I have been in software for *cough* decades now, and am barely hardware literate (shame on me). Hence, I always have trouble upgrading hardware.

I am aware of CPU-Z

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which gives me detailed information about my hardware (plus a plethora of others of that ilk).

I like the specialized KC RAM expert

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which not only detects my RAM, but will link me to Amazon (alas, the US site, but it is a help), to buy more - but only more of same and neither similar spec or upgardes (e.g if my mother board supports both DDR3 and DDR4, and I have DDR3 installed, it won't recommend4 (or any other DDR3) than what is installed, even if my nother board supports it, and it would increase performance.

  • must scan installed hardware and ercognoize uopgarde poosibilitties (e.g scan BOIS and, for Windows, the device manger (its registry entries,)
  • more important for Windows, which requires more resources; Linux a bonus (@Izzy ?), MAC not of personal inetrest to me (althoguh my undesratnding is that nowadays "MAC" is just a GUI over BSD (no foffence intended), so that Windwos + Linux ought to suffice)
  • some sort of scan of installed hardware, and then a recommendation of imporoevemnts, wtih some sort of ratitng, which, for isntance, would tell me whethre I would gain more performace benefit from a new mother board, CPU or more REM.
  • persoanlly, I would like it it would recognize my motherboard and only reocmmend those which would fit into my existing, expensive, case (i.e, smae size alternaties)
  • links to where to buy would be a major bonus

The major factor here is to recommend "bang for the buck" hardware improvements

  • 1
    TBH... what you will gain the most from depends on what you are using the computer for and what your speed tolerance is. As to probing hardware, I like to boot with a Ubuntu or Mint livecd and run lshw -html and redirect output to a file - . Full command is sudo lshw -html > ~/Desktop/hardware.html. It will tell you the make, model, speed, type, etc. of all your bits and pieces, even if there isn't a Linux driver for it. Fire up your gmail, email yourself the HTML file, reboot back into Windows (or OS X).
    – ivanivan
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 3:40
  • Ivanivan is correct, the benefits of any arbitrary hardware upgrade are highly dependent on the expected workload for the system. A web server for example will usually not see much benefit from a faster CPU (though more cores may help up to a certain point), but will almost always benefit from faster storage. I would seriously encourage you to learn more about hardware though, better understanding hardware limitations helps a lot when doing software work (especially if you need to worry about optimization). Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 19:10
  • Personally, I use mine for s/w development; no gaming or heavy video stuff. I do, however, run many apps at once. I won't update the question to say that, because I hope for a generic solution, to help others, even if it asks questions about how you use your PC. Again, personally, I think the answer is generally 1) more RAM 2) an SSD 3) CPU, but YMMV :-)
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 19:27

1 Answer 1


I suggest you give userbenchmark.com a try. Download and run their software.

At the end it produces a report.

Look at the % score of your component, scroll down click on a part say RAM. Sort the RAM by score, and buy RAM faster than whatever you scored.

How fast, is typically only limited by your budget.

SSD are one of the best upgrades if you have regular hdd now.

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There are 49 CPU's faster than yours.

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The core i5-8600 is only $260 is price is a major factor. enter image description here

  • This looks excellent, thanks! Alas, my new laptop arrived yesterday evening - but I will be sure to run this against it :-) And it will be useful for my serve, and, of course, for others who read this question. Thanks again
    – Mawg
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 6:42

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