Can you upgrade laptop parts?

If you’re looking for more performance from your laptop, but don’t want to fork out for a new one, upgrading some of its components could be the answer.

Today’s consumer technology becomes obsolete almost as quickly as it appears. Laptops are no exception. But you don’t always need to pay thousands to get a performance boost out of your old tech.

Sometimes, all it takes is some new parts to get your PC operating on a new level. Spend hundreds, not thousands, and boost your laptop’s performance.

What components of my laptop can be changed?

With many modern laptops, there are three areas that can be upgraded – RAM, storage space and the battery.

The performance and functionality improvements you can get from relatively cheap upgrades (when compared to buying a new laptop) make new parts worth considering.

Other components such as the central processing unit (CPU) or the graphics processing unit (GPU) usually can’t be changed.

The same goes for data ports, such as upgrading a USB 3.0 port to a faster technology like Thunderbolt 4 or USB 4.0.

It’s possible to perform the upgrades yourself if you have the technical knowledge, but upgrades can also be performed by computer repair shops for a small fee.

Upgrading RAM

RAM stands for Random Access Memory and is temporary memory your PC uses to run programs while it is powered on.

If your computer struggles when running several programs at once, or while you have multiple web pages open, then this most likely indicates your RAM isn’t enough anymore.

Today’s programs and websites demand ever-increasing amounts of your computer’s memory, so what might have been plenty of RAM when you bought the laptop can quickly become insufficient.

If your laptop has 4GB of RAM or less, it very likely struggles with multiple tasks. Upgrading to 8GB will make a noticeable performance difference. You’re not likely to need more than 8GB, as programs that require more than that also require a faster CPU and GPU.

Upgrading storage space

Upgrading your storage not only increases the amount of data you can store on your laptop, but can also boost your speed if you upgrade from a hard-disk drive (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD). Even if your laptop already has an SSD, there are most likely bigger and better ones out there.

HDDs are the older, cheaper technology here. They work by using a physical spinning disc read by a laser, which limits how fast they can operate. The many moving parts of HDDs also make them susceptible to wear and tear over time.

On the other hand, an SSD uses no moving parts, storing data instead on an integrated circuit within the drive. This allows it to be lighter and operate faster and more quietly than an HDD.

Upgrading the battery

Laptop batteries, like all lithium-ion batteries, wear out over time and become less effective. This in turn leads to shorter times between charging while you’re using it.

Even replacing your current battery with a new battery of the same model will lead to an improvement in battery life.

Although you can get third-party laptop batteries, they are often designed to fit into a specific model, so make sure the battery you’re thinking of buying matches your laptop exactly.

Could your laptop use a performance boost? Would you consider upgrading its parts? Let us know in the comments section below.

Also read: What to look for when buying a laptop

Brad Lockyer
Brad Lockyer
Brad has deep knowledge of retirement income, including Age Pension and other government entitlements, as well as health, money and lifestyle issues facing older Australians. Keen interests in current affairs, politics, sport and entertainment. Digital media professional with more than 10 years experience in the industry.


  1. One trend on the newer and higher market segment laptops is that both the HD and the RAM are soldered in place and not upgradeable even by knowledgeable computer service providers. A search on the internet will usually enable a person to find out what can actually be upgraded on their specific machine.
    The prices of both SSDs and RAM have come down over the years but the capability of the CPU may be restricted.
    The golden rule is always buy a bigger HD and more RAM than you can afford as it will be worthwhile in the long run.
    Some manufacturers are not offering a large a HD as will suit you in the long run as they are hoping that you will use their Cloud storage services. Initially and for a soon filled size for no cost, later don’t be surprised if charges appear for this service.
    Non-OEM batteries can be a little as half the price of a brand battery, but may not last quite as long. (When at least one manufacturer has laptops with up to 18 hours of use from each charge, one can wonder if it’s better to replace with a new machine.)

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