Computer Hardware – The Five Most Popular Computer Upgrades

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

Memory Upgrade

A memory upgrade is one of the most popular computer hardware upgrades and one of the easiest to do to boost the performance of your pc. But before you do a memory upgrade first check the BIOS operating system to determine how much memory is already on your system.

Also to upgrade your memory it will be necessary for you to open the case of your computer to find out how many modules are currently installed and how many slots are still empty. If all the slots are already filled you may have to remove the modules and replace them with larger ones.

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

Ok, so you now have some basic information to do your memory upgrade, but hold on a second, before running out and buying more memory, check your computer manual or go directly to the motherboard to find out what type of memory is supported by the current computer operating system. If you don’t check this out you will most likely get the wrong memory chips and the memory upgrade will not work.

Also keep in mind When buying a memory upgrade module, that 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 512MB modules, purchase one 1gb 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.

But it can be tough choosing the right video card since there are literally dozens available. It is very important to first take a look at the motherboard to determine what type of video cards are supported by the system, you can also check your computer manual on the types of video cards your system will support. The best video cards are the ones that transfer data the fastest. In order from the fastest to slowest cards are PCI express, AGP 8x, AGP 4x, AGP 2x, AGP and PCI.

Sound Card Upgrade

The 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.

In order to install a sound card, you need to locate an available ISA slot on the back of your computer. These slots are the longest sockets on the motherboard and there might be other cards already installed in those 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 powerful 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 the 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

Now for those of you who are truly serious about upgrading your computer hardware, motherboard upgrades are another popular option. But of course, a motherboard upgrade is the most difficult upgrade to do and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it if you don’t have a strong background in computers and electronics. For those of you who can manage, however, you will certainly 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 your 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 your computer manual. If you don’t do this correctly, your computer will be nothing more than a huge paperweight. If finished correctly, however, the computer will remain on the cutting edge of current technology.