Categories
Planning

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

Join the Community

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

A power supply unit (PSU) is a type of power converter that provides direct current (DC) voltage to internal computer components. Some of these units are designed specifically for use with 110 or 230 volts alternating current (AC), while others can be switched between the two or even accept any voltage within that range. The level of direct current voltage that they provide can also vary, typically between 3 and 12 volts DC. Desktop and laptop computers both use power supply units, though they are somewhat different in design. A desktop power supply unit usually has several bundles of wires designed to hook up directly to various internal components, while laptop “power bricks” are external units that typically utilize coaxial power connectors.

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pcThe power supply unit connects directly to a motherboard and powers it along with connected hardware components like the CPU and RAM modules.

The most common type of power supply unit is designed specifically for use with the advanced technology extended (ATX) form factor. These ATX power supply units are similar to the earlier advanced technology (AT) units, aside from the way they connect to motherboards and power switches. An ATX power supply unit is a self-contained box that bolts inside a computer case and converts AC line voltage to DC. Several different DC voltages are usually provided due to the common needs of computer hardware. It is also possible for a power supply unit to provide some level of voltage regulation to protect against surges or spikes that could damage the internal components.

Desktop power supply units are typically rated based on the amount of power they can provide. This figure is usually given in watts, though there are other factors to consider. Some power supply units have multiple rails, which are different groups of wires that use separate current-limiting circuitry within the PSU. Each rail still uses the same power source, but the load can be split to prevent the chance of a failure in the wires. Power supply units that have multiple 12 volt rails are typically used in high-end systems that have significant power demands.

Laptops also use power supply units, though they are somewhat different in design. Most of these power supply units are external power converters that take AC line voltage and transform it into 12 volts DC. The DC voltage is then provided to the laptop via a coaxial power connection, which usually takes the form of a generic barrel connector. A variety of proprietary designs are also used by various manufacturers. Most laptops also have additional internal circuitry that is capable of converting the supplied 12 volts into the lower voltages required by various components.

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

Removing the Old CPU Cooler

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

Removing the old cooler is a lot easier than getting it on. I was running a Corsair H100i v2 AIO liquid cooler, which uses a dual fan 280mm radiator. The process of disassembly was quite easy.

The first thing I did was to remove the pump and heat-transfer plate assembly from the CPU socket. Most CPU coolers, be they liquid or air-based, remove similarly. I simply unscrewed the thumb nuts in an X pattern, which allowed me to lift off pump and plate.

I then immediately used a paper towel wetted with alcohol to clean the old thermal paste off the cooling plate. This lets you gently move the pump to the side without worrying about thermal paste getting all over everything.

With the pump set off to the side, you can now take the radiator and fans off. A series of eight screws on the top of the case held the radiator on. One thing to keep in mind is you need to support the radiator with your other hand when unscrewing these; otherwise, you’ll run into issues with the screws binding as the radiator starts to list to one side. As you remove the last screw, get ready to catch the radiator as it comes free.

Once you have the old cooler out, you have a bit more room to move around in your case. This makes taking the old power supply a lot easier since you don’t have to work around it. Also, if the old unit hasn’t failed, make sure to keep all the screws and pieces to your old cooler and put them in a labeled plastic bag or container. This way you can keep it as a spare, use it on a second PC, or give it to a friend.

Removing the Previous Power Supply

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

Your difficulty in removing your power supply depends mainly on its design. The one I replaced was a Seagate 650W semi-modular PSU, which didn’t give me too much trouble. The first order of business was to snip all the cable ties holding the cords to be removed in place. My advice is to just cut every tie you have in the rear of your case. It’s likely that you’ll want to rearrange your cable management with the installation of a new power supply anyway. In this case, with the new cords added with the Kraken, there was no sense in trying to preserve any of my previous work.

Removing an existing PSU isn’t tough, but it can take a bit of time. Start by unplugging the 8-pin CPU and 24-pin ATX connections. For this power supply those were the only two cords that weren’t modular, so once they were out of the way, the job got easier. After that, I just disconnected all the modular cables from the PSU and pulled them out one-by-one. Any that were still connected to something were unplugged, and then removed. Once the last one was gone, I could rest assured that the remaining cords in the computer were all fans, SATA, etc.

The Corsair Air 540 has a little foot in front of the PSU you have to remove via two thumbscrews before you can take it out. After taking the foot out, removing two screws from the back freed the power supply, and then all I had to do was lift it out.

‎12-14-2018 05:17 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

I recently got an HP Pavilion as a gift for my birthday, and I was wondering whether it’s possible to upgrade the PSU and install a new graphics card (I have the gtx 1060 6 GB Mini in mind). I read that the HP I have uses a proprietary 6-pin connector for the PSU. Therefore, I can’t just buy a 24-pin power supply.

Is there a way to upgrade the PSU through an adapter? Does HP offer higher wattage power supplies and, if so, where can I buy them. Also, should I just take the risk and buy the 1060? My current PSU is 310 W rated Gold.

  • Tags:
  • HP Pavilion 690-0022na

‎12-16-2018 06:48 AM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Welcome to the HP Support Community. This is a great place to get support, find answers and tips to your technical queries. I have reviewed your post and I understand, you are trying to upgrade the graphics card on the computer.

Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

HP Pavilion 690-0022na Gaming Desktop PC has a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050Ti (4 GB).

You can upgrade to the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 but you’ll need a power supply of 400 W or greater. An extra adapter is not required for the PSU but make sure you select the right form-factor. You can look on eBay or Amazon for the parts.

Hope this helps!

Let me know if you have any other questions.

To thank us for our efforts to help you, please mark the public post as ” Accept as solution ” and click on the blue ” Thumbs up “.

Have a great day!

Asmita
I am an HP Employee

‎12-16-2018 03:16 PM – edited ‎12-16-2018 03:19 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Sadly your not able to use that card !

The HP 690 LINCS motherboard does use a proprietary power supply . It is non-standard . You can not adapt it.

GTX1050Ti is a 75W card, getting all its power from the PCIE slot. The GTX 1060 and greater require PCIE power leads not available to the HP 690 series. See here.

This system is feedback driven thru Solution and Kudo flags. It’s the only means of knowing if you have been served. Please click Accept as Solution, if your problem is solved. To say THANK YOU, press the “thumbs up symbol” to render a KUDO. You can render both Solution and KUDO..

HP Envy 8 5010 Tablet
(2) HP DV7t i7 3160QM 2.3Ghz 8GB
Printer — HP OfficeJet Pro 8620 Legal
Custom Asus Z97D, I7-4790k, 16GB RAM, WIN10 Pro 64bit, ZOTAC GTX1080 AMP Extreme 3 fan 8GB RAM, 500GB SSD, Asus PB287 4k monitor, Rosewill Blackhawk case and 750W OCZ PSU.

Newegg’s Power Supply Calculator (or PSU Calculator) helps you quickly find all the compatible power supplies for your current or future PC build. We’re here to help you make sure that you consider all the important elements of your search before you purchase the right power supply!

Choose your Components

Central Processing Unit (CPU)

Motherboard

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

Random Access Memory (RAM)

Solid state Drive (SSD)

Hard Disk drive (HDD)

Optical Drive (CD/DVD/Blu-Ray)

Your recommended PSU wattage is:

0 Watts

NOTE: The PSU wattage we recommend only gives you a general idea of what to consider when selecting a power supply. PCI cards, external devices, USB and FireWire devices, cooling fans, and other components may need more power.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I calculate my PSU requirements?

The best power supply for your PC build is the one that provides the right amount of wattage to all components simultaneously. Manually calculating this requires that you multiply the total amps of all components by the total volts of all components. The result is the total watts that your PC build requires. If you input all the components of your PC build into our calculator, it will do this for you and provide a list of options.

Why should I use the calculator to find a power supply?

The power supply provides power to every component and if you install the wrong power supply, you could damage the components. The right PSU will provide all your components with a consistent amount of energy when they need it.

What are some of the top PSU brands that I can buy?

Top brands include: Corsair, EVGA, Rosewill, Seasonic, Cooler Master, Silverstone, FSP and Thermaltake. However, you need to select the PSU that’s right for you so consider all options before purchasing.

How do I know that the PSU is the right size?

Every PC case has a space for the power supply unit although the space may vary in size and shape. For example, small form factor cases will not be able to accommodate a PSU meant for a mid or full tower case. It is always best to look at the dimensions of your PC case and make sure that you are buying a power supply unit that can fit in the designated space.

Where can I get news about power supplies?

Newegg Insider is a great place to get information about the latest and greatest in tech. You can check out articles like “The FSP Hydro PTM+ is a water-cooled power supply with RGB lights” or “Future-Proofing 101 – Cases and Power Supplies.”

How do I know which power supply to buy?

Before you decide what power supply to buy, it is crucial that you know all the components that you currently have within your build or the ones that you would like to include. Here’s a complete list of items that you need to consider when calculating your power supply needs.

  • Motherboard – Be sure you know what kind of motherboard (Desktop, Server, Laptop, etc.) your build currently has or what form factor you want to put in your new build. This is a critical component of your calculations because almost everything within your build plugs into and derives power from the motherboard.
  • Central Processing Unit (CPU) – Be sure you know the make, model or series, and socket size.
  • Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) – You will need to account for the actual power draw and the number of additional power pins a GPU may have. It’ll be either 6, 8, 6+6, 6+8, or 8+8-pins – and that’s per GPU. So make sure your PSU has enough cable to support that. Most PSUs will have at least one cable that is compatible with either an 8-pin or a 6-pin connector.
  • Memory (RAM) – Always know the number of memory sticks that your motherboard can support as well as the size (GB) of each one.
  • Optical Drive – If your PC build includes an optical drive, be sure to include this in your calculations. Also make sure that you know the optical media type (Blu-ray, CD-ROM, etc.) of your optical drive.
  • Hard Drives (HDD) – You need to know the size (inches) and RPM (e.g. 7200RPM) of each hard drive that you currently have within your build or that you would like to include.
  • Solid State Drive (SSD) – You need to know the size (GB) of each solid state drive that you currently have within your build or that you would like to include. Remember that sometimes these can be attached to the motherboard.
  • Fans/Peripherals – You may want to include add-ons like a sound blaster card or RGB case fans. These devices also draw a small amount of power so err on the side of caution by rounding up power wattage to accommodate peripherals.

What is the 80 PLUS Certification?

80 PLUS is a certification that measures the power supply’s efficiency. Manufacturers will voluntarily send their products to an independent lab to test the power supply’s energy efficiency at different loads. Based on the results, PSUs are given one of 6 levels of certifications: 80 PLUS, 80 PLUS Bronze, 80 PLUS Silver, 80 PLUS Gold, 80 PLUS Platinum, or 80 PLUS Titanium.

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

It’s no secret that your computer gets slower over time. Whether you’re a Windows or MacOS user, you’ll notice your laptop or desktop slowing down in the first few months of owning your device. As you install software, download files, store media and photos on your device, and browse the web, your device is constantly using more resources to do the things you need it to do. Everything from keeping too many tabs open in Chrome or Microsoft Edge to installing unnecessary software onto your device can contribute to slowing it down. While these are some pretty standard hiccups in your everyday use, we’ve also seen plenty of malfunctions cause headaches for Windows users.

So, if, for example, all you were doing was checking your email when the screen went black and your computer powered off for no reason, you might be in trouble. What could have caused this heinous crash? You wait for a few seconds before powering your computer back up, and everything seems fine. You open the browser, and it happens again—the black screen. Your system just powered off again on its own!

So begins the questions flying through our heads: What’s wrong with my computer now? Who can I call to fix it? How much is it going to cost? Is this an easy fix that I can do on my own?

A Power Problem

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

Here are just some quick problems you could be facing:

  1. Sporadic Shut Offs/reboots:В Your power supply is on its last leg, andВ will soon die completely, which means your computer won’t be able to turn on until it gets replaced. YouВ mightВ be able to get a few more days out of it, but it’s not something to bet on.
  2. Power Cords:В Sometimes you won’t have an issue with your power supply at all, but the cords are just loose. Open up your case and make sure everything is tightly plugged in.
  3. Burning Smell:В Sometimes a power supply will emit a burning smell, and is often a good sign that you should stop using your computer and replace the power supply before turning it back on again. Alternatively, burning smells can also come from bad capacitors and a very hot processor or video card. If you can’t accurately figure out where the smell is coming from, it might be best to takeВ your PC to a professional.
  4. Computer RandomlyВ Freezes:В In some, albeit rare,В scenarios, your computer could freeze up. This could be from a spike in voltage from the power supply (another indication that it may need replacing), but more often than not, it’s usually a motherboard, hard disk or RAM issue. If it’s the power supply, you can avoid this–most of the time–by purchasing high quality power supplies in the future, and notВ strangely-named generic brands.
  5. Bent Wires:В While this isn’t particularly common, bent wires (or wires torn on the inside of the insulation) can stop your power supply from powering your computer. While you can repair the wire yourself, it’s usually more recommended toВ get a new power supply and/or entirely new cables for it.

These are seemingly small issues, but eventually they will result in a dying, or altogether dead, power supply.

The Solution

Unfortunately, the case in almost all of these situations is that you’re going to need to replace your power supply unit. Like many computer parts, there isn’tВ much possibility of prolonging the life of a dying piece of hardware. With that in mind, you can get some fairly decent power supplies on Amazon for under $100. Some good brands to look out for include EVGA and Corsair, as both companies offer some very nice solutions at an affordable price, sometimes well under $100.

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

When buying a new power supply,В make sure to get the correct wattage for your desktop’s needs. In fact, it’s usually not a bad idea to get more than theВ minimum wattage you need. By doing this, it’ll give you plenty of extra wattage for when you replace computer parts, particularly new graphics cards. That said, you won’t really have to worry about your power supply getting overloaded with new computer parts or too many peripherals plugged into the machine.

As far as specifics go, unless you have a low-end system, it’s best to look into the ballpark of 500+ watts or 750+ watts, especially if you have a hefty gaming machine/workstation with SLI or Crossfire configurations. In the event that you do have a low-end system with integrated video, 300+ watts should be more than sufficient. But once again, it’s always a good practiceВ to buy more wattage in the event that you decide to upgrade computer parts down the line.

Finally, you should buy nothing but a modular power supply these days. They’re often pricier, but are worth it as far as cable management goes. Instead of cables coming pre-attached, you only attach the ones you need with a modular power supply. It truly helps with cable management and keeps airВ flow to a maximum!

Preventive Measures For The Future

To prolong the life of any power supply, it’s best to make sure you’re taking good care of it. For a power supply unit within your PC, make sure to clean your computer out at least once a month by vacuuming it or using a can of air. This will protect all of the computer’s parts from getting too dusty and eventually overheating.

For laptop power supplies (i.e. the charger you carry with you), make sure that when you travel with it, you’re not hastily coiling the cord and tossing it into a bag. You don’t want to bend your power cord into any weird positions, or even tightly at all. Constant stress on the cord will eventually result in it coming loose from the supply itself, or tearing of the wire insulation. Instead, get the cord into a loose circle and bind it together with a piece of electrical tape to keep it from coming undone.

Another warning to heed for laptop users: the best place to use your laptop is always at a desk or some other hard surface. If you have it propped up on a pillow or other soft cushion/material, you prevent the system from being able to breathe properly, therefore your laptop can easily overheat, causing the problems mentioned above.

The bottom line here? Take good care of your power supply , and you can get a many  years out of it before needing to replace it. And when the time does come, learn how to notice the signs ahead of time so you’re not put in a spot at the last-minute.

CHOOSE A TOPIC

The CORSAIR VENGEANCE Gaming PC ships with powerful components, but it’s able to grow with you as well. Note that you should only proceed if you’re comfortable working inside your PC; these guidelines are for advanced users only.

We recommend upgrading using the following guidelines:

  • Memory: Any CORSAIR DDR4 memory kit. We recommend against adding to existing memory, but if you opt to do so, make sure to buy the same memory kit that came installed in your CORSAIR VENGEANCE Gaming PC.
  • Solid State Storage: Any CORSAIR storage products.
  • Mechanical Storage: The CORSAIR VENGEANCE Gaming PC supports up to two 3.5” mechanical hard disks. You will need to supply your own Serial ATA data cable.
  • Graphics Card: Because of the CORSAIR VENGEANCE Gaming PC’s compact dimensions, we recommend using only graphics cards with a height of 120mm or less, and a depth of 300mm or less. Be sure that the included power supply also meets the power requirements for your new graphics card.
  • Power Supply: While most users should never need to upgrade the power supply in their CORSAIR VENGEANCE Gaming PC, advanced users who are looking for higher capacity for a new graphics card or a more premium power supply can upgrade to any CORSAIR power supply of equal or greater wattage.

‎01-06-2019 07:31 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Hello HP community,

I would like to upgrade my PC its a pre built Omen 870-244 it has a GTX 1070, I7-7700, 500 watt PSU, looking to go to a 1080TI, I7-7700K and 600-650 PSU, can this be done? are there limitations, what are the pain points or processes I should follow? I have scoured the internet and cannot find videos on my exact model. any help is appreciated.

  • Tags:
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

‎01-06-2019 07:51 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Welcome to the HP Support Community @iskyinfinity

I have seen some confusion with an Obelisk model.

First look at these specs and verify it is your model.

OMEN by HP Desktop PC – 870-244 Product Specifications

Make sure these videos are for your model.

OMEN by HP 870-200 – 2. Service Procedure Videos

‎01-07-2019 11:52 AM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Hello , so the 870-244 with spec is my exact pc tower and all!! I assume upgrade path is limited based on OEM mobo but wanted to inquire.

‎01-07-2019 01:17 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

as I look at video link you provided I maybe wrong but I did not see a GPU upgraed path , I did see the CPU replacement , but did not see the actual GPU process I assume since all the other parts were replaced that the GPU could be replaced.

‎01-07-2019 01:49 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Click on Expansion Card Slot.

Others have removed the GTx 1070 and upgraded to the GTX 1070 ti

  • Tags:
  • Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

‎02-28-2019 11:29 AM – edited ‎02-28-2019 07:58 PM

  • Mark as New
  • Bookmark
  • Subscribe
  • Permalink
  • Print
  • Email to a Friend
  • Flag Post

Best upgrade is to replace the HDD with a SSD that uses the M.2 slot (I also have a SATA SSD installed for my media files -blue SATA cable). I installed 32GB of memory and it does not make much difference. The PSU upgrade will allow you some ability to “fix” the cable routing issues. You will need a *adapter for the optical drive (see spec below).if you replace the PSU. You can see it below the coil of wire next to the PSU in the picture (below). I didn’t feel a need to replace the mount on the graphics card. It seemed quite secure without it (think better air-flow). You’ll have to overclock the i7-7000K to see any advantages, and then you’ll need to figure out how to cool it which would (most likely) require you to remove the motherboard to install a new cooler mount bracket from the underside. Additionally, that’s a 4 pin CPU power connector versus 8 pin on this motherboard Honestly, if you’re going to spend that much money on components, you would probably be happier building a new PC versus upgrading this one. Get a bigger case with room to hide your cabling and a full size ATX MB.

*SATA to SATA Adapter with Power – Slim SATA (F) to SATA (M) – Serial ATA to SATA

How to upgrade and install a new power supply for your pc

Getting a new graphics card is like Christmas for any PC gamer. It means the end of stuttering and low FPS: you will finally be able to game at gloriously high resolutions with knife-edge sharp visuals. But, do you know how to install a graphics card?

Although a shiny new graphics card looks amazing, the process of plugging it into the PC can look tricky, and that’s what we’re here to talk about. Luckily, after a RAM upgrade, the GPU upgrade is probably the easiest one.

However, just like with anything inside your computer, you need to be careful with removing your old graphics card and installing the new one. But fear not: we’re here to guide you through the process.

Table of Contents Show

Step 0 – Things To Consider Before Actually Buying The Card

You might be under the impression that your PC doesn’t need any prerequisites for a new graphics card. Although that’s probably true, there is one important thing to keep in mind. You should be well aware of what PSU you have, as well as what power connector cables come with it.

Depending on the power connector cables that come with the PSU, you might have to use adapters, so do your research in advance. A good thing to keep in mind when checking out new graphics cards is that its power usage should be in the 40-50% range of your PSU’s total capability.

Additionally, if you’re not exactly upgrading, but adding another GPU, either via SLI, Crossfire, or NVLink, you will have to account for that extra power consumption as well.

One aspect that is often glossed over is the importance of checking whether you have room in your case for your new graphics card.

It’s very likely that your new GPU will be a different size from your current one. With some top-notch graphics cards out there being the dimensions of a medium-sized cat, it’s possible that your case won’t be able to hold it.

This is a whole other headache. If this is the case for you, you may have to get a new case which only leads to more work, as you will essentially have to re-build your entire PC.

Step 1 – Before Turning Off Your PC

If you’ve bought a new card that’s from a different manufacturer (AMD or Nvidia) than the card you already own, you need to fully and properly remove all of the drivers from your PC prior to installing the new graphics card.

The next logical step would be to uninstall all the drivers through the Control Panel, but there are some things burrowed deep in the registry and such. Therefore, it’s best if you install Display Driver Uninstaller and run it in Safe Mode. It’s a free and easy to use software, and it will simplify the process significantly.

Although recommended, this step isn’t necessary if you’re upgrading your graphics card with one from the same manufacturer, but it’s a must if you’re switching from Nvidia to AMD or the other way around.

Step 2 – Discharge Static

This is a small but significant step that can save you a lot of trouble to prevent things from going awry. The obvious thing you’ve probably already done is unplug all of the cables from the back and front of your PC.

After that, turn off the power supply and discharge the static by holding down on the power button for about 10 to 15 seconds and you should be all set.

Although the chances of your new GPU getting fried are slim, it’s still important to discharge static just to be cautious.

Step 3 – Remove The Old Graphics Card

The first thing to do here is to remove the power connectors. After you do that, unscrew the screws that are holding the GPU to the backplate. Then you just need to push down the retaining clip on the PCIe socket and gently lift/pull your old card towards you.

It might seem like you don’t have to be gentle, but you never know when your old graphics card might come in handy.

Step 4 – Insert The New Graphics Card

This step is essentially the previous step in reverse, but you still need to be careful.

When putting down the card, there shouldn’t be much resistance. In case there is, check if there are cables in the way or anything that can physically stop you from inserting the card.

When you have made sure that the card is all the way down, make sure that the retaining lid or the security lock is properly in place by flicking it back up. When the GPU is properly set into its PCI-E slot, you should hear a loud and satisfying “click“.

After the new card is firmly in its designed PCIe slot, insert the power cable. The connector only goes one way, so if you’re having difficulties, you might want to try it the other way. Once the cable is in place, make sure that it’s not interfering with the GPU’s fan(s).

All that’s left now is to put back the screws and move on to the next step.

Step 5 – Reconnect The Cables And Boot Up Your Computer

Everything that’s left now is to connect all the necessary cables, boot up your computer and bask in the glory of your new graphics card, enjoying that wonderful 60 FPS+ experience.

But wait, why is the resolution so messed up? The last step in this process is the installation of proper drivers.

Many modern graphics cards will come with their own auto-installing drivers, but you will still want to check your manufacturer’s website to make sure you have the drivers’ latest version.

And there you have it. After you’ve installed the proper drivers, it’s game time.

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

Today’s Best Tech Deals

Picked by PCWorld’s Editors

Top Deals On Great Products

Picked by Techconnect’s Editors

How to build a PC

  • How to build a PC: A step-by-step guide
  • How to avoid common PC building mistakes
  • How to install (or replace) a case fan
  • How to install a power supply in your PC
  • How to install an Intel or AMD CPU in.
  • How to install memory (RAM) in your PC
  • How to replace your PC’s motherboard
  • How to install a graphics card
  • How to install a hard drive in your.
  • The ultimate guide to proper PC cable.

Show More

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, and 16GB is the sweet spot for most people consider its modest price increase from 8GB (though you should probably buy RAM soon to avoid rising costs). Gamers with an eye towards future-proofing might even want to consider 32GB—the downside being increased cost, of course.

RAM buying considerations

There are different types of RAM. Most modern PCs use DDR4 memory, but older system may require DDR3 or even DDR2. We may even see DDR5 modules appear in the next year or two, but for now, DDR4 is king.

Mentioned in this article

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 5,000MHz kits and focus on the price/performance sweet spot: DDR4 clocked at 2,666MHz to 3,600MHz. Opt for a RAM kit that comes in two modules rather than single-stick or quad-channel offerings if you can.

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 16GB of DDR4 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.

Mentioned in this article

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.