Old computer ?: ideas to convert an unused PC and give it a new life

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This notebook or desktop PC that it takes forever to start the operating system, programs crash or there is not even a storage space left to save a family photo or video album; While it may not seem like it, you have a second chance by simply tweaking specific features of the hardware and operating system.

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Before starting a complete renovation of our old computer, it is important to take into account some technical details.

When is the best time to renew your computer

The average life span of a computer swings between 3 and 4 years approximately, although this is not a general rule, as there are many factors that influence it. It depends on each specific case, on the use and goals each person has for their computer.

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In general, the main reason we need to refurbish hardware is when our equipment has a poor performance. At some point, the outdated hardware fails causing different losses, not only of files, but also based on time and power consumption.

One of the first indicators we can observe is the slownessbattery life for notebooks and equipment performance during demanding activities, such as video games.

The indicators for refurbishing any hardware will depend on the user, depending on the use they give to their equipment and the applications they use.

A pro will always prioritize his time if he notices his team it takes time to turn on, open applications, or you are having trouble managing multiple programs at the same time, it would be a good time for a hardware upgrade. while for a player usernot reaching an acceptable number of frames per second in new games, video editing or rendering.

You will also need to consider whether the old computer to be upgraded is a notebook or a desktop computer.

In case of laptoponly its memory and disk can be upgraded, so it is limited the reprocessing path.

For desktop computer users, however, it is necessary to analyze what components we have and see if they are there supported processors available on the market. If so, start by changing the processor, then the memory, the disk, and finally the video card.

“The proposed order is based on the highlight that if we update, for example, the video card without the rest of the accompanying components, it will not show the expected performance improvement,” he develops. German Loureirotechnical engineer specializing in Intel games for the Latin American region.

What can an “old” computer be converted into?

There are several uses that the average user could use their refurbished computer, such as a multimedia equipmentintended only for pass the music or play movies or series.

“The best use you can make of an old computer will also depend on whether it is a notebook or a desktop, the latter being the one that has the most possibility of transformation“recommends Germán Loureiro, Intel’s specialized gaming technical engineer for the Latin American region.

For example, a desktop computer can become a file server, to store photos, videos, music, among others. Also, it can be a small entertainment center that runs console video games.

In the case of laptops, the only way to reuse them is for them to be used by another person in the household who needs one lower processing level, how to use it for school or university assignments.

From AMD they assure it it can be converted into a platform for gamers thanks to AMD Link technology, a program that allows you to remotely play video games with high graphics demand with 4K resolution. You just need a more powerful computer, which has a Radeon graphics card.

Update PC: storage and memory

The first and most important, in order for our PC to have optimal performance, mainly, we will have to focus on warehouse renovation.

If the machine was purchased with a hard drive (HDD) the leap in quality will be to install a solid state drive (SSD), whose disk data exchange interface must be SATA3. This update will improve the overall speed of our computer, from launching, opening applications, waiting times in games, and more.

The SSD is in the process of completely replacing mechanical disks in virtually all scenarios, with the possible exception of backup systems or large-capacity storage (4TB or more, where the HDD still continues to have the advantage of price per hour) but in the C or laptop boot disk scenario, be it for gaming, for study or for work, the SSD has already won.

The top of the range unit – the best and the latest that technology offers – reaching speeds of over 7000MB / s and will appeal to the most demanding users, focused on graphic design, video editing, engineering, software development and all those heavy processes where you can save a long time thanks to a super fast storage drive.

On the other hand, if you already have a source SSD, upgrading to an NVMe SSD solution, an information exchange protocol that far exceeds all standards, will really make you leap in quality.

The star of the moment, and the unit set to be the fastest growing in the future, are the low cost NVMe, focused on offering the best value for money, with performance high enough to meet the needs of all users and most incredible the fact is that its price is very similar to that of the “old” SATA drives.

Another aspect to consider to improve the performance of the equipment in question is the amount of RAM to be installed.

Although it will be necessary to determine the maximum of this type of memory that the motherboard accepts (motherboardin English), a computer today that chooses to do so 16 GB is more than enough to obtain a good performance in the face of the advance of remote work, the increase of video calls through Zoom or Google Meet and the need to have multiple tabs open in the browser.

Likewise, the 8GB configuration can in some cases impact performance loss in high-demand situations.

José Luis Fernández, Technology Manager Spanish South America at Kingston Technology, explains that “with the evolution of software, with computers and their processors, RAM has also evolved. Today, for example, we already have 32GB RAM modules even for notebooks in a single module, ie many notebooks on the market with two memory slots can have 64GB of RAM ”.

“Having dual-channel modules will also greatly improve system speed, application performance and even more FPS in games. If after these changes the equipment does not work as we would like, then it is a good time to improve the processor or the video card, if we are looking for better performance in games, “explains Pablo Ance, technology trainer at AMD Argentina.

If for some reason the activity level to which the system is subjected continues to make it insufficient, depending on the type of hardware, there is the possibility to upgrade the RAM memory.

The last step will be to check the operating system. In case this old machine has the Windows 7 version – launched in 2009 – and a 2nd Generation Intel processor, it would be advisable to upgrade it to Windows 10 without problems.

According to various technical analyzes, computers that upgraded old PC RAM and switched from HDD to SSD improved their performance by more than 50%.

Processors and operating system: what to consider?

Whenever a brand like Intel or AMD – the world’s leading manufacturers – launches a new series of processors, it shows a logical improvement over the previous generation. The change is significant, so anyone who does will notice the performance improvement.

Now, it will also depend on how you use it, whether it is for gaming or productivity, no doubt you will notice the improvements of the new family, but if you give it a basic use, you will not have a big change since you will not take full advantage of the processor’s capabilities.

“To change the processor, we must always take into account the platform we need to see if we have to change the processor as well. motherboard and memories. From the launch of the Ryzen 1000 series of processors up to the 5000 series, we have used the AM4 platform, which supported more than 125 processor models, different architectures and more than 500 motherboard models ”, assures Ance.

“In the case of desktop computers, updating must always be harmonious. If we update only one of the components of the equipment, the performance will probably not vary too much. The ideal is to always have a balanced computer in terms of processor, memory, disk and video card. The processor is important but it is not the only component catch up when looking for circumstantial change, ”reaffirms Intel’s Loureiro.

Finally, the user must determine if the computer is compatible with a higher version of the original operating system, as in this case Windows 10, it will be necessary to right click on the start bar, selecting the Task Manager and under Processes, giving priority from memory, to clearly see which applications consume the most.

Something very common is that when checking the browser is the first on this list to consume the most resources and there are ways to reduce its size and consumption, such as cleaning cookies, temporary browsing files and browsing history.


Source: Clarin

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