Is Upgrading an Old Gaming PC Worth It?

Passionate gamers attach great importance to a high frame rate, optimal resolution and maximum graphic details. For the gaming experience to meet all requirements, the right hardware is of course required. But even the best gaming PC gets old with time. At some point, the game performance suffers from outdated specifications. The advantage of a desktop computer: individual components can be replaced if necessary. We looked at the cases in which upgrading is worthwhile. We also look at the costs of the possible upgrades that make a difference.

Performance check of the existing hardware

The demands on a gaming PC are high. It is not uncommon for it to be state-of-the-art and to reproduce current titles as best as possible. Because purchasing a home-built or pre-configured desktop PC can be quite expensive, many see it as a long-term investment. But what if the latest installment in your favorite video game franchise just stutters, crashes, or won’t start at all? Before you rush to buy a new graphics card or a current processor, check the existing gaming computer. In some cases, the targeted replacement of certain hardware elements is sufficient.

Whether the upgrade is possible depends not least on the built-in motherboard (also mainboard). The mainboard is the main circuit board of a computer. It is crucial for the perfect interaction of the entire hardware. With a look at the board, it quickly becomes clear how many slots are still available for additional RAM modules. The DDR generation and processor compatibility can also be determined via the manufacturer and the datasheet. A lot of technical information can also be read out using the “Run” function (Win + R) and entering the command “msinfo32”. Pay attention to the following key data:

  • CPU clock speed and number of cores
  • RAM size and DDR generation
  • Disk space(s)
  • GPU clock and graphics memory
  • Rated power of the power supply

Buying a new PC or gaming notebook as an alternative

If the old gaming PC has already been rocked, the latest hardware can usually no longer be installed without replacing the motherboard and power supply. If this applies to your gaming PC, then buying a new PC or gaming notebook is a real alternative. Above all, people who are not very technically savvy often do better with a new purchase. In any case, if almost the entire hardware had to be replaced to get an old computer running again.

Anyone who has already considered replacing their desktop tower with a practical laptop can also buy a gaming notebook. If you do not have previous knowledge in this area, competent gaming notebook purchase advice is recommended.

Better performance through expanded memory

If the PC is to run smoothly even when handling large amounts of data, sufficient main memory is urgently needed. With a modern 64-bit system and the corresponding mainboard, you can theoretically install up to 128 GB of RAM. However, a maximum of 32 GB can be used in practice. Just a few years ago, 8 GB of RAM was still in the high-end sector.

However, games of the latest generation already require these for a game to be able to run at all. Luckily, RAM sticks are relatively inexpensive components. You can get the recommended 16 GB for less than $100.should you upgrade an old gaming PC

More storage space thanks to fast SSD

Storage space has also become more affordable over the years thanks to cheaper SSD storage media. The upgrade is worthwhile even for old PCs with a slow HDD. This is possible if an SSD can be connected. You don’t even have to change the hard drive. You can also install it as an add-on.

Since access via an SSD hard drive is faster, you should transfer frequently used data to it. Models with a memory of 1 TB are recommended, some of which are available for less than $150.

The Processor – The heart of the gaming PC

Of course, a good gaming experience requires more than just enough RAM and hard drive space. The “Central Processing Unit” is the clock and ultimately determines how fast a PC operates. Therefore, processor power is fundamental to PC gaming performance. Even if the installation is a bit more complex than inserting new RAM modules, this can definitely be done.

The problem is rather that old mainboard boards are in many cases not compatible with modern CPUs. Under certain circumstances, however, it is possible and sensible to replace the built-in processor with a more powerful model from the same series.

If the technically feasible upgrade does not bring the desired performance boost, you can think about buying a new complete PC at this point.

Optimize frame rate and resolution with new graphics card

Gamers have to dig deep into their pockets for graphics cards. Even before the price explosion caused by crypto mining, good graphics cards were not a bargain. However, some current GPUs (Graphics Processing Unit) are so exorbitantly expensive that the purchase should be carefully considered.

At the same time, expensive cards reward the player with high-end resolution and buttery-smooth frame rates. In addition, the graphics cards offer so much power. Many games will only exhaust them in two or three years. So it is definitely a long-term investment.

If you are not willing to pay such high prices, you should get an older GPU that can also be used to play current games.

Conclusion: A question of costs and effort

Whether you can still turn an old treasure into a working gaming PC with little cost and work depends on various factors. Your own requirements are always decisive. If you only want to enjoy beloved classics or games that are not very demanding, you can upgrade in a targeted manner.

However, if you want the latest trend games, you usually have to replace various components right away. If there are already several hardware generations between your computer and the current technology, it is often worth buying a new gaming PC.

If you would also like to gamble on the sofa or on vacation, a gaming notebook is recommended.

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