Upgrading Your Windows 7 PC

Microsoft released Windows 7 in 2009. If you purchased a new computer at that time, then you may be experiencing some performance issues when it comes to gaming or even watching videos encoded with some of the newer codecs. That doesn’t mean that you have to buy a new PC or upgrade to the latest OS, and with that in mind, here are some points to consider when upgrading your current PC.

Upgrading Your Video Card

Video cards or GPUs tend to be outmoded faster than other computer components because game and multimedia developers are always pushing the envelope. Buying a new GPU can make a big difference, and you don’t even have to spend $800 to make that big jump. More than five years after this OS released, there are $200 GPUs that handle 4K fine and can deliver 30 FPS gaming experiences. The important factor when choosing a video card is ensuring that the software drivers for the GPU support Windows 7 and that the manufacturer intends to continue that support over the next several years.

Adding or Replacing a Hard Drive

Hard drivers are the most common PC upgrade that people make, and your OS isn’t generally a factor when choosing an SSD or HDD. Even though SSDs were relatively new at the time Windows 7 launched, the OS has been updated for optimal SSD performance since. Your only real concern when choosing a drive is that you have the necessary connection, such as a USB port for an external drive or a SATA II port for an internal one.

Choosing a Motherboard

If you want to make a more substantial change to your computer, then you’re likely going to need to upgrade your motherboard. That’s because technology has advanced a lot since 2009, and your current motherboard probably doesn’t support the CPUs, RAM and other components that are currently available. As with a video card, the trick here is to ensure that the motherboard manufacturer supports Windows 7 and plans to continue that support.

Upgrading Your RAM, CPU, PSU and Other Core Components

Your OS interfaces with your motherboard. Your motherboard interfaces with all the other hardware aspects of your computer. Think of your motherboard as the middleman. What this means is that you don’t have to choose a CPU, memory and other parts that directly support your OS. However, you do have to choose a CPU that uses an appropriate socket, a memory module and speed that your board supports and so forth.

Selecting Software

Most software designed for Windows is backward-compatible. However, watch for new software iterations that specifically exclude support for your OS version. Such exclusions are rare, but in the cases that they do occur, it may be necessary to purchase the last version of that software package that did explicitly support the version of Windows that you’re currently using.