Ask ten different users what it means to upgrade a PC, and you will probably get ten different answers. Everyone has a different view of upgrading a PC, based on their current needs. To the user who is getting started with multimedia, upgrading a PC might mean adding a DVD-ROM and video card. Likewise, to a traveling sales person, upgrading a PC mean adding Wi-Fi, or Fax/modem. Finally, to a computer programmer, upgrading a PC might mean installing new a faster processors.
Upgrading your PC is simply the process of installing new hardware or software that improves your computer’s ability to serve your needs. This book examines several different ways you can upgrade your PC. in some cases, the upgrade will require new hardware. In other case, you might need to install new software. Finally, there will be some cases when you simply need to put your existing software to better use.
Upgrading PC Software
One of the most important PC upgrades you need to know how to perform is how to install or upgrade software. Just as many users do not feel comfortable with their PC’s hardware, many feel even less comfortable with software-the programs your computer runs. As a result, many users still run old software because it “meets their needs” and because they have never performed a software upgrade.
When Should You Upgrade Your PC?
PC upgrades help you maximize your existing computer’s capabilities. In some cases, you will upgrade your PC to improve its performance. In other cases, your upgrade will add new capabilities, such as a DVD-ROM drive, sound card, or video card.
Companies, such as Microsoft, release software upgrades for one of two reasons. First, some upgrades simply fix errors (called bugs) that were present in the previous versions. Normally, software manufacturers will offer such upgrades for free or for a very nominal price. Second, major software upgrades add new features to the software program. As a rule, you should normally upgrade your software to the latest version.
If you want to upgrade your PC to improve your system performance, you must first identify your computers bottlenecks (the devices that slow down your PC). Use the following symptoms list to determine where you should focus your initial upgrade efforts:
- Programs start slowly after you double-click your mouse on a program icon within Windows.
- You experience considerable delays when switching from one program to another within Windows.
- You are constantly struggling due to insufficient disk space.
- Your monitor’s sharpness does not match that of another computer.
- You experience delays when a program reads or writes to a file.
- Your system does not start.
- You run tow or more programs within Windows on a regular basis.