Simple PC hardware upgrades to improve performance

System performance lag affects all PC users. Whether you’re a graphic professional dealing with Photoshop and movie editing, or a gamer who has a wealth of the latest AAA titles in his collection, a slow system ruins the experience of working on a PC.

There are a few ‘cheap’ ways to ease the situation for a while longer, but with next generation chipsets from Intel and AMD around the corner, one needs to consider any upgrade carefully.

RAM

Adding more RAM is probably the easiest way to curb lag in your system, though over the last three or so years it hasn’t been as easy as many would’ve liked. The transition between DDR2 and DDR3 was anything but smooth, and that wasn’t the only problem. Dual channel vs. triple channel RAM sets compound things further, and DDR3 RAM running at different voltages made things even worse.

Luckily we are past that stage, with DDR2 support dropped from all new chipsets, triple channel designs being dropped in favour of dual or quad channel, and one stable voltage range now in place.

Buying a dual channel set of DDR3 RAM running on voltage between 1.5v and 1.65v is a good investment for future systems with almost guaranteed compatibility. If you’re affected by LAG and adding more of the above type of RAM to your system is possible, it serves as a great mini upgrade.

SSDs

SSD has been a buzzword in the tech field over the last 2 years. Solid state drives brought with them extremely impressive performance increases, questionable lifecycles, and large price tags. Readers will be happy to know that things have improved dramatically, and are set to get even better.

While still expensive compared to high capacity hard drives, decent SSDs in the 60GB to 120GB region can be had for as little as R1,200. These are more than enough for a Windows boot drive, and result in noticeable performance gains. Using an SSD, a system will boot up faster and will be more responsive. Applications such as Photoshop and internet browsers offer a smoother experience, and game load times are greatly reduced.

SATA2 and SATA3 variants of the drives are also available, and with all known future platforms supporting both of these technologies, an SSD is a wise investment for those seeking improved performance.

With future systems adopting current standards, PC users can upgrade the above two components with confidence, knowing that a short term performance boost, as well as future compatibility is on the cards.

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Simple PC hardware upgrades to improve performance