Computers used to be a luxury, nowadays, however, they’re an important strand in the fabric of our everyday lives; we use them at home, in business and for recreation. Basically, many of us would be lost without our humble desktop PC. Sadly, computers have a very finite lifespan, technology is always moving forward, and while your old computer is unlikely to go up in a puff of smoke, it is in very real danger of becoming obsolete after a few years.
The older your computer becomes, the more likely it is to give up the virtual ghost. Of course, scrapping your computer every few years and buying a brand new one will soon take its toll on your finances. Instead, you can avoid breaking the bank by upgrading your rig, swapping in new components as and when you need them. The question is, what needs upgrading? The following checklist will tell you what problems to look out for and how you can solve them.
If you have time to watch a movie in the time it takes your computer to boot up, you’re probably in dire need of a new CPU (central processing unit). There are many tools available that will tell you how many system resources your CPU is sucking up. If your usage is above 70-80%, it’s high time you invested in a new CPU.
Artifacts and video problems
Artifacts are blobs of pixels, or other visual irregularities, that suddenly flicker across the screen. This can be caused by a number of things, but the main culprit is usually a faulty GPU or video card. If your computer is giving you static whenever you try to play games or perform other GPU-intensive tasks, swapping in a new video card could be the answer to your problems.
A lack of RAM can bring even the fastest computer to its knees. It’s generally believed that your average PC or laptop should pack about 4GBs of RAM. If you’re planning on doing a spot of gaming or video-editing, though, it might be worth going the distance and getting at least 8GBs of RAM to keep things running smoothly.