TODAY’S BEST UPGRADES
Bring your system bang up to date with some choice hardware picks
UPGRADING IS FUNDAMENTAL to the PC. It’s one of the cornerstones of our platform of choice, and it’s why the PC has survived while other systems have failed. It’s also the reason why you can focus on the hardware that matters the most, and spend your money appropriately. You can upgrade in stages—if you want to focus on a performance CPU first, with a mind to upgrading your graphics card or storage later, you can. As long as you know what’s happening in the tech world, you’re in good shape.
On that note, we’ve just had an incredible year for processors. AMD has come out swinging with its Ryzen line, with increased core counts and strong raw performance. And Intel has just responded with its eighthgeneration CPU line—we’ve managed to squeeze the first chips to arrive into our recommendations, too. Which means we’re now looking at two completely new mainstream platforms that didn’t exist a year ago. Plenty of opportunities for upgrades, in other words.
Bear in mind that any new piece of gear should have a legitimate upgrade path as well. Getting the best processor for your motherboard is fine, but it takes the shine off it a bit if you know there’s a whole new platform doing the rounds. That’s why our recommendations all relate to the latest hardware lines. This shouldn’t stop you upgrading older hardware as far as it can go, though, because that can often be a cost-effective route—especially if you’re happy to take the risk of buying used hardware (great for older processor deals, and making the move to SLI).
Over the page, we look at the best hardware upgrades you can buy right now, with performance benchmarks where they matter. We cover all the major components, and highlight things to watch out for when upgrading. It’s a great time to give your machine a new lease of life, as you’re about to find out.