So, you debated and dithered and held off on upgrading to Windows 10. Maybe you heard complaints about the latest version, or someone told you that the newest version had bugs, or you just really, really liked the version you have. However, the free Windows upgrade is gone just like the lazy days of summer; literally, the free Windows upgrade ended July 29.

Windows 10 is Still Available and a Windows Upgrade is Easy to Download

Fortunately, for those who want to or need to upgrade, Windows makes Version 10 available for a one-time fee of $120. And it’s a snap to download.

Sure, free is always better, but if you apply the cost-per-use formula, the price is mere pennies. The average person spends at least 7 hours a day at their computer. Assuming you aren’t working on your computer every day, that means that the first-year cost of a Windows 10 upgrade is about .46 a day or less than 7 cents an hour.

When you order, don’t assume Windows 10 is one-size-fits-all. You need to know which version you currently have before you complete your Windows upgrade.

Not sure which Windows version your computer is operating? To find out, click on Start, right-click on Computer and choose Properties. If you’re now using Windows 7 Pro, for example, you must choose Windows 10 Pro for your upgrade. This Windows upgrade is not compatible with Windows Vista. You can also contact one of our PC Geeks locations for help with the upgrade.

To get started, go to Microsoft’s Window 10 home page and download the upgrade to either your computer or a USB.

Of course, if you have a condition that requires you to use your computer’s assistive technologies – such as high contrast on your screen or a narrator which reads text aloud – then a Windows 10 is still free.

As our world becomes more mobile, so do our hobbies, and that is certainly the case when it comes to PC gaming. Many gamers no longer prefer being chained to a 50-pound desktop gaming rig in one location and prefer the flexibility that comes from being mobile with a gaming laptop. Pre-built laptops, however, often skimp on parts to increase battery life and reduce weight, making them unsuitable performance-wise for gaming. A gaming laptop that is custom-built with hand-picked laptop parts is ideal. Here are some things to consider when selecting laptop parts for a gaming laptop.Things to Consider When Selecting Laptop Parts for a Gaming Laptop

Make the Graphics Card a Priority

Any computer – desktop or laptop – is only as good as its weakest part, and a graphics card should certainly be a priority in a gaming laptop. Most new games would run a graphics card in a pre-built laptop ragged, but gamers who are custom building a gaming laptop should go for the best graphics card they can afford. In today’s market, a graphics card like the Nvidia GeForce GTX 800 series is the bare minimum choice for an adequate gaming laptop, while gamers who are willing to pay a little more should consider 900 series or 10 series.

Pair the Hard Drive with a Solid State Drive

A 1 TB hard drive will give gamers a good amount of storage, but speed is a factor with games now and a slow, standard HDD won’t do the trick on its own. Anyone who is picking out laptop parts for a gaming laptop should consider pairing the HDD with a smaller but faster solid state drive to keep games running without lagging frame rates.

Upgrading Later Won’t Be Easy

Let’s face it – parts for gaming laptops will be expensive. But the idea of going with older parts now with the plan of upgrading down the line is not a certainty when it comes to laptops. Building a gaming laptop with parts that are already older and less powerful than what is already on the market is a way to build a gaming laptop that is obsolete in a short time. It will cost more to get the top-of-the-line laptop parts, but gamers who don’t skimp on these important components will have a gaming laptop that lasts a lot longer.

Feel free to contact us for any other questions about laptop parts for gaming laptops.

Is your computer struggling to keep with a new operating system upgrade or a new program? Are you spending more time waiting for your computer to load than you are actually using it? Does your computer often give out-of-memory errors? If so, it may be time to breathe new life into your computer with a simple processor memory upgrade.

If your computer is relatively new — five years old or less — upgrading the processor or the memory can be an easy, inexpensive way to get many more years productive use whether the expense or aggravation of migrating to a new computer. While both upgrades will give you the most bang for your buck, many people may find that just one or the other is sufficient for their needs and their budget. The only question, however, is determining which is best for your particular computing needs.

Processor and Memory Upgrades: How to Give Your Computer New Life

Here’s a Quick Look at the Benefits of Each

Memory upgrades: Easily the most cost-effective and easiest upgrade that you can perform. Memory upgrades are as simple as replacing your old memory with faster, higher capacity RAM sticks. When replacing memory, keep in mind that memory is best replaced in pairs – meaning that if your computer currently has four gigabytes (4gb) of RAM in a single memory ‘stick’, your preferred upgrade would be two new four megabyte sticks or 8gb total. You would not want to simply add a second memory stick. This is due to the fact that to be most efficient, memory should be matched, meaning it should be the same brand, same specifications, and, preferably, from the same product lot. Buying a pair (or more) of memory sticks as a package guarantees that the memory is properly matched. For most users, 8 GB is sufficient; high demand users or user who use memory-intensive applications may want to consider an upgrade to 16 GB of RAM. Also, while most modern desktop computers will accommodate up to 32 GB of RAM, most operating systems – and applications – cannot make sufficient use of more than 16 GB, meaning that for most users a 32 GB upgrade is largely unnecessary.

Processor upgrades: Not for the faint-of-heart, a processor upgrade is a delicate process that should only be attempted by an experienced end-user or a professional computer technician. While Windows or your preferred operating system may be the soul of your machine, the processor is the beating heart of your computer. Replacing your processor with a more modern, faster processor can make a tremendous difference in the speed at which your computer runs. A processor upgrade is a more expensive, more complicated upgrade than a memory upgrade, but will in most cases also yield a corresponding improvement in performance versus a simple memory upgrade. The exact processor upgrades that are compatible with your particular computer will vary by computer manufacturer and the type of motherboard installed in the computer. You should be able to determine which is right for you by checking the manufacturer’s website or by discussing your processor upgrades with an experienced computer technician.

Contact us for more information on how to choose the right upgrade for your computer. Our experienced technicians have the experience and the knowledge to help you make the right decisions to keep your computer running at peak performance for years to come.

By PC Geeks / System Optimization / / 0 Comments

Will your PC work with Windows 10?

The Windows 10 Technical Preview has been out for some time now, which means that it won’t be long until the Windows upgrade cycle kicks into high gear once again. A lot of people are still confused as to whether their existing hardware will allow them to upgrade to Windows 10.

There’s a lot of well-meaning yet inaccurate information out there written by people who don’t really understand what makes PCs tick. It’s understandable because tech can be confusing, and the Windows 10 system requirements throw a few curve balls into the mix.

Will your PC work with Windows 10?

The Windows 10 Basics

Microsoft has published the system requirements for Windows 10. If your PC can run Windows 8.1, you’re good to go. If you’re not sure, don’t worry–Windows will check your system to make sure it can install the preview.

Here’s what Microsoft says you need to run Windows 10:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Free hard disk space: 16 GB
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
  • A Microsoft account and Internet access

Read the full article here!

Windows is reportedly considering offering some sort of Windows 9 upgrade deal to XP, Vista and Windows 7 users, with a completely free upgrade option also on the table. Nothing has been confirmed about Windows 9 yet, but ZDNet says that all the major features Microsoft is working on will be packed in Threshold rather than a following Windows 8.1 Update.

Windows 8.1 Update 2 is still due on August 12th, this month’s Patch Tuesday, although the update is not mandatory, and it’s not expected to bring any major changes. The Start menu button, which was supposed to arrive with Update 2, will be included in Windows 9 alongside any other major features Microsoft may have readied for a Windows 8.1 update.

Read the full article here.

So finally our year is coming to and end and everyone is preparing for the new one and wondering what sort of resolutions are appropriate. We are very appreciative of our long time, and new customers and all of the business they have brought in to us over the past year. It really has been a banner year for PC Geeks and we really owe that to you!

With the brand new year it is also a very good  time to think about your computer needs and security for the new year! So we have compiled a short list of suggestions for your new year computer resolutions!

Your New Years Computer Resolutions

  • Maybe it is time to buy that external drive to protect your personal data!
  • Some more RAM to help speed up my aging system sure could help!
  • Sure would be a good idea to clean up and optimize my system to speed it up!
  • Removing old programs I no longer use or want could be nice.
  • Changing all my old passwords with something new could help security!
  • Maybe it is time to take the old computer out of the closet and have it recycled!

All of the above suggestions could go a long way into increasing the lifespan of your computer, or at very least make sure that your system security is up to date and ready to face the next wave of e-cooties that is lurking beyond the first of the year. Every year the creators of malicious software find new ways to invade your systems and improved methods to ensure that they are harder and harder to remove.

I would highly recommend all of the above in one fell swoop to ensure you are safe and healthy.

How long has it been since you have done any of those six suggestions? Not sure if you have ever done them? Tell us what you think would help our machine. If you are uncomfortable in doing these things yourself, please feel free to contact your friendly computer technician at PC Geeks in Allen of Frisco. We would be glad to help you take care of your optimization needs! We are also serving the surrounding communities of McKinney, Plano, The Crossroads, Prosper, Celina, Little Elm, and Aubrey. We also service extended areas, please call for details.

 

Happy holidays from PC Geeks computer repair.The two biggest threats to the hardware inside your computer are heat and water.

Now, it goes without saying that putting water in your computer is probably not a very wise thing to do so we won’t talk about that in this column, but have you ever stopped to think about the environmental factors of where your computer sits?

Exposing your computer to excess heat over the long term of its life plays a very serious role in the lifespan and performance of your machine.

Make sure that you regularly dust your computer case, and see that the vents on your laptop or desktop are clear to prolong the life of your system greatly.

So much furniture is available out there to optimize the looks of your home – but many of them, especially computer desks – do not account for the space a computer needs to vent off  excess heat.

Generally speaking, the basic desktop has a fan on its front that’s designed to:

  • Pull cool air inside,
  • Run it through the case, and then
  • Fans within the computer are set to push that hotter air out the back or side of the case,
  • Preventing a buildup of heat on the sensitive components inside the case.

What happens when you put that computer into an enclosed space, like an entertainment center? There is no easy place for the heat to dissipate and now that machine is running at a temperature that it was not truly designed for! Some brands of computers run hotter than others, but the point here is, if you want your machine to last you many years, ensuring it has the room to breathe is vital for its health.

  • Keep your fans clean,
  • Make sure there are few gaps or holes in your computer case that can disrupt the intended airflow, and
  • Making sure there is somewhere for the heat to go once it departs your computer.

That will work wonders in preserving the lifespan of not just your computer, but every component that is in it. If you feel that your computer may be running to hot you should contact your local PC Geeks technician in Allen or Frisco.

We’re happy to help you get your equipment optimized for the environment its in, give us a call. We also service Plano, Little Elm, McKinney, Celina, Fairview and many more neighborhoods near you!

Comments? We love ’em! Leave them below.

Happy Holidays From PC Geeks!There’s a universal reaction at that moment you discover your computer is having a problem, and that is to immediately click every icon, button or link in sight!

Unfortunately, it’s very easy to do significant damage to your operating system by changing settings. If you’re sure that you’re having an issue, be it a virus, or failure of hardware components, the first thing you should do is shut off your machine, and contact your local technician to describe the issue.

There’s a very good chance that your technician has not only heard of the issue, but will have a solid educated guess as to what the actual problem is and can advise you what your best options are.

Another mistake people make when dealing with their technician is being afraid to explain what is happening. This may come as a surprise, but technicians will not think less of you, if you tell them what may have lead to the problems!

When you’re completely honest with the tech, often you can get to a faster resolution simply by being able to understand the path that lead to the problem! The following is a short list of what to have ready when you call a technician.

  • The brand and model of your computer.
  • What operating system you are using,  ( Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8)
  • When the problem started and a basic list of the symptoms,
  • What you were doing when the problem took place.

You should not feel intimidated by having to talk to a technician, we are there to help find a resolution for your issues, and not judge you. You’re an adult and do not need to explain yourself! The most important thing to remember is this …  IF you are having a problem with your computer, turn it off, and call your local PC Geeks technician in Allen or Frisco, we will be glad to steer you in the right direction and get you back to surfing.

Tell us, have you ever messed up your computer trying to fix it by yourself? C’mon, we won’t judge! Leave your comments here.

The Terror That is Windows 8

The terror that is Windows 8.There has been such a negative hype built up in the wake of Windows 8’s release that people seem to almost be in a frenzy! Residents around our Frisco and Allen stores were talking about it on our Facebook Page.

It should be pointed out before anything else that you are not required to use or purchase it for the computers that you already have, but you can expect it to be on nearly any PC that you purchase now and into the near future.

The fact is, that while it looks and feels a little bit different, after a short time and literally after learning where to click one or two items, you will hardly even notice the difference for most practical purposes – and may even learn to broaden your horizons with all the new features!

If you are like me and some others, you want to change your routine as little as possible.

With that in mind, be assured that there is plenty that can be done to make your eventual change to Windows 8 as painless as possible! As with nearly all operating systems, Windows 8 can be modified and customized in countless ways to suit your needs.

No start button you say?!

Well … how about giving your local computer technician a call so he can easily add on something that will help, and while we are at it, give you many other little tweaks that will have your version of Windows 8 running as smooth and simple as you want it to.

One thing that is very important if you are considering taking the leap to Windows 8: Make sure that your computer meets the minimum requirements in order to run it. If you are unsure if your computer can run Windows 8 properly, call your local computer technician and have him help you to determine if the upgrade is going to work for you. If it turns out you are lacking a few prerequisites for running Windows 8, this might be a great time to update some hardware as well.

Here are just a few things that would not hurt to be upgraded before a switch to Windows 8.

  • Make sure you have a widescreen format monitor that will run a minimum resolution of 1366 x 768. Not all features require it but a few do for optimal results.
  • Make sure have at least 22 gigabytes of space on your hard disk drive, as well as at least 2 gigabytes of RAM
  • Make sure you have at least a dual core processor.

If you are unsure of the specifications of your personal computer you can always give your local computer technician a call to help you in figuring that out. Remember, we service areas as far out as The Crossroads and Little Elm. Do you have questions about Windows 8? Leave them here or on our Facebook Page!

Stop watch resting on a keyboard.These days, the software market is flooded with software programs that are designed to optimize your computer, allowing it to run faster than before. No doubt some of them actual succeed in their claims.

Unfortunately, the truth is much more serious. Many of these optimization software programs – available both in the stores and on the internet – not only fail to live up to their claims but in fact , can cause serious issues with your operating system.

Those issues can lead to corruption of Windows, loss of data and even slowing down the system to a crawl, rendering other more vital software completely ruined.  Some of them may actually be computer viruses. If you have downloaded programs promising to speed up your machine but are unsure if they are safe, call PC Geeks!

The worst of these programs are the free ware programs that can often be downloaded from various sites on the internet. Not only are many of them poorly designed, but a large portion of them are not true programs at all; they are viruses just waiting to be downloaded and infect your machine.

Many of these programs promise to speed up your machine and often do so by “optimizing” the registry of your operating system. The problem with this approach is that other software may need the registry a certain way in order to function correctly, and if it is altered or deleted, they no longer function.

If you talk to your local computer technician for advice you’ll find that a great many will recommend you speed your machine up the old fashion way, by upgrading hardware components to increase overall performance.

While this is rarely without cost, it is a fraction of the price of repairing your computer after having a bogus optimization program wipe out your operating system. Are you getting annoyed with your slow computer? Call us today.