by- vishal sharma I was just surfing around and came across this grate article by Anil Patrick R. worth sharing so here it is. Does your PC move like it's on the last lap of a marathon? Wheezing and puffing like an overweight 60-year-old even while running the lightest of applications? Has installing those sought-after packages become a real pain because of the regular stream of insufficient system resource' messages? Well, fear not, for an upgrade should make life easier. But before we head down that path, let's take a look at certain issues that you need to keep in mind. The right time? The answer to this question is yes. At this point of time, hardware prices are at an all time low. For those of you looking to upgrade, this is the time to get hold of all the goodies you need, or at least most of them. Consider the fact that today you can buy a bomb of a PC for about Rs 35,000. This would be a PC with a 1.4 GHz Pentium 4 processor, 40 GB hard disk, 128 MB RDRAM and so on, which was priced over Rs 50,000 a couple of months back. Consider it the upside of the industry being down. But this doesn't mean that you have to go out and buy a PC. The idea is that wth a few upgrades you can make your PC as healthy as ever, as good as any new PC. However, if your PC's configuration is way too old or your applications demand more power than can ever be achieved from upgrades, then you would have no choice but to buy a new one. Take a look at the side bar: Is a new PC better? before you make a decision. We'll consider the configurations which call for a completely new PC further on in the article. Now let's see why it sometimes makes sense to boost your existing machine than go in for the latest PC. In the current market situation, it may be better to wait and watch as there is a lot of ambiguity as far as the different platforms for processors are concerned. It seems almost every other day some major chip manufacturer comes up with a new chip architecture that requires a motherboard with a different interface. Until the day chip manufacturers decide to settle on a reasonable standard where an upgrade over a wide range of speeds is possible over time, this is going to be a difficult choice to make. What should prove more lucrative is the varied choice available in the hardware market today. Take, for instance, the example of motherboards. A couple of years back, you could choose from only two levelsan entry-level motherboard with the most basic features to a lesser-known brand or a big brand with all the advanced features. But now, buyers have an exhaustive array to choose from and finding the right features at the price is not a problem. The same kind of variety is available for several hardware component categories. It is more or less up to you to make use of this choice offered in the market and turbo-charge your PC. Cram RAM If your PC seems a bit of a laggard lately and keeps popping messages that the system is dangerously low on virtual memory, then you need to upgrade your RAM. RAM is one of the easiest and cheapest components to upgrade, and this is not just because the prices seem to be dropping every day. Today, a 128 MB SDRAM module would cost you around Rs 850 and chances are the prices would go down even further. Installing additional RAM is as easy as this: just slide in the RAM module and boot your PC. The memory check at bootup will show the enhanced memory details. Pratik Shah, a professional graphics designer from Mumbai who recently upgraded his PC's RAM says, "I upgraded the RAM on my PC from 128 MB to 256 MB and installed a CD-RW drive. The entire process barely took 15 to 20 minutes". We asked Paul Vincent, a software engineer with SRA Systems, Chennai and an old hand at upgrading, about what to look out for when adding more RAM. His advice: "Before you get a RAM module from the market, check whether your motherboard has empty slots for it. In addition to this, check the maximum memory capacity module a slot can take, especially in the case of old motherboards." It's possible to use PC133 SDRAM with older PC100/66 compatible motherboards as these memory modules are backward compatible. Installing additional RAM is cheap, easy, and does wonders to your system's performance.