In the world of computing, it’s the top-of-the-line stuff, like £1000 graphics cards and unbelievably expensive Surface Pro’s that capture the headlines. But it’s in the mid-range where the real magic happens.
The good thing about the midrange is that the prices don’t go up all that much, but the underlying power of the technology does – sometimes doubling is as little as 24 months. We all know that home computing isn’t cheap (although it is getting a heck of a lot cheaper), but with the power of upgrades, there’s no need to go out and buy a new one. There are even Apple Mac servicing & repairs that will fit new parts if an upgrade is required.
Here’s how to best spend your money.
Bank On An SSD
Old-fashioned hard drives are slow. The reason for this is that they rely on a physical needle reading the disc inside. And because the needle has to move thousands of times every time you load up your PC, it soon wears out and eventually dies.
SSDs are different. They don’t have any moving parts and instead rely on the lightning fast speed of the humble electron. While it is true that the first iteration of SSDs had limited reliability, the technology is now much improved and significantly more durable than regular HDDs.
What’s more, the price of SSDs has collapsed from around a one dollar per gigabyte back in 2013 to only 25 cents today. SSDs are typically about twice as fast as hard drives in most real world situations, meaning your computer should boot up in no time.
Cheap VR Graphics
Because the power of computers doubles every two years or so, it means that we quickly end up with technology that is simple mind-blowing at a price that most gamers can afford. That’s exactly what happened this year with AMD’s release of the Polaris set of graphics cards, including the RX 480 and RX 470. After years of Nvidia price gouging, AMD’s flagship card, the RX 480, has brought down the price of having a virtual reality setup from over £400 with the GTX 1070 to just £200. Nvidia has responded, but it’s graphics cards are still significantly more expensive, and right now, are not suited to future titles that use next-generation APIs like DirectX 12 and Vulcan.
If you do pick up a new graphics card for your PC, just remember to make sure that it is compatible with your power supply unit. Check the maximum wattage your power supply unit can supply and compare it to the wattage your graphics card uses under load. Make sure that the latter is significantly lower than the former.
Get Some Canned Air
This might sound like a strange one, but canned air can help boost the performance of your PC. How? Simple really: getting rid of all that dust. If you haven’t opened up your computer in a while, there’s a good chance that there is a thick layer of dust lying on top of your components, causing them to heat up and throttle back.