Byte Me Article 166 – Don’t swap obsolete for slower (Replacing XP)

Don’t Swap Obsolete for Slower (Replacing XP)

The rush to replace Windows XP computers before the 8th of April (next month) has continued and the last two articles that I have written have documented why this is the case.  I am now getting lots of people writing in to the email address at the bottom of these articles, and lots of people coming in to our shop asking us what they should buy to replace their old PC’s.

I you are still using a Windows XP computer then chances are that you don’t need a PC with a lot of power, or maybe you don’t use a PC very much – or the thought of change is not a nice one!  This has also shown to be the case with all of the sales we have been making lately to replace XP machines.  This is fine and there are still plenty of new PC alternatives in the lower budget segment of the market as well as tips and tricks to reduce the number of changes.  Therefore this article will be directed toward the replacement of an XP computer.

2014-03-22 Byte Me Article 166 - Replacing XP

There are two main points that you need to keep in mind. 1) Most modern PC’s have heaps of computing power, however most modern brand name PC’s are loaded up with heaps of junk & trial software which soon erodes the power they have so they run slowly as a result. 2) Some of the budget PC offerings do have a low power CPU or insufficient ram to run well – no matter how well configured they are.  Let’s look at the first point.

If we get a brand name PC (laptop or desktop) into the shop we can normally uninstall more than 20 individual installations of junk or trial software.  These are mostly the sort of programs that pop up a screen every time you turn your PC on, asking for you to pay money to register them or asking for your feedback or intervention in some form.  Apart from the annoyance factor these pieces of junk software conspire to cause your PC to run slowly and even in some cases unreliably.

When we sell a laptop we go to the trouble of professionally uninstalling all of this junk before the customer even sees the laptop.  When we sell one of our own desktop PC’s, none of this software is ever used.  We have even had customers that have purchased a PC elsewhere bring it in for us to complete this work.  When done properly the above work has the effect of at least doubling the speed of the PC.  Now to the second point.

In an attempt to offer a low cost PC and still maintain a high profit margin we see a lot of retailers offering budget PC’s with low power AMD or Intel Atom CPU’s and as little as 2GB of system ram.  Do not purchase anything in this category!  In fact, your 7 year old XP computer could be more powerful than one of the above machines.  Look for something with at least an Intel Pentium G series CPU and a minimum of 4GB of system ram.  The Intel i3 CPU’s are more powerful again and are still classed as budget or entry level CPU with the Intel i5’s as middle of the road and Intel i7’s as top of the range.

As for the concerns about change.  It in near impossible to buy a new laptop or desktop nowadays without having 8.1 on it.  For those that don’t like change the ‘only’ thing they have been hearing about 8 and 8.1 is that it is ‘difficult to use’ and doesn’t look anything like what they are used to.  However, both 8 and 8.1 are brilliant operating systems which are more stable and reliable than anything before them.  They CAN also be made to look, feel and drive like the ‘traditional’ versions of Windows (such as XP) with a normal START menu and normal desktop icons.

Also keep in mind that if we can get an old computer into our shop that is still running then we can largely duplicate all of the most commonly used programs and icons that users have on their desktop across to the new Windows 8.1 PC. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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