When do you decide its time for a new car?
• When the new car smell is gone
• When a faster model comes on the market
• When the engine and transmission both fail on the same day
It’s the same with computers. First, what kind of use do you get out of your computer?
• Are you doing graphic design or do you play high-end games? In this case you need to look at buying the fastest, newest computer you can afford and it will only last you a year.
• If you’re like the rest of use, the average user, the midrange of what is currently available will server you well for three years.
• If you’re like my father, who uses the computer to play Solitaire, your computer will perform your needs until its “transmission” falls out.
If you notice your computer is not as “quick” as it used to be then buy a new computer or look at the following ideas:
Technology speeds double every 18 months. If you are a medium to heavy user then, after three years, your new computer could be ready for the old age home.
Clean or Service your computer:
If you have a computer that’s a few years old that’s getting sluggish, take it to a technician to “give it a good cleaning”. It could add another year to its life.
Share your computers:
Not all of the 15 computers at our office are new. The slower ones are for testing; the real heavy work is done by the newest machines.
You can do the same in your office. If you have 9 computers, don’t buy 9 computers, wait a few years and buy 9 more. Buy 3 computers every year for your three heaviest users, the accountant, the graphic artist and the President, and pass their three systems to the next three heaviest users and so on. That way your heavy users always have the fastest computers and your more modest users will be well served by “last year’s model”. A service technician can help with that for a lot less than a new computer.
What about upgrades? The quick answer is more memory and larger hard drives make sense, processors and motherboards don’t. A service technician can help you with this.
Stay away from refurbished computers! Yes they cost less. So do old cars. A four year old computer is like a ten year old car – kind’a like “dog years”. Many refurbished computers are computers that were leased 3+ years ago by a company and returned at the end of the lease. So they are already 3+ years old. On average, computers start breaking down after 3 years.