This question comes up a lot when we’re talking about how to speed up a PC: how much money will it cost to give my PC a performance boost? The answer may surprise you.

The easiest way to answer that question is to say that speeding up your PC may cost anywhere from nothing to two thousand dollars. There are plenty of free PC optimization tricks out there, but there are also programs, components, and tools that cost hundreds of dollars. And, of course, you can buy a brand new top-of-the-line PC for over three thousand dollars if you really wanted to (although I wouldn’t really consider that speeding up your PC).

To help you find a PC optimization strategy that fits within your budget, here are a few of the recommended ways to speed up your PC at each price range:


-Defragment your disks: Every Windows PC comes with a free disk defragmenter. It consolidates important files at the center of your hard drive, which means that it takes less time for your computer to access them. Fast, easy, and effective, running a disk defragmenter is one of the easiest – and cheapest – ways to speed up your PC.

-Clear your internet files: Your internet browser is constantly collecting files as you browse. You probably won’t use a lot of these files ever again. Delete them from your computer by finding the ‘Privacy’ tab under ‘Settings’ in order to free up space on your hard drive and increase your PC’s performance.

-Cleanup your disks: Windows also comes with a tool called Disk Cleanup that will scan your hard drive for any old, unnecessary files. This can free up a sizable amount of room on your hard drive and slightly speeds up your computer.

$10 to $50

-Buy an antivirus program: Many computers slow down because they are infected with viruses, malware, and other problems. A good antivirus program can be found for anywhere from $20 to $70 and can have a massive impact on your PC’s performance. When you clean up viruses and malware from your PC, it not only increases the speed of your PC, it also protects your identity and other personal information against digital theft.

-Buy a registry cleaner: A registry cleaner is one of the most important tools to have on your PC, but unfortunately, many people don’t have one. Good registry cleaners give your PC a performance boost by optimizing a major part of your system: the Windows Registry. They delete unnecessary files, remove corrupt ones, and can even delete tough-to-remove errors and viruses. Prices can range anywhere from $10 to $50.

-Upgrade your RAM: RAM is one of the easiest upgrades you can make to your PC. For $50, you should be able to add about 8 gigabytes of RAM to your desktop PC. This is virtually guaranteed to improve the performance of every single application on your PC, including video games, Microsoft Office applications, and your operating system itself. For all of these reasons, RAM is one of the most cost-effective upgrades you can make to a PC.

$100 to $300

-Upgrade your video card: At this price range, you can start upgrading some of the important components in your computer. A video card, for example, helps your PC process resource-intensive tasks like video games or video editing. If you do either of those things on your PC, then you should periodically upgrade your video card to boost your PC’s speed.


Nvidia's stylish new GTX 680 will cost you a bit more than $300

Upgrade your CPU: The CPU is a small chip that fits directly onto your motherboard. It is the Central Processing Unit of your computer, which makes it one of the most important components on this list. Upgrading a CPU can be a bit tricky, as you may have to install a new heatsink and remove the old one. However, with the help of a good guide, and a little bit of research, you can speed up your PC by upgrading your CPU for under $250.

$500 to $2000+

-If you’re willing to spend this amount of money to speed up your PC, then you’re probably better off buying a new PC altogether. Both laptops and desktop PCs have sunk in price over the years, and you can find incredibly powerful computers (including a monitor, mouse, and keyboard) for far less than $2000. If you’re looking for an easy way to speed up your PC, then buying a brand new computer is certainly an option.

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