Ah, tax time. The wonderful time of year filled with visits to the accountant, endless paperwork, and of course, refunds. With the average federal tax refund totaling $2781, many taxpayers will see a considerable (and welcome) influx of cash into their bank accounts.
But what to do with all those sweet, sweet dollar bills? Go on a vacation, put the money into savings, or upgrade to a new computer?
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose! You can upgrade your memory and storage for a fraction of the price of a new computer, giving you the performance you need without sacrificing that trip to Disney World or a fancy dinner.
Here are four cost-effective PC improvements that won’t break the bank:
Whether you’re rendering hours of video or playing the newest map on Call of Duty, memory is integral to your system’s performance. Memory is what allows your computer to perform ordinary tasks, such as loading an application, surfing the internet, or crunching numbers in a spreadsheet.
How much memory do you need? Well, generally speaking, the more memory you have, the better. Recommendations range from 8GB to 32GB and beyond, depending on your typical computer use. Everyday web surfing and applications can get away with smaller amounts of memory, while heavy multitaskers, gamers, and creatives will want as much memory as possible for streamlined performance.
Memory is so affordable these days that opting for a higher-capacity RAM module isn’t going to make a massive dent in your budget. To find the right memory for your system, use the Crucial System Scanner for personalized recommendations.
Now that you’ve got your memory handled, it’s time to take a look at your storage. If you’re still using a hard drive (HDD), you need to stop. Like, right now. Step away from your old HDD and leap into the incredible world of solid state drives (SSDs).
If you’re not familiar with SSDs, buckle up. Upgrading your storage to an SSD will transform your computing experience. Boot your system in seconds, launch applications instantly, and multitask like you’ve never multitasked before.
Plus, SSDs are more energy efficient and more durable than their HDD counterparts. Once you make the switch, you’ll wonder how you ever functioned without one. Like memory modules, SSDs have become extremely affordable in recent years.
If you have a portable HDD drive, scrap that one, as well. Just like internal SSDs, portable SSDs are faster and more durable than their antiquated HDD counterparts.
Why would you need a portable SSD, you might be thinking? Well, for starters, a portable SSD is a fast and easy way to back up your important documents, photos, and files in a secure location. You could also connect your portable SSD to an iPad Pro and watch your entire movie library without an internet connection.
Gamers can use portable SSDs to archive game files and free up space on their console or PC. In particular, creatives will benefit from upgrading to a portable SSD. Instead of trying to upload massive files to the cloud, a photographer or video editor can hand off the SSD to a collaborator for a faster, more efficient workflow.
The new Crucial X8 portable SSD is 7.5x faster than HDDs, is shock and vibration-proof. The X8 can even handle a 6-foot drop!
Serious gamers know that the right equipment can mean the difference between victory and defeat. In addition to high performance, aesthetics also carry significant weight in the gaming world. Gamers frequently mod their rigs with beautiful RGB displays, clear cases, and other dynamic accessories to create gaming works of art.
With multiple world overclocking records, Crucial Ballistix memory modules are a terrific choice for gamers looking for legendary speed and gorgeous design. The Crucial Ballistix line is also Intel and Ryzen ready, offering incredible compatibility for virtually any scenario.
Upgrading your memory and storage is an inexpensive way to dramatically boost your system’s performance. Instead of buying a new computer, you can increase your RAM and swap out your HDD for a faster SSD. At tax time (or any other time of the year), consider Crucial’s high-quality, high-performance memory and storage options.
To shop for new Crucial memory and storage, click here.
Kris Sharma is a content creator living in Boise, Idaho. He writes frequently on technology topics, including automation, machine learning, and data security. Feel free to hit him up on LinkedIn.