Well it's been 3 years since I upgraded my computer, and decided it was time.
I kept the "3 old screens" and graphics card that drives them. And i bought all new gear for the main box.
My new box almost gets a perfect score from the Microsoft performance test. I am very happy with the new box.
Consider the following new aspects
- A solid state hard drive is upto 3x faster than an ordinary drive. It is also very very quiet. You can put your OS, software and all temporary files on the SSHD, and put your music, videos and pictures on a traditional drive, as they do not require as faster access. Some say $360 is expensive for a hard drive, but i remember spending $400 once apon a time for something 10000x smaller.
- A new motherboard is required to run new SATA3 drives and a new high performance CPU. When you need a new mother board, you may as well buy a whole new system, and keep your screens.
- 8GB Ram - if you want more than 4GB Ram, then you also need to move up to the 64bit Windows 7 operating system...
- The "old" graphics card is high end, supporting the 3 monitors you may have seen photos of already. Most onboard graphics systems only support 1 monitor, and typical graphics cards support 2 monitors. If you want more than 2 monitors, make this clear to the sales people when ordering your computer
- An upgraded powersupply was required to power my graphics card, but i just swapped these between the old and new machines.
If you don't have alot of money to spend on upgrading your computer, i can suggest the following tips to get some performance increase.
- If you have less than 4GB of RAM, then get your RAM replaced. If your computer is really old, it may be prohibitively expensive to replace the RAM. More RAM increases the amount of concurrent applications you can have open, allowing you to multitask.
- You only need more Hard Disk space if you are running out. If you have 20% of more free, then it will not make your computer faster adding a bigger hard disk. That said, newer disk drives do normally run a faster than older disk drives. If you are buying a new disk drive for speed, then definitely get a solid state drive. If you want space for media files like videos and music, then go for a traditional hard disk. To get maximum speed benefits out of a new solid state drive, then you will probably need to reinstall your OS
- A new CPU might help increase your speed, but the options for new CPU might be limited by your motherboard. Therefore it might be better value to upgrade both.
- Clean up your startup directory and start up registry.
You should probably get someone technical to help you with an upgrade, like needanerd or geeksonwheels. They may even be able to source you the parts if you ask over the phone before they come around.