Do we still upgrade PCs?


Many years ago it was both necessary and indeed a right of passage to upgrade some part of your PC. We would upgrade graphics cards, memory, hard drives, RAM or do a total heart transplant and swap out the motherboard. In the “Post PC” era such ideas seem a little anachronistic, if someone needs an upgrade you buy a new phone or tablet. Ease of fabrication and production has trumped the idea of easy hardware upgrades. However, there are still 600 million or so PCs with at least Windows 10 on them right now and some subset of them, like my PC, are a little old and need a little tender care.

My old PC has enough RAM and the processor is this side of sufficient but I am missing things like Bluetooth and, more importantly, USB 3. Now USB 3 is a dramatic improvement over the prior USB 2 standard, as in 10x faster (transfer speeds up to 5 Gb/s) such that basic peripherals have started to expect it. So I grabbed a $20 USB 3 PCIe host card from Microcenter, and got it installed in about 2 minutes and now I am looking at full backups that occur in minutes rather than hours.

On the negative side you have to use a CD to install … and it encourages you to run the setup application as follows:


This is fine for me but most members of my family would not care to perform this type of installation, it seems like the problem of modular plug and play upgrades was never solved.

One of the other benefits, actually the primary one for me, is its support for USB 3.0 docking stations which then allows me to have dual HD video ports, I selected the Kensington SD3500v. So now I have two monitors that I can quickly hook up to my either home PC or my laptop when working from home.

Comment Section

Comments are closed.