You know you need to upgrade your machine when you experience performance issues such as lags, crashes, and delays. These often indicate a hardware bottleneck which is a fancy word for a computer component that cannot keep up with other parts during tasks. While you can get a brand-new PC, upgrading is a less costly route that gets you to the destination.

Computer hardware is accessible, affordable, and varied these days. Plus, you can do the upgrade by yourself if you know how to use a screwdriver. With so many hardware parts to upgrade, deciding what to take care of first can be overwhelming. We reached out to to get an idea of what part should be upgraded first.

1. Hard drive

If your PC boots for what seems like a century and loads tasks forever, chances are your hard drive is the problem. Old HDD hard drives read and write information by spinning a disk. As a result, they can be annoyingly slow. On the other hand, modern SSDs can read and write information up to three times faster than HDDs even when using the same SATA connector.

If you are lucky enough to have a PC that supports a U.2 or M.2 connector, you can improve performance by up to 20 times better by replacing HDD with SSD. This means booting can go from three minutes to less than 30 seconds. You can get 1TB SSD these days without selling a fortune.

2. RAM

Random Access Memory or RAM is a fast and temporary memory used by the CPU to store information between tasks. By upgrading your RAM to a bigger capacity and high-speed module, you make it possible for the processor to access data much quicker than a slow and smaller module. It also frees up the hard drive and makes it available for other tasks.

A small amount of RAM will cause the computer to slow down especially when too many programs are open. This is because some of the information in the RAM is transferred to the hard drive which is much slower than the RAM itself. If your computer is slow when your RAM is at full capacity, a RAM upgrade will sort out the problem.

2GB is the minimum requirement for Windows 20. However, if you have ever used a computer with these specs, you know it is still notoriously slow. You should have at least 6GB or 8GB of RAM. If you are a gamer, 16GB or 32GB is ideal for you. Thankfully, a majority of PCs support RAM upgrades. Just ensure your motherboard supports the RAM before buying it.

3. Graphics card

Third, on the list, upgrading the graphics card can give your PC a mammoth boost. If you are a serious gamer, this should be a top priority. In simple words, the graphics processing unit (GPU) receives data from the processor and then chooses how the screen displays the information. When you see incorrect colors on your screen or random dots/lines, it means it’s time to upgrade.

On average, don’t go below a frame rate of 60 FPS if you are a gamer. Higher would open a new world of gaming experience for you. You might want to upgrade to dedicated cards if you are using integrated graphics for the best user experience.

4. CPU

The processor has one job – fetch information, decode it, and execute it. What goes into it is complex but the fact is that you can significantly improve performance by upgrading it. Unfortunately, a CPU upgrade is very complex and expensive. There are compatibility issues that come to play, making it hard to install. Sometimes changing the CPU means having another motherboard ad RAM. If you have the cash to splash and the knowledge to install a CPU, go ahead and upgrade. It will make a world of a difference especially if you have an older generation like i3 and want i7 or i9.

Whether you are upgrading from an average PC to a gaming masterpiece or just want a better-performing machine, fixing these four components will get you home. The first three are cheap and straightforward. As long as you buy compatible components, you should have no trouble making the upgrade. A CPU upgrade is the most difficult. Only attempt it if you think it is absolutely necessary.

Also Read: What Programs Should You Install On A New Computer?