Despite new hardware offerings being at their most expensive, upgrading your PC for performance gains doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. Many gamers using older generation hardware will be surprised to learn that you can actually yield a good performance increase from as little as $50!
Gaming has become hugely popular over the last couple of decades, even more so thanks to the recent pandemic which is currently causing havoc across the globe. Gamers of all ages are dusting off their old gaming PCs in an attempt to abolish boredom during this testing time.
Unfortunately, thanks to hardware degradation and the increasing demand newer gaming titles put on your hardware, there’s a high probability that your old gaming PC won’t be able to live up to new gaming demands. The only option left to achieve your goal of gaming bliss is to upgrade some of your major hardware – well, sort of.
In the following article, we’ll be taking a closer look at how you can extract good performance gains whilst only spending $50 and below.
So, let’s waste no further time and get straight into it!
With times being so difficult, we understand that discretionary spending is hard to justify. That being said, we feel the below upgrades will make a serious performance improvement to your PC – without putting you in too much financial stress.
Note: We understand that the following upgrades won’t work for every user. However, as we’ll discuss, if you are using older/lesser hardware, they will certainly provide a performance boost for you as an individual.
For individuals using a hard drive, upgrading to an SSD is by far the biggest performance increase you can do to your computer. An SSD is, on average, around 5-7 times quicker than a hard drive – meaning everything installed onto an SSD will load and run much faster in comparison.
Unfortunately, for people with a large media collection or games library, transferring all your data to an SSD isn’t a viable option – they’re far too expensive for those kinds of antics. That being said, you can still pick up a 240-480GB SSD for your primary games and operating system – using your hard drive as a backup drive instead.
System memory isn’t hugely important when it comes to gaming, but it can make a real difference when it comes to your everyday usage scenarios. For older PC’s using 4 or 8GB, increasing that to 16GB can be a real boost to your PC’s overall performance. By doing this, you’ll be providing your PC with the necessary memory to run most games and processes. Obviously, this isn’t the only factor that affects gaming or creative workflow performance, but it is an upgrade that can yield good performance gains.
Keeping your system cool is largely overlooked by many gamers and general PC users. For those unaware, when your hardware becomes too hot, it starts to run less efficiently and increases the rate of degradation – two factors no one wants to experience.
One way of reducing those temperatures is to have a well-designed, balanced cooling configuration inside your case.
The fans are one of the key components that make up an efficiently cooled case and can be purchased at a relatively cheap cost.
Look for two or three additional case fans that offer good CFM and airflow and you’ll likely see a small improvement in the overall efficiency of your PC.
Whilst the methods above offer a good performance increase for individuals willing to spend under $50, we understand not everyone has that much available cash to spend on PC components. That said, there are a few ways you can increase your PC’s performance without spending a dime.
Note: These methods may not be available to all users – some CPUs are locked and can’t be overclocked.
The first and most popular method of extracting extra performance from your PC is to simply overclock your hardware. Overclocking is a way of boosting the speed of your CPU, GPU, and RAM via the motherboard’s BIOS menu.
Overclocking can be considered a risky procedure to perform if you haven’t got the right tools or hardware to back it up. However, for the most part, overclocking can be done safely and gives you a real performance boost.
As a general rule, overclocking your hardware can grant performance gains of up to 20%. However, always remember to check internal temperatures, and if glitches start to occur, reduce the overclock until your system is stable.
Cleaning Up Your Drive
Cleaning your drive is a simple process and one that should be done on a more regular basis – that goes for all of us. When I say clean your drive, I mainly refer to running cleanup programs that make your drive run more efficiently – such as disk cleanup and disk defragmenter.
Over time, your hard drive will start to store temporary files and other unimportant data that slows the efficiency of your PC. To rid your drive of these files, you can simply run the Windows disk cleanup tools which will automatically remove any unwanted files.
Whilst this won’t have a huge impact on performance, it can give you a little boost when it comes to overall running speeds.
Optimize Your Graphics
The last tip is for gamers – optimize your graphics. If, like me, you want to play your favorite games in the highest possible settings, the last thing you want to be doing is reducing them for a performance increase. However, one of the best ways to get a smoother, higher average frame rate whilst gaming is to optimize your graphics. It’ll lessen the stress put on your PC and will make the overall gaming experience much smoother – albeit less aesthetically pleasing.
Why not check out some of our other hardware and performance improving pages below. They’re a good place to start if you want more specific information on some of the topics we’ve discussed above.
So, there you have it guys, our quick rundown of how to improve your PC’s performance for under $50. We’ve tried to keep this article fairly short and sweet, linking to more in-depth pieces for people who want to try some of the methods recommended.
Ultimately, the best way to get more performance from your PC is to upgrade its hardware. Whilst that is the case, it doesn’t always have to cost you an arm and a leg. As we’ve shown, you can easily get better performance without going crazy on a new 2080Ti or the likes.
If you have any questions regarding the methods above, feel free to drop us a comment in the section below. Better still, why not head on over to our Community Hub where you can discuss everything PC related with like-minded individuals.