The Internet is by far the most flexible tool that’s ever existed. This is even true for the average individual who may only use it for entertainment and light research.
An issue that many people encounter, though, is the degradation of their computers over time. A once-blazing fast laptop might not leave the same impression a few years later.
Fortunately, though, you don’t need a brand-new machine to get back in action.
So, can you upgrade a laptop? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.
Why Do Computers Slow Down?
Anyone who’s owned a computer for more than a handful of years understands that there’s a noticeable difference between its current performance and its performance when they first bought it.
Computers slow down for a handful of reasons— some are preventable, some aren’t.
Let’s explore a few of the most notable causes.
Hard Disk Drives (HDD)
All of your computer’s data is stored on a hard drive. While taking up a large percentage of available space on a hard drive can cause a slowdown, this scenario is easily preventable.
Unfortunately, those who have machines that use hard disk drives instead of solid-state drives (SSDs) will likely experience decreased performance over time.
The main difference between the two types of storage is that one makes use of moving parts while the other uses a processor. To better put it into perspective, an SSD stores information in the same way a tablet or smartphone does.
HDDs will fail over time simply due to their parts wearing out. Before a complete failure occurs, you may experience slowdown with your machine as your HDD takes longer to write data.
It’s no secret that viruses and malware can significantly impact the speed of your device. In fact, some viruses intentionally aim to bog down your computer’s processes while other operations occur in the background.
For example, your machine may become infected with a virus that makes it nearly impossible to use. Since you can’t actively navigate through your computer’s files and unlimited cause a problem, the machine also has plenty of time to scan and duplicate sensitive data, such as bank info.
To further complicate the situation, some viruses are notoriously difficult to detect through conventional scanning methods. This could result in users being unable to find the root cause of the issue.
If your computer doesn’t have enough memory, it’ll be difficult to run most programs. This is especially true for running multiple intensive programs at once.
It’s important, though, to understand the distinction between storage and memory.
Storage refers to where your files and information are kept, which occurs on your hard drive. You’ll typically see laptops marketed as having one terabyte’s (TB) worth of storage.
The term memory refers to the available resources your laptop has while running programs. This value is typically denoted as ‘RAM,’ which stands for ‘Random Access Memory.’
RAM is used to store information for processes that are currently running and will fluctuate as programs are opened or closed. By contrast, storage only increases or decreases when files are added or deleted.
So, Can You Upgrade a Laptop?
Fortunately, there are steps you can take in order to maximize the longevity of your machine. Although some of the issues may seem glaring at first, they’re often easier to fix than many people first believe.
Here are a few options you should keep in mind.
Install a Solid-State Drive
As previously mentioned, having a traditional hard disk drive will carry the risk of slowdown over time. You are, however, able to back up the data from your current drive and install a solid-state into your computer.
You’ll then be able to restore your data onto your new drive, allowing you to drastically increase the performance of your machine.
If you choose to go this route, it’s recommended to install a drive with more storage than the original so you can avoid having to clean up your files in the near future.
Professional Virus Repair
Many viruses can be particularly nasty. Sometimes, you simply won’t be able to resolve the situation using your computer’s anti-virus software.
They may be impossible to remove, or may not be able to be detected at all.
In these scenarios, a professional is the best resource that you have in order to help you get things back on track. Since they’re experienced with all types of malware and their effects, it’s unlikely that your situation is something they’ve never encountered before.
If everything looks good regarding your computer’s hard drive and overall health, the issue is likely a lack of RAM. This is especially true if your slowdown tends to peak when you’re running multiple programs simultaneously.
Upgrading a computer’s memory is one of the most common reasons why people seek professional assistance in the first place. The payoff for this endeavor is easily worth the investment.
In general, 4-8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM is suitable for general usage. But, you’ll likely need more if you run intensive programs like games, music production software, etc.
Upgrading Your Machine Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn’t have to be.
With the above information to answer ‘can you upgrade a laptop’ in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward making the decision that’s best for you.
Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.