Popular Computer Upgrades

The Top Five Most Popular Computer Upgrades

Most everyone with a computer is looking to have the fastest, most efficient computer filled with the latest computer technology. To keep up with the continual changes as technology becomes more and more advanced; it requires complete upgrades on the computer. But, what are the best computer upgrades available?

Memory Upgrade

One of the most popular computer upgrades is a memory upgrade. A memory upgrade is one of the easiest ways to boost the performance of a PC. Before making a memory upgrade, first check the BIOS operating system to determine how much memory is already on the system.

To make a memory upgrade, it is also necessary to open the case of the computer to find how many modules are currently installed and how many slots are still empty. It may be necessary to take some out and replace them with larger modules if all of the slots are already full.

After finding out the current memory situation, review the operating system and application programs to determine how much memory is needed to make the computer perform at its optimal level. In general, these programs provide a minimum and a recommended rating. To reach the fullest potential of the computer, the memory should meet or exceed the recommended level.

Before running out and buying a memory upgrade, however, check the computer manual or go directly to the motherboard to find out what type of memory is supported by the current computer operating system. If this information isn’t gathered, the memory upgrade may not work.

When buying a memory upgrade module, it is best to buy the largest amount of memory with the least number of modules. This way, there is room for growth in the future. For example, instead of buying two 128MB modules, purchase one 256 MB module.

Video Card Upgrade

A video card upgrade makes it possible to play all of the great games that are currently available on the market. In fact, some games are so advanced that they won’t play at all without a very powerful video card.

Since there are literally dozens of video cards available, it can be tough choosing the right one. But, it is important to first take a look at the motherboard to determine what type of video cards can be supported by the system. The best video cards are the ones that transfer data the fastest. In order from fastest to slowest are PCI express, AGP 8x, AGP 4x, AGP 2x, AGP, and PCI.

Sound Card Upgrade

A sound card improves the sound produced by the computer. This makes computer gaming more enjoyable, as well as listening to music and watching digital media.

To install a sound card, locate an available ISA slot on the back of the computer. These slots are the longest sockets on the motherboard and there might be other cards already installed in the sockets. There are two internal openings on each of the slots at the back of the computer. So, remove the access plate at the rear of the socket to insert the sound card. Make sure the access plate on the sound card covers the hole created by removing the initial access plate. But, be sure to gently insert the sound card with a slow back and forth movement, otherwise the sound card can be damaged.

DVD Player/Burner Upgrade

With so many digital videos becoming available, many people are looking to upgrade to a DVD player and burner combo. The most power DVD player/burner currently available is the DVD+R/RW. These do tend to, however, be incompatible with older DVD-ROM drives and DVD players. But current big names in the industry, such as Sony, HP, and Phillips, support these players. DVD+R/RW drives are faster than previous models and are capable of formatting while burning data to the disc.

Motherboard Upgrade

For those who are truly serious about upgrading their computer, motherboard upgrades are another popular option. A motherboard upgrade is the most difficult upgrade to accomplish. Those who can manage, however, will enjoy the freedom of never having to buy a new computer. Instead, the motherboard can be upgraded as technology advances.

In addition to eliminating the need to buy a new computer, a motherboard upgrade also makes it easier to upgrade other components on the computer. This is because purchasing a motherboard ensures receiving the most up to date technology, which is then compatible with other upgrade components.

Upgrading the motherboard, however, requires serious advanced planning and reading of the computer manual. If done incorrectly, the computer will become nothing more than a paperweight. If finished correctly, however, the computer will remain on the cutting edge of current technology.

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