Question What resources should I upgrade to work with heavy Excel files?

Apr 5, 2020
Hello everyone,

With COVID-19 around, my boyfriend's company sent everyone home with a laptop to work, but sadly for him, as a financial analyst, he works with pretty heavy Excel files with thousands of lines and gets incredibly frustrated just saving, editing, opening a file.

So I wanted to surprise him by buying some upgrades, but I need to know what would work. I checked for external options, but it seems that's not possible (correct me if I'm wrong) and I'm not entirely sure if increasing RAM is better, or processor, or both... I need some tips before I buy something that would be useless. :sweatsmile:

He has a Lenovo Thinkpad L490, with an Intel Core i5, 8th gen.

Thanks in advance!


You won't be able to upgrade the CPU, so RAM is the only thing. Also since it's a company laptop I doubt the IT people would want you to mess with it, and it would depends on how much RAM the system already has. Make sure it's being used with a power cord, on battery it will run slower. If those files he works on are on the network not on the local system that will also slow things down a lot.
Apr 5, 2020
Performing upgrades on company-owned hardware is (very much) not recommended. I.T. takes a very dim view of users cracking open a laptop and replacing parts. Not only can it void warranties by not using approved hardware, I.T. may not support it as it was purchased without their approval, or thru approved channels. You also may not be refunded for any purchases (for the above reasons).

I recommend having him discuss his issues with I.T., and see if they can either upgrade the existing one, or replace the laptop with a newer model, or one with higher specs.

If he is working with data that is confidential, then it should not be residing on the laptop, in case it's stolen. He should be remoting into the company network and working off it. If that's the case, it may be adding to the slowness he is seeing. In that case, upgrades may not give the desired results.

Barring buying a new laptop with a faster CPU, more RAM and a faster SSD or M.2 drive will give the most bang for the buck.
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