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Repairing and Upgrading Your PC by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Popular Upgrades

The most popular upgrades fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Feature upgrades add capabilities to your PC, such as DVD burning, video capture, or wireless networking.

  • Reliability upgrades are targeted at reducing the likelihood, frequency, and severity of hardware failures.

  • Performance upgrades speed up your system.

  • Quiet upgrades reduce the noise level of your system.

  • Convenience upgrades make it easier to do things you want to do.

  • Data safety upgrades reduce the likelihood that your bdata will be corrupted or lost.

Table 1-1 lists the 20 most popular PC upgrades by type, cost, and difficulty, ordered from least to most expensive. The actual cost of an upgrade obviously varies by the specific component you choose, but we've provided approximate ranges, as follows:

Table 1-1. 

$:

$0 to $50

$$:

$50 to $125

$$$:

$125 to $250

$$$$:

$250+

Table 1-2. The top 20 upgrades

Action

Feature

Reliability

Performance

Quiet

Convenience

Data safety

Cost

Difficulty

Chapter

Install case fans or ducting

$

Medium

15

Install card reader

$

Medium

9

Replace keyboard/mouse

$—$$

Easy

13

Add/replace memory

$—$$

Medium

6

Upgrade CPU heatsink/fan

$—$$

Medium

5

Replace the audio adapter

$—$$$

Easy

12

Add USB flash drive

$—$$$$

Easy

9

Install power protection

$—$$$$

Easy

16

Replace the speakers

$—$$$$

Easy

12

Replace video adapter

$—$$$$

Medium

10

Install external hard drive

$$—$$$

Easy

9

Install DVD writer

$$

Medium

8

Replace power supply

$$

Medium

16

Add/replace hard drive

$$—$$$

Medium

7

Install RAID

$$–$$$

Medium

7

Install secure wireless networking

$$–$$$

Difficult

14

Install a video capture card

$$$$$

Difficult

10

Replace motherboard

$$$$$

Difficult

4

Upgrade processor

$$–$$$$

Difficult

5

Replace the display

$$$–$$$$

Easy

11

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