Is My Computer Dead? Is It Time for a New PC?

is your computer oldRemember when you were growing up and you had a VCR? I remember driving to the video store (Blockbuster and a few local ones) with my parents and walking thru those aisles staring at all those VHS tapes with wonder. So many movies, so little time. I used to think that our VCR was so cutting edge. What could possible replace it? Well how about DVDs? I saw all my friends getting DVD players and I would say “I don’t need a DVD player, my VCR still works perfectly!” Well computers are similar. We get phone calls at Boxaid and we find many customers asking if we can make their computer faster. Yes, 95% of the time our computer tune-up services will definitely speed up a slow computer. But occasionally, we find that a customer’s computer may be a bit too old. Our techs will definitely let you know if your computer is dead or a tune-up will restore your PC performance. Read on to find out if it’s time to trade in your old computer for a new PC with all the bells and whistles.

How Old Is your Current Computer?

old calendar fix your pcWe ask Boxaid customers all the time, “How old is your current computer?” Some customers say they have no idea. Some customers say “A few years old” Any computer over five years old is definitely considered on the older side. But that does not mean the computer is dead. It just means its a bit older. With the way technology moves today anything older than three years old can sometimes be considered old. But as long as the computer is performing well and your documents and web surfing are not not moving like molasses than five years old is not the end of the world.
But if you like to install a lot of apps and do some serious gaming then a computer older than three years may be cutting it close. If you use your computer for editing images and storing a lot of photos then yes, older than five years and you may be cutting it close. It really comes down to what you use your computer for. Checking email and browsing the Internet can be done easily with a five year old computer.

How much memory does your Computer have?

old memory sticksHands down one of the most important factors when it comes to speed, is how much memory your computer has. If you were on a budget when you bought your computer several years ago then most likely you have only 4GB (gigabytes) of memory. If you are getting ready to buy one today that you want to last for a few years you ideally want at least 8GB of memory. You can still buy computers today with only 4GB of memory but we highly recommend you spend the extra $80 and get a computer with a MINIMUM of 8GB of memory regardless of what you plan on using it for. Especially now that all Windows computers come with Windows 10. Windows 10, running only the operating system and nothing else can be a hog and 8GB is the minimum needed to make your new computer feel snappy. Here’s a simple chart to make sense of how much memory you need:

How Fast is Your Processor?

After the amount of memory you have installed, the speed of your processor is intel processor i5 equally important to deciding how if your computer is dead and if it’s time to move on to a new PC or not. A CPU’s (central processing unit) speed is critical to how fast your computer performs. If you bought a computer five years ago it should be around 1.7GHz in terms of speed. 1.7GHz means it can process 1.7 billion tasks per second. Now to a human that may seem really fast. But when you are gaming and visiting modern websites, believe it or not its not that fast.
Nevertheless, a 1.7 GHz or slower processor can be decent if you make up for it with 8GB of memory or more. But if you are stuck at 4GB of memory and your PC is dragging while you are on Facebook then it may be time to upgrade your PC. When looking at a new PC consider a slightly more expensive CPU that’s at least an Intel i5 processor with a 3GHz speed or more. This will make sure that your PC is future proof for the next five years.

What Kind of Hard Drive do You Have?

old hard drive slow computerIf you bought your PC five years ago or more, you likely have a traditional hard drive with moving parts and platters. That is fine but they do have a shelf life. We have seen these older drives last anywhere from 5 to 10 years. Eventually they do die and all data on them dies with it. If your computer is freezing more frequently and you are getting hard drive error messages or even worse like blue screens then your hard drive may be trying to tell you something. Make sure you are backing up your pictures and documents so you can restore them if your hard drive decides to say goodbye.
If you are getting error messages or signs that are indicative of hard drive failure then it may be time for a new computer if your PC is showing its age. Rest assured, its time to get a modern hard drive that is SSD (solid state drive) that has no moving parts. No moving parts means less things that can fall on your hard drive. In addition, they are blazing fast. Optionally, if you don’t want to splurge on a new computer then you can remove your existing dying hard drive and upgrade to an SSD drive which will definitely give you a nice performance boost if the rest of the computer is older. A new SSD drive will have your Windows 10 box humming if you are running other older hardware.

What Other Parts are Important?

There are of course several other factors that will help you identify if it is time for a new PC. Are you sick of staring at a small screen? Do you want to do some more photo editing? These are thing you can consider for your new PC but if you don’t plan on changing your usage habits then don’t go crazy with major upgrades. But below are some other factors you can consider if you are upgrading your PC. Either way, the expert technicians at Boxaid will be able to tell you if we can fix your computer or if it is time for a new one.
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