How to upgrade your computer hardware

PCs slow down over time, hardware wears out, software bloats and updates to software makes your PC slower to boot or take longer to load software.

If your machine has slowed down, it’s probably time to upgrade your hardware.

  • What is the best way to upgrade your computer?

  • What will give you the best performance?

  • What is a waste of money?

We often get people calling asking if their machine can be upgraded for gaming, or video editing and the answer is "Maybe?" as it will depend entirely on the specification of your current machine and its physical configuration.

If you are unsure after reviewing this helpful guide on hardware upgrades contact us for a definitive answer about what hardware you can upgrade on your computer or laptop.

This guide will show you the very best PC upgrades you can buy.


Most laptops and desktops will allow you to add more memory, and it can usually be done by anyone with just a screwdriver.

Adding more memory is very simple and doesn’t require much technical skill or know-how.

Upgrading your RAM gives your machine an almost instant speed improvement especially if you are using image or video editing software, running games or opening lots of browser tabs.

For Maximum RAM you can use on Windows Machines visit:

For Maximum RAM you can use on Apple Machines visit:


Upgrading your graphics card is a must if you are a serious gamer, video editor or 3D animator. In fact, doing all these upgrades will give you significant speed improvements if you regularly game, edit or animate.

Some machines can't be upgraded, some laptops and all-in-one or mini desktops simply don't have the space for graphics cards.

Most desktop tower machines will be upgradeable.

Compare the performance of dedicated graphics cards against your current machine at:


Upgrade your hard drive if you’re running out of space or want faster performance or both!

A quick clean up of your hard drive may give you a few gigabytes of extra space, but if you still need more space then an upgrade to your hard drive is the ONLY way to go.

As a rule of thumb, you want to keep 10GB of free space for your machine's operating system to use anything less may cause your machine to run very slowly or crash regularly.

Most old machines use a physical platter that spins, you may want to consider moving to a Solid State Drive, known as an "SSD". These newer drives give significant speed improvements over spinning platter hard drives and can be fitted to most desktop and laptop machines.

A faster hard drive speeds up your whole user experience. The machine boots faster, will launch software and games faster and save files quicker.

Solid State Drives can be much more expensive than the same sized disk drive.


Upgrading your PC’s main processor is not something most home or business users have the skill, or tools, to handle.

To install a new CPU requires a certain degree of knowledge, skill and experience.

There are also compatibility issues to consider and it can be a very costly upgrade, especially if it goes wrong!

You may also have to upgrade your motherboard, power supply and other components.

Therefore a processor upgrade is something best left to professional technicians like Tech Shed and is only worth doing if you make a big leap to a much newer processor.

To compare the performance of different processors visit:


Upgrading your software is usually a good way to get new features or upgrade the look and performance.

It might also slow your machine or stop working altogether so you should be careful before clicking the "Update" button.

Read the experiences of other users who have already upgraded and then decide if it is for you.

Software updates are usually given a number, something like 1.1.1 this translates to Major.Minor.Revision.

Revisions are usually bug fixes and minor improvements.

Minor updates include improvements, security updates and new features.

Major updates can be a total revision of the whole software and may require more memory or hard drive space.

Revisions and Minor updates should be installed as they roll out, especially if they include security patches or updates.


Everything! It will depend on what you use your computer for and your budget.

More RAM memory, upgrading to an SSD, and adding or upgrading your graphics card are worthwhile upgrades that usually give a speed boost.

You should see real, instant improvements whenever you upgrade any combination of them.

We would suggest you only upgrade components that meet your needs.

If you are a photographer, upgrade your graphics card.

If you are editing video, a new graphics card and an SSD may be the best choice.

If you are a gamer then more memory, faster CPU and an upgrade to your graphics card are the way to go.

New hardware can only speed up a system that is working efficiently so before you spend a lot of money on new hardware book a TechShed call out and we'll scan your machine and give it a clean up so you get the most out of any hardware upgrade.

We can also install more memory, graphics cards hard drives and processors.

We do these upgrades all the time and can specify the very best hardware for your machine saving you time and money, especially if you get it wrong.