Second Chance PC provides a wide range of products and services, which allow you to make the most of your existing computer hardware by upgrading various components of your machine. You may need to upgrade your machine for a variety of reasons, more RAM to make Photoshop zip along a bit faster, a bigger hard drive to fit your ever expanding iTunes collection, faster processor for that new application. This page is designed to give you an idea of the upgrade products we sell, our fitting services, and to give you an idea of what can and can't be upgraded. For our Apple Customers many of our upgrades are available from our Mac Upgrade webstore - www.macupgrades.co.uk, this secure online store provides full compatibility guides for Mac Memory, Hard Drives, Processor Upgrades and more.
Memory - RAM - Random Access Memory. RAM is by far the easiest and most productive of upgrades to do. RAM is your computer's short-term memory, which it uses to store the information that you are working on. Adding memory will improve the feel of both your applications and your operating system. There are a great number of different types of memory (DIMM, SODIMM, EDO, PC100, PC133, DDR3200, DDR4200 etc.), some computers will need this installed in pairs others can be upgraded on an ad hoc basis. For Mac users we provide a full Mac RAM compatbility guide on our MacUpgrades webstore, for PC users please call our sales team who will assist in identifying the correct RAM for you.
Hard Drives - The longer that you own a machine, the more files and information you build up. With MP3s, digital video and photos your digital lifestyle can soon take over your hard drive. Adding an additional hard drive(s) or replacing your exisiting drive will allow you to store much more data. The most common drive formats are IDE and SATA, on some older machines there will be a limit to the size of internal hard drive your computer will be able to support. A large number of Mac & PC desktops will have space to run multiple hard drives and they are very inexpensive to add (see our internal hard drives page). With laptops you will only have space for one internal drive, which is currently running your system. You can replace this one with a larger one - this is often not an easy upgrade to perform oneself due to the space restrictions inside a laptop computer. If you are hesitant about fitting your hard drive upgrade we have a fitting service that can help. One thing to note, of course, is that you will need to transfer your data across to the new drive. This too is a service we can provide, see our repairs page for pricing. Another option is to use an external hard drive, usually with either FireWire or USB 2.0 connectivity - information on this can be found on our USB 2 FAQ and FireWire FAQ. You may need to upgrade or add to the connectivity on yourlaptop if you do not have these ports as standard. Pricing on external storage devices can be found on our external hard drive page. For Mac users we provide a full Hard Drive compatbility guide on our MacUpgrades webstore, for PC users please call our sales team who will assist in identifying the correct hard drive for you.
Connectivity - Connectivity is the means by which devices connect to your computer. These are used for a great number of purposes - from printers, scanners and mice to external storage and cd or DVD writers. Second Chance PC supply a wide range of upgrade cards which can increase your connectivity. Here is a brief summary:
- FireWire - FireWire is a high speed connection used by many external devices. Mostly it is used for the import/export of digital video and connection of high speed storage devices - more information is available in our FireWire FAQ. FireWire can be added very cheaply into a free PCI, PCIe, PCMCIA (CardBus) or ExpressCard slot, and is a user upgradeable part. Once you have FireWire you can add external hard drives, external CD/DVD writers and many other devices to enhance your computer.
- USB - USB is stands for Universal Serial Bus and has two revisions. USB 1 is used for the connection of printers, scanners and mice, it has a slower connection speed though is ideal for these types of use. USB 2.0 is the second revision of the USB connection it has a much faster connection rate and, like FireWire, can be used for a wide variety of storage and optical devices (see our USB 2.0 FAQ for more information). USB 2.0 is backwards compatible with USB 1, so a USB 1 device will work on USB 2 - and the other way around, albeit at a slow speed.
- IDE - IDE is the most common internal device connectivity, it is used for CD/DVD writers, hard drives and removable media. In larger PC & Mac desktops it is possible to run out of IDE connectors on the motherboard, but still have space for more devices, in these cases an additional IDE PCI card can help by giving you extra connections.
- SATA and eSATA - SATA (Serial ATA) and eSATA (External Serial ATA) is an exceptionally fast connectivity. SATA drives are fast and large so adding Serial ATA to your computer can really add to your storage capability. eSATA allows you to connect these drives to your computer externally, perfect for fast back-up, RAID and Digital Video. We have a range of SATA and eSATA solutions available
Optical Drives - Internal and External Optical devices - CD writers, DVD writers and Combo drives are available. These can fit either internally to your machine, or externally (see above for connectivity) these devices allow archiving and additional storage, and the ability to write your own CDs and DVDs. We have a wide range of such devices on our CD writers page. For Mac users we provide a full Optical Drive compatbility guide on our MacUpgrades webstore, for PC users please call our sales team who will assist in identifying the correct Optical Drive for you.
Graphics Cards - The graphics card is the device which your system uses to display on its monitor(s). On most desktops these are quite easily replaced with a faster, better card which allows greater resolutions and increases speed in things like games and other 3D graphics applications. For laptop users the graphics card is often built in to the motherboard so not an upgradeable part. For Mac users we provide a full graphics card compatbility guide on our MacUpgrades webstore, for PC users please call our sales team who will assist in identifying the correct graphics card for you.
Processors - The CPU - This is the central processing unit of your computer. It acts on your data and gives the result. These can in some cases be upgraded, but are generally more complicated, as there are a number of manufacturers and many types of connection type. For Mac users we provide a full Processor Upgrade compatbility guide on our MacUpgrades webstore.