When Should I Upgrade My PC? The Complete Guide

When Should I Upgrade My PC, every year, new PC parts are released that make every gamer wonder if they should upgrade to better or newer hardware. If you want a desktop for extreme gaming you need an upgrade your device.

Today, we will go over whether it’s actually necessary to upgrade your current set-up or if you might be getting ahead of yourself too quickly.

When Should I Upgrade My PC? You should upgrade all aspects of your system every four years if you want to stay on top of the newest games.

Each part of the vehicle can get made better at different times, and if you have the money then you may be able to make it much better than normal earlier than others could.

We will break down when to upgrade each part separately below.

When Should I Upgrade My PC?

Upgrades will happen periodically throughout the year as needed, but getting all-new parts every 4 to 5 years is ideal for the smoothest functioning.

That is, unless you’re experiencing a power outage. In most circumstances, the UPS will be able to keep your components cool for hours on end as long as there’s plenty of airflow.

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If you have a gaming laptop, it depends on your components but generally, the average lifespan of a gaming laptop is around 3 to 4 years.

If you have a better laptop, it can be up to and over 100 dollars, but if you have a budget model it’s less than that amount.

Before moving on, you don’t need to upgrade. When Should I Upgrade My PC Stay where you are; this tutorial is not telling you to migrate.

PCs often last a lot longer than consumers realize, and so you should upgrade when it makes financial sense.

For example, if your desktop or laptop gets slow or starts acting up beyond repair – you’ll probably have to replace it eventually anyway.

On the other hand, if you make use of good antivirus software and avoid visiting sketchy websites on your PC, you may never have reason to upgrade.

Now, we’re going to give you a handy overview of all the components in a desktop PC and when you should upgrade them.

When Should I Upgrade My CPU?

Most computers come installed with an Intel processor. These processors do not overheat and they rarely break down, which is a plus for most computer users, especially when one considers that many consumers often need to rebuild their machines every few years.

Intel tends to change their chipset with each new generation, whereas their competitors stick to the same chipsets. Users upgrading from one of Intel’s processors to a new one may need a new board that is compatible with the motherboards on their older machines versus AMD which can use the same motherboard as long as it has enough sockets available for additional chips.

Processors only need to be replaced every 5 years, but you can even stretch that to 6 if your clock speeds were fast enough.

Since games can only use one or two cores at a time when they are built, having multiple CPUs won’t make all that much of a difference in FPS.

Instead of higher base, boost, and maximum clock speeds, Intel found that more consumers are interested in lower energy consumption per core.

In looking at the 7700k in comparison to the 10900k, we have noticed that the 10900k provides a slight edge when it comes to performance while using games that are four years old at this point.

Really, it depends on the kind of processor you’ll have. If you plan to use your Surface Pro for multitasking or for heavy lifting, then it would be best to look for a processor with many cores and threads.

Another reason why the difference is smaller is that games rely more on the GPU which tends to be better at handling parallel workloads, leading processes and tasks to run slower than they would running on a similarly spec’d CPU.

The CPU does enter data into your computer, in some cases it even sends out instructions to other parts of the device and processes requests, but the GPU contributes to your PC’s overall abilities by taking care of visual elements.

This leads us to our next topic.

How Often Should You Upgrade Your Graphics Card?

For most PC users, graphics cards tend to become more useless over time unless they’re upgrading their system.

If a user’s hardware is much too old, it will be very difficult to ensure that they’re going to be able to play 3D video games and use those high powered applications on the market today in order to effectively improve the processing power of their computer.

Graphics cards are a major asset to computers that play games in high detail. As new games become more detailed, it’s up to your graphics card to power through it all so every frame can be rendered.

The faster your graphics card, the more frames per second you can achieve, if it has the right amount of power which mostly determines frame rate.

This means a smoother game experience and less lag, but if you plan on playing an online game be mindful of your viewers’ internet connection if latency becomes too high.

As you can imagine, generational leaps are big movements for your users but if you make changes at least once every few years, then users can get comfortable with them.

Nevertheless, it is amazing how far we have come in terms of performance when considering where our company started.

Increased processing power for video cards has improved video game graphics throughout the years, and has allowed game developers to create graphically stunning worlds for players to explore.

Gaming on any device still isn’t a reason for us to upgrade but we should remember that not everyone playing on 1080p will necessarily want to play at 4K.

You may need to dial back some of the fine details at times, but if your target is a consistent 60FPS and good graphics for a 1080p screen then you’re likely to be able to achieve this for a long time with on a decent graphics card.

Whereas, with 1440p and 4k, running these resolutions at high graphical settings will likely require an upgrade every two years.

How Often Should You Replace Your PSU?

Your PSU should be replaced when you are increasing power to your gaming rig but do not want to add more heat or your device is overheating.

For example, if you have a 500 watt power supply and were to fit a 3090 inside, the power draw would skyrocket due to greater wattage. To protect yourself in this instance, it would be best to upgrade your power supply.

If your power supply was to malfunction, it may simply overheat or shut off entirely if everything goes as it should. However, it could also begin throwing sparks and ultimately die out on you as well.

What’s not taken into account is the practice of overclocking a computer and how many more watts it takes to make a computer run faster.

So if you plan on upping your system’s capabilities with overclocking, then the increase in wattage will be measured to match and will require a bigger capacity PSU to keep things cool inside your device.

As this varies so much, I would recommend searching online for YouTube videos which benchmark GPUs and CPUs.

As this question varies so much, I would recommend searching online for YouTube videos that benchmark GPUs and CPUs.

PSUs have a high-quality rating based on whether they can handle a lot of wear and tear.

If you aren’t responsible with your PSU or if you happen to draw more power than the device requires, in the long run it could damage your device and even hurt its performance.

Ideally, you want to run your power supply somewhere in the range of 50-75% load. This will ensure that your PSU isn’t being stressed and still able to deliver enough juice.

If your PC is totally shut down or not performing at full capacity (running under 20%) you’ll also want to make sure that your computer is placed somewhere where air flow is good enough so as not to let it overheat.

If you have a brand that is reliable, but still doesn’t fit your needs, then it’s equally appropriate to replace it with something else. This might signify that you are ready for a replacement product as well.

You don’t want to build your PC and then have it stop working or not function as efficiently as it should. You need a strong and reliable PSU that will guarantee your PC’s performance and last for several years without having to buy another one.

If you are in this situation, When Should I Upgrade My PC then replacing the PSU can be a good option.

Still, always use the cables that come with it as PSU cables are not universal, and using incompatible ones could cause problems like your computer not even powering on or worse still it may lead more sinister things.

If you’re buying a new power supply, one good brand would be Corsair or EVGA. These produce high quality PSUs which have treated my builds well over the past several years.

When Should You Replace A PC Case?

PC cases are one of the least important components in a computer. Most people simply keep their case or use whatever came with their PC. Only a few people upgrade, as they generally do so to show off because they may have every other component upgraded already.

Another good reason to change cases is if a new component (larger than your present case) such as a graphics card is being added in.

The 30 series has plenty of motorcycles made at its own expense. One of the most notable models is the 3090, which has well-earned its reputation for being a nice bike.

When you have a giant tower case, you may find that your PSU ends up blocking whatever is attached to your motherboard near the rear if it’s too close. Sometimes there isn’t enough clearance for every component.

The final reason you might want to replace a PC tower is if you are planning on upgrading or downgrading the size of your motherboard.

Motherboards come in three standard sizes: mini, regular, and extra-large. When Should I Upgrade My PC The latter is commonly referred to as “eATX” which stands for extended ATX and is used for desktop computers that have extreme features such as a lot of RAM or powerful graphics cards.

If you’re downscaling from ATX to mATX, then you could see the benefit of buying a smaller board. You can make use of a smaller case that takes up less space on your desk or the ground beneath you.

If you’re upgrading to a larger sized case that fits your motherboard, either from mATX to ATX or ATX to eATX, then you will want to make sure that your new case supports all sizes of motherboards as well.

I have a Fractal XL case, which means that it has standoffs and support for all three sizes, so I wouldn’t have to replace the case either if I went bigger or smaller.

When Should I Replace My CPU Cooling?

Typically, you will want to upgrade your CPU cooling system when upgrading to a brand that requires more power than your current PC setup is able to keep up with.

Other than that, there aren’t many other reasons to replace your current fan unless you’re experiencing issues with it and thus don’t want to risk continuing using it.

An excellent way to determine whether or not to upgrade your CPU’s cooling solution is to check the reviews for the new CPU and its accompanying cooler.

Check to see if there are any forums online that feature user specs for systems using your devices.

When I went to get my 9900k, I knew that the cooling solution I had wasn’t going to be enough, so I looked at what other people who bought the 9900k used and discovered a company called Noctua. They made a product called the DH-15.

This approach hasn’t failed me thus far, because if the customer reviews aren’t giving you sufficient information on how the CPU is being cooled, you can always go to trusted third-party review sites for detailed analysis like Gamers Nexus for CPU cooler benchmarks.

When Should I Upgrade My Storage?

If you’re currently using an HDD, When Should I Upgrade My PC then this is a task that should be of high priority and you should look to upgrade it as soon as possible.

Not only will your PC start up much quicker, but it’ll also boot faster. How fast? With an SSD, you can experience almost the same boot speed as a Mac.

Another option would be an SSD that has a 250GB capacity at a reasonable price and this will be sufficient to accommodate the operating system files.

Besides that, there are other benefits of SSDs. Specifically, if you play a lot of games and have a large library or install a lot of applications, an SSD is going to suit your needs better. You see, the speed is not what makes an SSD so great but rather it’s capacity to store data.

Games are getting larger and larger, some titles going as large as 200GB. Some gamers store the games onto an SSD so it can be played from their PC, but not all people have a large budget and are tight on space.

SSDs can make your games load more quickly but it’s not always a necessity if you’re on a budget. When deciding between the two, remember that a traditional hard drive will continue to work as normal long after an SSD wears out.

When Should I Upgrade My Motherboard?

First get to know your motherboard’s capabilities and limitations, then, if needed, upgrade it.

If you are an Intel CPU user, When Should I Upgrade My PC after researching your options, unfortunately, we have the unfortunate news that you will need to upgrade your motherboard in order to be able to properly accommodate for a new generation of Intel CPUs.

If you are an AMD user, it’s likely that you won’t have to upgrade your motherboard that often but there may eventually come a point when it makes sense to do so if there are any new features or added functionality you want to take advantage of.

A few upgrades you might consider are M.2 cards, larger amounts of RAM or better supported by the motherboard, and faster PCI-E technology which includes newer standards like 3.0 or 4.0 which are mostly found on the newest motherboards.

I think M.2 SSD drives are fantastic! When Should I Upgrade My PC If you’re using one already and loving it, some people even go ahead and buy a brand new motherboard that has another M.2 slot on it so they can have more super fast storage.

Motherboard upgrades can’t be estimated in terms of how long they will take, but I recommend upgrading your motherboard with the upgrade of your CPU, which may be done every four years.

When Should You Upgrade Your RAM?

If you already own 16GB of RAM and never experience any issues or slowdowns, there’s no need to purchase any more. This is because the biggest performance boost happens when going from 8GB to 16GB.

Speed is a vital part of performance, especially if you have an AMD CPU. We have seen that upgrading RAM can have a significant effect on overall system responsiveness and performance – and often we recommend using 3200mhz or 3600mhz.

A piece of advice: When Should I Upgrade My PC make sure you’re buying computer parts that are compatible with your CPU.

Otherwise, it will go to waste when your computer won’t run as expected and it’s not a good look considering the size of PC building and modding communities – which we’re a part of on behalf of our blog.

4200MHz is nice and all, but if your specific computer setup can’t handle it then you might just be wasting $100. Certainly nothing to sneeze at, but $100 could also get used in arguably more important ways than just a frequency boost like when buying a new processor or RAM for example.

If you are the type of person who likes to future-proof their projects, for RAM you can space things out further by going for 32GB and 3200mhz, and it should be fairly durable over the course of many years.

For a long time, 8GB was standard for computer memory requirements. When Should I Upgrade My PC However, lately with the gaming industry becoming more technology-driven and its games requiring that much more RAM to run efficiently, the standard amount seems insufficient.

One other situation where it would make sense to upgrade RAM is when upgrading to more robust hardware such as stronger, faster processors for improved performance.

This will happen very infrequently because it not only requires technological advancement but it relies on the companies that make all the other hardware in a PC to modify their hardware to work with the new RAM architecture.

For example, DDR3 RAM was released in 2007. It was designed by several companies over several years, but it was introduced to the public in 2014 with Intel CPUs. The first AMD Ryzen processors that incorporated DDR4 were released in 2017.

The transition from DDR3 to DDR4 took longer than the switch from DDR2 to DDR3. When Should I Upgrade My PC Each upgrade took several years before becoming a standard, but DDR4 was released long after DDR2.

With that being said, It is estimated that DDR5 will be released in 2020 and its first consumer RAM kit is to be expected at some point in 2021.

Several years may pass before DDR5 becomes the norm as today’s mainstream desktop architecture (DDR4) isn’t expected to be phased out until 2028 .

So, when should you upgrade your RAM? When your current RAM capacity becomes outdated, when your OS has not been updated in a long time, or when your RAM begins to show signs of age, and you need a more reliable setup.

What Is Bottlenecking And Why Is It Important?

Bottlenecking can happen at an office or home environment when a system with several fast components like a slow Internet connection and one slow component that prevents your PC from reaching its maximum potential.

Let’s demonstrate a pair of long days by giving an example of a highly inconvenient and unrealistic situation.

If you were to use a computer that had an Intel Pentium processor with a 4k monitor at 144Hz and 64GB of RAM, one wouldn’t be able to use the full potential of this expensive build because the CPU would not be able to keep up.

In reality, this often looks more like getting a 5950x and using a 1070 or an Intel 6700k but using a 3090. RAM can also be an overlooked bottleneck where you have a great system with 8GB of RAM, but only 8GB of RAM.

Gaining a competitive advantage is not as hard to do as people may think. When Should I Upgrade My PC Often, the simplest change can be the easiest and most cost-effective route to take.

A `bottleneck` is usually defined as a constraint or restriction in any system, process or organization. In computers they often refer to power supplies and the ability of the computer to sustain without fail when being fed varying amounts of data at different speeds and with varied levels of quality.

Even if you don’t miss anything, if one component can only do its job 10 times slower, your whole computer is held up by the slowest part that isn’t able to keep up with the rest of your components no matter how fast they are.

The CPU and the GPU can be so important when it comes down to handling rendering on a computer, but they also work hand-in-hand in many scenarios.

The CPU tells the GPU what it wants to draw. The GPU reads the data and passes it on to the monitor, which displays it back to the user. If the CPU transmits the message too slow, but the GPU is capable of processing those images quickly, then more time is spent waiting on a response from the CPU than doing any real work.

On the other hand, if the CPU quickly makes a demand and the GPU slowly draws it up, even if both can process an infinite amount of requests, they can only be completed as fast as both parts can create them.

Bottlenecking isn’t always a bad thing. When Should I Upgrade My PC It can help your machine run more efficiently and perform better for what you need it to do.

The term ‘bottleneck’ is a technical term that refers to times in which one part of your computer is unable to handle the tasks set before it.

How To Avoid Bottlenecking Your Build While Upgrading

You can avoid bottlenecks by upgrading your construction vehicles one at a time instead of doing them all at once. Be sure to allow service vehicles to return before you perform another upgrade so that the build system isn’t overwhelmed.

You may need a new cooler for your PC if you’re planning on using something that runs really hot or you might want to replace your power source at some point.

If you’re using an old, slow CPU when building a rig, get a new GPU and then you won’t need to upgrade your CPU.

But if you had an i3-7100 and you were planning on upgrading to a -3090, you would notice your CPU usage is at 100%, and your GPU might be lower than 50% in use, meaning most of the power of the GPU is going to waste.

The motherboards are no exception; they provide support for new technologies that can enhance our gaming experience, so these components should be considered as well if we want a faster and smoother gaming experience.

If you feel impatient about needing to save up for a new computer than you could attempt to balance things out by deciding to get a less powerful graphics card with your purchase instead of getting the more expensive CPU, unless of course what you need most is speed.


Never rush into upgrading your hardware unnecessarily. When Should I Upgrade My PC Upgrade only when sufficient funds are available and it’s a major need for the business.

These things vary based on the individual components, but typically every four years or so it is a good idea to upgrade for newer parts that will perform better with today’s titles.

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