We’re often asked “How long should my computer last” or “Is it worth upgrading or replacing my computer”. There is no definitive answer to the question – and like so many cases in the technology arena ‘it depends …’.
The most common reason for questions like these is because a computer is showing poor performance. This might be running slowly, freezing or running out of storage space or internal memory.
It’s time for us to investigate and dig a little deeper before we can give the right advice.
The first level of investigation is straightforward and covers:
- When did you buy it?
- What do you use it for?
- Is it causing you any problems?
- What headaches would it cause if you were without it for 24/48 hours?
Some problems can be solved by upgrading or adding to your RAM (internal memory) or replacing your hard drive to a solid state disk (a hard drive equivalent of a USB drive). However, there is naturally a cost involved and we need to check that an upgrade is more cost effective than new equipment.
Any computer is only as fast as its slowest part, so upgrading the hard drive and memory could prove pointless if your processor isn’t able to cope.
The gradual upgrading of operating systems can also require greater and greater system resources. For instance a higher the processor speed and much more RAM is needed to run Windows 10, compared to Windows XP. That shouldn’t stop you upgrading your operating systems. Many people have recently discovered, including the NHS, that hackers can get in much easier with the security flaws in early operating systems.
What you use your computer for and how you use are important factors to consider before deciding whether it’s best to upgrade or replace. Do existing software applications run on new operating systems or do they have peripherals plugged in to their systems that require a comms attachment to work?
We were recently called in to assist a client who had taken advantage of the Windows 10 upgrade, only to find that their existing version of Sage wouldn’t work with Windows 10. That involved a costly Sage upgrade!
So, before you consign your old computer to the loft or recycling centre and rush out to order a shiny new model look beyond a slow performance and maybe take some advice to find out if your computer just needs an upgrade or is simply not up to the job of running modern software.