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Computer Processor Upgrade - Is a Computer Processor Upgrade Worth the Money?

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If your computer is old, slow and unable to run today’s applications to your satisfaction, you might be considering an upgrade to your computer. One of the most radical upgrades that you can make is to perform a computer processor upgrade. But, is it worth the money and effort to do it?

The central processing unit (CPU) is like the brain of the computer. Composed of millions of silicon transistors, the CPU is the hub of activity in the computer, executing instructions and performing millions of calculations every second. The CPU controls all aspects of the computer and is responsible for running software applications. In other words, the CPU makes your computer a useful tool. It would be logical to assume that if you have a slow computer, the first thing that you would want to do is to perform a computer processor upgrade. However, before you do that, you should consider a few things. Upgrading the CPU, while a relatively easy task, is one of the last options that you want to explore for upgrading your computer. The CPU is often the most expensive component of the computer and changing it may force you to upgrade other hardware that you had no intention of changing.

Before you think about making a computer processor upgrade, you should take inventory of the other components in your system. One of those parts may be substandard, causing a bottleneck to form, which can choke your computer system’s performance. One of the first upgrades you should look at is increasing the amount of RAM in your system. RAM, or random access memory, is memory that the computer system uses to temporarily store data that is used by the CPU for processing. When the CPU requires any data for processing, it can access data from RAM very quickly and efficiently. If your computer does not have enough RAM, the CPU still needs to store data temporarily, so it will use your hard drive. When compared to RAM, hard drive access speeds for data are extremely slow, which can make your programs run slow if you are running low on RAM. The more RAM you have, the less the CPU will have to access the hard drive to retrieve temporary data that it needs for processing. With today’s operating systems and software memory requirements, it’s a good idea to have a computer system that is equipped with a minimum of 2 gigabytes of RAM. If your computer has less than this amount, you can install more RAM very easily for less than $100.

Another potential bottleneck that can slow down your computing is your video card. The video card is the device that is responsible for creating the images that you see on your monitor. If you play a lot of games on your computer and they run slowly, you may reap better rewards from changing out your video card to a newer model instead of opting for a new computer processor upgrade. Video cards can cost between $50-$500 depending on what model you buy, so this can be a costly upgrade.

If neither of those solutions produces any results for you, you may want to consider making a computer processor upgrade. Upgrading the CPU will make your computer faster than it currently is, even with the other components remaining the same. However, here is the catch. Upgrading to the latest CPU could mean that you need to change out most of the components in your system — the equivalent of buying a new computer. CPUs are small parts that fit like a hand into a glove into a small socket on a piece of equipment called a motherboard. The motherboard is basically all the circuitry to which all the parts of the computer are connected. If you have an older computer with an old motherboard, it is unlikely that a new CPU will fit into the existing socket. Instead, you will have to purchase a new motherboard into which the new CPU can fit. If you have to get a new motherboard, chances are that you will also have to get newer RAM because newer motherboards are not generally compatible with older types of RAM. On top of this, you may also have to buy a new video card since your old one may not fit the new motherboard. It is an endless cycle that goes on and on until your simple computer processor upgrade ends up becoming a complete system overhaul.

So in the end is it worth upgrading your CPU? In most cases it is not, unless the rest of your computer is fairly new and the only piece that you will need to change out is the CPU. If you need to change RAM, the motherboard, and/or the video card in order to upgrade your CPU, then it is cheaper to purchase a new computer all together.

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