Updated: 10/30/2017 by Computer Hope

hardware upgradeWith computer hardware, an upgrade is a term that describes adding new hardware in a computer that improves its performance. For example, with a hardware upgrade you could replace your hard drive to an SSD and get a huge boost in performance or upgrade the RAM so the computer run more smoothly.

Benefits of a hardware upgrade

  1. Performance increase, which make the overall computer run faster and more smoothly.
  2. Capacity increase. For example, adding a larger hard drive allows the computer to store more information. Adding more memory increases the computers ability to run more programs efficiently.
  3. It may be necessary to upgrade the computer to meet a program or games system requirements.

Software upgrades

When referring to software, a software upgrade generally refers to any major upgrade to the software that adds significant or completely new changes to the program. A good example of a software upgrade is upgrading you version of Windows. For example, if you had Microsoft Windows XP and upgraded to Windows 7, it would be considered a software upgrade.

Benefits of software upgrade

  1. New features not available or found in previous versions.
  2. Often, the new version of a program has better stability and increased performance.
  3. After so long an older software program will be discontinued and often no longer supported.

Tip: Some software upgrades are not free. However, most software updates are small and almost always free because they fix bugs with a program.

Differences between software upgrades and updates

An update and upgrade are two different things. Updates are usually free and typically very small. An upgrade is usually not free and much larger. For example, if you have Windows XP and want Windows 7 you would "upgrade" to Windows 7. However, if you had Windows 7 and needed to install fixes for security vulnerabilities or other problems you would "update" Windows. See the update definition for information on this term.

How can I upgrade my computer system?

Upgrading the computer all depends on the type of computer you have and what you hope to achieve with the upgrade. For example, the most common upgrade to a computer is upgrading the computer memory to achieve better performance and greater memory capacity.

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