In this guide let’s see how to upgrade the old PC by indicating the most decisive and important improvements, both hardware and software, so as to resurrect any computer making it fast even with the most recent programs. Spending is certainly lower than buying a completely new computer and can bring incredible performance gains, especially for some components like RAM and a hard drive. Obviously not all the components can be updated: on laptops, for example, we can change only the hard disk and RAM in a simple way, while on the fixed computers there is much more flexibility from this point of view.
- RAM memory
- Reinstall operating system
- Change the Monitor
RAM is a very important component, as it temporarily stores all the programs and processes that we open on the computer, including the components of the operating system. The more RAM we have, the more programs we can open at the same time, as well as providing the space needed for the heaviest programs. The minimum required today is 8 GB, but we recommend bet immediately on 16 GB or more of RAM so you can continue to use the computer for at least another 4 years. For computers we can choose between DDR3 RAM (older) and DDR4 RAM (newer and better performing), plus there is a difference in form between RAM for fixed PCs (DIMM) and RAM optimized for laptops (SODIMM ).
To learn more, we recommend reading our guide -> Types of computer RAM: DDR, shape, and speed.
If we need to increase the RAM memory, it is better to change all the RAM banks already present, so as to be able to benefit from new and faster components: we avoid simply adding RAM modules to existing ones, we run the risk of exploiting the new memories at a speed lower than expected and of suffering problems with the old modules in the future.
Below we can find some of the best RAM banks to choose from.
For fixed PCs
- Patriot Viper 3 Black DDR3 16GB Kit (€ 82)
- Kingston HyperX Fury 16 GB DDR-III Memory Kit (€ 91)
- Ballistix Sport LT 16 GB Memory Kit (8 GB x2), DDR4 (€ 101)
- Corsair Vengeance LPX Memories 16 GB (2 X 8 GB), DDR4 (€ 112)
- QUMOX 16GB (2X 8GB) DDR3 SODIMM (68 €)
- Crucial 16 GB Memory Kit (8 GBx2) DDR3L (€ 87)
- Ballistix Sport LT Memory Kit 16 GB (8 GB x 2), DDR4 (€ 98)
- Corsair Vengeance Performance RAM Memory Kit 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4 (€ 103)
Laptop hard drives wear out easily and can slow down even the most powerful and new computers. In this regard, we recommend always installing an SSD, to be installed alongside the existing hard drive.
SSDs are much faster, so they will improve PC performance significantly both at startup and when we open heavier programs. The minimum capacity that we recommend to consider for a modern SSD is 500 GB, even if the prices of 1 TB drives are falling sharply. These drives are fine on both landlines and laptops, as they use SATA as a connection and are available in the 2.5-inch format.
The best SSDs we can buy right now are:
- Crucial MX500 Internal SSD, 500 GB (€ 66)
- SanDisk 500GB Ultra 3D SSD (€ 73)
- Samsung SSD Unit 860 EVO, 500 GB (€ 79)
- Samsung 860 PRO Memory SSD, 512 GB (€ 134)
To learn more about the SSD topic, we refer you to reading our guide -> Best SSD discs to buy to make your PC run as fast as a tablet.
If instead, we want to transfer the operating system from the hard drive to the SSD without losing the programs and data, we advise you to read the guide present here -> Transfer Windows to another PC or disk, without reinstalling and losing data.
READ ALSO: Improve the PC by changing a piece and upgrading the hardware
Reinstall operating system
The reinstallation of Windows is always considered the last way, but in some cases, only after trying them all and certainly after replacing the RAM and adding the SSD, it may be necessary format and reinstall. On Windows 10 it has become very easy to get the operating system back as new, in just a few clicks: we press the WIN + I keys on the keyboard and, in the window that opens, let’s get to the menu Update and security -> Restoration.
To start system recovery, click on Start, just below the section Reset the PC and we follow the steps recommended by the system. We can also choose to keep all our personal files: in this way, we will lose the installed programs and customizations of Windows, but we will have all the personal files stored and ready to be used after Windows has been restored.
READ ALSO: Improve Windows PC performance
If instead, we want to use the classic Windows disk, we invite you to read our dedicated guide -> Format and install Windows from scratch, to have your PC clean and new.
If we want to go into more detail on the steps to restore on modern laptops, please read the guide here -> Factory restore on PCs and laptops (Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, etc.).
Change the Monitor
This may not seem like an essential upgrade, but in the end, it really matters a lot. A new monitor returns the pleasure of being at the computer, the eyes get less tired and everything looks better and clearer. Even if the computer is the same, what used to be old and slow can be transformed, just as a sensation, into something new and more beautiful to use. In terms of performance, nothing will change, but above all, an older person will really enjoy the benefits, even in terms of health. We can choose a modern monitor by reading our dedicated guide -> Best PC monitors to buy between 100 and 200 Euros.
Making a regular backup will allow you to restore your PC to a date when the system had no problems and was still fast and snappy. Obviously, for the backup, a second hard disk is needed, like for example the hard disk that we used as secondary after having placed the SSD.
The guides that we advise you to read on the subject are Backup user folders to save personal data in Windows is Backup of installed programs and settings on Windows, so as to be sure that you can always save all the personal data and programs used.
If the old PC is still not satisfactory, before throwing it away and changing it, I recommend reading the article on things to do with the old computer: how to recycle it, upgrade it and convert it.
READ ALSO: Update the PC: Parts to be replaced or added to the computer