Computer Upgrades

We can breathe new life into your PC by upgrading some of its key components.

As more and more software is loaded on your computer and software developers make them larger and with more features, more and more is demanded of your computer. As time goes by your computer may not be able to keep up. You could get a new computer but that is not always the most economical. Upgrading your computer is a quick way to make your computer faster and to have more features. Most computers can be upgraded but older ones have incompatibility issues. We can help inform you on your options and help you make your computer better fit your needs.

For those who purchase a computer from Comwest Digital Computer Services, we charge nothing to install any upgrade that is also bought from us. For customers who already have a computer and simply need us to install their upgrade we have a very minimal charge. If you want to install it yourself and simply need our help deciding then call us, we will do that for you for free.
If you find that you need to upgrade more than 3 things you should consider simply getting a new computer. (We do accept certain computers for their trade-in value as well.)

Here are the most common upgrades that people do and what we suggest:

RAM
RAM is the memory in your computer that actually runs your programs

For a typical users running today's software should have at least 3GB of RAM. If you have 2GB or less of RAM then as you start to load more software it will start to slow down. Once your computer runs out of RAM then things really start to slow down. If you run Vista or if you run a large number of programs at once then we suggest at least 3GB of RAM. If your computer was made in 2006-2008 it will have DDR2 RAM. In 2003-2005 most computers were made with DDR memory. If your computer is older than that it will have PC-133 RAM or other memory types. Systems that have this type of RAM need to be replaced. On a side note, just because you purchased your computer in 2007 does NOT mean that your computer was made in 2007. Many discount computers could be built with 2-3 year old parts, so if you bought a discount computer it could really be much older than you thought.

Video Card
A video card is your processor of graphics

When you use your computer for normal things such as web browsing, watching videos and office work you are using the 2D part of your video card. This is basically the same on all cards. When you play a large 3D game you are now using the 3D part of the video card. As games get better and better with more graphics, a better 3D video card is needed. For most computers a video card is easy to upgrade. There are 3 types of video cards, AGP, PCI-Express (PCI-E) and Onboard. AGP was the standard from the mid 1990's until 2005. After 2005 PCI-Express has become the main standard for video cards. Cheaper computers have an onboard video card built on the motherboard, these onboard video cards are bad at 3D graphics and really are not playable for video games. The good news is that most quality motherboards with onboard video will also have an AGP or PCI-E slot where you can put the upgraded video card into.

Hard Drive
The next most common upgrade for a computer is to get a larger hard drive

A hard drive is your long term memory, where all of your files and programs are stored. Your operating system (Windows) is stored on your hard drive so it is not that easy to simply replace it. In most cases we simply suggest adding a second hard drive, but a hard drive is one of the main failure points in a computer, so for older computers we suggest replacing the hard drive. If your old hard drive fails you will lose all of your files.

Power Supply
The largest failure point in a computer is the power supply

A power supply is the AC to DC power converter, it takes all of the power from the wall and coverts it to the power that the different parts of the computer needs. If a computer needs 300W of power to work good companies will put in a 450W power supply, but other, lower cost companies will put in only a 300W power supply, this give no extra room for failure. If you install more ram or a larger hard drive you may find that your power supply is not good enough to run your computer, it simply will not boot. But this is just the start of the problem. As power supplies get older, they have less power as they did before. Also with power spikes and drops, damage occurs and soon your power supply simply does not work. When this happens it is time to get a new one, or you can upgrade your power supply now to prevent this in the future. Sometimes when your power supply fails, it may also damage some of your other hardware, so it is best to do it early.

A failed, or failing power supply will render your computer useless and may also cause other damage to the computer, therefore, we can replace your power supply.

Optical Drive
Another popular upgrade is to upgrade to a DVD/RW or Blue-Ray Drive

This drive will replace all other drives and it is able to do everything. It can burn and read DVD's, CD's or Blue-Ray Discs. New drives are much faster, and have more features.

Motherboard & Processor
A CPU (Processor) is the heart of your computer

Often the most expensive part, and the part that most determines the speed of your computer. A motherboard is the nervous system of your computer, all components connects to it, it controls everything and therefore is very important. The motherboard determines what other hardware your computer will be compatible with, it sets your video card type, your hard drive type, your Memory type, your power supply type and your CPU type.