Upgrading an Old Computer – inQuo’s Tech Tip Tuesday Newsletter

Although prices are continuously dropping for new Notebooks and Desktops, you may still want to upgrade your old computer. But just what can you upgrade on an old computer, and is it worth it?

Memory equals Speed

  • If you are looking at increasing the speed of your computer, one of the easiest ways to do this is to upgrade the memory. Think of memory as a pie, and each program that you run is a pie lover.
The Tech Tip Tuesday Newsletter - Upgrading an Old Computer The more programs you run, the smaller the pieces will be. Increase the memory, and you can increase the size of the pie for your applications.
  • Older computers have a limit to the amount and type of memory that is compatible for them. You must research the make and model of your computer to determine how much memory you can add, and the cost. Some old computers are just too expensive, memory wise, to upgrade.

More Space Please

  • Hard Drives hold all of the files, programs and operating system that make your computer run. Those files take space, and if you start running low on space, this can cause problems with performance, and not allow you to save anymore files.
The Tech Tip Tuesday Newsletter from inQuo - Upgrading an Old Computer Hard drives are not only measured by storage space, but they are measured by speed as well. A hard drive that “spins” at 7200 RPM will allow programs to run faster than a hard drive that spins at 5400 RPM. A SATA (Serial ATA) drive offers better performance than an ATA drive.
  • Older computers will have limits to the size, speed and interface (SATA or ATA) that will work with them, so it is important to research the make and model of your computer before purchasing new hardware.

Process This!

  • The Processor is like the brain of the computer. It does exactly what it is called. It processes data. All the inputs you make with your keyboard and mouse are all processed by the processor. It is also maintaining and running all of the features of your computer that you don’t see.
    • There are many different types of processors, with different speeds and interfaces. You must match up the right kind of processor for your motherboard. This takes careful consideration.

Mother What?!?!

  • The Motherboard is the large circuit board inside your computer that ties all the parts together. Everything is connected to the motherboard. There are many different types of boards, with varying features.
The Tech Tip Tuesday Newsletter from inQuo Both notebooks and desktops have motherboards, however, a notebook motherboard can usually only be replaced with the same model, rather than upgraded.
  • Replacing a motherboard in an older computer typically requires that you replace most everything else inside the computer, including the processor, power supply, memory, hard drive, video card, etc. It may be more cost effective to price out a new computer.
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