How to upgrade your old PC and resurrect any computer

Author and references
Who has to deal with an old PC with at least 4-5 years on his shoulders, should consider proceeding with some hardware updates. Instead of changing the whole computer, it might be convenient change only one or two components internal (including the operating system), so as to give it a new life and prevent it from becoming too old to be able to find compatible components still in circulation.
In this guide let's see how to upgrade the old PC by indicating the most decisive and important improvements, both hardware and software, so as to resurrect any computer making it fast even with the most recent programs. The expense is certainly lower than buying a completely new computer and can bring incredible performance increases, especially for some components such as RAM and hard disk. Obviously not all components can be updated: on laptops for example we can only change the hard disk and RAM in a simple way, while on desktop computers there is much more flexibility from this point of view.

Articolo Index

  • RAM
  • SSD
  • Reinstall operating system
  • Change the Monitor
  • Backup

RAM


RAM is a very important component, as it temporarily stores all the programs and processes we open on the computer, including the operating system components. The more RAM we have, the more programs we can open at the same time, as well as providing space for heavier programs. The bare minimum nowadays is 8GB, but we recommend that you immediately aim for 16 GB or more of RAM so that you can continue to use the computer for at least another 4 years. For computers we can choose between DDR3 RAM (older) and DDR4 RAM (newer and more performing), plus there is a difference in shape between RAM for fixed PCs (DIMM) and optimized RAM for laptops (soDIMM ).
To learn more about the topic, we recommend reading our guide -> Computer RAM types: DDR, shape and speed.
If we have to increase the RAM memory, it is advisable to change all the RAM banks already present, so as to be able to benefit from new and faster components: we avoid simply adding RAM modules to the existing ones, we run the risk of exploiting the new memories at a lower speed than expected and of suffering problems with the old modules in the future.
Below we can find some of the best RAM banks to choose from.

For stationary PCs

  • Patriot Viper 3 Black DDR3 Kit da 16GB (82€)
  • Kingston HyperX Fury Kit Memorie DDR-III da 16 GB (91€)
  • Crucial Ballistix BL2K8G30C15U4B 3000 MHz (67€)
  • Corsair Vengeance LPX Memorie 16 GB (2 X 8 GB), DDR4 (112€)

For laptops

  • Crucial CT2KIT102464BF160B (68€)
  • 16GB (8GBx2) DDR3L (€87) on Crucial Kit Memoria
  • HyperX HX426S15IB2/ 8GB (41€)
  • HyperX HX426S15IB2K2/16 da 16GB, 2x8GB, DDR4 (72€)

SSD

Laptop hard drives wear out easily and can slow down even the newest and most powerful computers. In this regard, we always recommend installing an SSD, to be placed alongside the hard disk already present.
SSDs are much faster, so they will improve PC performance significantly both at startup and when we open heavier programs. The minimum of skills we recommend you consider for a modern SSD is 500GB, even though the prices of 1TB drives are falling sharply. These drives work well on both stationary and laptops, as they use SATA as a connection and are available in a 2,5-inch format.
The best SSDs we can buy right now are:

  • Crucial MX500 SSD Interno, 500 GB (66 €)
  • SanDisk SSD Ultra 3D with 500GB (73 €)
  • Samsung SSD 860 EVO, 500 GB (79 €)
  • Samsung 860 PRO Memoria SSD, 512GB (134€)

To learn more about the SSD topic, we refer you to reading our guide -> Best SSD drives to buy to make your PC go as fast as a tablet.
If, on the other hand, we want to transfer the operating system from the hard drive to the SSD without losing programs and data, we recommend that you read the guide here -> Transfer Windows to another PC or disk, without reinstalling and losing data.


Reinstall operating system

Reinstalling Windows is always considered the last way, but in some cases, only after trying them all and certainly after replacing the RAM and adding the SSD, it may be necessary format and reinstall. On Windows 10 it has become very easy to get the operating system back as new, in a few simple clicks: press the WIN + I keys on the keyboard and, in the window that opens, go to the menu Update and security -> Restoration.


To start the system restore we click on Start, just below the section Reset your PC and follow the steps recommended by the system. We can also choose to keep all our personal files: in this way we will lose the installed programs and the Windows customizations, but we will have all the personal files preserved and ready to be used after the Windows recovery.


If instead we want to use the classic Windows disk, we invite you to read our dedicated guide -> Format and install Windows from scratch to get your PC clean and new.

If we want to deepen the steps to restore on modern laptops, we invite you to read the guide here -> Factory reset on PCs and laptops (Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba etc.).

Change the Monitor

This may not seem like an essential update, but, in the end, it really matters. A new monitor gives back the pleasure of being at the computer, the eyes get tired less and everything looks better and clearer. Even if the computer is the same, what used to be old and slow can be transformed, just as a sensation, into something new and better to use. In terms of performance, nothing will change but, above all, an older person will really enjoy the benefits, also in terms of health. We can choose a modern monitor by reading our dedicated guide -> Best PC monitors to buy between 100 and 200 Euros.

Backup

Making a regular backup will allow you to restore your PC to a date when the system had no problems and was still fast and snappy. Obviously a second hard disk is needed for the backup, such as the hard disk we used as a secondary after placing the SSD.
The guides that we recommend you to read on the subject are Backup user folders to save personal data in Windows e Backup of installed programs and settings on Windows, so as to be sure that you can always save all personal data and programs used.

And if the old PC is still not satisfactory, before throwing it away and changing it, I recommend reading the article on things to do with the old computer: how to recycle it, revalue it and convert it.






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