motherboard’s surface. Unless you are constrained by a tight budget it is best to use the opportunity and upgrade CPU and the RAM at the same time.

The central processing unit (CPU) is upgraded in order to improve the computer speed. The selection of CPU’s is limited unless the motherboard is also upgraded. Any performance issues of the CPU must be matched to the motherboard and it's associated RAM.

The random access memory (RAM) is the easiest of upgrades. If you have extra memory slots insert the additional matching RAM. Bam, it’s done! If you don’t have the extra memory slots, you may have to replace all of the memory with memory sticks each containing a greater amount of memory.

The hard drive is upgraded when you are looking to increase speed, capacity, and throughput. The two approaches to upgrading are; adding additional hard drives, and replacing the existing hard drive with one of greater capacity. Each approach has its advantages and disadvantages, the choice is yours. Adding additional drives is the simplest; it requires only the proper amount of drive bays, power and data connectors. Upgrading to a hard drive with one of greater capacity requires that you clone the data from the original drive to the new one. This is done with software purchased, or downloaded, or supplied by the hard drive manufacturer. While looking to upgrade long term storage you might consider a solid state drive, it has some neat advantages.

The optical drives (DVD and CD burners) are not usually upgraded, the speed differences of newer models does not provide a significantly greater throughput. The only exception is if you are using the drive for production purposes.

The upgrading or adding of an expansion card is justified by your needs. If you find that your usage of the computer requires that you need a specific expansion card, then add it.

Each of the peripheral devices fall into the category of; upgrade your computer if you need to. As you become more familiar with your computer you will start to find the features and upgrades that you need and want.

I always like to look at the online computer stores iconand see which new components have become available. You may find this very rewarding too.

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