Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
An upgrade (UPG) is an updated version of existing hardware, software or firmware and is usually sold at a reduced price with a full version. Free upgrades may be included with an original purchase. Most upgrades are available for online download or via CD-ROM.
The purpose of an upgrade is improved and updated product features, including performance, product life, usefulness and convenience.
Hardware upgrades may include a central processing unit (CPU) replacement, new graphics card, extra hard drive or additional memory, such as random access memory (RAM). Software upgrades may include:
Most software upgrades or patches are available for free download from a product website but do not typically include total program replacements. Firmware upgrades are often available for free download and automatic installation via Universal Serial Bus (USB) or other connection. In certain cases, a new and complete software version may be available at a price lower than the original program, such as Adobe Photoshop CS4.
Software upgrades are designated by number. Hypothetically, a version 10.03 may be a minor upgrade for specific bug repair, while version 10.4 may provide more substantive enhancements. Version 11.0 may be a more advanced product release with completely new features.
Any upgrade is subject to performance degradation risks, which surface under any of the following conditions: