When Should I Replace My Computer
When customers ask me whether it’s worth fixing their computers, I am often faced with a dilemma. The correct answer, for many of them, is that they need to replace their machines. But it’s an expense they may not want. At the same time, I don’t want to come off sounding like I don’t want to help them, and that the first thing to do is always replace them.
My rule of thumb has been, if the machine is over 3 years old, it’s probably better to replace it. Why? Because there’s a certain point at which you’re spending good money after bad. It’s usually not worth spending money on fixing an old machine, when the replacement cost is not much more than the repair cost.
Today, I saw an article on Yahoo! Finance that says just that.
“4. Computers and Electronics
Computers break – frequently. So do the myriad of electronic devices we have around our homes, such as CD players, GPS units, televisions and alarm clocks. Electronic devices can be expensive to fix, and often, impossible to fix. As the price of most electronics continues to decrease while the features and capabilities increase, it is often not worth the cost to repair them. This applies doubly to computers.
As new programs and online applications grow in size and complexity, they take up more memory. Older computers often cannot keep up after three or four years. While new memory can be added and minor repairs and disc cleanups can be made, using a clunky four-year-old computer often takes more time than it is worth. If time equals money for you, buying a new computer is often the best choice if the existing one is more than a few years old.”
This is especially true for business computers, where time really is money. The costs involved in fixing old machines, really can be more than the cost of replacing them. With the advent of Cloud Computing, a lot of old data doesn’t even really need to be migrated anymore. It lives in the Cloud, and can just be downloaded again. And if data needs to be migrated from the old machine to the new, we (or your IT service provider) can typically help with that.