Back to school: how to fix an old computer for less than 25,000 pesos

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After years of intensive use, the computer -whether desktop or laptop- they start to show symptoms of exhaustion. They feel heavy and with deep bumps in their performance. A few weeks before the start of 2023 classes, a guide to upgrading an old PC for school or university, with an investment that does not exceed the 25 thousand pesos.

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For a complete restoration of the plant and leaving it in optimal conditions for the beginning of the school year, there are two fronts to advance on. So, there will be a major renewal of hardware with some the software extends.

The key element in this equation is the Solid State Drive (SSD). As a backup, you can also add RAM memory. The final touch is a driver updater and maintenance suite.

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And while mounting these cards in your machine isn’t very difficult if you help yourself with a tutorial, it can still get complicated. In case of blockage, the best is to call a technician.

Speed ​​without question

SSDs for the old computer.  Photo: Kingston.

SSDs for the old computer. Photo: Kingston.

The advantage of SSDs over mechanical disk drives (HDD) is beyond question. However, with innovation also came variations in shape, design and technology. Something that can mislead the buyer.

Operationally, the SSD is a technological revolution. Since it boots Windows in less than half the time of a hard drive and has tripled its write and read speed.

Before you decide to buy, you should find out the type of connection it includes the equipment you have and then choose the form factor that best fits. Also, check if the free socket supports a SATA, M2 or NVMe interface.

“All computers, no matter how old they are, can be upgraded to SSD. It will depend on the model and the doors they have, if it accepts the new M2. But at least you have SATA, which shares a connector with HDDs,” explains José Luis Fernández, Kingston’s chief technology officer for SSA.

The most common type of connection interface is SATA (Serial ATA). A 2.5-inch square format that can reach speeds of up to 6 Gbps in its third version. This universality increases its value, as it is only as good as the more advanced models. A 250GB round the 9 thousand pesos.

On the other hand, the M2, the closest relative, does not represent a radical change, but a variant of the SATA with a reduced form. Like RAM, they plug into a socket included on notebook and PC motherboards.

And while it’s always a good idea to take precautions, this port isn’t a rarity, as it’s been on many computers released in the past 8 years. It’s the best option for price and speed.

While it was a bit confusing, the M2 can also use SATA technology, although the more current ones use NVMe. This is a new protocol that can achieve high transfer speeds. It is only compatible with motherboards equipped with NVMe PCIe connectors.

The keys to increase computer performance.  Photo Kingston.

The keys to increase computer performance. Photo Kingston.

“The top-of-the-line drives, with PCIe 4.0 ports, reaching speeds of 7000MB/s, are geared towards graphics design, video editing, and time-saving jobs with an ultra-fast, space-saving drive,” Fernández details. .

Both M2 and NVMe offer drives with different storage capacities. The cheapest, 250GB, starts 9,200 pesos. While it is a 1 Terabyte (TB) internal Kingston Nvme M.2 drive. 33 thousand pesos.

Don’t lose your memory

There is widespread confusion that memory and storage are synonymous. While RAM refers to the short-term location of data, storage is the component in your computer that allows you to save and access data long-term.

This random access memory allows the instructions processed by the CPU to be loaded faster. This read and write capability can be significantly increased if they are used in Dual-Channel: two identical modules working in parallel.

To notice a change, the indicated thing is to double the amount installed. However, the first one that appears cannot be placed, since it must coincide with the same speed as the one being placed.

The more RAM available, the more applications can be used simultaneously. The minimum and recommended is that it has 16GB. An 8GB module is around 15 thousand pesos.

renewal and change

Avast Updater updates any driver on your computer.

Avast Updater updates any driver on your computer.

Each internal component of the machine is associated with a certain controller. This system file is responsible for telling Windows how to physically find the device and what resources it uses to function properly.

New releases include important patches or security fixes. However, they are ignored by the operating system and you have to take the time to update them.

The problem is that, by being outdated, missing or damaged, they pose a risk to the entire environment. In the case of video cards or other components, they can cause failures or frequent interruptions in the system.

Avast Updater identifies some of them 35 million of drivers – from USB ports, to the modem, to the microprocessor, to the audio, to the SSD or to the motherboard – it automatically installs them and eliminates the ones that are no longer needed. In case of failure, it returns to the previous ones.

Unlike other products on the market, which only allow users to update a limited number of drivers, Avast’s solution offers a free trial of 15 days fully functional.

Cleaning and maintenance

Glary Interface Utility.

Glary Interface Utility.

A good supplement to SSD and RAM is cleaning software that performs general system maintenance. Since repeated use of the equipment produces a decrease in productivity, which is corrected with a set of tools.

With more than 20 utilities to its credit, Glary Utilities is a free application, compatible with most versions of Windows. In this area, the biggest competitor is CCleaner, which is suspected of introducing espionage modules into the computer.

From a screenshot, Glary reports how long it took to boot the system, when it was last updated, clear cookies, Internet history.

It also encrypts your system files and prevents them from being modified without permission. Monitors programs running on your PC and warns of spyware and trojans.

Though the coolest tool is 1-click maintenance. Choosing this option cleans the registry and shortcuts, removes temporary files, and performs startup management. If you check the Automatically repair box, you choose the best alternative in each case.

Source: Clarin

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