If you’ve sped up your PC using every possible free and easy method, it’s time to step it up to the next level. Consider upgrading your hardware in order to get every ounce of performance out of your system. Here are some of the best methods of doing just that:

Upgrading your video card: Today’s video games are massive system hogs. For that reason, it’s important to regularly upgrade your video card. Just seven years ago, you may have been able to play a top-of-the-line game using a 128MB video card; today, that limit is approaching 2GB.

However, before doing this, you have to consider the bottlenecks in your system: which component is your weakest link? Buying a new video card will be pointless if your CPU is still miles behind the current technology.

Consider upgrading your CPU: The CPU is one of the most important components of your system. That’s why it’s called the Central Processing Unit. This also means that some people are afraid to update it. Fortunately, upgrading a CPU is a lot easier than many people think. In fact, if you have ever installed a stick of RAM before, then installing a CPU won’t be much difficult: you simply pry out the old heatsink and processor and then replace it with a new one.

When shopping for a new CPU, be sure to know the socket type of your motherboard. Many AMD CPUs, for example, can only fit into certain sockets, like AM3. Thankfully, most computer parts websites allow you to quickly and easily sort through products based on their socket type.

Get a fast hard drive to decrease loading times

Most of us have large, slower hard drives in our PCs. While this is great for file storage, they don’t load anything else very quickly. If you want to be able to get every ounce of speed out of your system, then you’ll need to get a smaller hard drive with a high RPM. The higher speed of the device will allow the computer to access your files much more quickly, which will drastically lower your loading times.

These smaller, faster drives are a great place to store your operating system in order to decrease your startup time. It’s also popular with gamers, who use it to store their game’s installation files.

Get more RAM: This is one upgrade that never fails to impress people. RAM is cheap, easy to install, and has a noticeable, immediate effect on your PC’s speed. You never want RAM to be the bottleneck in your system, so it doesn’t hurt to pick up an extra stick or two.

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