The longevity of a computer is always up for debate. On average, desktop computers effectively last five to eight years with most experts estimating a laptop’s lifespan to be three to five years, depending on the upgrading components, software upgrades maintenance practices, and general care provided. Some workstations can survive longer, but their range of tasks and utilities tend to decrease and become more and more limited as the components become less capable of running advanced applications.
Here are 8 signs You may Need a New Computer:
STARTUP AND SHUTDOWN ARE SLOW.
Overly long startup and shutdown times can be caused by other factors, like a major software update, or too many applications set to load automatically and run in the background. But starting up and shutting down should take no longer than a minute or two. Deleting unnecessary files or uninstalling redundant applications could help, but if you see no improvement after some cleaning up, and if starting up or shutting down takes five minutes or more to finish, then your machine may be a showing sign of its age and you may want to consider upgrading to a new (faster) computer.
THE COMPUTER’S FANS ARE GETTING NOISY.
How fast the fans spin is a good indication of how well your computer is handling your processing demands. Frequently, the first issue to signal a computer’s impending demise is the fan running loudly even when it is not performing intensive computing tasks. If you are running the latest version of an application or operating system, they could be maxing out the hardware constraints of your computer, causing it to heat up and run warmer than usual.
YOUR APPLICATIONS ARE RUNNING SLOW
If you try to run the newest versions of applications on an outdated machine, the applications may run too slowly to work properly or not work at all. Running two or more applications simultaneously or upgrading software versions often require additional computing power and older computers just can’t provide what they don’t have.
Before installing an application, make sure your machine meets the software’s minimum system requirements to prevent issues. Be sure to check on the minimum component requirements for all applications because using the bare minimum for a single app may not cut it for all the applications. Consider replacing your computer if it can no longer support the applications you use most often.
PERIPHERALS AREN’T SUPPORTED | COMPATIBILITY ISSUES WITH NEW HARDWARE
Nothing ages a computer faster than the other gadgets you want to use it with. There are usually workarounds or aftermarket adapters you can try to get things working, but nothing beats just being able to plug and play.
There are also times when upgrading one of a computer’s components is more cost-effective than getting an entirely new machine. But quite often, newer components tend to be incompatible with an older computer and you find yourself in a situation where you are now replacing many elements to make it work, thus contradicting the cost-effectiveness of just upgrading to a newer model after all.
SECURITY IS COMPROMISED.
As the years pass, older operating systems end their updates and support causing a significant security risk to the user. The newest Windows and Mac operating system (OS) versions are full of the latest security features and tend to pack more in than their predecessors, which can be too heavy a burden for old computers to bear.
If your current hardware is not compatible with the newest versions of an operating system, it may be time to purchase a new system to run to be able to run the newest most secure OS and keep safe from cyber-attacks. Check Windows and Mac compatibility to ensure the machines you use are eligible for updates.
THE HEAVYWEIGHTS ARE OUT
New laptops don’t require your team to lug around a behemoth of a machine anymore. When staff can take their device with them wherever they may need to work and quickly open their device, tackle a few tasks, and move on to the next item, productivity surges!
CHEAPER TO REPLACE THAN TO REPAIR
There will always be things that may need repair while owning a computer: A cracked screen/new monitor, the keyboard stops working, need to replace the trackpad or mouse… A computer repair will almost always be cheaper than a replacement, but if the repair will cost 50-70% of the cost of a replacement, or You Spend More Time Fixing It Than Using It, then you now need to consider the age and condition of the machine before deciding. Continual support costs, as well as lost productivity downtime from continual repairs also cost money and should be factored into the decision.
However, some repairs may come close to or exceed the cost of a new computer, depending on the specific components being replaced. If that’s the case, you’re only prolonging the inevitable, and you’re better off purchasing a new device.
YOU’RE RUNNING OUT OF SPACE
If your hard drive is getting low on space, and RAM is all in use when only have few applications open, and your CPU usage is routinely hitting 80% or more, then you are reaching the limits of what your system can do. You can buy a little more time by adding an external hard drive and some more RAM (if it isn’t already maxed out), but ultimately an upgrade won’t be too far off.
Every day, your business depends on information technology (IT) to operate. Thank you for letting us be there for you.
Braver Technology Solutions | WeMakeITWork@BraverTechnology.com
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