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When should I upgrade my PC?
The consumer PC market has changed significantly in the last 5 years, and gaming PCs are always up at the higher end of performance, capability (and cost). New technologies are put to use in gaming PCs as soon as they become available and it seems new tech is pouring out of research labs at an amazing rate.
In our experience the ideal time to look into upgrades for your gaming PC is every 2-3 years.
Your PC update cycle is very similar to other rapidly evolving tech like mobile phones. Looking at updating to the current mobile phone every year is not really worth it, as the new model’s enhancements and updated features are not that big a difference to your current model phone. However every 2-3 years a new model phone comes out with a compelling set of features that makes your current phone seem really outdated.
Looking at upgrades every 2-3 years means you are adopting an upgrade cycle where significant performance gains are noticed after upgrading.
The main upgrade areas
An upgrade cycle of 2-3 years will give you plenty of choice when the time comes.
Graphics Card Upgrades:
Upgrading your graphics card is the most attractive thing to do, and is often a good choice. However its also worth considering if the graphics card you are looking to upgrade to is able to be fed data fast enough by your current CPU/RAM combination.
When upgrading your graphics card, be sure to check the power requirements of the new card and also its physical size. Ideally your new card will use a similar amount of power, and is a similar size to your current card. You want to avoid a situation where upgrading your graphics card results in an unexpected PSU and / or case upgrade as well.
CPU & RAM Upgrades:
Sometimes it’s not upgrading the graphics card that will yield the best results. If your CPU and RAM is 2x generations behind the current spec, then upgrading in this area will yield a massive performance boost.
Data Storage Upgrades:
Storage technology has gone through a fast revolution in the last 4 years. Basically there is only one type of “Hard Drive” worth considering at the moment and it is called NVMe. If your current system is not using an NVMe drive as the primary drive that Windows is booting from… then make this upgrade as soon as you can… its a relatively cheap upgrade that can transform your everyday PC experience.
Here is a short list to use as a guide, illustrating the types of performance gains we are talking about:
Old “mechanical” HDD = 200MBps
Recent SATA SSD = 550MBps
Latest NVMe SSD = 3,000MBps.
PC & CPU Cooling Upgrades:
CPU cooling upgrades only make sense if you are currently using the “stock” cooler from AMD or Intel in your gaming PC. Otherwise if you start to notice your PC dips in performance badly after gaming for 30mins or so… say it drops down to a lower frame-rate or it suddenly blue-screens or hard-resets … then upgrading your cooling might be an option. Feel free to email or call us if you think your PC might be overheating.
Operating System Upgrades:
If you are running Windows 10 on your current system there is no need to upgrade at all. Upgrading from Windows “Home” to Windows “Pro” will yield no performance benefits whatsoever on your gaming PC. Upgrading your Windows installation is less about performance and more about compatibility, as some software and games will simply not run on older editions of Windows.
Contact us about your PC upgrade today.
Let us know what games you want to play, what your existing PC is made of, if you have any budgets in mind and we can recommend a PC setup for you.