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How to Improve Computer Performance and Speed: Top Four Hardware Items

Updated on March 23, 2011

More than ANYTHING ELSE, I repeat, ANYTHING, there are  the top four hardware items within your computer that, if upgraded, guarantees a faster computer. Slow computers are usually hardware issues unless, of course, we are talking about a virus slowing performance. Before you obtain them, first check your computer for compatibility. Many computers have a motherboard that will not support higher end CPUs, or certain types of memory etc. So, be careful, but, if you can, upgrade to the following, in this order:

1. Upgrade the CPU to a 2.67 GHz Core 2 Quad Q6700, 1066 MHz FSB ($260) or 3.0 GHz Core 2 Class Duo E8400 ($153). Either could increase performance from 36-50%. That simple.

2. Upgrade to a solid state HD. These are not your usual HDs and greatly decrease HD latency. They can improve performance from 8-18%. For one, the OCZ 120 GB SSD runs about $210, as an example. Most computers should not have a problem with this easy upgrade.

3. Upgrade the graphics board, especially, if you are gaming. Improvement will depend on the board upgrading to, but performance can be improved from  15-100% for gaming issues, however, if you are not gaming much or at all, upgrading the G card will not improve any noticeable performance. Try the  Radeon HD6870 or HD6850 ($225).

4. RAM. The standard myth is that your computer will be much faster simply my increasing RAM memory. Maybe only single digit percentage. Bumping from an existing 2 GB to 4 GB of memory only improves computer performance by 1.3%. Going to 8 GB improves to a paltry 3%! 4 GB of memory , DDR2-800, costs $97. 

The best advice to increase computer performance, assuming your rig will use all of the changes, is to upgrade all four above to the max that your motherboard will accept.. Performance could be improved by 70%. If you cannot afford all, stick with the top 2, for sure. Upgrade your computer CPU to the fastest the MB can take and go with a solid-state HD. At the very least, if your computer's CPU cannot be changed, go with 2 and 4. If your gaming, well, at least do #3.


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    • Patkay profile image

      Patrick Kamau 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      I can bear witness that if you have less memory, your computer will be sluggish. However, upgrading the other items as you have stated will be beneficial to the overall performance of the computer. Thanks for sharing this.

    • profile image

      kavita 5 years ago

      it was amazing

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      But, upgrading a CPU is far more beneficial.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      But, upgrading a CPU is far more beneficial.

    • eovery profile image

      eovery 6 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Ram, is one of the main things to look at updating first. Most of the ordinary daily tasks run good with more ram. It is the games that are very intense and need more power.

      Keep on hubbing!