Breaking the Computer Buying Cycle


That New Computer Smell

If you’re like the majority, once they go out and purchase a new Personal Computer you probable get excited while you’re taking it out of the container, flip it on and surprise at how speedy it runs. When a laptop is new it constantly seems to run faster and boot up faster than your old pc. The programs and games appear to run without any sluggish down and while you get on the net the pages load right away at the display, and you could fast surf from one internet site to some other. Overtime though, your computer can slow down and no longer run as speedy as it did whilst it was new.

This sluggish down can arise for a spread of reasons and whilst it happens it is able to be frustrating and destroy your computing revel in. Often instances when this takes place it can be corrected by either cleaning up your tough pressure, or walking a few diagnostics. Perhaps the computer has a pandemic and after you eliminate the virus, overall performance can be restored. What do you do although when you have completed all the ones matters and your laptop remains jogging slow?


If your computer is jogging sluggish even after you’ve got removed any viruses and attempted to enhance system performance, it could imply that the demands you’re now putting on your PC have passed the laptop’s capability. As we use our computer systems we tend to install new software program packages and try to run more applications simultaneously. The new software program we install can require extra laptop assets including extra laptop reminiscence and a quicker CPU, or crucial processing unit to run the software program programs or video games well. If you’re like me you like to have multiple software program packages strolling or more than one net browser windows open at the equal time and that could make use of greater quantities of computer assets as nicely. The greater assets you operate, the slower the laptop will run.

This is a regular trouble in computing because laptop generation doubles more or less every 18 months. In a demand for extra function wealthy software program programs, software program developers create extra aid consuming software program packages. To meet the improved needs of the software, laptop producers preserve to construct quicker, more steeply-priced computer systems. This, in my view, is a vicious cycle in which in order to hold a fast and fun computing experience, the pc consumer is forced to go out and buy a brand new laptop every few years.

Fortunately for me I actually have in no way had to fear about that trouble. I am a certified computer expert and were constructing and repairing computers for over 15 years. When I want a faster laptop I do not go out and buy a brand new luxurious computer. I actually have found out how to interrupt the new laptop buying cycle with the aid of upgrading my PC. By upgrading my computer in preference to buying new, I can simply make myself a faster laptop at a fraction of the fee.

You can damage the laptop shopping for cycle too and you do no longer should be a PC professional like me to do it. You only want to realize a few things approximately computers, be accessible with a screw driver and be capable of observe some simple instructions; however before you start to consider upgrading your computer, it is probably critical to get a quick evaluate on how a PC works.

Computer Basics

Computers are made up of a mixture of hardware and software program operating collectively. When you are not familiar with how PC functions then they could appear very complicated. You can reduce that complexity, after you understand how a PC works at a basic level. At its most basic stage a laptop receives input and produces output. A laptop receives enter thru input devices together with the keyboard and mouse (hardware). Every time we click the mouse on a hyperlink or circulate the mouse across the display we’re giving the pc enter or an guidance to do something.

The computer receives the input as an electronic signal created by means of the mouse click or keystroke at the keyboard. This sign is transmitted through the laptop and is converted into virtual information wherein it may be interpreted as an preparation through the working gadget, software program software or game.(software program)

The laptop procedures virtual coaching statistics and produces output as either an picture or phrases on the laptop display screen or possibly as a printout on a printer. What makes a computer rapid is its potential to receive enter, and produce output speedy. There are several components a laptop desires on the way to characteristic but there are 3 primary components that at once affect how speedy a computer can operate. The three number one computer components which deal with the processing of enter and make a pc rapid are the:

  • Motherboard or Main System board
  • CPU or Central Processing Unit
  • RAM or Random Access Memory
  • The Motherboard

Without getting too technical, the Motherboard is the pc component that connects all the hardware together on the computer. You should think about the Motherboard as a records limited-access highway that hyperlinks together all of the components of the pc and permits them to transmit information among each different and and talk.

Every computer component on the pc connects to the Motherboard both by being linked directly to the Motherboard or connecting thru a statistics cable. The gadgets or components that connect to the Motherboard are the CPU, RAM Memory, Hard Drive, CD ROM/DVD drive, Video Card, Sound Card, Network Card, Modem, Key Board, Mouse and Monitor.

There are extra peripheral gadgets which can connect with the Motherboard as well via an expansion of facts ports which might be connected to the Motherboard such as a printer, virtual digital camera, microphone, and even a HDTV. These devices can connect to the Motherboard using one in every of several ports which include a USB, Parallel, Fire-Wire, SATA (Serial-ATA), or HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port.

In brief the Motherboard supplied the facts verbal exchange infrastructure which lets in communication between all the gadgets. What makes one Motherboard faster than any other is the quantity of records it can guide being transmitted throughout what is referred to as it’s information BUS and the rate at which it is able to transmit the data. One manner to consider it’s miles in phrases of a street. Think of the records bus as a street and the facts are like motors using down the road. Older Motherboards verbal exchange changed into the equivalent of a manner lane street with a velocity restriction of 25 MPH. Today the brand new Motherboards are like eight lane highways with 200MPH velocity limits. New Motherboards are quicker due to the fact they can allow more records site visitors at better speeds.


The CPU or Processor is the brain of the computer. The CPU incorporates out all of the commands that you in conjunction with the Operating System, like Windows XP or Windows 7, asks it to do. CPUs can most effective carry out one guidance at a time but they do it so speedy it looks like they’re doing a couple of tasks at one time or “Multitasking”.

Newer CPUs are quicker because their “clock velocity” or “clock cycle” is faster. The clock pace is the rate at which a CPU can carry out commands. You can consider clock velocity like the timing of a metronome, the device that facilitates musicians keep the right musical time. A metronome has a hand on the front of it which swings to and fro at a timing c program languageperiod you place. As it swings backward and forward it ticks like a clock. Like the metronome the CPU additionally ticks at a set c language however a CPU ticks at an exceptionally speedy price that is measured in Mega or Gigahertz. The CPU consists of out an education on every tick of its clock cycle.

New CPUs can not only perform commands at very excessive clock speeds but they also can be made from a couple of CPU Cores. Each Core can perform its very own commands. When you have got a Dual Core CPU it can carry out commands on the equal time and a Quad Core CPU can perform four. There are even six Core CPUs out now and just like the more moderen Motherboards those CPUs also have a bigger Data BUS to ship and receive statistics quicker thru the Motherboard improving the computers general performance.

RAM Memory

RAM or Random Access Memory is what stores all the instructions you have requested the pc to carry out. Every time we have interaction with our computer we are developing coaching information for the CPU to method or even the handiest interaction, like transferring the mouse across the screen, calls for many single instructions the CPU should perform. You can consider that gambling a laptop sport or walking an application like Adobe Photo save can create a splendid quantity of commands for the CPU. The CPU is speedy and can execute numerous instructions speedy however it cannot do them that is why we want a place to shop the instructions till they may be processed. This is why RAM changed into created.

RAM is basically the storage location for all the instructions which can be waiting to be completed with the aid of the CPU. You can now and again inform whilst you don’t have sufficient RAM when you have clicked at the mouse or hit the enter key to initiate a application and the hour glass simply sits there spinning on the display screen. It can seem that our computer has locked up or iced over but what’s surely happening is the laptop is completing the series of instructions it has been given earlier than it can perform any similarly instructions. When this happens we generally see it as the computer in short locking up. It is likewise very frustrating.

The quality way to solve this problem is through really adding more RAM for your computer. Adding greater RAM is in all likelihood the perfect manner to growth the performance of your pc. Increasing the quantity of RAM for your computer can help your laptop run faster as it allows your laptop keep greater commands. This shall we the laptop perform a whole lot of commands whilst you continue to do your paintings and it reduces the laptop freeze ups. The speed of the RAM you operate also can assist the laptop. If you use RAM that has a quicker Data Bus velocity it can send the instructions it’s far storing to the CPU at a quicker rate. The quicker the CPU gets the commands the faster it is able to deliver them out and the faster your laptop will run.

The quantity and kind you may use is dictated by means of the kind of CPU and Motherboard you operate. The Bus velocity of the CPU and Motherboard in addition to the potential of RAM the Motherboard can recognize will determine what form of RAM and what sort of you could use. Some Motherboards will will let you set up as lots as 32GBs of RAM and most Motherboards will apprehend multiple Bus speeds so that you can use several one of a kind forms of RAM. Generally talking the quicker the BUS speed and the bigger garage ability of the RAM, the faster your laptop will carry out. The vital aspect to bear in mind although is that with large ability and pace comes better fee.


What’s high-quality about upgrading RAM is most Motherboards can accommodate several different speeds and capacities of RAM so that you can start out with a slower pace and smaller capacity, on the way to be much less high priced decreasing your initial upgrade value after which later down the street you can improve your RAM to a larger capacity and excessive velocity. Replacing the Motherboard, CPU and RAM is in reality loads simpler than you might imagine. The CPU and RAM are immediately linked to the motherboard so you can replace all three additives at the same time through truly swapping out the motherboard. To do that you need to first decide what sort of form element of motherboard your present day laptop helps.

The Motherboard Form Factor

Many pc manufacturers inclusive of HP, Compaq, Dell, Gateway, eMachine, and Acer build their computers primarily based on 4 primary motherboard shape factors or layout specifications and they are:

  • ATX = Full Size Motherboard usually located in full length Desktop computers and Towers
  • Micro-ATX = Mid Size motherboard discovered in Mid Tower and Smaller Desktops
  • Mini-ATX = Small Motherboard found in Mid Towers, Smaller Desktops
  • Mini-ITX = Newest motherboards very small length discovered in new smaller towers and computers

These form factors consult with the scale of the Motherboard itself. The computer case is designed to deal with a selected length of Motherboard. Once you have got determined which shape element your laptop version is, then all you want to do is purchase the precise form aspect Motherboard that fits your laptop fashions case. It would work like this. Let’s say you have got an HP Pavilion 750n computing device laptop. This is an older computer with a unmarried center processor. Nice computer when it first got here out however very slow by means of cutting-edge standards. You decide that you want to make it quicker by upgrading it to a Quad Core CPU however you need to determine if you can improve it.

You can determine whether or not you could improve that particular pc by going to the HP assist website. On the site you’ll kind of your computer model and observe the hardware specifications for that pc. HP will list the shape factor information in the specifications manual. Having done this often, I already recognise the 750n makes use of a Micro-ATX form thing. Each laptop manufacturer I named has a support site on their web site in which you may go to decide your models shape component. You can also do a seek on Yahoo, Google, or Bing and ask what shape thing your pc model is. If that doesn’t work truely e mail me or leave a comment on this article and I permit you to find it.

Once you realize the kind of form element your laptop version supports you are now equipped to determine what performance degree you would love to upgrade your laptop to.The overall performance level of the computer is usually dictated with the aid of the CPU it uses. You may also recollect I indicated the CPU is frequently called the brain of the pc as it techniques all of the commands and it units the computer systems average pace based totally on it’s clock speed.Since the computer systems ordinary velocity is about by means of the CPU, you commonly begin your upgrade by determining the CPU performance stage you want.

How you decide which performance degree you would like to upgrade to can be based on how you operate your computer and what kind of you need to spend to improve it. Generally speakme if you only use your laptop to send and get hold of e-mail, browse the web, and keep and share digital pictures from a digital camera, then you can best need to improve to a Dual Core CPU to noticeably improve you computing experience.

If you play masses of games, burns DVDs, edit movies or sound documents, and paintings with high-resolution photographs or snap shots, then you can want to select a Quad Core CPU to increase performance and enhance your computing enjoy. From a value attitude you can assume to pay more for a quicker CPU than you will for a slower CPU and Quad Core CPUs are usually greater high-priced than Dual Cores. As a rule I consider you should purchase as a great deal as you can for as low as possible that way you get the most on your money and you won’t should improve again for pretty a while.

When you’re equipped to choose your CPU you will have alternatives based on manufacturer and sort and there also are a few differences between the various kinds of CPUs from each manufacturer which you have to be aware of. There are 3 primary CPU manufacturers Intel, AMD, and Motorola, but for the cause of this text, we’re best going to recognition on Intel and AMD. Motorola is mostly accountable for making CPUs for Apple Computers. Apple computer systems, are a proprietary PC model and it is able to be more difficult and more high priced to upgrade an Apple laptop.

This article is centered on assisting the price range conscious, who own what’s usually known as an IBM like minded computer, improve their laptop effortlessly and inexpensively. IBM well matched computers are diagnosed as the ones computer systems which basically run a Microsoft Windows based operating system which includes Windows XP or Windows 7. Intel and AMD manufacture CPUs that assist IBM well matched computers so the ones are the two producers we are able to attention on.

For the purpose of this text I am no longer going to go into first rate element about the differences among Intel and AMD CPUs. There is already a enormous amount of unique statistics to be had on the net which describes every manufacturers CPU chip architecture, in addition to offers aspect by side assessment. I would invite you to do a little study on how every manufacturer’s chips are designed and then evaluation an internet site that benchmarks each CPUs overall performance. There are many links on CPU design, comparisons and reviews at the web and this may help you are making your CPU preference.

The triumphing sentiment regarding AMD vs. Intel is that each CPUs, in both Dual or Quad Core configuration, carry out further with Intel being slightly faster. Intel CPUs have continually been related to executing enterprise packages quick while AMD CPUs run multimedia programs speedy. As you research their benchmark ratings you may see Intel on a graph appears to dramatically out perform AMD but when you have a look at the length of time between the two it’s miles minimal.

Where you’ll see a tremendous difference between the two manufacturers is in fee. AMD CPUs are nearly usually less steeply-priced than Intel CPUs. The query I usually ask my customers is, “Is a 4 second faster speed difference really worth an additional $200 or $three hundred greenbacks more by means of buying an Intel CPU?” To me it is not. I am looking for an ordinary overall performance growth compared to what I am currently using. Once you upgrade your pc you are not going to be comparing it to every other computer of same overall performance, you may be comparing it to the speed of your final pc. If after your upgrade, you discover your computer runs considerably faster than your last pc and it failed to fee much that allows you to obtain that performance boom, you may be satisfied with your upgrade and that is what is essential.

CPU Cache

Earlier I indicated that RAM shops all of the instruction records being transmitted to the CPU and at some stage in the pc. The CPU Cache is every other shape of excessive pace memory most effective it is mainly dedicated to the CPU. It has been proven that a CPU can technique information faster if more of the data it need to process may be saved on memory positioned toward the CPU itself. All CPUs include a cache but some newer CPUs will include a further cache that is quicker and may maintain greater information in the direction of the CPU. Typically CPUs working at a better clock pace and having an additional, quicker cache will provide better performance.

A good example of this is the difference between the AMD Athlon and Phenom Series of CPUs. Both the Athlon and Phenom series are available Dual and Quad Core configurations but the Phenom Series has a further L3 cache making the CPU faster. It also makes a Phenom collection CPU greater steeply-priced than the Athlon Series. Another exciting tidbit is there may be now a version II for each the Athlon and Phenom Series. The version II offers a greater quicker cache subsequently each CPUs are purported to be quicker than their predecessors but the benchmark numbers display a pretty small growth in performance.

Be certain to do some research on the variations among the AMD and Intel CPUs and select the one you sense might be suitable to your computing needs while assembly your finances dreams. Once you have got selected the CPU you want you will then be geared up to pick the Motherboard that supports now not most effective your CPU however your pc shape issue as well.

One final thing regarding CPUs are each AMD and Intel have different CPU shape factors so while you are deciding on a Motherboard for the shape factor that meets your computers specs you furthermore might need to select the one that suits your CPU choice. This may additionally appear complex but it isn’t always that difficult when you begin looking on the Motherboard and CPU mixtures. The resellers I have confirmed you have filtering options on their web pages which assist you to pick out Motherboards which can support both AMD or Intel. You can also filter through each CPU and laptop shape factor as properly which assist you to slender down your choice making.

Once you’ve got decided on the CPU, you need to choose the Motherboard that will guide the CPU you have selected. As far as Motherboards move there are several important manufactures of Motherboards and they all produce the 4 principal forms of Motherboard shape elements. The principal manufactures are:

  • ASUS
  • Biostar
  • Gigabyte
  • MSI
  • Foxconn
  • ECSJetway
  • Zotac

This may also appear to be lots to pick out from but as you begin to filter at the CPU type you may slender down your cognizance and make selecting the proper Motherboard easier. Each motherboard will include common functions which can be important for preferred computer operations and some can come with additional features that could or may not be beneficial to you. The primary element to recollect approximately the Motherboard is that each one of the components join too it and you may pick to personalize your laptop upgrade as a good deal or as little you want depending on the Motherboard you purchase.

For instance, you can purchase a Motherboard which has the video and sound card integrated into the board. This saves you each time and money as it eliminates the need if you want to pick out a video or sound card, but in case you want a selected video or sound card, you may pick out a Motherboard that doesn’t include those included components and then choose the video and sound card you would love to put in as upload in playing cards onto the Motherboard.

Here is a listing of common Motherboards functions:

Keyboard and Mouse input regularly referred to as a PS2 connector USB – Universal Serial Bus ports for connecting computer peripherals together with (Keyboard, Mouse, Printer, Digital Camera, outside Hard Drive and so forth. Parallel Printer Port (now not as much in newer motherboards as printers use USB) Local Area Network or LAN connection for a community or internet connection Dial-up Modem (now not as commonplace in more recent boards because of high speed net connections)

Optional Motherboard Features:

1394 or Fire-twine connection (higher speed statistics connection) External SATA or Serial-ATA connection (higher speed data connection designed to connect external SATA devices along with a Hard Drive) HDMI – High-Definition Multimedia Interface to attach an HD Monitor or TV, or to an outside High Definition Audio factor We touched on RAM in advance and we know that the RAM you pick have to be supported by the CPU and Motherboard you choose. To make it easy it breaks down like this when upgrading. The CPU determines the form of Motherboard you need to pick and your computer version determines the kind of Motherboard shape component you choose. The Motherboard will dictate what sort of RAM you’ll be capable of use so in an effort to make your choice simpler. The handiest component you’ll need to determine in terms of RAM, is the dimensions of RAM which means the amount of Gigabytes, Gigs or GBs of RAM you pick and the RAM speed you pick out.

One different element you ought to be aware of is the more recent Operating Systems which includes Windows Vista and Windows 7 require at the least 2GBs of RAM to run well so you will need to select as a minimum 2GBs of RAM when you upgrade. Knowing this could make your choice regarding the amount of RAM pretty straight forward. As a long way as the velocity of RAM you pick that once more will depend on the speeds the Motherboard will aid, the quantity of performance you need and what sort of you are inclined to spend. As ways of figuring out the rate of RAM, your Motherboard will guide that isn’t hard to determine. As you begin to have a look at Motherboards you will see they truely specify the kind and velocity of RAM they support.

I even have covered numerous records up up to now and I hope you’ve got a higher know-how of what’s required for you with a purpose to discover the Motherboard, CPU and RAM components you’ll want to improve your modern-day computer. Buying those additives and upgrading them yourself is far less pricey then going out and buying a brand new computer and I am confident with this information as a start line you too can store cash buy upgrading the PC yourself. There are but, crucial extra pieces of information you ought to know before you attempt to improve your pc.

1. Before you upgrade your cutting-edge laptop you must again up all of your critical statistics on to an outside garage tool along with an outside difficult drive, USB bounce force or burn it onto a CD or DVD.

The motive that is crucial is while you upgrade the ones components you may be forced to reinstall the working machine and in order to erase all the contemporary records for your tough pressure. In additional in case you do not have an set up disk for your current running machine, you may want to buy a new replica of Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 to install once you have upgraded the additives. This won’t certainly be a prime problem for you in case you had been already thinking about upgrading to a newer version of Windows. Also I can help you discover an less expensive replica of the Windows working system in case you it.

2. The new additives you’ll installation in you present day PC could be greater superior from a power intake point of view and upgrading them will most probable require you to also improve your electricity supply.

The upgrade isn’t always pricey and is a very easy to perform. The sort of power supply you’ll need to pick can be roughly 400 watts at least and will need to be a 20×4 pin or 24 pin power deliver. This is the form of strength deliver supported by using the newer Motherboards. Again the Motherboard specifications will suggest the electricity deliver necessities.

To make your laptop quicker all you need to do is upgrade the Motherboard, CPU and RAM. You start by way of identifying the kind of Motherboard shape factor your modern laptop will aid, and the performance degree you want to improve to. Then you buy the CPU that fits your overall performance desires together with the Motherboard and RAM that suits each your pc model and CPU specifications. The one factor I didn’t cover is the real set up of these components as soon as you’ve got purchased them and are ready to put in. At a excessive level the system is not anything greater then:

Unplugging the computer and disconnecting all peripheral components which include the keyboard, mouse and monitor from the case Before you open the computer, discharge yourself electrically or buy a static strap to floor yourself to the chassis, this could assist you keep away from static discharge which could fry a laptop thing.

  • Removing the aspect cover off the computer case
  • Disconnecting all of the energy cables and Data cables from the antique Motherboard
  • Unscrewing and disposing of the old Motherboard from the case
  • Unscrewing and getting rid of the antique energy supply
  • Install the new power deliver
  • Install the new Motherboard into the case
  • Reconnecting all the energy and facts cables
  • Powering the laptop again up and listening for correct post sound
  • Now you’re prepared to put in the working machine

I recognize as soon as making a decision to start this system you may have many questions that’s why there is one remaining aspect I might recommend you do before you start to upgrade you laptop. There are many do it your self PC restore and improve manuals available on-line and they are able to offer you all of the assist you need to do your laptop improve. Many of the books will offer you little by little explanation on the way to update just about each factor for your PC and provide you with special diagrams so you can see a way to really perform the elimination or deploy. I could advise you make a small funding and buy this type of books.

If I ought to suggest any do it your self computer guide it would be “Self Computer Repair Unleashed”.This ebook covers all components of pc upgrade and repair in a clear concise format and presents complete coloration diagrams and little by little instructions to help you through any laptop improve or repair. I cannot suggest this ebook enough. I actually have supplied a link to this book on the hyperlinks page of my website under in my signature. I thank you for reading my article and I hope it has stimulated you to go out and address what you may have in the beginning thought was an not possible undertaking. You can upgrade your computer yourself and keep your self a whole lot of money too.

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Harlan J. Whelan
Pop culture fanatic. Tv scholar. Coffeeaholic. Zombie maven. Food advocate. Analyst. Enthusiastic about buying and selling cannibalism in Pensacola, FL. Had some great experience licensing robotic shrimp in Phoenix, AZ. Earned praise for analyzing accordians for farmers. Enthusiastic about training lint in Libya. Earned praised for my work researching wooden tops in Orlando, FL. Crossed the country exporting the elderly in Jacksonville, FL.