An illustration of an upgraded PC gaming setup

How to Upgrade a Gaming PC

If your gaming computer is running slowly, has long load times, shows screen tearing, lag or other artifacts, your hardware could be to blame. If it's been a while since you bought a new computer or upgraded the components, it might be time to take a look at what's available now and what could improve your gaming. 

Upgrade RAM

If you’re having difficulty loading pages, live streaming, or switching among applications, one gaming PC upgrade to consider is increasing or replacing your computer memory (RAM). RAM stores data that is currently being used. Many games store textures and maps in RAM. 

Most factory-built computers have slots to add more memory modules. If there isn’t room for more modules, you can replace 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.

Find out how to install memory in your desktop computer.

A Crucial DDR4 UDIMM RAM memory module in position on a pc's motherboard

Upgrade the drive

If your current storage drive is nearly full or if it is just too slow and you're experiencing freezing or hangs, 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.

Read more about SSDs for gaming.

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 the graphics card

If you're having trouble with lag, freezing graphics, or screen tearing, 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.

A close up up of a graphics card is isolated against a black background

Upgrade the 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, or replace everything at the same time. 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 the peripherals

Another way to give your gaming PC a boost is to upgrade your peripherals. If you’re using an older monitor, a new one can improve visibility in games. 

A gaming mouse and keyboard can make a big difference in your play. If you’re using a standard mouse and keyboard, 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.

The peripherals of a gaming pc setup including a mouse, keyboard, gaming headphones, games controller and VR headset

©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.


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