Breathing new life into an old PC

Has your PC past its sell by date and does it take a while to load.  Maybe you are not in a drastic need for a new computer just yet.  Without going into buying a new motherboard and processor what are the things you can try to speed up your PC.  Please be aware that these upgrades depend on the age of your PC and you should always check compatibility before purchase.  If you are interested in any of the hardware I use then please click here to see a list.

Increase PC Loading Times

Normal PC users might not think of adding this, but if your PC has a normal hard disk then installing a SSD, or solid state hard drive will increase your computers loading times.  It will give your PC a new burst of speed.  The drawback is that as a price per gigabyte SSD’s are far more expansive than the traditional hard drives.  The general size I would suggest as a minimum would be a 250GB which should give enough space for operating systems and some applications.

PC Upgrade SSD

I already have 3 SSD’s in my machine and a 2 TB traditional hard drive for my data such as documents, photographs and music.  Using allot of applications will soon take up the space on your hard disk, so only install those that you use.

More PC Memory

PC Upgrade DIMM

If you have slow down another way to help your PC is to throw more memory at it.  Depending on the age of your computer you still should be able to buy the DIMM’s, dual in-line memory module, that your PC requires.  If you are unsure about how to check this you can always find videos on youtube, or take your computer to your local hardware vendor.  Even if it involves removing your existing memory you need at least 8 GB.  If you have 2 GB, or 4 GB then you might not have enough DIMM slots available and have to buy new.

I already have 16 GB of memory and, so did not need to upgrade this.

Monitor Upgrade

One of the first things you can potentially do to upgrade your PC is purchase a new monitor.  Old monitors run at much lower resolution than new modern ones.  Adding a new monitor that can handle higher resolutions will give your PC more visual room.  Monitors that can handle 1080p are much cheaper than when they first came out.

PC Upgrade monitor

I originally had 2 19″ CRT very old monitors, but upgraded to 1 24″ 1080p AOC and a 27″ ASUS.  After upgrading to these monitors I had problems with games loading and software displaying blurry text.  This lead onto my second upgrade.

Graphics Card Upgrade

Most computers come with graphics on board the motherboard.  Which means that they are usually not powerful enough to run games.  In fact most games will not run without a graphics card being installed.  They will simply crash, or you will have to run them on old monitors.  Upgrading to new graphics card need not cost you the earth.  Some graphics cards can cost in the region of £500 plus, but these are for high end PC’s.

I did not have a graphics card and when I upgraded the monitors I used most of my games simply refused to work.  Not only that when having my PC set to a 1080p resolution the text would appear blurry until I selected the screen.

As my PC was a 4th generation processor on a cheap motherboard most people would be tempted to just go out and buy a new computer all together.  I opted for a different approach which was installing a new graphics card.  I opted for the GTX1050 ti Gigabyte that cost £160, see my review here.  Installing this not only gave my computer better usability, but allowed me to play even brand new games at a decent frames per second.  It is not perfect and I do get issues of screen tearing from time to time, but more than playable.

Here is my GTX1050 ti Unboxing video

Always make sure your motherboard can handle a PCI express 3.0 and if you are unsure either check with your motherboard manufacturer, or take your machine to the local PC hardware vendor for advice.

Here is my youtube video on how to install a graphics card.