The total or partial renewal of components is a common practice in the world of consumer computing. Many users choose to update certain parts of their PC instead of acquiring or assembling a totally new device, a measure that allows a second or even a third life to be given to a system without having to make a large outlay.
In general, component renewal cycles depend to a large extent on the use we are going to give each team. A basic PC designed for office automation and simple tasks will usually have a much longer renewal cycle than a computer designed for games since the applications that move the first are much lighter and their requirements do not usually increase drastically with the pass of the time.
This idea can be better understood with a simple example: a 2007 PC equipped with a Core 2 Duo processor can still work perfectly with office applications, play multimedia content and offer a good experience in web browsing. However, that same PC does not offer good performance in current games, not even combined with a next-generation graphics card.
When we have a team that is not too old to renew a single component without generating imbalances it can be perfectly viable, especially if we are going to give it a “basic” use, but in those cases in which the components are already several years over the most probable is that it is impossible to make a balanced partial renewal without having to change more than one component.
In this article, we are going to talk about this question starting from the dependency relation that unites each component within a PC, and we will give you a series of keys that will help you face total or partial renovations of components with all the guarantees.
Previous considerations: needs, use, and budget
Before facing a renewal we must have clear our real needs and join them to the concrete use that we are going to give to the PC. With this clear, we will value the budget that we have, and also if we are willing to resort or not to the second-hand market.
It is a complicated decision, but when we have a very tight budget and we need to renew more than one component, opting for the second-hand market can be a success since it will allow us to find the parts we need at a much lower price. Yes, I am aware that we will always have doubts about the state of the components, their correct functioning in the short and medium term and we will suffer the insecurity of not having a guarantee, but if we look carefully and try before buying, we can take the step with confidence.
Obvious to say that a budget can be low, medium or high depending on the renovation that we have to face. For example, if we are going to update only one component but it is the graphics card and we plan to play in 1080p with maximum qualities, we will need 290 euros if we want to buy a new unit, or between 150 and 200 euros if we are going to use the market. second hand.
On the other hand, if we need to renew the storage unit of a standard PC aimed at office automation, we would need 75 euros to access a 500 GB SSD. With it, we would enjoy a very great performance improvement and we could give a second life to the team without effort, and without making a big investment.
After this simple but necessary introduction, we launch ourselves fully to see those five tips that will help you to be successful when facing a renewal of components. If you have any questions you can leave it in the comments and we will help you solve it.
Be clear about what you can change and what not
It may sound simple, but in reality, it can become complicated. For example, if you are going to change the graphics card you can think that it is as simple as removing one and putting another one, but there are many things you should keep in mind:
- That the new model will fit in your tower.
- That your power source can move it.
- That your processor will not make a big bottleneck.
These three keys are basic and allow us to understand why we said at the beginning that the components are “united” under a certain dependency relationship. When renewing components it is important to ensure that you will not create an imbalance that could compromise the integrity of your equipment and that the new part you are going to assemble is compatible with those you will maintain.
In case you have doubts or if any of the components you want to keep will not measure up, it is advisable that you consider renewing them. If your power supply is not able to maintain the graphics card or the processor you want to mount (for example) wait and update both components at once, otherwise you could irreversibly damage your equipment.
Distribute your budget well
When we have to face the renovation of several components it is essential to make a good distribution of the budget, always taking into account that this does not mean that we should invest it in an equal way, but quite the opposite.
In case you want to use your PC to play and go to renew for example power supply and graphics card you should invest more in the second component, but without neglecting the first completely. For example, for a budget of 200 euros, it would be wise to use a power source between 30 and 40 euros and invest the rest in a graphics card. The same applies to the joint renewal of other components, such as processor and graphics card, it will always be the latter that should take most of the budget.
For those renewals of components applied to equipment that is not intended to be used to play the situation changes. For example, in a PC for office automation that needs a CPU and storage unit renewal, it is advisable to allocate more budget to the second and opt for an SSD.
Avoid the rush: compare prices
The rush is never good, and in the renovations of components much less. Launching us to buy the first thing we find can end up being a serious mistake, especially if we have not informed a little before the proximity of new products or seasons of sales.
Indeed, before buying it is important to take into account:
- That there will not be a short-term renewal (weeks) of the products we are looking for since prices will fall significantly.
- That there will not be a sale season in the coming weeks. If there will be it is better to wait to take advantage of the discounts.
- The prices of the same product in different top-tier retailers, such as Amazon and PC components.
- If we follow these three recommendations we will be more likely to find the components we need at the best possible price.
Do not look for the latest
When we are going to renew components it is easy to think that going for the last generations is the best idea, although we do not launch for top-end models, but the truth is that in most cases it is better to opt for the previous generation, since the prices tend to be much more contained and the minimum performance differences.
The Ryzen 1000 series processors are a clear example since models like the Ryzen 7 1700 add 8 cores and 16 threads, offer excellent performance and cost 199 euros, while the Ryzen 7 2700 are around 299 euros. With those 100 euros of savings, you could take advantage of to buy new RAM memories or a storage unit.
With the graphics cards, RAM, motherboards, and SSD drives something similar happens. We do not need a motherboard to the last to take advantage of a processor, and also a few memories at more than 3 GHz to enjoy a good user experience. As for storage, it is true that state-of-the-art SSDs based on PCI-E 3.0 x4 (NVMe) offer infarct speeds, but a normal user will have more than enough with a SATA III unit.
I know we have skipped the graphics cards, but calm, we have done it on purpose to separate them in this paragraph. In general, the models of previous generations are usually available at very good prices while the transition to the new generation occurs, so it is usually a good time to buy.
Use the second-hand market
We have already mentioned it before. Despite the distrust generated by the second-hand market is an excellent option to deal with renovations with low budgets. We will not have a warranty except in very specific cases (products with less than two years if the seller keeps the invoice), but we can always ask for a thorough test before buying.
Another very interesting option is in the restored products. Most retailers offer a fairly wide selection of components that are considered second-hand but have had minimal use and that have been “put back”, that is, cleaned and packaged to look like new.
They usually have between one and two years warranty and come with discounts that in some cases can be very marked. As an example I can put myself since I bought a GIGABYTE GTX 980 IT G1 Gaming restored on Amazon for just 295 euros. If I had bought it again it would have cost me more than 400 euros.