Tune Up Tips Vol.4 : Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Tune Up Tips Vol 4 : Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Well now it’s time for the most expensive side of the upgrade scale. This is one of the hardest upgrades to complete because there is so much involved. The first bit of data that you need is whether or not your current motherboard can accept a new or more powerful processor. This is based on socket type, cpu voltage, and bios support.

When do you know if you need a CPU upgrade? Well if the computer seems to be chugging along you can open up the Task Manger as discussed in our previous post. In the performance tab you can check out how your CPU is handling what you are throwing at it.

If the motherboard can accept a better performing processor then you may be in luck. The new AMD Ryzen series is a great example. You can build a base computer with a Ryzen 3 processor, yet the same motherboard may take a Ryzen 5 or better yet a Ryzen 7.

A new CPU can run anywhere between $150 and $1200.  While this generally improves performance, we recommend you read our blogs on upgrading SSD, RAM and graphic cards first since they tend to provide more noticeable benefits at a cheaper cost. 

Really what it comes down to is making sure that all of your hardware is compatible. Normally if you have the model of your motherboard, a PC repair shop such as ours (XpertPc+) can recommend the best CPU that your motherboard can support. Be sure to always check the system requirements to make sure that your PC or Laptop can keep up!

Tune Up Tips Vol.2 : Random Access Memory (RAM)

TUNE UP TIPS Vol 2 : Random Access Memory (RAM)

Time for some more RAM! Wait what is RAM? RAM is Random Access Memory. This is what enables your computer to multitask quickly.

There are a couple of things to consider while deciding if this is the upgrade for you. Most apps are not going to individually utilize a lot of RAM. For instance if you have an application that only uses 500MB of RAM and you have 2GB, you wouldn’t really benefit from the upgrade.  Let’s use that same scenario but now you have 5 instances of this program running. Now you are trying to use 2.5GB of RAM when you only have 2GB. This is where you would need to upgrade.

At our shop XpertPC+, we recommend a minimum of 4 GB of RAM. The reason for this is because ANYTHING that is running on your PC is going to utilize some RAM. Even at idle, your operating system is using RAM.

See for yourself! If you have Windows 10, Hit CTRL+ALT+DELETE at the same time. Choose task manger and at the bottom left click more details. Click the “Performance” tab at the top of the screen and then you can see various PC monitors. Under the Memory section you will see a number using x.x/x.x GB. If you are even close to 80% usage it is probably time to upgrade. Here is an example of the screen you will see:

If you would like to learn more or are interested in getting this upgrade. Please bring in your PC to XpertPC+ to have one of our technicians help find the best solution. In most cases we add 8GB for under $100.

Tune Up Tips Vol.3 : Graphics Card

Tune Up Tips Vol 3: Graphics Card

Take your gaming, photo/video editing, or VR to the next level with a graphics card upgrade! There are several reasons that would make this upgrade well worth the money. With newer, more graphic intensive software coming out, you will need more than just your onboard video controller. Graphics cards have many benefits including multi-monitor support, high resolution capabilities, and huge system performance.

If you are looking to upgrade to a 4k display or get into some of this new virtual reality stuff, you are the prime candidate for getting a graphics card. Most VR application require 4GB of dedicated video memory to work at the recommended settings. This is equivalent to a NVIDIA GTX 1050 or a RADEON RX 470.

To make sure that you select the correct graphics card, always check the system requirements for your app. This will tell you what the bare minimum requirements are and also what the recommended system configuration is. In some cases there will also be a high or best requirements to run the application at the highest settings possible. You normally can find the system requirements online or in the manual of the software you are purchasing.

Be sure to also consider what video outputs you need to best suit your existing monitors. Different connection types include display port, mini display port, HDMI, mini HDMI, DVI-D, DVI-I, and also VGA. If you are to accidently overlook this, don’t worry, there is probably and adapter to help!

You can find your current graphics card by looking in your device manager. To access this if you are using Windows 10, you can right click on the start button and then left click on device manager. You can click the little arrow by display adapter and this will give you the model in most cases. You can use this information to look up the specs online.

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