Byte Me #11 When is the right time to upgrade a PC?

24 April, 2010

A lot of people ask me “how often should I upgrade my PC”?  Obviously there is no one answer to this question as it is a bit like asking “how often should I change over my car”.  A few things need to be considered.  How much do you use your PC, what do you use it for and how well is it running?  If it is a few years old but you only occasionally use the internet to check for emails and do some browsing and it is running fine then an upgrade will not benefit you at all – it will have no effect on the speed of your internet which is governed by your internet plan.  If you are a power user and run lots of applications (like accounting packages or databases) on your PC then you will need a new PC more often, just like a travelling salesperson would replace their car more regularly.  Even if you are a student meeting assignment deadlines, or you rely on your PC for point of sale, income generation or to complete regular vital work then you will also need to upgrade more often.  In any case a computer that is constantly crashing, freezing or rebooting is a source of frustration we don’t need.  In this instance, simple maintenance, virus removal, maybe more RAM and a tidy up is all that is needed.

However, sometimes the PC is too old or has had a power surge and replacement is the best option.  Also the cost of labour required to fix a PC needs to be considered as does the cost of just leaving the problem unchecked.   I have even seen business customers put up with a badly performing PC for years simply because either the “Boss” didn’t have to use it or they simply dreaded the hassles associated with the changeover to a new one.  What has this cost?  If it holds you up by just 30 mins a day (which a crashing PC can) then at an employee cost of even $25/hour it is costing the business a staggering $250/month – about the same as a 3 year rental or lease on $10,000 worth of new IT gear!!!  The other mistake is to say “I’m going to wait until my old PC dies first” – a bit like driving a car until it stops – when and where is it going to leave you stranded and what about your data?  Yes you should have a complete and up-to-date regular backup of everything but now you need a replacement PC fast and are likely to just grab one off the shelf that is not suited to your requirements.  Again I see new customers every week that have grabbed a “bargain” or purchased “any old PC” only to find that it just will not work on their network or it has the wrong software and it is now too late to take it back.  A bad purchase can waste a LOT of money and time – as an example, remember that there are many operating system versions (with both Vista & Windows 7) and they differ for a reason.

Computers were invented to be your slave – not the reverse, so if you are getting frustrated with yours then take it to an expert for repair or replacement.  Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.

2010-04-24 Byte Me Article 11 - When to upgrade

  • February 17, 2014