Byte Me #53 Know when to replace your PC – Busting common computer myths

13 August, 2011

I am often hearing – “my computer must be near full of my files as it always runs slow” or “it should be almost new as I only use it once a week for 10 minutes” or “when you buy a new one it is already out of date” or “I am just waiting for the new blah blah computers to come out”.  So many of these phrases are myths or misinformation.

Computers don’t run slow because of the number of user files saved on them, unless they are in fact completely full, in which case they will slow to the point of being unusable.  Whether you have 10 documents and 10 photos on your PC or 10,000 of each will make no difference to the speed of the PC.  Software programs on the other hand will make a huge difference to the speed and having 100 software programs installed rather than just 20 or 30 can make a PC literally 2 or 3 times slower to use.

Computers are unlike a shaving razor and don’t necessarily wear out from use.  So if you only use your PC for 10 minutes a week you can’t necessarily expect it to last any longer than one that is used 8 hours a day every day.  As an example we see servers (with good quality components and a UPS) lasting for 5 years without ever being turned off and on the other hand cheap budget laptops and PC’s breaking down after only a few months – quality and surge protection makes all the difference!

Certainly some of the computers on the shelf – especially in the big chain stores may have been manufactured 6 months prior and yes – that is a long time in the IT industry, so you could be buying something already “out of date”.  However the majority of PC’s for sale will be very modern and in most cases could not be compared to what the customer is currently using, particularly if it is 3 years old or more.

The IT industry is developing new products all the time and some devices are “breakthrough technologies” such as the first smart phones and electronic books (ebooks) with flashy new names or acronyms.  However with standard computer & laptop hardware mostly each new development is just a gradual ramping up of the overall speed of the PC by 5% or 10% – however when added up over the space of 3 years for instance this can represent an improvement of 500% or more!  As a result, I have never understood a customer saying – “I am just waiting for blah blah to come out and then I will buy one” when they are battling with a 6 year old PC that should have been replaced 3 years ago.

What’s worse is that in a business situation where a slow PC is holding up work, for every 15minutes a day it slows you down it will cost the business $125/month (using average wages) which roughly equates to the lease/rental repayments on $5000 worth of new IT gear!  In the majority of business situations, PC’s should be replaced every 3 years – or they are costing you more than you think.  In a home situation it more comes back to what level of frustration you are willing to put up with and what your budget constraints are.  Kerr Solutions is at 128 Musgrave Street & is contactable on 49 222 400.


2011-08-13 Byte Me Article 53 - Modern PC's


  • February 20, 2014