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Hardware upgrade how to install new ram

Last Updated: January 15, 2021 Approved

This article was co-authored by Spike Baron. Spike Baron is the Owner of Spike’s Computer Repair based in Los Angeles, California. With over 25 years of working experience in the tech industry, Spike specializes in PC and Mac computer repair, used computer sales, virus removal, data recovery, and hardware and software upgrades. He has his CompTIA A+ certification for computer service technicians and is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert.

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Has your computer started to feel a little sluggish? Maybe it’s not performing like it used to, or can’t keep up with the latest software? Upgrading your RAM (Random Access Memory) is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to quickly improve your computer’s performance. RAM can be upgraded on virtually any computer, and only takes a screwdriver and a few minutes. Read on after the jump to learn how.

Hardware upgrade how to install new ram

Spike Baron
Computer Repair Technician Expert Interview. 9 January 2019. You’ll need at least two modules to enable a dual-channel mode on platforms such as AMD’s Socket AM4 or Intel’s LGA 1151, or four to enable the quad-channel modes of AMD’s socket TR4 and Intel’s LGA 2066. Check your motherboard or computer’s documentation, or check the manufacturer’s website for the RAM specifications that are compatible with your hardware.

  • RAM is available as DDR (double data rate), DDR2, DDR3, and DDR4. Most newer computers use DDR4. Get the type that matches what your motherboard supports
  • RAM is identified by two different speed numbers: the PC/PC2/PC3 number and the MHz speed. Make sure that both match your motherboard’s specifications.
    • The PC number (ex. PC3 12800) refers to the maximum bandwidth (ex. 12800 = 12.8 GB maximum bandwidth).
    • The speed of the RAM is signified by the number after the DDR specification (ex. DDR3 1600 = 1600 MHz).

Hardware upgrade how to install new ram

Spike Baron
Computer Repair Technician Expert Interview. 9 January 2019.

  • Most motherboards have a limit to the amount of memory that they support, regardless of the number of slots.
  • iMacs use notebook memory, so refer to the next section for instructions on how to install it.

Hardware upgrade how to install new ram

Hardware upgrade how to install new ram

Spike Baron
Computer Repair Technician Expert Interview. 9 January 2019. Try to install RAM in pairs, so if you want 4 GB, then install 2 GB and 2GB. Never install them in different pairs such as one is 2 GB and the other one is 1 GB etc., it might decrease your RAM performance.

  • All of the RAM you have installed should have matching speed and bandwidth. If they don’t match, your system will be clocked down to the slowest stick, reducing performance.
  • Double check what your motherboard supports before committing to the purchase.
  • Adding memory (RAM) to your desktop computer can instantly make your computer faster, increase system responsiveness, and make multitasking seamless. Installation is a quick process that’s done in just ten steps and the benefits are instant.

    Looking to install memory in a laptop instead? Use our guide to laptop memory installation.

    Precautions Before Installation!

    Static electricity can damage the components in your system. To protect your system’s components from static damage during the installation process, touch any of the unpainted metal surfaces on your computer’s frame or wear an ESD wrist strap before touching or handling internal components. Either method will safely discharge static electricity that’s naturally present in your body.

    To protect your memory module, avoid touching the gold pins or components (chips). It’s best to hold the module by the top or side edges.

    Upgrade Desktop Memory – 10 easy steps to install memory in a desktop computer

    Installing memory can be done in a matter of minutes, but there’s no need to feel rushed. Work at your own pace and consult this guide or the video as often as you need to!

    Step 1 – Gathering Supplies

    Clear off your installation space and make sure you’re working in a static-safe environment. Remove any plastic bags or papers from your workspace. Then, you’ll need the following items:

    • Your desktop computer
    • Crucial ® desktop memory
    • Screwdriver
    • Owner’s manual

    Memory installation supplies

    Step 2 – Shut Down Your Desktop Computer

    Because your files, documents, and data are on your storage drive, not your Random Access Memory (RAM), they remain unaffected during this process.

    Step 3 – Unplug the Power Cable

    Step 4 – Hold the Power Button for Five Seconds

    This discharges any residual electricity still in the system.

    Step 5 – Open the Case

    For instructions about opening your specific system, consult its owner’s manual. You can also take pictures as you work through the process to see where cables or screws are attached to make it easier to put back together.

    Open computer case

    Step 6 – Ground Yourself!

    Touch an unpainted metal surface – this is an extra safeguard that protects your computer memory and components from static damage during the installation process.

    Ground yourself

    Step 7 – Remove Existing Memory Modules

    Press down on the clips on the sides of each module, the clip mechanism will push the memory module up. You can then pull the module completely out.

    Computer memory removal

    Step 8 – Install Memory

    Holding the modules along the edges, align the notches on the module with the ridge in the slot, then apply even pressure and firmly press the module in. It usually takes about 30 pounds of pressure to fully install the module.

    Memory banks

    Step 9 – Close the Computer Case

    Step 10 – Plug the Power Cable in

    Your Memory is now Installed!

    Boot up and enjoy a more responsive computer that’s now better equipped to run memory-intensive apps.

    Helpful Hints and Installation Troubleshooting Tips

    If your system does not boot up, check the following items:

    • If you receive an error message or hear a series of beeps, your system might not be recognizing the new memory modules. Remove and reinstall the modules. Push down hard on the modules until the clips fold back up.
    • If your system won’t boot, check all the connections inside your computer. It is easy to bump a cable and pull it out of its connector, which will disable devices such as your hard drive or CD-ROM.
    • When restarting your system, you might get a message prompting you to update the configuration settings. Refer to your owner’s manual for information. If you are still unsure, please call Crucial Technical Support for assistance.
    • If you get a memory mismatch message, follow the prompts to enter the Setup menu, and then select Save and Exit. (This is not an error—some systems must do this to update the system settings).
    • If the groove on the memory module and the ridge in the computer do not match up, do not force the module into the slot. You might have the wrong type of memory.
    • Your system recognizes only half of the new module’s memory. To make sure the computer is registering the memory you’ve added, follow these steps:
      1. Click on the Start menu or Windows button
      2. Right-click on Computer or My Computer
      3. Select Properties You will see the Installed Memory (RAM) listed. It should match the amount you installed.
    • If you encounter problems after checking these helpful tips, please contact Crucial Technical Support.

    Upgrading your PC’s RAM is one way to make your computer feel far more snappy. Here’s how to do it.

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    One of the simplest hardware upgrades you can do to make your computer feel snappier is to upgrade your memory.

    Over the years, operating systems like Windows, software like Photoshop, and now even web browsers like Chrome, have built reputations for being unabashed memory hogs. Older PCs, meanwhile, often have between 2GB and 4GB of memory. Loading too many tabs in Chrome or keeping to many programs open on your desktop could use up all of the memory your system has to offer, slowing your system to a crawl.

    If your PC’s feeling pokey when you have a lot going on, consider upgrading your RAM. A mere 4GB could work if you’re sticking to light tasks and not using Chrome, but 8GB is really the minimum we would recommend for a modern desktop PC. To future-proof your system, 16GB is the best option—the downside being increased cost, of course.

    RAM buying considerations

    There are different types of RAM. Most PCs use DDR3 memory, but older system may require DDR2 or even DDR. A small segment of high-end PCs now use DDR4 memory, and in another few years the industry will likely standardize on it. But for now, DDR3 is king.

    It’s also important to consider the speed of the RAM you’re buying in addition to the capacity of the memory kit. Out of all the memory bandwidth testing done over the past decade, the only thing these tests have consistently shown is that there’s very little benefit to purchasing the fastest RAM possible. Most people should look past the flashy 2666MHz and 2400MHz kits and focus on the price/performance sweet spot: DDR3 clocked at 1600MHz or 1866MHz.

    The next issue to consider is brand. There are a lot of memory brands available, like Corsair, G.Skill, Kingston, KLEVV, Patriot, ADATA, Crucial, PNY, Super Talent, Mushkin, and others. The biggest difference between these brands is the design of the heat sinks on the RAM modules. Pick the memory that has the best compromise between an appearance you like and a price you can stomach. You’ll find ongoing debates about the reliability of different brands, but on the balance, all big-name RAM manufacturers provide very solid products.

    How to install RAM in your PC

    With the buying considerations out of the way and 8GB of DDR3 1866MHz memory freshly delivered to your door step, it’s time to install your new RAM. It’s a quick and rather painless task—assuming you’ve done all your homework.

    First, shut down your computer and unplug all of the cables connected to it. Then remove the side of the computer case so you can access the motherboard.

    The RAM slots are adjacent to the CPU socket. Look for the big heat sink at the top of the motherboard, and you’ll see either two or four memory slots next to it.

    These are the motherboard slots you insert your RAM into.

    Before you can install the new memory you’ve purchased, you have to remove the old kit. Start by toggling the plastic retention clips at either end of the memory slots so you can pull out the old RAM.

    Release the toggles at the end of the RAM channel in order to remove your old memory.

    While you’re there, remove any dust from the memory slots, either by blasting the area with compressed air or by vacuuming gently.

    Now it’s time to put in the new RAM kit. Make sure the memory module is correctly oriented: The notch in the bottom edge of the RAM must match up with the rise in the memory slot. If you’re not filling all the available RAM channels, read your motherboard’s manual to see which specific slots you should fill first. Placing RAM in the incorrect slots could result in some performance degradation.

    Make sure the notch in the bottom edge of your RAM modules match up with the rises in the memory channel on your motherboard.

    Now that you’ve seated the RAM in the slot, toggle the plastic retention levers to lock your new memory modules in place.

    Snap the channel’s toggle closed again to lock in your RAM.

    Finally, close up your computer case, plug everything back in, and turn on your computer. It may take a couple of restarts for your motherboard to recognize and adjust to the new memory you’ve installed—so don’t panic if your computer is acting funny at first. Let it run for a few minutes, then restart it and everything will be back to normal.

    Posted by Shawn Adams on Feb 1st 2017

    Got a sluggish or aging laptop that could use a speed boost? One of the most cost-effective upgrades to make your computer run faster is to simply add more RAM. In about the time it takes to read this step-by-step tutorial, you can upgrade your computer’s memory and performance.

    1. Find Out If Your Computer Needs More RAM

    Low memory is often the cause of slow speed of a computer, and can lead to not just slow performance but also stability problems. If you’re a power user–multitasking across several intensive programs or keeping 20 browser tabs open at once–more memory will likely help your system run more smoothly.

    You can check your laptop’s memory usage in Windows Task Manager: From the Windows button, search for “task manager”. Then, in Task Manager’s performance tab, see how much memory is being used out of the total available. You’ll also see how many physical memory slots are in use and, thus, how many are available for adding more memory.

    You’ll get an even more detailed view by clicking on the “Open Resource Monitor” option at the bottom of the Task Manager window and navigating to the Memory tab. Note the screens will look slightly different under Windows 7 (shots below come from Windows 8.1).

    Need more memory!

    2. Find the Right Kind of Memory

    Once you’ve decided to upgrade the RAM, the hardest part is finding the correct memory for your system. Memory supplier, Crucial, offers handy tools to help you select the right memory. You can download a system scanner and let it find the upgrades available or simply choose your system from the Crucial Advisor tool.

    Depending on your system, Crucial’s Advisor tool might ask you for specifics you might not be sure about–for example, whether you have a dual core processor or a quad core one. You can find these details in Windows’ System Information window: Using the search function earlier, search for “msinfo32” and look for the appropriate line (e.g., look at the processor line to see how many cores it has.)

    Crucial’s tools will tell you how many memory banks (or slots) you have and the memory chips you can buy for your system.

    For better performance, memory should be added in pairs. If your laptop has two memory banks, for example, and one of them is taken up by a 4GB chip, get a matching 4GB chip for the other, empty slot.

    3. Open the Panel to Locate Your Memory Banks

    With your additional memory in hand, it’s time to upgrade your laptop memory, a pretty straightforward process.

    First, turn off your laptop and unplug the power adapter. Then open the panel on the bottom of your laptop covering the memory banks. (Depending on your system, you might have to unscrew the whole back of the laptop to access the memory and other components.)

    4. Ground Yourself to Avoid Electrostatic Discharge

    Before you touch any component in your PC, though, touch any metal surface inside the computer (e.g., the back of the hard drive or a metal connector for another component). This will discharge any potentially damaging static electricity from your body.

    5. Remove Any Memory in the Upper Slot

    Chances are any installed memory will be taking the upper slot, so you’ll need to remove it and put it in the other bank so you have space for your added memory.

    To remove the memory module, push apart the clips holding it in place. The memory module should pop up at an angle.

    Then, holding the memory module by its edges–without touching the gold connectors at the bottom, lift the module out.

    6. Install the Old Memory Module in the Lower Slot

    Next, insert the module into the bottom slot at a 45-degree angle, with the gold edge facing down (the same way it was installed in the upper slot). Use even pressure with your fingers at the top of the module to push it into place. When you hear a click and feel the memory module snap into place, firmly push the module back until it is installed flat and level, with the clips holding it securely.

    7. Repeat the Installation with the New Memory Module in the Upper Slot

    Take the new memory module, with the gold edge facing down, and repeat the process in the top slot: Insert the module at an angle, and push down and back until it clicks into place.

    That’s it! Power up your laptop and head back to the System Information window or Task Manager to verify your new memory has been added. Enjoy your upgraded memory!

    Is your computer slow to respond? There’s generally no need to buy a new computer, a memory upgrade is the easiest and most effective way to boost your computer’s performance.

    Upgrading is easy

    Adding or upgrading RAM in a laptop does not require any computer skills, just a screwdriver. First, determine how much memory you’d like to add. See our guide to estimate the amount of computer memory you need.

    Another way to improve performance is to upgrade your hard disk drive to a solid state drive. Read more about how to install an SSD in a laptop.

    Compatibility is critical

    Laptops are designed with specific RAM requirements; how many modules, configuration of modules, memory technology, and storage size are all specific to each laptop. Due to each laptop’s uniqueness, you need to know what works with your system. In less than 60 seconds, the Crucial ® Advisor™ and System Scanner tools browse a compatibility database filled with more than 100,000 systems to deliver guaranteed-compatible upgrades.

    How to install memory in your laptop

    Adding memory makes your computer faster, increases system responsiveness, and makes multitasking seamless. Installation is a quick process that’s done in just 10 steps and the benefits are instant.

    Precautions

    • Static electricity can damage the components in your system. To protect your system’s components from static damage during the installation process, touch any of the unpainted metal surfaces on your computer’s frame or wear an ESD wrist strap before touching or handling internal components. Either method will safely discharge static electricity that’s naturally present in your body.
    • To protect your memory module, avoid touching the gold pins or components (chips). It’s best to hold the module by the top or side edges.

    Laptop memory installation instructions

    Installing memory can be done in a matter of minutes, but there’s no need to feel rushed. Work at your own pace and consult this guide or the video as often as you need to!

    1. Gather supplies. Clear off your installation space and make sure you’re working in a static-safe environment. To do this, remove any plastic bags or papers from your workspace. Then, you’ll need the following items:

    • Your laptop computer
    • Crucial ® laptop memory
    • Screwdriver
    • Owner’s manual

    2. Shut down your laptop computer. Because your files, documents, and data are on your storage drive; not your random access memory, they remain unaffected by installing RAM.

    3. Unplug the power cable.

    4. Remove the battery. Consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions. If your laptop doesn’t have a removable battery, you don’t need to do this.

    5. Hold the power button for 5 seconds. This discharges any residual electricity still in the system. If your battery is not removable, there’s no need to hold the power button down.

    6. Open the case. For instructions about opening your specific system, consult its owner’s manual. You can also take pictures with your phone to see where cables or screws are attached to make it easier to put back together.

    7. Ground yourself. Touch an unpainted metal surface – this is an extra safeguard that protects your memory and components from static damage during the installation process.

    8. Remove existing memory modules. Pull the side clips away from the module to release it. Then take the RAM modules out of the slots.

    9. Install Crucial memory. Holding the modules along the edges, align the notches on the module with the ridge in the slot, then apply even pressure and firmly press the module in. It usually takes about 30 pounds of pressure to fully install the module.

    10. Close the laptop case and reinstall the battery.

    Your memory is now installed! Boot up and enjoy a more responsive computer that’s now better equipped to run memory-intensive apps.

    © 2017 Micron Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Information, products, and/or specifications are subject to change without notice. Neither Crucial nor Micron Technology, Inc. is responsible for omissions or errors in typography or photography. Micron, the Micron logo, Crucial, and the Crucial logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

    Upgrading a PC? Your choices range from installing more RAM to custom building a case designed for a DIY liquid cooling system. Which upgrades are the best depends on your PC. What specs does it have right now? Are you gaming, editing 4K videos, or just browsing the web?

    Here are five common PC upgrades and which systems will see the most improvement from them. We’re also marking how hard we think these various upgrades are. Most are easy to do, though some might take a little more thought and planning than others.

    Add a Solid-State Drive

    This is the classic rudimentary upgrade that makes a dramatic difference—especially for aging systems. If your laptop or desktop computer is running off a hard drive, then grabbing a 2.5-inch SSD will make a big difference. Your PC will feel more responsive, and boot times can shorten dramatically. Given the current state of flash storage, you’re probably better off with a triple-level cell (TLC) drive than quad-level cell (QLC).

    If you’re already rocking a 2.5-inch SATA-based SSD, the next step would be upgrading to an NVMe M.2 drive. This will also improve general responsiveness and boot times, but not as dramatically as with a hard drive.

    M.2 drives come with one caveat: Your PC needs a special M.2 PCIe slot. Most modern desktop motherboards should have it, but laptop capabilities will vary a lot. Check your motherboard or device manual to see if your system supports these drives.

    More RAM

    Should you add more RAM to your setup, or will it be a pointless exercise? That depends a lot on what you’re doing. If you use a PC to stream video, write documents in Microsoft Word, and edit the occasional photo, then 8 gigabytes (GB) might be all you need. Gamers will often be happiest with at least 16 GB, especially when playing modern AAA video games.

    Then there are media-rich tasks. If you’re getting into serious video editing as a hobby, 32 GB of RAM might be ideal.

    The bottom line is there’s an optimal amount of RAM your system needs to do its job. If you add more RAM beyond that, you won’t see much improvement, if any.

    Using these general guidelines, you should be able to estimate how much RAM you need. If it’s not enough, then try doubling it and see how that goes.

    Also consider the limits of your motherboard and CPU. They can handle only a certain amount of RAM—though it’s usually quite a bit. Remember that when you buy new RAM, it must all be the same speed (measured in MHz). Learn more in our guide to replacing your PC’s RAM.

    Once you’re organized, changing RAM on a desktop is as simple as slotting in the new RAM modules and turning on the machine. Laptops are a little more complex and usually require opening an access panel on the bottom, or sometimes removing the keyboard. Be aware that some laptops cannot accept RAM upgrades at all because the RAM is soldered onto the motherboard’s PCB.

    Swap Out Your Graphics Card

    If you have the right amount of RAM in your system and your games are running off an SSD, the next step to improving performance is to upgrade the graphics card. Before you swap your GPU, ask yourself what resolution your monitor is. If you get a graphics card that’s awesome for 4K gaming but you only play at 1080p, then you could’ve done with a far cheaper graphics card.

    If your CPU is particularly old, you might need a newer one before upgrading your graphics card. However, you can get surprisingly far with an older CPU combined with a newer graphics card. Besides, if it’s time to upgrade the CPU, then it’s likely time for a total system overhaul.

    Once you’ve got a new card, undo the slot latch, remove the old card’s power cable and take it out, slide in the new one, and reconnect the power, if your card requires it. Then you just have to install the card’s new drivers and you’re off to the races. For a more detailed look at the upgrade process, check out our tutorial on how to upgrade and install a new graphics card in your PC.

    Upgrade Your CPU

    Upgrading your CPU is not difficult, but it’s harder than slotting in some new RAM modules or changing your graphics card. Before you decide to get a new CPU, check which models are compatible with your motherboard. The motherboard CPU socket must be compatible with the processor you want—the socket is the space where the CPU fits on a motherboard.

    Beware, however, that CPU makers (particularly Intel) can have different versions of the same socket type. A SkyLake-compatible LGA 1151 socket, for example, is not compatible with the LGA 1151 sockets that Coffee Lake processors use.

    In general, it’s better to upgrade your motherboard and CPU at the same time. However, at times, it will make sense to just upgrade the processor. For example, you might catch a really good CPU sale.

    If you don’t upgrade your motherboard when changing the CPU, there are often some trade-offs—especially if the newer processors have more advanced features. Anyone with an AMD X470 motherboard, for example, could use a Ryzen 3000 CPU. However, they would lose out on PCIe 4.0 which both the CPU and motherboard must support.

    Changing the CPU is a little different depending on whether you have an AMD or Intel motherboard. Essentially, however, all you do is remove the old CPU, gently drop in the new one, and secure it. Then it’s just a matter of attaching your CPU cooling fan or liquid cooling solution.

    Add an All-in-One Liquid Cooler

    Heat: It’s what keeps custom PC builders up at night, or at least awake enough to contemplate how to keep computer temperatures lower. Keeping your PC cool helps your components last longer, and makes it easier to overclock your system.

    Standard air cooling fans are great, but there’s nothing like a liquid cooling system when you want to get serious about overclocking—or your PC is generally too hot all the time. An all-in-one (AIO) cooler is a good first step. These are pre-built devices that circulate liquid from a radiator to a block over your CPU. Installing an AIO cooler into an existing PC requires you to remove the current cooling fan and then get rid of any existing thermal compound on the CPU. Next, install the radiator into your case and place the cooling block over the CPU—thermal compound is usually pre-applied to the block. Fit a few cables onto your motherboard or the power supply and you’re good to go.

    Make sure your case can hold your AIO cooler. The four typical AIO sizes are 120 mm, 140 mm, 240 mm, and 280 mm. These are all based on radiator fan sizes. A 120 mm AIO has one 120 mm fan; a 140 mm has one 140 mm fan; a 240 mm has two 120 mm fans; and a 280mm has two 140 mm fans.

    Whether or not a liquid cooler is right for your PC depends on how hot your machine tends to get. If you can an AIO on sale, there’s something to be said for how nice a liquid cooling system looks—especially if it’s packing a little RGB razzle-dazzle.

    You could carry out many other PC upgrades, but those are some of the most common that don’t require much in the way of expertise to do well.

    ‎06-09-2019 07:19 PM

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    Is it possible and what tools will I need? What is the best 4 GB module to buy if I can do this. Would like to stop the computer from “grinding” the hard drive so much. 🙄

    • Tags:
    • HP Pavilion All-in-One – 22-a113w (Touch)

    ‎06-09-2019 08:01 PM

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I am not a HP employee.

    Adding more memory may not solve a HDD grinding problem. Windows 10 runs best on 8 GB to 16 GB of memory.

    The best upgrade to solve poor performance is going to a SSD.

    HP Support, at this time, is not allowing me to review your PC’s product specifications.

    You need a SATA or PCIe SDD.

    ‎06-10-2019 01:06 AM

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    There are many possible upgrades.

    Max RAM is 16GB of DDR3L 1600MHz RAM (2x8GB)

    On page 13 of doc below, you can see how to upgrade RAM

    as @Grzwacz states, a 2.5″ SSD would give a boost to performance. So, you could replace the hard drive with a 2.5″ SATA3 SSD such as the 2.5″ Samsung 860 Evo or similar

    You can see on page 11 of the doc how to replace the drive (naturally you only need to open the device once 😀 )

    You can then perform a clean install of Windows 10 using media from Microsoft and let it completely update by going into settings and verifying for updates.

    You can then install HP support assistant to update HP drivers and more

    You could also consider upgrading the Pentium CPU you have in the machine to an Intel Core CPU, you can probably find used ones online for cheap.

    If you look in the spec sheet below under Processor>Processor Upgrade Information you can see the compatible CPUs.

    If your computer is sluggish to start up and slow to move between applications, a PC upgrade might be in order.

    For a hardware upgrade to be effective, consider the age and condition of your computer. If your system is more than five years old, it will be hard to find compatible parts. You will be better off buying a new computer.

    Upgrade your memory

    If you’re having difficulty loading pages or switching among applications, consider increasing or replacing your computer memory (RAM). RAM is where your data is stored while you’re using it. More memory means you can store more data. Many computer manufacturers put in the minimum amount of memory, but there is usually room to add more memory modules.

    If there isn’t room for more modules, you can replace your existing memory with larger-capacity modules.

    The Crucial ® Advisor ™ tool or System Scanner tool can tell you which memory modules are compatible with your computer.

    Upgrade your storage drive

    If your current storage drive is nearly full or if it is just too slow, upgrade it. If you have a traditional hard drive (HDD), this is a good time to look into a solid state drive (SSD). SSDs start up faster and are more reliable and durable than HDDs. They also produce less heat when they run, a big plus if your computer fans are having trouble keeping up with your hard drive.

    Compare the current capacity of your storage drive with newer models. Both hard drives and solid state drive manufacturers are always increasing the storage capacity of drives. You can get a faster drive with more storage space relatively cheaply.

    The Crucial ® Advisor™ tool or System Scanner tool can tell you which SSDs are compatible with your computer.

    Upgrade your graphics card

    If you’re an avid gamer and you’re having trouble with lag or freezing graphics, consider upgrading your graphics card. Unless a computer is built specifically for gaming, manufacturers will frequently put in a low-end graphics card. If the rest of your computer is functioning well, a graphics card upgrade can really improve your gaming experience.

    Upgrade your processor

    Although upgrading your processor (CPU) can improve the efficiency of your computer, it can be quite involved. You need to make sure that your motherboard and memory are compatible with the new processor. Also, check that your current cooling system will accommodate the upgraded CPU.

    To determine if a processor upgrade will help your computer, there are a variety of third-party benchmark tests you can run. These tests will indicate if your CPU is underpowered.

    If you’re considering upgrading your processor, you might want to get a new system instead.

    Upgrade your peripherals

    Another way to give your system a boost is to upgrade some of your peripherals. If you’re using an older monitor, a new one can improve graphics and readability in all applications.

    For gamers, a gaming mouse and keyboard can make a big difference in your play. If you’re using a standard mouse and keyboard, even for occasional gaming, upgrading to gaming-specific tools can enhance your play.

    It’s not hard to upgrade some of your computer hardware and it can make a big difference in the speed and responsiveness of your system.

    © 2018 Micron Technology, Inc. All rights reserved. Information, products, and/or specifications are subject to change without notice. Neither Crucial nor Micron Technology, Inc. is responsible for omissions or errors in typography or photography. Micron, the Micron logo, Crucial, and the Crucial logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Micron Technology, Inc. All other trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.

    Is your computer having trouble recognizing your new memory upgrade? Don’t get frustrated! Most of the time, memory installation problems can be easily resolved with one of the following solutions.

    Press harder when inserting modules into the memory slot.

    Make sure the notches in your module are lined up with the keys in the slot, then press down using 20 to 30 pounds of pressure. While this may seem like a lot of force to use on a small module, it’s necessary to properly “seat” the module. If installed properly, the clips on the side of module should snap into place on their own and a thin portion of the gold pins — 1/16th of an inch or less — should be visible (about the width of a line of pencil drawn on a piece of paper).

    OS memory limitations.

    The problem may not be due to your hardware. It could be your operating system, because there’s a maximum amount of memory that a Windows-based operating system (OS) can accept.

    Double-check your power cords.

    Make sure all your power cords are plugged in. We get multiple calls about memory not working when the computer just needs to be plugged in!

    Double-check internal cables.

    Did you accidentally bump one of the wires or cables inside your computer while you were installing your modules? A loose hard drive cable can prevent your computer from booting up properly. Make sure all cables are firmly lodged in their sockets.

    Update your BIOS.

    If your computer is older, it may need a BIOS (Basic Input Output System) update in order to work with today’s technology. Don’t worry — updating your BIOS isn’t as difficult as it sounds. To update your BIOS, contact your system or motherboard manufacturer and they’ll direct you to where you can download the software for free.