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 After all, if everything in the computer is so old that it isn’t even worth recycling or if the parts are so outdated they wouldn’t meet the needs you now have for a PC, it could be simpler to start with a new rig and upgrade it as time goes on.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.
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!