Should I upgrade or buy a new computer?

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

In the past, a new computer could cost as much as an inexpensive car. However today, the cost of a new computer has dramatically decreased and depending on what you need out of the computer may or may not justify the purchase of a new computer. Below is a listing of different upgrade options and why you may or may not want to upgrade.

Memory upgrade

A memory upgrade is one upgrade that can affect the overall performance of your computer. Increasing the computers memory can help increase the speed of a computer, help with the load times, and is an affordable and often easy upgrade.

If your computer could use a small performance boost and it has less than 1 GB of memory, this can be a highly impactful upgrade.

Video card upgrade

Video cardIf you're playing computer games on your computer, an upgraded video card can be one of the best upgrades for your computer. With the new improvements and complexities of graphics in games many older computers or computers with inefficient video cards can become real slow.

Adding a new video card is typically an easy to do upgrade and is a lot cheaper than purchasing a new computer.

Note: In some situations you may also need to upgrade the power supply in a computer when upgrading the video card.

New display

Although a new display does not improve the performance of a computer adding an LCD or flat-panel display or increasing the size of your display can make using the computer more enjoyable.

If your display is 17" or smaller, you're using a monitor and not a flat-panel display, and you have the room to do it, this upgrade is easy and a lot less than purchasing a new computer. Also, if down the road you do purchase a new computer, you will not need a new display.

Hard drive upgrade

SSDIn the past, upgrading the hard drive was a popular upgrade. However, today hard drives are becoming so large that most users never run out of disk space. If your computer is running out of hard drive space or you're not happy with the performance adding a new hard drive is a cheap and often fairly simple upgrade.

Tip: If you feel the performance of your computer is lacking replacing a traditional hard drive with an SSD can dramatically increase the load time and speed of your computer. We suggest if you are adding an SSD that it be the primary drive and using the older hard drive to store files.

Disc drives

Adding a new disc drive such as a faster CD-R/CD-RW (cd burner) or a DVD drive can be a great upgrade to a computer that either has a slower drive or does not have a CD-ROM/CD-R/CD-RW/DVD.

If you burn many discs, a new burner can decrease the time it takes to create each disc. Also, a faster drive can help with the installation or load time of any CD or DVD programs. Apart from these two examples this upgrade is more of a new feature than a performance upgrade.


BroadbandThe Internet is one of the most popular things to do while on the computer and many users often don't look at their Internet connection when considering upgrading their computer. If you do not have a broadband Internet connection and it is available in your area it can be a very beneficial upgrade.

Users who already have broadband may also consider faster broadband solutions. For example, if you have DSL you may want to consider changing to cable or other faster solution.

Other upgrades

Apart from the above recommendations, if you are looking at doing any other upgrades such as CPU, motherboard, sound card, modem, network card, etc. today we almost always recommend that you save your money and purchase a new computer now or down the road.