We use computers for everything from checking email, work, school affairs and more. But as your computer ages, it becomes more difficult to install new programs and operating system updates. Tap or click here to see how Microsoft’s end of support for Windows 7 is impacting users.
So, why not have a computer you can rely on? How old is yours, and how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye and hello to new technologies? Upgrading your old computer may give you more speed and storage space, but will it do what you want it to do?
You don’t want to put new components into an old system if that isn’t going to result in a like-new system. So maybe it’s time to switch to a new machine. Here are a few reasons why it might be time.
1. Operating system / security updates
With the release of Windows 11 later this year, you’re probably wondering if your old PC is compatible. Your machine will need to meet certain minimum requirements. Tap or click here to find out if your PC can run Windows 11.
Windows 10 is a much better operating system than its previous options Windows 8, Windows 7 and older. Windows 11 will certainly be even better. By upgrading to a new computer, you are sure to have access to the latest Windows operating system, all security upgrades, and cool new features.
If your old PC can’t run Windows 11, it’s a good idea to go ahead and find your next computer. You don’t want to stay dry like Windows 7 users who no longer receive support. Want to upgrade to a laptop? Tap or click here to take our quiz and find the one that’s right for you.
2. The programs are not compatible
Having an older computer and not being able to upgrade to the latest operating system leads to a whole new set of problems – programs that are no longer compatible.
Programs that you are currently using, such as Microsoft Office, may no longer work. For example, a 2012 Macbook Pro will not run the latest version of Microsoft Office if the operating system cannot be upgraded. Many newer programs have minimum requirements that your old machine might not be able to meet.
This is often the case with many games that you may like. For those who like newer versions of the game, you may not be able to play it on your current machine. These days, games are all downloaded from the internet and will require minimal RAM space, some graphics, and more overall space on your computer.
How big is your hard drive? A recommended minimum size is 500GB if you save a lot of documents, want tons of games, or enjoy downloading music and movies. If you fall into this category, it’s probably time to get a new computer with more storage space.
3. Cost of hardware replacement (RAM, hard drive, etc.)
When it comes to replacing components like RAM, hard drives (whether you want a traditional or SSD), graphics card, motherboard, etc., each part can be very expensive. For example, upgrading your RAM from 8GB to 16GB (to give you more space and faster speeds) can cost anywhere from $ 100 to $ 300.
If you had to add up the cost of each piece of hardware you want to upgrade, you might be better off buying a new computer. Another cost after purchasing hardware is finding someone to install it if you’re not tech-savvy. Do you know a reliable IT department? Would you be confident in giving your machine to someone you don’t know?
Instead of incurring the high costs of hardware replacement, buying a new PC or Mac might be the way to go. You will be better off in the long run and have a new machine that will last for years.
4. What is this strange noise?
Normally, a computer won’t make a lot of noise. You may hear a faint hissing from the fan or the gentle meanders of thought from the hard drive.
But keep your ears open for unusual sounds, including squeaking, clicking, or clicking noises. These can all be telltale signs of unavoidable hard drive failure.
First of all, make sure to back up all the data that you want to keep on the hard drive. Then you can decide whether it’s worth replacing the drive with a new one or cutting your losses and going for a brand new machine.
You can expect the average lifespan of your machine to be between 3 and 5 years. In most cases, if you hear strange noises coming from your computer, you had better buy a new one. Especially if it’s over 5 years old, go ahead and treat yourself to a new PC or Mac, and you’ll be surfing with peace of mind for years to come.
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