More RAM: How to replace the RAM
Senseless all-in-one tools, alleged PC miracle cures for little money or wannabe tips: PC tuning by software can be a waste of time. The right boost can only be obtained with correct interventions, which are easier than you might fear. We present six really helpful suggestions that will help your PC get started.
Popular programs such as Skype, Firefox or the Blizzard app run constantly in the background and consume a lot of memory resources. If the RAM is too small, the system must constantly reload data from the hard disk. This is particularly noticeable when browsing or gaming due to stutters and long loading times. 8 GB are the minimum for convenient PC use today. 16 GBytes provide a good buffer, especially when several greedy programs are supposed to run at the same time.
Fortunately, RAM is easy to install (see video) and is not very expensive. If you do not want to replace your old bars and add new ones, things will get more complicated again. Then you have to make sure that the new memory stones have the same clock frequency and identical switching times. You are on the safe side if you simply buy the same products. Also be careful not to put DDR3 RAM in a DDR4 motherboard, or vice versa. Consult the instructions for your motherboard for the right type. The manufacturer's website also usually specifies exactly which RAM modules are supported.
The most popular memory in price comparison
Install the SSD
Once you start your operating system from an SSD, you never want to go back to the old hard drive. You can also accelerate heavy PC games and save valuable life time. The only downside: SSDs with large amounts of storage are still quite expensive.
Do you still have a large magnetic storage hard drive and you only want the operating system and maybe one or two large programs on the SSD? Then suffice 128 GByte off. A larger memory is only worthwhile if your game collection is always to be ready for use. The only problem: you have to migrate your operating system. This usually means: Reinstall or with special software over clone.
Here you will find the best SSDs
Retrofit hard disk
You can have as much memory as you want – somehow it always runs out. If you already own a system SSD, you can inexpensively expand your PC with a hard drive by a few terabytes. This is ideal for music, films, photos or fast programs anyway. In our best list you will find all tested hard drives including price estimates.
On Windows 10 update
Microsoft's current operating system offers many advantages: Windows 10 is very fast, starts without SSD within seconds and supports DirectX 12. Above all, this makes new games more beautiful and faster. Upgrading from Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 is child's play. You only need a valid Windows – 10 – license key. Then you can use the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft and let the PC do the work. Your data should then still be exactly where it was before. Alternatively, you can use the tool to create a bootable USB stick for a new installation.
Windows 10 Home at the cheapest price in the price comparison
Replace graphics card
The graphics card has the greatest influence on the optical quality of a game. Which graphics card you should upgrade to depends on your requirements. Are you satisfied with Full HD resolution between 30 and 60 frames per second? Or do you want to fully utilize your 4K monitor? You should definitely update if your old graphics card is no longer DirectX 11 mastered – more and more Games do without implementations for DX 10 or older. With Nvidia cards from GTX – 400 er series you are still safe. At AMD the HD – 5000 series DirectX 11, as well as all cards from the R5, R7 and R9 – 200-Series. These cards are not really great anymore.
If you want a high-end graphics card, you have a few options. Nvidia offers with the Geforce GTX 2070 Super, the GTX 2080 Super and the GTX 2080 Ti three excellent cards. AMD has with the Radeon RX 5700 (XT) at least two stronger horses in the stable, which compete with Nvidia's upper middle class. In the middle and subclasses, on the other hand, you can get very good performance from all manufacturers for little money. We give you buying tips in our buying guide . We also tested all current graphics cards . A little tip when upgrading: Check whether the new graphics card of your choice may consume more power than your old one. Then you should also check whether your power supply is still feeding enough power into the system.
Here you will find the price-performance winner for the graphics cards
Probably the cheapest upgrade in this post: Better system and CPU fans can make a few degrees of difference. This can have many advantages: CPU and graphics card fans may not switch to Turbo as quickly, or the lower temperatures give all components a little longer life. Complete pull is even better: If your housing has space for a second fan at the front and your motherboard supports multiple connections, you should provide a breath of fresh air. There are also case fans that are operated directly from the power supply.
Shop recommendation for Alpenföhn Ben Nevis Advanced CPU cooler – 130 mm
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A CPU change is one of the most complex interventions on the PC. This effort is limited if you stay with the same base. Evaluate your Intel Core i3 – 8100 about on an i5 – 9600, the exchange is fairly quick and should achieve a great improvement. If the socket does not fit, the exchange starts an avalanche of necessary updates: the mainboard has to be removed, probably also the main memory and maybe some other components. We therefore recommend: You should only replace a CPU if your current one reaches its limits in everyday life. If your CPU is less than five years old and was competent at the time, this should rarely be the case even with current games. You can find recommended models in in our CPU ranking .
But even with old processors, an update is not absolutely necessary. Maybe it also does some fresh cooling paste, a stronger fan and a little screwing on the clock frequency.
Inexpensive desktop CPUs in the test