When is it time to get a new computer?

When is it time to get a new computer?

As powerful some devices claim to be, they don’t last forever. Your trusted desktop PCs will eventually warrant replacement.

This is inevitable for both Mac and PC users, though some may argue for Macs having a longer life span (mainly due to Apple’s strong service support).

Regardless of the developer, most computers last between five and eight years, with a minimum life span of three years. Desktop computers typically outlive laptops due to their more customizable components, allowing users to upgrade or configure elements of their hardware when necessary.

If you’re not sure whether it’s time to buy an upgrade, we’ve outlined some of the most telling signs your device is in need of replacement.

Slow performance

One of the greatest signs of an aging computer is sluggish performance. This can encompass plenty of functions, from loading applications to simply booting up your device. For businesses, this can lead to significant dips in worker productivity.

Old computers also commonly struggle with multitasking, resulting in noticeable performance drops when attempting to switch from one program to another (or in some cases, even among open tabs in a web browser).

It’s important to note, however, that slow performance during certain tasks may point to RAM-related issues rather than problems with the computer as a whole. If your machine is specifically designed for simple tasks such as web browsing or word documents, it will naturally struggle to keep up with more intensive programs, such as those related to video editing and web design.

Compatibility issues

Hardware and software updates are a must for any device, but if your computer starts rejecting these changes, it’s a likely sign that it has run its course.

Users commonly employ hard drive or RAM replacements to improve their PC’s overall power and performance, but older models may not be capable of handling these upgrades. The same goes for software. As programs continue to advance, users need the latest applications to keep their skills and communication methods up-to-date.

Unfortunately, outdated computers aren’t built to run more modern, advanced programs. Should such apps grow increasingly necessary in your work, replacing your device becomes critical.

Poor, outdated security

With cybercrimes skyrocketing in recent years — predicted to cost up to $3 trillion in global damages by 2021 — security has become an utmost priority for both businesses and individual users.

A glaring risk to using old computers is their inability to fend off the latest security threats. Most operating systems (OS) have an end-of-life date, marking the end of its developer support, including regular system updates and security patches. If your computer is ultimately incompatible with the latest OS, your data is left vulnerable to sophisticated hacker attacks.

Regardless of OS updates, old computers can also typically face incompatibility issues with the latest security software. As data breach methods grow evermore advanced, new, complex security measures are required to keep your systems safe. If your outdated machines can’t meet new cybersecurity requirements, you’re overdue for a replacement.

It may cost less to replace than to repair

With age comes inevitable hardware damage and deterioration. A major sign of this is when the computer’s fans produce strange noises or if your entire CPU is overheating.

A common course of action is to invest in hardware repairs, though these expenses can eventually come close (or in some cases, exceed) the cost of simply replacing your machine.

As your computer nears its life expectancy, there’s little point to delaying the inevitable. Purchasing a new one not only leads to more efficient performance, but also saves you hours in company productivity, resulting in greater business profits.

Keeping your IT systems up to date leads to worker efficiency and helps you maintain your competitive edge. InTouch IT’s consulting services can help you make the most informed, cost-effective, and strategic IT solutions required for your business. Let us help you meet your business goals — inquire with our experts today.

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