I am pleased to introduce you to the newest hire at P3C Technologies, Michael Daniels.  He has an awesome background of building computers for colleagues, friends, and relatives.  This definitely has helped him hit the ground running here at P3C, already meeting with new clients and giving them advice about their techie problems!
Below is a bit more info about Michael along with an article he wrote about potential inexpensive upgrades you can do to a middle aged computer that squeeze some extra life out of your machine.  The upgrades he proposes can often breath new life into an older computer.  If we can help you in any way, or if you have questions on whether these type of upgrades are right for you, do not hesitate to reach out.
Thanks for reading and for your continued business.
Brad Otto
P3C Technologies
Hello, My name is Michael Daniels. I am the newest IT consultant at P3C Technologies. To learn more about me and my history with computers please check out my bio on our website: View my bio!
As a courtesy to new, as well as existing customers, I have written up a short article highlighting several suggestions I feel will be very helpful to those faced with aging or slow computers.  Enjoy!
Sometimes even after just a year or 2 has passed, people find their computers to be painfully slow, which makes the task of actually using them for anything far less enjoyable than it otherwise would be.  There are several very simple things that any computer owner can do to maximize the performance of their current machine, and help to ensure its lifespan is as long as possible.
It can be difficult sometimes to know when to upgrade, what to upgrade, or even worse… if an upgrade is a viable option at all.  Sometimes a completely new machine is the more practical decision.  My mother always used to tell me “don’t put a $100.00 saddle on a $10.00 horse.”  Never has an expression rang so true than in the world of computers.   I have created a top 3 list of components that are the easiest to upgrade, as well as the most effective at squeezing a little extra life out of your current machine.
1. RAM
The first place to start the upgrade process on your computer is the memory (RAM).  Upgrading memory is the easiest and most accessible PC upgrade you can make.  It is usually very affordable and doesn’t require much tech know-how to install yourself.   Upgrading RAM delivers an instant performance boost to almost all PC’s that are running slow.  For resource hungry tasks – like video editing or gaming – The more RAM you’ve got, the better.  Even for casual use, extra RAM will enable you to have more apps running in the background and keep a greater number of tabs open in your browser.
So how much RAM do you need?  4GB is currently the bare minimum, and you will notice a significant improvement if you upgrade to 8 GB.  For heavier tasks, consider moving up to 16 GB or more.
2. Data Drive
It was a very difficult choice between RAM and hard disk upgrade for the #1 spot on this list.  I ended up choosing RAM as the top spot simply because of how inexpensive it is, and how easy it is to install yourself.
However, make no mistake, no amount of RAM will give your computer the overall boost in speed that can be gained by upgrading your hard disk from an old school mechanical hard disk, to a more modern solid state hard-drive.  Unlike traditional hard-drives, solid state drives don’t rely on spinning metal disks to read or write information.  They have no moving parts, and instead rely on flash memory. This offers several benefits.  The first, and most important benefit gained by using an SSD is the raw performance boost that you will receive.  From the moment you hit your power  button, the difference is night and day.  Your computer will start up very quickly.  Average times are 10-30 seconds.  Additionally,  programs can be opened within seconds.  I often refer to the performance gain received from an SSD as being similar to the boost gained upgrading from 56k (dial-up) internet to a high speed cable connection offered by Time Warner, AT&T, Comcast etc.
The only downside to solid state drives is that they are generally smaller capacity, and considerably more expensive than a traditional hard-drive.  It is usually a good idea to keep your older mechanical hard-drive around for storage of things like music, video, etc. while using your SSD as the main drive containing the Operating System, as well as the programs used day to day.
3.  Graphics Card
 If gaming is your highest priority, then perhaps this should be the first thing that you upgrade.  If you aren’t a serious gamer, 3d modeler, or 3d animator, then you probably won’t need to upgrade it at all ever.  As a cost saving measure, most PC manufacturers such as DeLL, Lenovo, HP etc,  tend to go with integrated graphics rather than a dedicated graphics card.  If you have an integrated card built right into the motherboard, then moving up to a dedicated graphics card will work wonders, especially if you want to use multiple monitors.
It is impossible to say with absolute certainty whether or not an upgrade to your existing machine is a practical decision rather than simply replacing it altogether.  The age of a machine is not always a fool proof way to determine whether or not upgrades are a worthwhile endeavor.  The best way to make this decision is to look at the costs of the upgrades, and compare them to the cost of a new machine.  As new technology comes out, and components advance, it is common for the older more out-dated parts of a machine to become increasingly rare, harder to find, and of course, more expensive.
If you are unsure  if an upgrade is practical for you or what would be the best path forward you can contact us here at P3C Technologies to discuss your options.