Due to the compact size, laptops are much harder to upgrade compared to desktop PCs. But what if your laptop is underperforming and you want to upgrade? I mean the simple option is to buy a more powerful laptop. But where’s the fun in that? Not to mention the cost!
So here are some of the most common upgrades you can do to get more performance out of your laptop!
It’s wise to check on forums and the manufacturer’s website before making any upgrades or even purchasing parts as they might not be compatible with your device. Please remember to backup your data before performing any maintenance tasks on your PC. If you don’t feel confident carrying out upgrades visit your local computer repair shop.
1. Upgrade to an Solid State Drive (SSD)
One, if not the best upgrade you can do to any computer, whether it’s a desktop or laptop is to upgrade to an SSD. The reason being is standard hard drives have a spinning disk with an arm to read data. Picture a record player, well that’s technically what a hard drive is, only it has the possibility to read and write data.
An SSD is technically a computer chip making it a lot faster than standard hard drives. It’s important to remember that when hard drives start to get full, they will write data where ever there is space causing the handle to travel greater distances to read data. This is known as fragmentation and it can slow down your PC. Hence the reason Windows comes packed with a tool called “De-fragment and optimise drives”.
2. Upgrade your RAM
RAM can mean a lot of things for people, obviously, I’m not talking about a sheep! I recently found out that fact when I was upgrading the RAM for a family friend. He asked me where he can purchase the RAM oil from. I had to explain what RAM is – but that’s another story! Anyway, RAM stands for Random Access Memory and it’s used as a temporary storage location for information to be stored and retrieved by a computer. I don’t mean your files or data either, The RAM is where the computer stores data that it’s currently using. Hence the reason people say the more RAM you have the more programs you can run. Unlike hard disks, RAM needs the power to store data otherwise the data is lost when your PC is shut down.
Upgrading your RAM can also improve performance since you can run more items at the same time.
3. Upgrade to a newer version of Windows
Sometimes an older version of Windows can also be the cause of your problems, therefore upgrading to a later version should be able to solve your problem. But this depends on a number of circumstances. I wouldn’t necessarily upgrade a Windows XP or Vista device to the latest version of Windows 10 as that can cause more problems if the device will even run it. This isn’t speaking for all devices though as I have seen both Windows XP and Vista devices run fine on Windows 10 – not saying that your’s will because it’s a lottery! When I was upgrading my test PC to Windows 10 insider preview a couple of years ago, I had to upgrade the processor and RAM to get the Windows 10 media to launch!
A newer version of Windows can make your computer run smoother but this is not always the case and I recommend doing the above upgrades first and researching your model online to see if it would actually run the latest version of Windows.
There are laptops on the market that offer you more in terms of upgradability and a quick Google search suggests that you can also upgrade processors, graphics and network cards. Whilst, I haven’t come across a laptop that easily lets you upgrade the processor and graphics card, they seem to exist.
Network cards can be upgraded to a better one but the reason that I’m leaving this under the other upgrades section is that many if not most newer laptops that I came across recently didn’t have an upgradable network card, it was all integrated into the motherboard. This obviously doesn’t mean that all new laptops don’t have an interchangeable card!