Components and upgrades

Boost your PC performance with the latest graphics card and RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is a key part of your PC. It’s pretty common for people to switch out the RAM when they want to improve how their PC is running, and when you’re building from scratch it’s an essential piece of kit. RAM comes in sticks that plug into your motherboard in pairs, so if you want 32GB you’ll get 16GB x 2. But what does RAM actually do? It saves short term memory information for the apps and programs that you use, so you can jump straight back into them. The more you’re doing, the more your computer needs to remember, so more PC RAM = better performance overall.

And when it comes to graphics cards, it’s pretty simple. The higher resolution you want to use, the better your graphics card needs to be. A quick and easy way to compare is to look at the clock speed – the faster, the better (in most cases). So if you want to build a gaming PC or create a workstation for serious editing, a serious graphics card is going to serve you well.

Make it last - choose the right processor and motherboard

Choosing the right motherboard and processor for your computer is often the first decision people make for their new PC. Because Intel and AMD chipsets are only compatible with certain components, it’s important to pick components that work together before you get carried away with pretty lights and a nice case. Once you’ve decided between an Intel processor or an AMD processor, it’s easy to pick a motherboard that’s compatible.

When it comes to motherboards, there are two things to consider – the form factor (that’s basically just how big or small it is) and the connectivity. If you want to add loads of RAM, or double up on graphics cards, you have to start with a monster of a motherboard. But if you’re just building your new work PC, you can easily get away with a simple motherboard and still add and upgrade your components.

How to pick the best hard drive and power supply for desktop PCs

The internal hard drive in your PC saves all your files, photos, videos and personal information. So, if your PC needs a boost, or you’re forever having to delete things to free up space for new games or software, additional storage is a must. HDD (hard disc drive) storage is what we would consider a ‘traditional’ hard drive. Loads of space for files at a great price. If you’re looking for speed to boot up programs and jump into games in a second, go for SSD (solid state drives). They’re designed for serious speed and are far more compact, so you don’t need to worry about space inside your PC case.

Extra storage has the benefit of being portable too. So, you don’t need to carry your PC with you. An external hard drive comes in multiple formats; from a handy USB flash drive to a fast and modern SSD external hard drive that will cover all your needs.

Time to pick a power supply unit (or PSU)? If you’re adding a graphics card, start there – most GPUs have a minimum power requirement. Power supplies are fairly straight forward – like a big battery that connects to all your components. The higher the wattage, the more power for loads of different components.

Liquid cooling vs PC fans

Choosing the best way to cool your CPU? If your tower doesn’t have many vents, you can add fans to keep your key components cool. But if you really want to focus on performance, or you’ve got a lot of high-spec stuff piled up, liquid cooling is the way to go.