Does your home computer seem sluggish? Does it take a long time to boot up? If so, rather than purchasing a new computer you might want to consider these two less expensive alternatives.

#1 – Determine what kind of hard drive your computer has

For decades computers were supplied with mechanical hard drives. These had fast spinning disks that stored all of the computer’s data. The problem with these drives, apart from being fragile, is that they are relatively slow.  Most new computers come with Solid State Drives (SSD). These drives have no moving parts and are many times faster than mechanical drives. So your first task is to determine if your computer has a mechanical drive. You can check out this article to learn how to determine that. If it turns out that you have a mechanical drive, then you might consider replacing it with an SSD drive. They can cost as little as $100 and they will usually make your computer so much faster that you will think you have just purchased a new computer. If your home computer is a desktop, swapping out the mechanical drive for an SSD is a challenging but feasible DYI project. The SSD drive will come with software so you can clone the data from the mechanical drive to the SSD, but this requires having the right cable. The complexity of swapping out drives in a laptop varies, but it is worth checking out YouTube to see if there are videos for your particular computer model.

#2 – Determine if you have enough RAM

Another way to speed up your computer without spending too much money is to upgrade the amount of Random Access Memory (RAM) in the computer. A hard drive stores all of your data when your computer is on or off. The RAM memory is different in that it pulls data off your hard drive to process it, then, when it is finished, it puts the information back on the hard drive. When you turn off your computer, the RAM is wiped out so that it retains no data. So the more RAM your computer has the more processing speed your computer has. This article should help you determine how much RAM your computer has. Most people would say a computer needs a minimum of 8 Gigs, but the more the better since it will usually speed up your computer.  Crucial Memory is a popular store for purchasing memory, but there are many sources for this. For most computers, upgrading RAM is an easier DYI project than upgrading a hard drive, but you’ll want to check the details of your specific computer.