by Paul Sanders
Computer technology changes quickly, and a great laptop computer may seem out of date after only a few years. Of course, you may be generally happy with your laptop and just want some performance or memory upgrades, or you might be buying a new laptop for yourself and want to hand off your computer to someone else who might find it useful. While laptop parts aren't as easily interchangeable as desktop computer parts, you can still do a few upgrades that will extend the life of your laptop. Check your laptop computer's user manual and look for these upgrade possibilities.
Swap out the hard drive. Computer storage space gets cheaper every year, and programs for your laptop computer require more and more of it. If your hard drive seems cramped, you may be able to install a new one rather easily.
Add RAM to boost performance. Your laptop computer has several slots for new memory sticks. You can fill in any empty slots or replace existing RAM with larger sticks. Be sure to write down the precise type of RAM that your laptop computer uses before you shop for new memory sticks. For example, you laptop may accept DDR2 or DDR3 RAM.
Install a faster processor. Replacing a CPU should be done delicately, but installing a new one is relatively simple. Check the socket number on the motherboard for your laptop computer and find a compatible processor with a higher speed or multiple cores to give your laptop PC a big performance boost.
Upgrade the graphics processor. The graphics processing unit (GPU) handles the video and display tasks for your laptop. Many laptop computers have separate graphics processors on a separate graphics card that can be upgraded. If your laptop PC uses a card, a new graphics card can be added or installed in a PC card slot on the motherboard.
Get a new battery. After a few years of constant use, your laptop computer's batteries may not hold a charge like they used to. Getting a new battery can give your laptop all new life.