National Computer Repair

Experienced in computer repair, data recovery, and a love for all things geek.

Tag: computer parts

Signs Its Time For A New Computer

Everybody fears the day their computer is no longer up and running. If you’re find yourself wondering if it is time for a new computer, continue reading along with this month’s blog to learn the common signs. 

Look out for:

Updating your computer to ensure all essential programs are current and running smoothly is an important task to for your computer’s health. If you are struggling to update because the new program updates aren’t compatible with the year of your computer, it may be time to upgrade to something more current. 

Another sure sign that it is time for a new computer is if your current one is making a lot of noise. If the vent fan is suddenly sounding louder than normal and is potentially over heating, it may be time for an upgrade. When your fan isn’t working properly, the insides aren’t going to last much longer. 

If you are finding it increasingly difficult to multitask on your computer, it may also be time for an upgrade. Being able to multitask without frustration over how slow your computer is performing is essential. Likewise, if your computer is crashing often, the end may be near!

Finally, if the computer repair costs are adding up to be more expensive than a whole new computer, it is definitely time to upgrade! While it may be comforting and seem like less of a hassle to simply get a repair instead of an upgrade, ultimately you could be saving yourself money in the long run. Repairs can be costly and quickly start adding up!

Conclusion:

Nobody likes to admit that it may be time to purchase a new computer. If you are struggling to decide whether it is time for a repair or an upgrade, we here at National Computer Repairare here to help!

The Main Components of a Gaming PC

If you’re heavily into playing PC games, it’s worthwhile to invest in a gaming computer. While most PCs can play video games, specialized gaming computers totally enhance the gaming experience. These computers are built with components that are specifically designed to run video games efficiently without causing the computer to crash. What are these parts exactly? Read this blog post for a rundown of the main components required for a gaming computer.

Graphics Processing Unit

Graphics Processing Unit, GPU, Graphics Card, Video Card

The graphics processing unit is known as the GPU, graphics card, or video card. This component is the most important part for PC gaming; it’s what makes games look photorealistic without crashing your computer or slowing down the gameplay.

The graphics card relies on the processor (CPU) to function. If the CPU isn’t processing the game quickly enough, the GPU’s visual output will be bottlenecked, meaning that the FPS (frames-per-second) will drop and the game will lag or freeze. A high quality GPU working in conjunction with an efficient processor will give you a smooth gaming experience.

Check out our selection of graphics cards.

Processor

Computer Processor, CPU

The central processing unit, or CPU, is the brain of the computer. The CPU controls the number of tasks your computer can perform simultaneously, and how quickly it can do so. For gaming, the processor is the second most important component in a computer, as it works hand-in-hand with the graphics card.

Since the CPU is so important, make sure you are buying an up-to-date CPU and compare it with competitor brands to ensure that you are picking the best model possible. Many gamers purchase Intel processors, as their stronger single-core performance makes them especially suited for gaming; although, AMD processors are quickly becoming just as good as Intel processors in terms of gaming, and are more affordable.

Memory

RAM, Memory, Memory Card, Random Access Memory

Random Access Memory, or RAM, is the third most important component for gaming; it allows computers to quickly access files and run multiple processes simultaneously without lagging. It’s directly linked to the CPU, and greatly impacts the CPU’s performance and your gaming experience.

Speed isn’t as important as quantity; the more RAM you have, the better your system will be at managing multiple applications at once and meeting the memory requirements of today’s PC games. You will need at least 4GB of RAM for your computer (any less and your computer won’t be able to run most games), though 8 to 16GB are your best options.

Storage

Computer Storage, Hard Drive, Solid State Drive

To figure out how many gigabytes of storage you’ll need, look at how much space your current list of games require, and use that number to gauge how much storage to get. Then, you will need to choose between a hard drive (HDD) or solid-state drive (SSD). Having both is recommended, but we suggest getting an SSD if you can afford only one.

If you’re looking for quality, get an SSD – they are smaller, durable, provide faster loading times, and can store a significant amount of data. If you’re looking for quantity, opt for an HDD – they are larger, more affordable, and can store much more game data (though they can result in slower loading times).

Power Supply and Motherboard

Computer Motherboard

Computers need electricity to run, so a good power supply unit, or PSU, is critical. Don’t get a cheap, poor-quality PSU, or else the rest of your computer won’t perform well. Buy from a reputable manufacturer, and make sure that the unit you buy has enough wattage for your system. This Power Supply Calculator helps you determine how big your PSU needs to be.

Every computer part is connected in some way to the motherboard, so that every component can communicate and work together. Motherboards do not have any effect on gaming performance, so it does not matter what type you purchase, as long as it’s compatible.

Check out our selection of motherboards.

Case

Computer Case, Computer Tower

The computer case holds everything together and can make your system last many years without needing many rebuilds. Your case should have space for your motherboard, GPU, and for replacement parts that may be installed in the future. It should also accommodate for a cooling setup, allowing room for two fans and vents for those fans.

Check out our selection of computer cases.

Other Components

Operating System (OS): Windows 10 is the top recommended system for gaming, but if you can’t afford it, go for Linux operating systems.

Mouse and Keyboard: Consider the types of video games you like to play. Shooter games require a usable mouse, while MMOs, MOBAs, and strategy games need a quality keyboard.

Monitor: What’s the point of playing a video game if you can’t see anything? Invest in a good monitor that is compatible with your setup.

Fans: These keep your computer cool and prevent it from overheating. A high quality fan improves air flow, keeps hardware at a decent temperature, and reduces the noise coming from the computer.

Computer Fan

Conclusion

There are many parts needed for a gaming computer. Luckily, National Computer Repair LLC has the parts you need to design your dream gaming PC. If you can’t do it yourself, let us custom-build one for you!

PC Problems: Should You Upgrade or Start From Scratch?

If you built your computer from the ground up and got used to optimal performance, sometimes even the smallest dips in speed can seem much more drastic than they are. This familiarity with speed and convenience makes knowing when to upgrade and when to cut your losses and build a new PC rather difficult. Many times, users can convince themselves an entirely new computer is necessary simply out of excitement of being able to craft a new machine with completely modern parts. And while we would never scold you for being excited about the new PC innovations out there, the more budget-friendly option can often be just replacing a part or two.

If you find yourself walking a tightrope unsure of whether you want to upgrade or rebuild, we urge you to read on. Below, we’ve covered a few of the important questions you need to ask yourself if you plan on making some changes to that current rig.

How Necessary Is the Upgrade?

Having the funds necessary to build up an entirely new computer can be exciting, but knowing when’s the right time to simply opt for a upgrade can keep your computer running well until an even more impressive set of parts worth that excitement are released! Always ask yourself just how essential the upgrade or rebuild really is. Is your computer running slowly across the board or is it only when you perform certain tasks or utilize a certain part? If it’s the latter, you could save quite a bit by simply swapping out that one trouble-making piece.

When Is a New Computer Necessary?

One of the many perks of custom-built computers is the fact that many of their parts are reusable. If you needed a brand new motherboard, for example, you can still use your old power supply, graphics card, and even power supply.

That being said, this doesn’t necessarily rule out the need for a brand new computer in certain circumstances. After all, if everything in the computer is so old that it isn’t even worth recycling or if the parts are so outdated they wouldn’t meet the needs you now have for a PC, it could be simpler to start with a new rig and upgrade it as time goes on.

 

What Parts Need an Upgrade?

If you’ve come to the realization that a complete rebuild isn’t necessary, the next step is nailing down what parts actually need that upgrade. Much like when you build a new PC, it’s essential to start with what you need out of your computer. If you’re simply looking to speed it up for the sake of efficiency, you can get away with a simple SSD. If, however, you want to game more and have your computer keep up with higher visual settings, a new graphics card could be the way to go.

Unfortunately, it can sometimes be the case that one individual part depends on another component to run effectively. In these kinds of situations, swapping one out can mean having to upgrade the other. For instance, if you plan on upgrading your CPU, you might need to invest in a new motherboard that can hold it if your current one isn’t a proper fit. A brand new graphic card, on the other hand, may not depend on any given part in such a way but, if your power supply isn’t up to snuff, you won’t be able to leverage the abilities of that new video card in the first place.

Conclusion

It can sound like a lot to keep all of this in mind, but there’s no reason to be discouraged! Whether you’re a tech savvy person yourself or you don’t know the first thing about custom rigs, there are countless teams, forums, and blogs like ours online that can help fill the gaps in your knowledge. Do your homework, speak with the professionals, and create that computer that lasts you for years to come!

Picking the Perfect Laptop

Boasting both versatility and portability, laptops remain a tried and true tool for those who travel regularly or work on the go. Of course, what kind of laptop one should shop for can vary from person to person. If you plan on picking up a laptop, knowing exactly what kind of use you plan to get out of it is never a bad idea.

Even with those considerations in mind, picking the right laptop can be tricky when you consider just how much variation exists on the market. Fortunately for those feeling a little overwhelmed, we have a short list of considerations buyers should stay on the lookout for when shopping. Read on for a few of the qualities we feel shoppers should consider before settling on their next portable computer!

Decide Between a Traditional and a 2-in-1 Laptop

One of the first things to consider before visiting your first store is whether or not you’re interested in a 2-in-1 laptop. 2-in-1s are hybrid devices that can freely switch between traditional laptop modes and tablet modes. Typically, this is either achievable through detachable screens or laptops capable of being bent back 360 degrees in order to change modes.

While these machines can surely bridge the gap for those unsure of whether or not they want to settle on a laptop or tablet, almost universally across the board, a machine that specializes in one or the other will perform more effectively. In the end, it boils down to how you plan on using the device. If you’re hoping for something a little stronger that can handle more intensive work, a laptop would be the right call. Others simply in need of a versatile device they can trust to browse the web when they’re away could find exactly what they need from a 2-in-1.

Pick the Right Size

The size of your laptop may seem like a petty quality to hold with such importance; however, there’s no denying that different sized laptops each come with their own perks and drawbacks. For example, if you’re a student and plan on carrying around your laptop regularly through campus, a 13-14 inch model is probably your best bet as it offers the best ratio of portability to functionality. On the other hand, those who want a laptop they can keep at their desk with more processing power should consider something a little larger like a 17-18 inch model.

Scan the Specs

2-in-1 options and size may be important but, in the end, your laptop’s functionality boils down to its individual specs. This is where knowing what use you plan to get from your computer comes in handy because, once you do, you can start narrowing your search to laptops with the specs necessary to handle those tasks. Always pay special attention to a laptop’s processor, RAM, and, if you’re interested in gaming, graphics card. These components will have a direct impact on the speed your computer boasts when dealing with more intensive processes like gaming, rendering, or streaming. Once you know what you plan on using your laptop for, allocate more of your budget towards the components that lend themselves more to that task while scaling it back from those that don’t.

Conclusion

With so many ways to customize your laptop, finding the perfect model boils down to you firmly understanding what you’re looking for in a personal computer. Keep these three aspects in mind when narrowing your search and allocate your budget accordingly and you’ll find the perfect tool tailored towards your individual needs.

3 Reasons Why a Custom Built Computer Towers Over Other PCs

In our world of unparalleled inter-connectivity, a properly running computer is more than ideal, it’s required! Hearing this, the layman’s first instinct would be to head over to the nearest electronics store and pick up the most impressive looking rig they could find. Well we’re here to tell you to fight that instinct and hear us out when we say a custom built PC is the perfect choice for first time buyers and veterans alike!

That’s right, even less experienced computer users can benefit from a custom built PC because it’s exactly that, custom built for you and you alone. Read on for 3 of the most important reasons we feel custom built computer towers are the way to go no matter the purpose for their construction.

Superior Performance for the Price

When it comes to computers, performance is all that matters and custom rigs run absolute circles around prefabricated models! The reason this is the case is because you know better than anyone what you need a new computer for. Commonly, pre-built rigs are sold at exorbitant prices because one or two parts of the computer, such as the graphics card or processor, is more expensive. You may, however, find that you don’t need a powerful graphics card for what you plan to use your PC for. That being said, when building your own computer, you get to choose your budget and how much of that budget gets put towards each component of your computer! In short, you get the best bang for your buck and a computer tailor made to handle the tasks you perform daily.

Better Warranties

As convenient as they may be, computers are still complex pieces of machinery and can breakdown for a number of reasons. Naturally, keeping your computer properly insured and protected is essential to avoid sudden malfunctions that serve to ruin your productivity. The problem here is that most pre-built computers only come with a year, maybe two year, warranty tops. Not a lot of leeway for a tool as essential as your PC!

When building your own computer however, warranties come standard with every piece you buy! Higher end parts can come with 5 year warranties or even lifetime warranties depending on where you shop! The benefit of this, aside from the obviously longer warranties, is that, should something break, you only need to send back the one misbehaving part instead of your entire computer.

Upgrades

If you’ve ever known a person with their own custom PC, you’ve probably seen the look of excitement on their face whenever a new graphics card hits the market! That’s because custom built computer towers have room for replacing parts with stronger, higher end models. This ability to upgrade whenever you feel your computer has begun to slow down is what makes custom rigs so appealing to many of us. You get to choose when your computer kicks the bucket, not the market!

Compare that with pre-built computers and their tendency to use slim cases that sacrifice practicality and room for upgrades for form factor, and it’s easy to see why a custom setup takes the cake.

Conclusion

Of course, building a custom computer takes a little bit of research and a more in-depth understanding of what you want out of a PC. While this may be the case, it’s never a bad idea to familiarize yourself with computers and their function when we as a society are so dependent on them. Furthermore, all of this research will invariably pay off exponentially when you finally set up that tailor made computer you were able to make on a budget that meets all of your specific needs!