Upgrade a computer, a simple how to.

How to: Upgrade a computer

In this how to we will take a look at the following items and learn how to upgrade a computer.

  1. Can my computer be upgraded?
  2. Upgrade path.
  3. What are the options for upgrading?
  4. Where can I find the right parts?
  5. The basic Installation.

Can my computer be upgraded?

The sort answer is, it depends. First you will need to find out the make and model of your computer. This can usually be found on a label somewhere on your computer. For laptops, it usually on the bottom or under the battery. For desktops, it is usually written on the computer itself or on a label at the back of the computer, where the power cable plugs into the computer. Once armed with the make and model you can then do a search and find the specifications, your manufactures website is ideal. The manufacture website will generally tell you the memory your computer will support as well as the CPU’s the motherboard supports. For laptops, a CPU upgrade is not an option. As well as being limited in the number of CPU’s supported.


Upgrade Path.

Once you know your computers limitations you will then know your upgrade path. There are two main options.

  1. Increase the amount of RAM
  2. Replace the old hard drive with a modern solid state drive, also known as an SSD.

RAM: or memory, come in many different configurations. Armed with the knowledge of your system specs you will know exactly how much memory and it what configuration you need. A great tool for this is found here: http://www.crucial.com/usa/en/systemscanner Crucial system scan will tell you exactly what your computer will support and in what configuration.

Solid State Drive: A SSD is simple a hard drive with no moving parts, the storage is based on flash memory. Just like a USB storage device, only meant for internal use with various different interfaces. The most common interface is SATA III, Serial AT Attachment Revision 3.x, which is, currently, the latest revision of the SATA interface. However SATA I, II, and III are all interchangeable and perfectly compatible. The difference being the transfer speed of the interface. SATA I rated at 1.5Gbp/s | SATA II rated at 3 Gbp/s | SATA III rated at 6Gbp/s.

If a devices is rated for SATA III and you connect to a computer rated for SATA I your speed will be limited to which ever devices has the lowest standard.

You can get boot up times in seconds instead of minutes changing out your old hard drive to a SSD.


Where can I find the right parts?

There are a number of sites you can use to find great quality parts. We recommend Amazon and you can find all you computer parts by visiting Amazon.


Basic Installation of SSD and RAM.

The easiest upgrade anyone can do is to install RAM, next to that is a new SSD.

To begin you will need a tool set of phillips head screw drivers and a plastic pry tool for some laptops.

For desktops remove the side panel, with the computer unplugged from the wall. You will see the RAM sitting vertical in the motherboard.

Here is a good video from Linus Media Group.

For laptop’s the memory installation is slightly different.

Here is a video that shows both upgrades being performed on a laptop.

Installing a SSD in a desktop may require a 2.5 to 3.5 Adapter, click the link to go to Amazon. As well as a phillips head screw driver. The video below gives a great visual of the process.



While not for everyone the upgrade process is quite simple and the benefits are profound. A SSD and RAM upgrade is the best combination of upgrades you can do to an old or aged computer system.


October 24th, 2016 by
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