The Right PC Upgrade Path

So, for the most part, your slightly older but dependable PC is doing admirably. However, when you are rushing to make a deadline, want to conduct a quick edit in Photoshop, or just want to unwind by playing that game everyone is talking about, your system can become overburdened and unable to keep up. It may manifest itself in a variety of ways, including longer than typical boot times, applications that take a long time to open, and sporadic freezing while working. These are signals that your PC could benefit from a few improvements that have been around for a long time.

[By the way, if you're looking for a new PC Build, you can get in touch with us and we will amaze you!]

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Now back to the actual reason why you are here. The fact is that PC upgrades might be intimidating when you start thinking about what to update, where to start, and which upgrade to go with first to get immediate effects. Well, we see those queries a lot on a daily basis – precisely about 18% in the last quarter, besides support calls and various sales enquiries.

This article was created to assist you in choosing the best upgrade path.


1. Is it necessary for me to upgrade my RAM?

Your PC usage patterns are likely to have evolved since you purchased it. From using it as an entertainment and social networking hub system to doing minor editing for those social media postings, to having numerous individuals use the PC for various home, study, or office requirements, the possibilities are endless.

These shifts in usage patterns result in increased PC resource consumption, which accounts for your PC's frequent slowdown or sluggishness. The RAM is the first component to be affected by this.

RAM is the short-term memory of your computer, which is constantly accessed. Performance is affected by RAM clock speed, especially on AMD Ryzen PCs. With more RAM, you may work on a variety of resource-intensive programs, such as video editing or gaming. More RAM also makes it easier to run multiple applications in the background, as well as open more browser tabs and use other capabilities that are becoming more common in today's remote work and study situations.

So, how much RAM should you upgrade to? The following is a suggestive list of RAM capacities that you might want to think about:

  • 8GB - Recommended as a minimum for day-to-day tasks, casual multitasking, casual gaming, and light editing.
  • 16GB - High-end gaming and video editing, as well as heavy multitasking with multiple applications active in the background.
  • 32GB - Gaming with extremely detailed visuals and textures, 4K video editing, streaming, and CAD design.
  • 64GB - 4K video editing, virtual machine operating, complicated CAD design, and server systems.
  • 128GB - Machine learning, complicated rendering (e.g., protein folding), data mining, and working with large photos or files (e.g., in drone mapping).
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Note: It is critical to match RAM speeds because faster ram speeds are bottlenecked by slower ram speeds if paired together, resulting in both rams functioning at the slower ram speed. Another element to consider while searching for a peak performance improvement is RAM latency.


2. For quicker storage and a more responsive system, use SSD and NVME

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If your computer doesn't have an SSD for boot storage, you're missing out on a lot of performance. We have had at least 48 customers last month who gave new life to their 5 to 7 years old PC (laptops & desktops) simply by replacing existing HDD with SSD.

Getting a SATA or NVMe SSD will help your system boot up considerably faster, allow you to launch and close apps stored on the SSD much faster, and give your system the overall speed boost you've been hoping for.

Which SSD should you buy?

SATA SSDs are affordable and should be utilized as boot drives or C drive. You can also install resource-intensive software on this to get better performance than on your slower SATA HDD.

NVMe SSDs, If you frequently access, write, or read certain files, deal with extremely big project files, or work in environments where data integrity is critical, you should consider upgrading to an NVMe SSD. NVMe drives not only provide substantially faster read and write speeds, but also much longer endurance. Your motherboard should have NVMe SSD slot for these to work on your system.

Something to take note of is that for day-to-day tasks, like system boot times, video editing, gaming, working on multiple applications etc. has almost no perceivable difference when switching from SATA SSD to NVMe. So, unless it's absolutely necessary, you can save money by getting a SATA SSD rather than an NVMe SSD.


3. Improved CPU Cooling

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Although heat is an unavoidable result of computer hardware functioning, too much heat can cause system slowdowns. If the CPU temperature rises too high, a software mechanism kicks in, reducing performance to prevent the processor from being damaged. However, if the temperature rises above this threshold, your machine will automatically shut down. CPU coolers (air cooled or liquid) keep your computer's CPU cool-er. There is a fair probability your CPU is only being cooled by a standard or extremely basic air cooler that's barely keeping up with your increased workload over past few months (or years?).

Advantages of aftermarket coolers: By design, aftermarket coolers are superior. They are nearly always tower designs, rather than top-down stock coolers, which enhances component compatibility as well as cooling. They also use larger heatsinks (typically copper instead of aluminum to improve conductivity), heat pipes to improve heat dissipation away from the cold plate, and high static-pressure fans to drive air more effectively through heatsink fins.

Air Cooler vs Liquid Coolers

If you want to go into the realms of water-cooling, there are even more alternatives for high-end processors. Arctic, a well-known AIO manufacturer, creates very dependable liquid coolers that will provide you with years of exceptional performance and cooling. They are also very simple to set up; all you must do is match the size of your liquid cooler to your processor's potential heat output.

In general, good air coolers like the Arctic Freezer 50 Dual Tower or liquid coolers like the ARCTIC Liquid Freezer II 240 A-RGB 240mm AIO are good enough to keep a 4 to 6 core CPU cool. Naturally, with cooling systems that are so much more successful at keeping processors cool, people might believe that aftermarket coolers would be prohibitively expensive. This isn't always the case, though.

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Regardless of your budget, you'll be spoiled for choices. Take Arctic again for example, which offers a diverse range of coolers, from great budget coolers like the Arctic Freezer 34 CO, to far beefier premium heatsinks like the Arctic Freezer 50 Dual Tower, or even the Arctic Liquid Freezer II 360mm AIO. This means you'll be able to match the performance you require not only with your CPU, but also with your budget.


4. Upgrade your Graphics processing Unit (GPU)

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Everything that is displayed on your monitor is handled by the graphics card (GPU). The GPU solution that came with your system, either in the form of an integrated iGPU solution or an entry level dedicated GPU with 1 or 2GB VRAM, can easily manage those day-to-day chores like online surfing, email checking, streaming on an OTT platform, light Microsoft software use, and so on.

The GPU's memory is known as VRAM and having more of it allows your graphics card to render and process more or heavier jobs and workloads.

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Gamers, video editors, 3D artists, and graphic designers, on the other hand, will profit from a strong graphics card, so set aside a significant chunk of your cash to upgrade your GPU.

NVIDIA and AMD are the major players when it comes to GPUs, with NVIDIA being the leading brand for most workloads.

NVIDIA’s GPUs are compatible with all render engines, 3D apps, and video editing software across the board, whereas AMD GPUs are supported by fewer applications. AMD GPUs, on the other hand, are just as capable and offer excellent value for money in terms of gaming and editing.


5. PSU or Power Supply – the underestimated PC upgrade component

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The power supply unit (PSU) is what keeps your computer running. If you've recently upgraded your GPU, check to see if your current power supply is adequate. If it isn't, you'll have to upgrade it as well. Do not skimp on the power supply, especially if you are building a mid- or high-end machine.

Choosing the correct power supply can be a daunting task. Let us try to make it simpler for you. To start with, memorize two features “power efficiency” and “modularity”.

PSUs come with a variety of certifications, known as 80 plus certification labels. Manufacturers can use the 80 Plus certification labels to provide some reassurance that their power supplies will fulfil certain efficiency requirements. They are divided into bronze, gold, and platinum 80 plus certification levels, with each higher level indicating increased efficiency.

Summing it all up: When it comes to upgrading your PC, or giving that extra life to your old laptop, the major areas to concentrate on are RAMs, SSDs, and Graphics Cards. Ideally, you should always prioritize your updates to meet your specific requirements. Taking the time to figure out where the problems are in your system can help you make the best hardware upgrade. And for anything around this, like always, we are just few clicks and taps away to assist you.

See you next time.

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