Everyone wants to get the most life out of their computer investments. Upgrading the RAM and hard drive can make a noticeable improvement in the performance of your computer. Replacing a mechanical with an SSD hard drive will significantly improve the performance and reliability of your computer. In the past, computers with 4GB of RAM were fine for light use. However, Windows 7 has grown to require more than 4GB of RAM over the years.
Note: Before you invest in upgrades verify your computer’s memory or hard drive have not been soldered in place. Ultra-thin laptops and Macs may not be upgradable.
Upgrade vs Replace
Know when to replace instead of upgrade. If the computer is running an operating system that is nearing the end of support and cannot be upgraded to meet the latest system requirements it should be replaced. A computer that is running an operating system that is no longer supported is insecure and should not be connected to the internet or network.
If you can answer yes to any of the following questions you should replace not upgrade your computer:
- Will the operating system on the computer be unsupported soon and upgrading will not meet the minimum requirements for a supported version?
- Has the computer had parts other than the battery or hard drive replaced?
- Is the processor in the computer less than an i5 processor?
Check Your Warranty Status
Before you decide to upgrade your computer determine if your warranty or support is still active. You can check the status of your computer on the manufacture’s website. Many manufactures will not support aftermarket upgrades not purchased through them. Contact your manufacture if you have an active warranty to determine what upgrades are available for your computer.
Top 5 Computer Manufactures Warranty Status Pages
Scan for Available Upgrades
The easiest way to check for available upgrades for RAM and hard drives is to use Crucial’s System Scanner. The benefit to using Crucial’s System Scanner is the recommendations are 100% guaranteed to be compatible. Do not purchase RAM that is not on your computer’s hardware compatibility list. Although the RAM is within the computer’s specifications it may not work. Choosing a compatible hard drive upgrade is a more forgiving process. It is important to get an SSD or better hard drive as a replacement. If you are considering an NVMe hard drive, verify your computer can boot to that type of hard drive.
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