When should I update my computer?

Deciding when is it time to replace your computer depends on a mix of personal and practical considerations. It also depends on what you use your computer for. Home-use and business-use computers usually have different considerations, or at least a differing importance of various considerations. Home-use computers are after all a luxury item while business-use computers are usually required for competitive operation and profit.

Business-use computers usually have a shorter useful life because of the higher demand for speed and computational performance. In business, there’s no sidestepping the old adage, “Time is Money.” To stay competitive and profitable most business need to maintain their computer assets closer to the cutting edge of what’s available. Newer computer equipment and software equates to more features and faster performance. Offering customer more services in a shorter time and at lower costs is essential to maintaining and growing a profitable business.

Home-use computers often have a longer useful life to their owners. The need for high performance isn’t as much of a requirement as it is a luxury. Putting up with older equipment, that’s slowing down a bit with updated and more demanding software, becomes a personal choice. If it’s still performing the functions you bought it for, you can choose to continue using it until other factors require its replacement.

What can you Expect?

Businesses should expect and budget for replacing their desktop computers about once every four to five years. That’s the average time it takes for internal parts to wear out and software updates to outpace the technological capabilities of the processor, memory and other key components. Laptops have a shorter estimated useful life of three to four years. Signs that it’s time to replace computer equipment include:

  • Hardware is impeding productivity because of crashes or slow performance.
  • You are running “legacy” operating systems, such as Windows XP or Windows 7.
  • Your systems are “end of life” and no longer supported or warranted by the manufacturer.
  • Replacement parts are difficult to find.
  • Upgrade components aren’t compatible with motherboard.
  • Repair and maintenance costs equal or exceed replacement cost.
  • Security is too easily compromised.
  • Minimum hardware requirements for latest version of an application aren’t met.
  • Two or more applications running simultaneously cause slowdowns or crashes.
  • Latest release of the operating system isn’t performing as efficiently as the previous version.

If you need advice on whether it’s time to replace your computer, On-Site Techs can evaluate your situation and advise you on the best options to improve your computer experience at home or in the office. Call us for an appointment today.

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