Smart computer upgrades as technology moves fast

Usually, I custom build my production PC rig every couple of years. I’ve found that this is the sweet spot between technology advancing and prices dropping.

However, this year I’ve simply skipped the building from scratch of a new system, and updated my current ones.

If you own a PC system that is three years old or older, here are some key points to advance its performance and do so in an affordable manner.

  • Maximize your memory: find out what is the maximum amount and type of RAM your system can take and swap it with the current one. On some systems, the max would be at 8 Gb while newer motherboards can support as much as 32 Gb of RAM.
  • Solid state drives: Switch out your primary (boot) hard drive for an SSD. The performance increase is substantial; go after quality SSD brands, such as Intel or Crucial and get either a 128 Gb or 256 Gb drive. It will allow you to install a Windows OS and have plenty of room for your main core of software. There are plenty of free software utilities that allow you to clone the existing drive – one such program is Macrium.
  • Add USB 3.0: To do that, you need to install a PCI Express card that provides USB 3.0 headers. The speed increase in transferring files is insane, as compared to USB 2.0.
  • Add an external RAID array: Again, by adding a PCI Express card for SATA III drives, you can add a speedy, secure storage system for production or backup.
  • Switch from older versions of Windows, such as 95, 2000, XP or Vista, to Windows 7. I would not recommend installing Windows 8 on a production machine; leave that for new laptops with touch sensitive screens.
  • Add a second monitor: by doubling your desktop space, you quadruple your productivity. Or something like that.

If you still prefer to build a new system, keep in mind that new power supplies require a new generation of UPS systems that support “pure sine wave” technology. Here’s one I ordered from CyberPower.


  1. Thanks for sharing those tech tips. Somehow I was sure that nowadays domainers use Macs or laptops..

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