The most critical parts of computer hardware are CPU, RAM, hard drive, and GPU. If a computer shows any sign of poor speed or failure, it is time to upgrade your PC.
Here, a brief description of all these parts has been provided, which you must change to let your PC function properly!
CPU is the brain of your computer, containing all the circuitry to process the data received, store the data and display the output results. The CPU constantly follows instructions of computer programs that inform it which data to process and process. We cannot run programs on a computer without a CPU.
On average, a CPU lasts around 10-20 years.If the operating system does not load despite the fans running, or if the system turns on but does not display anything or powers-on but shuts down suddenly.Then your CPU is over-stressed.
Consider buying the best CPU, i.e., ryzen 7 3700x, a powerful processor with low power consumption, and mainstream chips like Intel or i5.
A Random access memory (RAM) function temporarily stores the data being actively used on the computer. It allows quick access to data quicker than if it was coming directly from the hard drive.
Two most common types of RAM:
Dynamic RAM (DRAM)
DRAM is more common than SRAM. It consists of transistors and capacitors. It refreshes at the rate of thousands of times per second.
Static RAM (SRAM)
It consists of more transistors per memory cell than DRAM. It is faster and more expensive as compared to DRAM.
Usually, it is not needed to replace the RAM completely. Instead, depending on what the computer is used for and what types of applications are desired to run.You may only feel the need to upgrade RAM.
The amount of RAM required is based on computing needs:
- 4GB RAM is enough for general internet browsing and running non-memory-intensive applications.
- 8GB to 12GB RAM is better for gaming, video streaming, and running memory-intensive applications.
- 16GB to 64GB RAM is required to run high-resolution photo and video editing applications, animations, illustration, etc.
- The RAM needs to be upgraded if the system shows poor performance, like lagging or freezing with everyday tasks.
In some laptops, the RAM is soldered to the motherboard. Check the computer’s service or hardware manual to determine if the RAM is soldered or not. You cannot upgrade the RAM yourself if it is soldered.
The hard drive is used to keep or store the data on a computer. It is different from RAM. The hard drive is a computer’s long-term storage, while RAM is the short time memory.
The following are the most common types of hard drives:
- Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
HDD is a traditional spinning hard drive cheaper and slower than a solid-state drive (SSD). It can be louder and get hotter than SSD.
- Solid State Drive (SSD)
SSD is the newer technology, and it does not have any moving parts. It is smaller than hard disk drives. It is an expensive option found in high-end computers.
Typically, a hard drive lasts for 3-5 years. However, several signs show the failure of a hard drive, such as overall slower performance, corrupted data, etc.
Note: When the hard drive shows these signs, it is essential to back up the hard drive before it fails. External hard drives and remote cloud storage are the standard backup solutions.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
GPU is commonly known as the graphics card. Its function is to receive information from the CPU and then choose how the pixels on the screen should display that information.
There are two types of graphics cards:
- Video Graphics Array (VGA)
VGA is the minimum standard of GPU that allows 256 colors.
- Quantum Extended Graphics Array (QXGA)
QXGA is a high-performance graphics card that renders millions of colors.
Typically, a graphic card lasts more than five years, depending on if a system has a single GPU or dual GPU configuration. The following are the two types of GPU.
- Single GPU
Single GPU is cost-effective and better for standard users.
- Dual GPU
A dual GPU is more expensive. It has an increased graphics performance which is better for gamers.
When random lines, dots, or incorrect colors appear on the screen, known as artifacts, it is time to upgrade the graphics card.
So many options are available in the market where you can buy the best graphics card under $300. For example, XFX Radeon RX 550, NVIDIA Quadro P400 from PNY, and Asus NVIDIA GeForce GT 710 are popular options.
Note: Before choosing to upgrade the graphics card due to artifacts, check the computer’s cooling system. Overheating also causes artifacts. Overheating can be prevented by keeping the vents and fans clean regularly.
Regular maintenance is essential to let your function your computer correctly. In addition, it is also essential to make sure that the computer is upgraded. If you find that the PC is not working correctly, try to upgrade your system as early as possible.