We’ve all heard the saying; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. While this sentiment is widely used for all sorts of situations, your PC’s health is not one where the old adage is appropriate. Your PC is made up of various bits of hardware that all work in tandem to run various bits of software. When one of the components stops functioning as well as it used to or cannot support the software anymore, it might be time to consider an upgrade.
Your PC – What is it Really?
Millions of people worldwide spend most of their lives in front of a personal computer. Whether you use it for work or your hobbies, your PC is integral to who you are and what you do. For most people who have one, PCs are an extension of the self. When your PC is on the fritz, it’s not just a piece of machinery about to crash. It’s memories, your work history, all of the files, documents, and media you have amassed.
Luckily, a desktop PC is like a series of building blocks; each piece connects to the tower to form a network of processes that do what you need them to do. This means that when one of the pieces is no longer working, usually you can just take that piece out, replace it and get back to doing what you love. Below we highlight a few of the key pieces of your desktop PC so that when you take your towers cover off, it’s not just a mangle of wires, boxes, and confusion.
The PC case is nothing more than the box that holds everything together. This not-so-special box can open and close and usually has specific slots where components fit. Components are secured to the box by slots and screws so that they don’t move about.
Your case is not a component you need to upgrade unless your existing case doesn’t have enough space for any additional components you want to incorporate.
The motherboard is one of the most important components of a PC. This is because every other component of your PC attaches to the motherboard. You can think of it as a central hub for all your components; it manages and connects all the other processes.
The motherboard is a printed circuit with slots for other components to fit into. It also features many little block-like parts: the transistors, jumpers, and capacitors that determine how well your other components work together.
Your motherboard should last anywhere between seven to ten years. It isn’t necessary to replace your motherboard regularly, so unless your new CPU is incompatible with your motherboard, stick with it if it still works.
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
The CPU is the first step in building a PC if that’s what you intend to do. This is because a lot of CPUs are only compatible with particular sockets. Generally, you pick a CPU first and then select a motherboard compatible with it. If you are repairing your PC, you need to look up your motherboard and find a compatible CPU.
Without a CPU, nothing on the list of other PC components will work. The CPU calculates every process your PC performs, so ideally, you need a CPU with high clocks and a high core count. This will make your PC faster and more capable. A faster PC means effortlessly playing memory and graphics hungry games like Fortnite, or checking out prestigious iGaming sites like NewCasinos, playing the latest games, or getting through your workload at record speed.
Your CPU will tell you when it needs to be replaced by refusing to run the latest updates and being unable to handle newer software. If there is a constant noise coming from your PC, replace your CPU.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
Also known as a graphics card, your GPU is the brain behind processing anything to do with the visual output. This will be images, videos, game rendering, and anything else visual. Some CPUs come equipped with graphics cards; this is known as integrated GPU. Integrated GPU means that you do not need a separate graphics card to connect a monitor to your computer.
Integrated graphics is suitable for light-weight PC usage like word processing and some minor games, but when you get into serious gaming, it’s time to splurge on a separate GPU. These separate GPUs are called discrete GPUs and have their own circuit. Discrete GPUs are plugged directly into the PCI express slot on your motherboard.
Your graphics card will need to be replaced once it can no longer run the games or software you are used to playing or any new software you download.
There are several other integral processes and components in your PC. These are things like onboard storage, external storage, cooling systems, and RAM. All of these pieces come together to form your PC, and when they are functioning perfectly, they fade into the background of the work you’re doing.
When these components are faulty, however, you will know. The rule of thumb when it comes to computer upgrades is if it makes a massive noise or doesn’t do what it is supposed to do, it needs to be replaced.