How to Upgrade Your Old PC

How to Upgrade Your Old PC

By Leo Notenboom

When trying to squeeze a few more years out of that old PC…start by combining these great tips with regular computer maintenance.–PC Pitstop

Unfortunately, there’s no blanket answer that I can give to you. It depends on what you’re trying to do with this machine and specifically how it isn’t meeting your needs today.

If you’re considering an upgrade, it’s obvious then that there is something about this machine that you don’t like. You either want to improve it or do something with it now that you can’t do currently.

Let me throw out a few ideas.

Start with RAM
When I have an old machine and I want to extend its life, I start by maximizing the amount of RAM that’s installed on that machine. How much RAM you can actually put in a machine will depend on the specific machine. More specifically, it depends on the motherboard in that machine; each has a limit as to how much RAM that can be installed.

When machines are purchased or sold new, they’re frequently not fully populated. Your machine may have a capacity of 4 GB of RAM, but you may only come with 512 MB. That’s very common particularly in older machines that were built when RAM was fairly expensive.

Examine the machine or look up what the machine’s capacity for RAM really is and then max it out. Put as much RAM in there as you possibly can. That’s perhaps the single more important thing that you can do to almost any machine to speed it up and give it a longer life.

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This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.

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7 thoughts on “How to Upgrade Your Old PC

  1. DDR Ram is the latest ram type and only is applicable to the newer motherboards…thats why they say ensure that you make the motherboard the most important element of your computer…

  2. I have a Dell computer with 1GB of Ram that I would like to add more Ram so does all Ram from old computers fit each other ? would like to get it up to 4 GB it is possible.
    Gale Wilson

    • @Gale Wilson: You should go to
      They can tell you what kind you need.

      Also go to dell and enter in your serial tag# that’s on your computer. It’ll let you know what the max ram is for that machine.

      Your machine may be able to run more expensive ram, but your computer may not be able to handle that speed and default to the lowest speed the computer can handle. In my searching I’ve never found a way to know what that is. Dell will tell you it’s compatiable, but not if it will be able to use the higher speed, which will cost more.

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