You can find entire websites and enthusiast communities dedicated to cutting your Windows boot time by milliseconds and squeezing every last drop of visual performance from your system in high-end games like Crysis, but what does the average Joe do when his once-trusty steed begins to limp? Put her down and buy a new one, usually. That's a pretty poor option when many people are struggling to even make rent and pay mortgages, and as most tech-savvy geeks know, it's usually not necessary, either. Therefore we've rounded up a few simple ways to go about unclogging the congested arteries of your poor machine and restoring it to its former athletic glory, along with inexpensive ways to upgrade it without springing for a brand new desktop. The following tips stack up in order of increasing difficulty: Steps one through three represent relatively simple (and free) tasks that novices can undertake to upgrade their machines, while steps four and five require a bit more knowledge, time, and in some cases, money, to accomplish. Follow them in order, and you'll be on your way back to peak performance in no time.