Just because your work computer has begun freezing or slowing down doesn’t mean it’s time to get a replacement. Your machine might simply be running low on memory, lagging from too much bloatware, or in need of a speed hack or two. So what are the signs you should buy a new computer? Here are some of them:
1. Turning it on and off takes time
Unless your computer is going through a major software update, starting up and shutting down should take no longer than a minute or two. If each of these two processes takes about five minutes or more to finish, then your machine may be a little too old.
Don’t get us wrong — overly long startup and shutdown times can be caused by other factors, too. But if deleting unnecessary files or uninstalling redundant applications causes little to no improvement, you should consider a new and faster computer.
2. Its fans are getting overworked
Fans prevent the central processing unit (CPU) on your laptop or desktop computer from overheating. The more complex the tasks you do on your computer, the harder the CPU works and the hotter it becomes. This causes the fans to spin faster, producing a buzzing sound and sensation on your machine that’s hard to miss.
How fast the fans spin is a good indication of how well your computer is handling your computing demands. If you feel the fans buzzing even when you’re performing simple tasks, it could mean the CPU can no longer cope and needs an upgrade or replacement.
3. Your applications are too slow
More recent software versions require computing power that old computers simply cannot provide. If you try to run them on an outdated machine, the applications may load too slowly or not work at all.
Before installing an application, make sure your machine meets the software’s minimum system requirements to prevent problems. Consider replacing your computer if it can no longer support many of the apps you use often.
4. It’s incompatible with new hardware
You may decide that simply upgrading your computer’s components makes more sense than getting one entirely new machine. This may not be so easy to do with some crucial parts, such as the CPU or motherboard, however.
Newer components tend to be incompatible with old computers. Ultimately, you may have to replace more parts than you expected and spend more money than if you just bought a new machine.
5. Its security is outdated
The newest Windows and Mac operating system (OS) versions pack more security features than their predecessors, but may be too heavy for old computers. Older OS versions shouldn’t be an option either, especially if their support has already ended. For instance, although your old laptop can still run Windows 7 — which ended support in January 2020 — you will no longer receive crucial security updates. This puts you at greater risk of suffering a cyberattack.
New computers are capable of running new OS and more recent versions of important cybersecurity tools. They also usually come with nifty security features. Recent MacBooks, for example, boast advanced biometric features that make user logins more secure.
6. Repair costs more than replacement
You lose money every time your computer malfunctions. Not only do you have to spend on repair and needed parts, but you also have to factor in the cost of the resulting downtime. If these costs end up being higher than the price of a new computer, then replacement should be in order.
How long should you wait before you buy a new computer?
Your computer’s life span will depend on several factors, including its make and components, as well as where and how you use it. But on average, office computers are replaced every three to five years. In many cases, these machines are replaced not because they don’t work, but because they are no longer as efficient as they need to be.
Should you throw away your old computers?
Many businesses donate their old computers to libraries, schools, and nonprofits. You can do the same or repurpose them into guest computers, network-attached servers, and more. This lets you get more from your computers and helps reduce the number of machines that end up in landfills each year.
You can also turn to us. At Tech Squared, we offer proactive service and maintenance to ensure that your computers and the rest of your IT system are in top shape and optimized for your business needs. Our experts can also help you maximize the returns from your investments in hardware and software. Download this free eBook and discover the many ways we can give your business a boost.