7 Computers You Can Upgrade Yourself

Here is a list of systems that you can add extra memory.

  • Dell Latitude E7270 UltraBook
  • Acer Aspire 5 Laptop
  • Dell T7810 Workstation/Server
  • HP ProLiant DL360p
  • BUFFALO LinkStation 720
  • Lenovo ThinkSystem
  • HP MicroServer Gen10

 

These upgrades are DIY-friendly. Here are some hardware upgrades you can perform yourself:

  1. Upgrade RAM (Memory): This is one of the most cost-effective and easiest upgrades to perform on a computer. More RAM allows your computer to handle more tasks at once, reducing lag and improving overall performance. Just be sure to purchase the right type of RAM for your computer model.
  2. Install a Solid-State Drive (SSD): If your computer still uses a hard disk drive (HDD), upgrading to an SSD can greatly improve load times and overall responsiveness. An SSD has no moving parts and thus can read and write data much faster than a traditional HDD.
  3. Upgrade the Graphics Card: If you use your computer for gaming or other graphics-intensive tasks, upgrading your graphics card can improve performance. However, keep in mind that this is generally only possible for desktop computers. Most laptops have integrated graphics chips that cannot be upgraded.
  4. Upgrade the Processor (CPU): Upgrading the CPU can significantly boost your computer’s speed and performance. However, this can be a more complicated task and may not be possible on all computers, particularly laptops. Make sure to get a CPU that’s compatible with your motherboard, and be careful with the installation process.
  5. Add or Upgrade Storage: If you’re running out of space on your computer, you can add a new internal hard drive or replace your existing one with a larger capacity drive. External hard drives or cloud storage are also good options for increasing storage without having to open up your computer.
  6. Install Additional Cooling: If your computer gets too hot, it can slow down or even damage components. Installing additional cooling, such as extra fans or a water-cooling system, can help keep temperatures down and improve performance.

 

When deciding between upgrading your computer or replacing it with a new one, cost is an important factor to consider. The cost comparison will depend on various factors such as the specific components you want to upgrade, the age and condition of your current computer, and your computing needs. Here’s a breakdown of the cost considerations for each option:

Upgrading Your Computer:

  1. Component Costs: The cost of upgrading individual components will vary. For example, upgrading RAM or storage can be relatively affordable, while upgrading the CPU or GPU can be more expensive. Research the prices of the specific components you plan to upgrade to get an accurate estimate.
  2. Labor Costs: If you’re not comfortable performing the upgrades yourself, you may need to factor in labor costs if you hire a professional technician to handle the upgrades. Labor costs can vary depending on the complexity of the upgrades and the technician’s fees.
  3. Compatibility: Ensure that the components you plan to upgrade are compatible with your current computer. Older systems may have limitations on the components that can be upgraded, which could impact cost if you need to replace additional parts for compatibility.

Replacing Your Computer:

  1. Base Cost: The cost of a new computer will depend on the specifications and brand you choose. Basic laptops or desktops are generally more affordable, while high-end or specialized systems can be more expensive.
  2. Operating System and Software: If your current computer has a licensed operating system and software that you want to retain, consider the additional cost of purchasing new licenses or transferring existing licenses to the new computer.
  3. Data Transfer and Setup: If you want to transfer your data and settings from your old computer to the new one, there may be additional costs involved, such as purchasing an external hard drive for data transfer or paying for professional assistance.

 

 

 

 

A small laptop used for Zoom meetings usually comes with 8G. It can use 16G.

 

 

 

These rack mounted servers are used in HA production systems. They can hold up to 1.5 T of RAM.

 

 

 

Tablets like this one can be upgraded to 32 G.

 

PC memory chips are small and snap into place. They look like this:

 

I’ve always had a soft spot for my old PC. It’s been with me through thick and thin, from late-night gaming marathons to those frantic work-from-home deadlines. However, as time passed, it began to show its age, groaning under the weight of newer software and struggling to keep up with my multitasking demands. I knew it was time for an upgrade, and I was eager to breathe new life into my trusty machine.

The first thing on my list was to tackle the storage. The old 500GB hard drive was almost full, and the slow read and write speeds were becoming a bottleneck for my productivity. I decided to replace it with a new 2TB SSD. The thought of all that space and speed made me giddy with excitement. I remember unboxing the SSD, its sleek, compact form factor was a stark contrast to the bulky old hard drive. The SSD was incredibly light, almost weightless in my hand, and I was amazed that something so small could hold so much data and offer such a performance boost.

Next up was the memory upgrade. My PC originally came with 8GB of RAM, which was sufficient back in the day, but with the dozens of browser tabs and applications I now used simultaneously, an upgrade was overdue. I purchased two 8GB sticks of DDR4 RAM, bringing the total to a whopping 24GB. Holding the RAM sticks, with their sharp-looking heat spreaders, I felt like I was holding the keys to a whole new realm of computing power.

The upgrade process was both nerve-wracking and exhilarating. I carefully opened the side panel of my PC, which was a bit of a time capsule with dust bunnies the size of tumbleweeds. I took a moment to clean out the years of accumulated dust before proceeding. Then, with the precision of a surgeon, I installed the new SSD, fitting it into the drive bay which seemed cavernous compared to the petite size of the SSD. The SATA and power cables clicked into place with satisfying assurance.

Installing the RAM was just as straightforward. I opened the clips on the motherboard’s DIMM slots, aligning the notches on the RAM sticks with the corresponding gaps on the slots. A firm push downward until I heard the click told me they were seated correctly. The once-empty slots now looked ready for action, armed with the new memory modules.

 

 

Be sure to power off before adding.

You will need at least 4 GB of memory:

  • Typical user – 8 GB
  • Power user – 16 GB
  • Professional – 32 GB
  • Virtual server – 64 GB

It is almost impossible to have too much.

 

Here is what the inside of a PC looks like. There is a lot of dust and wires.

There is a fan directly on top of cpu, and a ventilation fan for whole case.

 

It takes years to get this bad.

 

The fan can be cleaned with some compressed air like this:

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