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Chapter 32. Deciding to Upgrade > What Components in My PC Are Upgradeable? - Pg. 404

Deciding to Upgrade 404 16-bit and 32-bit are technical terms you will hear whenever the discussion turns to oper- ating systems and programming, among other things. Quite simply, the terms refer to how computer instructions and data are processed by your computer, either in 16-bit units or in 32-bit units. Because a 32-bit unit is twice as large as a 16-bit unit, the assumption is that 32-bit programs and operating systems are twice as fast as their 16-bit counterparts. "Twice as fast" may be stretching it a bit, but the basic underlying assumption is generally true. Thirty-two-bit programs and operating systems are faster than their 16-bit counterparts. What Components in My PC Are Upgradeable? Almost every component in your PC--including the processor, memory, video card, disk drives, and more--is a candidate to be upgraded. Which components you decide to upgrade is often determined by how you use your PC, but not always. Some upgrades make sense simply because the price of the particular component is too good to pass up. In the last few years, the price of hard disk drives has dropped dramatically. You can regularly see more than 50GB hard disk drives advertised for under $200. If you're wondering where to start with your upgrading plans, Table 32.1 can give you some ideas on how to deal with some problems or issues you might already be facing. Table 32.1. Quick Troubleshooting Table Problem PC locks up or can't load more than a few programs simultaneously Programs or files load very slowly from CD-ROM drive 32-bit software won't install Possible Upgrade Solution Add more memory Upgrade to faster CD-ROM drive Upgrade to 32-bit OS