2b. Select the right memory
Adding RAM to a computer boosts performance considerably. The EliteBook's 4GB of RAM was skimpy to say the least, but rather than boosting it to 8GB or 12GB, I decided to add 16GB of RAM so I could squeeze every last bit of speed out of it.
I used Kingston Technology RAM modules, but you can get the parts from a variety of sources such as Crucial, Patriot Memory, PNY or any of the dozens of others. Most vendors offer an online ordering system, where you type in the model and details about your machine. For my EliteBook, I ordered two 8GB DDR3 SDRAM modules. At $90 each, the 8GB modules aren't cheap, but I figured the extra performance would be more than worth the price.