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Should You Get a New Computer? Or Even Upgrade?

A question that we all have to ask ourselves at some point, should I get... a new computer.

Sometimes you ask yourself because your computer doesn't seem to be able to handle all your

games and programs as fast as it used to.

And other times, you're just trying to convince yourself that you need a new one so you can

upgrade to the latest and greatest.

So clearly, there's a lot to consider when thinking about this, and there isn't any straightforward

answer.

And if you're hoping that I'LL give you an excuse to upgrade to a new computer you don't

need...

Well I might just do that

I think the most important thing to do first is divide up your reasons for upgrading into

two catagories.

What you want, and what you need.

AND YOU HAVE to be honest with yourself here.

99% of the time when you hear someone say "I need to do this" or "I need to get that",

they don't actually need it, and hey, I'm no exception to this.

Also, you need to consider the specifics of WHY you need a particular upgrade, whether

it's one component, or the entire computer.

Let's start off with cases where you would NEED to upgrade your computer, because these

are really easy.

Now, I'm not even talking about the obvious case where your computer is broken or something,

because that's a no brainer.

Rather, it may be that your computer is unable to do something that you consider really important.

It doesn't have to be a matter of life and death.

For example, perhaps ALL your friends just got a new video game, but your computer doesn't

meet the minimum specs.

Sure, you don't NEED to play the game in the sense that you won't die without it, but it

would really suck to be the only one not able to join in the fun.

Or another example is if you're like me and use your computer for work and it needs to

be pretty powerful, in my case to render videos.

So, the longer and higher the resolution the video is, or the more effects I use, the more

time it will take to render.

If you have a low power computer, sure, you COULD wait an entire day for a video to render,

but what if it fails, or you realize you made a mistake?

That's another case where having a more powerful computer can probably save you way more time

and money in the long run.

And it doesn't have to be a job either, it could be a hobby you spend a lot of time on.

If you get to the point where your computer makes it not necessarily IMPOSSIBLE, but IMPRACTICAL

to do something you either need or really want to do, then I think it's totally justifiable

to upgrade.

Now what if you know your computer is fully capable of doing everything you need, but

there's still a little voice in your head telling you that it's just not good enough?

If you're like me, your brain might jump through a lot of hoops to convince you that you that

getting a shiny new machine will solve all your problems!

But we need to take a logical viewpoint here, and not get ahead of ourselves.

First thing to consider, is what EXACTLY do you want to get out of the new computer, or

even an expensive new component?

Do you want to be able to run your favorite game on the next higher graphics setting?

Do you want to get a higher framerate, or higher resolution?

Is there any other reason besides video game performance?

That last one is especially important, because many times you don't necesssarily have to

upgrade the whole computer, but just a component or two.

So let's say your computer runs completely fine 99% of the time, but just can't run games

as fast as you'd like.

Honestly, it probably wouldn't make sense to upgrade the whole computer just for game

performance, unless it's REALLY old.

You'd probably be able to get away with just upgrading the graphics card.

Or maybe it is the case where the computer overall is pretty slow and frustrating.

I still wouldn't just jump right into a new computer, because there are a few options

you can take beforehand.

I think the BIGGEST improvement you could make is upgrading from a regular hard disk

to a solid state drive, if you don't have one already.

People always seem to talk about getting more RAM, but that doesn't always necessarily improve

performance.

Getting an ssd WILL almost always improve performance, because a mechanical harddrive

is so slow compared to other components in a computer, and often the bottleneck.

Anything from copying files, to searching through folders in explorer, or loading the

map in a video game.

Not only is this because SSDs have faster read and write speeds in general, but also

because you don't have to worry about fragmentation.

In a hard drive, files are stored all over the physical platters, which means if you

have to access lots of little files at once, the drive head has to physically move back

and forth more to read them, which relatively, takes LONG time.

With a solid state drive, there is no drive head, so files can be accessed instantly no

matter what.

So seriously, try upgrading to an SSD before you do anything.

Now let's say you already have an SSD, but the computer is still pretty slow.

Unless it's slow during video games, upgrading your graphics card probably won't help, so

let's scratch that off.

That leaves two main components left, the RAM and the CPU.

Now this is tricky because a bottleneck in either might manifest itself very similarly.

If you don't have enough RAM or it's very slow, it doesn't matter how fast your CPU

is because the RAM can't queue up the data to be processed fast enough.

And oppositely, if you have a slow CPU and fast RAM, even though the RAM can queue up

data to be processed quickly, the CPU can only do it slowly anyway.

Now I will say that 9 times out of 10, the main bottleneck WILL be the CPU, especially

if the computer is old.

But the cases where RAM will be a big factor is either if you just don't have nearly enough

at all, or if you are running some seriously heavy hitter programs, or just a ton of programs

in the background at all times.

That's because a program will only ever use as much RAM as it needs to, most everyday

programs really don't need much.

In my opinion, these days if you have less than 8 gigabytes of RAM, then yea it might

very well be causing a noticeable bottleneck in your computer, and would be worth it to

add more, even if you only run basic programs.

I think 8 gigabytes is a reasonable minimum.

Between 8 and 16 gigabytes will certainly depend on what kinds of programs you're running.

If you play video games, but don't really run any other heavy duty programs like a video

or photo editor, or you don't have many programs running at once, you could probably justify

going up to 12 gigabytes.

Above that though is probably overkill, and I'd be surprised if you noticed any difference

from 12 to 16.

As for MORE than 16 gigabytes, well if you need that much, you'd know it.

Like I mentioned before, this would be for people who do multimedia editing, use CAD

software, deal with huge databases, virtual machines, that sort of thing.

In those cases, the software will pretty much use as much RAM as you can throw at it, especially

when larger file sizes are involved.

This is within reason of course, it's not like I'd recommend ANYONE to go out and get

100 Gigabytes of RAM, if you could even install that much in the first place.

But for example, I have 32 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM, and for me that seems to be enough for

me.

Anyway, what I'd suggest is if you have 8 gigabytes of RAM or less, and you're willing

to spend a bit on an extra 4 gigabytes, assuming you aren't happy with your current performance.

Finally, one easy way you can check is to use the built in "Resource Monitor" in windows,

to see how much RAM is being used by each program.

Alright so enough about RAM, let's get to the real brains of the computer.

If you know that all your other components are sufficient, then that just leaves the

CPU.

Doesn't matter how much RAM you have, how fast your SSD, or how powerful your graphics

card, a slow CPU will mean a slow computer.

Now if you know anything about building computers, or maybe not even, you probably realize that

upgrading ONLY your CPU really just don't make sense.

If your CPU is too slow, you may as well go get a whole new computer.

Though you could of course re-use some components if you've upgraded them more recently, but

I'm getting ahead of myself.

If you're wondering why you can't just upgrade your CPU, well there are a couple reasons.

First of all, CPU sockets on motherboards change every few years as new CPUs come out.

So chances are if you buy a brand new CPU it wouldn't even fit into your current motherboard.

Even if it did, your other components would still be old, and then you'd have everything

else causing bottlenecks.

However, I do need to mention that if you know what you're doing or you're willing to

learn, instead of buying a whole new computer, you might be able to overclock your current

CPU.

Depending on the CPU itself, and your cooling situation, you could definitely squeeze out

some extra power.

But that's beyond the scope of this video.

Now as I mentioned before, your might still be able to re-use some of your old components

to save money, but you'd really only want to do this if you had upgraded them recently

enough where they're still decent.

But obviously, you can really only do this if you build your own PC, because you can't

exactly buy a new computer off the shelf with no RAM or hard drive.

So for example, if your computer is several years old, but just last year you bought a

brand new graphics card for it, well duh, re-using that is a great way to save a ton

of money.

Or uou could cannibalize a fan or two if they're good ones.

And in some cases, you MIGHT even be able to transfer your copy of Windows to the new

machine, but not always, I'm not going to get into that.

However, you should also consider that many times, pre-built PCs ARE actually cheaper

than buying every piece of hardware individually.

So unless you know you want to build your own, don't bother doing so just so you can

re-use your CD drive or something like that [Haha].

You could find that for the SAME price as building a PC without a graphics card, you

could buy a pre-built with an even better one.

Though I think most of you should already have an idea of whether you'd want to build

your own anyway.

So let's tie this all together.

I hope I can assume that most of you can figure out whether you NEED to get a new computer

or upgrade.

And if you just WANT to, it will come down to how much you're willing to spend, and how

big of a difference it will make.

Individual components are usually an easier decision, because they're obviously cheaper,

and don't take as much work as setting up a whole new computer.

In my opinion, I tend to only upgrade my entire computer when I NEED to.

Mostly because it's a huge pain to set everything up again, plus it costs way more.

I built my current computer in 2014, and I think it still runs completely fine for my

purposes.

Though I have upgraded my graphics card since then, and I've had my CPU overclocked from

the beginning.

So in my case, I definitely think I'll be able to get at least another year out of this

guy as long as nothing breaks.

Well, I think that's it, in the end you really have to make the decision yourself, I just

hope I am able to give you some things to think about that might help.

But anyway I'd love to know what you guys think, like if you like to upgrade as often

as you can, how come?

Also if you want to keep watching, I'll put some other videos right here, including some

ways to speed up your computer without buying anything.

And if you want to subscribe, I make new videos tuesday thursday saturday, should be worth

it.

So thanks for watching guys, I'll see you next time, have a good one.