Cheap Upgrades

Like many others, I don’t go out and buy the latest and greatest tech gadget just because it’s new or a little faster but what I do buy is quality. I spend that little bit extra on quality because to me that translates as longevity. I consider computers a little like race horses; many are built for speed and not longevity. I prefer to spend that little bit extra to make sure it lasts, but technology moves extremely fast so I plan to upgrade parts every few years to keep pace with technology.

Here are a few little upgrades I recommend to most of my clients who don’t have the spare $1,000 lying around to purchase a new quality computer. The first is to upgrade your RAM. RAM is Random Access Memory, because information is accessed randomly instead of sequentially like it is on a CD or hard drive. The computer can access the data much faster and it is used most when you are running programs. Most computers have 4GB of RAM, but if you double your RAM to 8BG you will find there is an instant increase in the speed of your computer. You can budget the cost of a RAM upgrade kit for around $100-$160 but you need to buy the right RAM that is compatible with your computer or it won’t work. I also suggest that when you buy the upgrade you replace the original RAM card, and for older computers I suggest you split the RAM into smaller cards rather than one great big RAM card as it helps the motherboard process the speed. You can install it yourself if you are confident, but if you are not that confident in upgrading yourself then ask your local tech person to arrange it.

The second and most popular upgrade in the last six months, is to replace your computer hard drive (HDD) with a Solid State Drive (SSD). These drives don’t have any moving parts like the old spinning platters in your hard drive. The SSD’s are lightning quick and last much longer then the HDD’s as they have no moving parts so manufacturers are guaranteeing them, starting at 5 years.

I have to say that I have installed about a dozen SSD upgrades for a few of my clients over the last couple of weeks and they are amazed by the difference in speed. It has breathed new life into their computer. Installing an SSD is a little more difficult, as you need to clone your current hard drive and record it to your new drive, and this requires a bit of expert know how and the right equipment, but if your technically minded, by all means back up your computer data and give it a go. You can expect to pay $200 and up for a 480gb SSD. For my clients I suggest to do both upgrades at once, because whilst I am already inside your computer it doesn’t take that much more to replace the Hard Drive with an SSD and upgrade the RAM all at once.

If you have a computer that is less then 5 years old, these upgrades will extend the life of your computer and get it back up to speed with today’s technology. As always, each computer is slightly different, so if you are unsure about your computer or not confident with the do-it-yourself computing, ring your local tech person and ask them if it’s worthwhile for your computer. If you don’t have a tech person, give me a call on 1300 862 817 or drop me an email at Nathan@hometechassist.com.au for some advice. Happy computing! Nathan

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