The Five Best-Bang-for-your-Buck PC Upgrades


Beef Jerky and computers have nothing in common. In fact, I only chose to lead with beef jerky because I thought it might attract attention—lots of folks really like beef jerky. Talking about the biggest differences between computers and beef jerky might be a bit more productive however.

The first and only point I’ll make, to avoid becoming too silly, is that beef jerky has remained more or less exactly the same for 500 years while the personal computer, which has existed for only a twentieth of that time, can’t go six months without seeing a major change.

So with computers shifting so quickly, it’s safe to assume that your PC is outdated and, since you’re human, that you’ve considered upgrading it. Here’s a list of the five best ways to upgrade your computer that will give you the most bang-for-your-buck.

  1. RAM – RAM, or memory, defines the amount of space your computer has to do the jobs you tell it to do. More RAM means more programs can be opened at once, larger files can be handled without causing your computer to freeze up, and fewer crashes from a processor that just can’t keep everything straight. Click here to learn more about upgrading your computer’s RAM.
  2. CPU – If your computer was the mafia, your CPU would be the Godfather. Nothing happens in your PC that your processor doesn’t have a part in. While this could be the most game-changing upgrade, it’s also the most headache inducing since compatibility can be a huge problem. Click here to learn more about upgrading your computer’s CPU.
  3. Video Card – While a bit more specialized in its work than the CPU, adding a discrete graphics card to your PC lineup can really give it a boost. This is true for everyone, not just for gamers! Most home computers use integrated graphics processors in place of a separate card. These will hog system RAM and cause your PC to run more slowly. The addition of a low-cost video card can make a big difference. Click here to learn more about upgrading your computer with a video card.
  4. Storage – Most people see their hard drive as a big storage bucket, just a place to keep all their pictures, movies, etc. They don’t realize that it’s also the means for accessing this data! A fast processor with tons of RAM will be left twiddling its thumbs when stuck waiting on a slow hard drive. Today’s fastest PCs use Solid State data drives with ultra-fast access speeds. Click here to learn more about upgrading your storage.
  5. Peripherals – Bigger screens are better screens! If your computer is running quick enough for you but you just don’t like the way it looks, you should consider a new monitor. More screen real-estate can provide higher resolution images, crisper text, sharper movies, and more! You may even give life as a dual-display user a try! You may also consider upgrading your mouse or keyboard if they’ve seen better days. Click here to learn more about upgrading your peripherals.

While this list may be helpful to some, many will still be left wondering, “Which upgrades would be the most beneficial to me?” This will, of course, depend on where your computer is at currently and how much money you’d like to spend. Personally, I would start by adding more RAM; this is likely to net the biggest increase in performance for the least amount of time and money. If you’re running Windows Vista or 7, a low-cost video card ($30-$50) can make a world of difference, since these operating systems require a bit more in the visual department. Older PCs stand to benefit a lot from a CPU upgrade if you’re willing to put in the detective time to make sure you’ve got the right one. Follow this link to learn more about picking the right upgrades for your needs.

Once you’ve decided how to upgrade your PC make sure you visit OutletPC to get the best prices on the parts you need!

This post is part 1 of a 7-part post called “The Five Best-Bang-for-your-Buck PC Upgrades.” To read more of this post please follow these links below:
Part 1: The Difference Between Beef Jerky and Computers
Part 2: RAM
Part 3: CPU/Processor
Part 4: Video Card
Part 5: Storage
Part 6: Monitor, Mouse, and Keyboard
Part 7: Determining the best Upgrades for your computer
If you’re interested in learning how to speed up your PC without physical upgrades check another of my series of posts entitled “Why your Computer Sucks!

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