Most likely, you or your parents still have an old PC laying around, collecting dust, that you think you won’t be needing again, but in fact you can still give it a fresh breath of life. Every piece of technology should last about 10 years when you talk about PCs. Moore’s law just doesn’t apply anymore. Sure, it was true back in the 80’s and 90’s, but today you can still use an older PC perfectly fine. For instance, my laptop is 6 years old, my PC is 9 years old and I have another laptop that is 12 years old and still runs without any hesitation. I believe that if you use it properly, any piece of technology should last a really long time.
But what if you have a PC that is maybe 7-8 years old that just doesn’t cut it. If you have a decent processor inside, like a Core 2 Duo or a Core 2 Quad, it should be perfect for an upgrade. Also, if it has DDR3 memory, it’s even better. I’ll show you a few ways to improve your experience with an older PC that won’t cost that much.
1. Give it a fresh installation
This is probably the most obvious step, but you wouldn’t believe how much of a difference a fresh install makes. Of course, you can clean your older OS, but if you haven’t used it for a while, it’s best to reinstall it. Also, most likely you have an outdated OS, so you can go with Windows 10 this time in order to be set for a long time. There are a few tricks that you can follow so it will be easier to fix any problems you may have in the future:
- create two partitions: you can install Windows and all your programs on the first partition (C:), and you can leave the rest of your hard drive for your other partition where you can place your files and install your games. For some reason, Windows will make a few more smaller partitions, especially if you use an UEFI copy of the OS, but those won’t hurt your computer;
- install cleaning software, like CCleaner, and give your computer a sweep once in a while;
- use the proper drivers: you can just leave Windows decide what drivers you need, because it got pretty good at this, unlike older versions. If you somehow decide on Windows 7, you can use 3DP Net and 3DP Chip to fix any driver related problems;
- be careful what websites you visit and what you download: you may not even need an antivirus if you pay just a little attention at what you do online. You should really avoid websites with shady names or “too good to be true” offers.
2. Upgrade the RAM
Until scientists develop a way to download ram, we need to buy it instead. You may have heard of programs like Google Chrome that are voracious RAM eaters, devouring every little piece of memory they find. If your computer has less than 4 GB of RAM, you should definitely think of an upgrade. Of course, you can live just fine with 2 GB, but the performance just won’t be pleasant. Also, if you even think about gaming, even 4 GB may not be enough, let alone 2 GB. You can check how much memory your PC has by Right-Clicking on My Computer on your desktop, then hitting Properties. You can see there the amount of memory. You should also know what type of memory your PC has. If you have Windows 10, you can go in the task manager, in the Performance tab and in the Memory section. RAM prices have gone down lately, especially older types like DDR2 and DDR3, so this won’t be that big of a problem.
3. Buy an SSD
Most people would say that getting an SSD is the only step in making your computer faster. This is partly true. It does give your PC a lot of speed, but there are other steps also, that I will discuss next. An SSD is probably the best investment that you can make. It will increase the boot time and the overall speed of your computer exponentially. You will feel a difference even from the first start. Trust me, you won’t regret your money. A 120 GB variant should be enough for most users, because it will fit Windows and your programs, and you can use your HDD only for data, pictures and games.
4. Clean your PC from dust
An old PC is most likely filled with dust and maybe even spiders. So an intense cleaning is required if you want to keep things running smoothly. Focus on the processor cooler, because that will make the biggest difference. With a clean PC, you will get lower temperatures, resulting in better performance and lower power consumption. You should definitely think about cleaning the old processor thermal paste and replacing it with some new one.
5. Get a new video card
It says “turn your PC into a Gaming Beast” in the title after all, so I should bring up the GPU subject. If you have an AGP connector on your PC, you can safely replace the whole computer, but if you have a PCI-E slot available, a video card is a must if you even think about trying some games. A GPU like a 750 Ti is going to be enough for most users. Sure, you won’t be able to run the latest games in 4K, but remember that it’s your old PC that we’re talking about. So it probably won’t make any sense to buy anything more powerful than that GPU anyway.
That’s it! Now you have successfully upgraded your old PC and transformed it into a “modern” piece of hardware that isn’t new, but it will smash through all tasks that you may need it to do.