When to Buy a New Computer: 10 Signs It’s Time to Ditch Your Old PC

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Nothing lasts forever, not even your expensive, new state-of-the-art computer.

Knowing when to buy a new computer is half the battle with computer care and maintenance. After a while, those basic repairs and software updates add up. Then one day, you find that it takes 100 years for your computer to start up, load your apps, and handle all your daily tasks.

If you’re reading this, chances are your computer is already showing a few common signs of going downhill. If you want to learn more about the signs of needing a new computer, then keep reading.

When to Buy a New Computer

The average lifespan of a computer ranges from three to five years. This may seem unfairly short, especially when you factor in the price of today’s technology. However, once you understand how a computer ages, it’ll make a lot more sense.

Your computer’s hardware and internal components take a lot of physical brunt throughout their time of use. Think about how often you use your computer and all of the tasks you require it to handle—at once. While modern-day machines are expected to multitask at optimal levels, the high temperatures caused by the multitasking takes its toll on the internal components.

It’s safe to say that heat, although an indirect cause, is the primary cause of your computer’s inevitable downfall. The other causes include poor care, old age, and new computer technology that demands more from your once state-of-the-art machine. Some of these things can be remedied but eventually, it’ll be time to upgrade to a new PC.

When that time comes, you should think about visiting Lenovo.com.

The Signs You Need a New Computer

When handled with care and treated right, computers can live well past their intended expiration date. Of course, just because your computer is “functioning” doesn’t mean you should try to hang onto it forever. New computer technology will always win the battle over sentimental value.

Once your computer gets to be a certain age, it loses its capacity to keep up with hardware upgrades, and replacement parts are less and less available. The rule of thumb is that once you hit that five-year mark, you need to start evaluating how well your computer can keep up with the times.

When it’s time to upgrade, you’ll know because your computer will begin to exhibit the following signs:

It’s Running Slow—Really Slow

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If you’ve got a computer that’s running slow, don’t panic. At least not right away. Many things can make a computer run slow, including needing a software update, using up too much RAM, having a virus, broken parts, and even a spotty internet connection.

However, if you notice that your computer is running slow despite having checked all these things, especially during startup and shut down, it’s a sign that your old pal is on its way out. Another thing to take into consideration here is the age of your computer. Computers tend to slow down over the years, but it’s not an end-all situation.

If your computer is running slow, your first step should be to take it to a computer repair shop and see if it needs any repairs or physical upgrades that can extend its life.

Repair Costs Exceed Replacement Costs

Speaking of repairs—another sign that lets you know when to buy a new computer is the number of repairs it requires and their costs. The older your computer, the more costly its internal repairs will be. This is because technology—both the physical and the intangible—are constantly being innovated upon.

Once those repairs become more frequent and more costly, it’s time to cut your losses.

Upgrades Hurt Rather Than Help

Once again, evolving technology and aging are the most common factors in the demise of your computer. As your computer ages, upgrades may no longer be compatible with your model and its CPU. One incompatible upgrade can result in a situation where all of your computer’s hardware and components need to be replaced.

Not only will your computer cease to work properly, but you’ll have to resort to weighing your options between costly repairs and the cost of a replacement.

It’s Starting to Get Noisy

Most computers make noise—some more than others. Of course, over time, your computer’s fans and hard drive are the components that start getting louder than usual.

If you’re running the latest version of your operating system and applications, these very programs could be working your computer into the ground. This will also cause it to run warmer than usual as the fan tries to keep up.

Bottom line, the more strange noises you hear coming from your computer—and the louder they are—it’s time to check out the other options on the market.

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New Apps Aren’t Compatible.

App function affects gamers more than the rest of the free computer-using world. However, if you have a new app or game on your computer that won’t run like it’s supposed to, it’s yet another sign that your computer is ready to retire.

Non-working and slow-loading apps are usually attributed to old hardware and incompatible software installments. In most cases, you can upgrade your hardware, but upgrading can also bring on its own host of problems.

It Has Trouble Multitasking

Computers are designed to handle simultaneous tasks, especially computers designed for work and play. When your computer’s multitasking abilities begin to wither, it could mean that there’s an issue with your motherboard, RAM, or your processor. If the issue is only one of the three, there’s a good chance you can have the part repaired, replaced, or upgraded.

However, if the issue is your RAM, upgraded RAM may not work on an older motherboard. Once again, upgrading can cause more problems than you’re equipped to handle. So, if your computer is older and having trouble performing tasks simultaneously, it’s probably more worthwhile to sell it for parts and get a new one.

Your Peripherals Are Outdated

Computers and laptops alike went from using floppy disks to CD ROMs/DVDs, to SSD cards, hard drives, and so on. Adapters and cables are changing—even the headphone jacks are being left out.

Once you can no longer use your computer’s peripherals with your other smart devices, memory sticks, hard drive, and other items, it’s a sign that your entire computer is outdated.

Your Security Is Also Outdated

Usually, if your hardware and the newer version of your operating system are incompatible, your computer won’t even be eligible for an update. However, if they do happen to be compatible, that’s not necessarily a good thing.

The newer the operating system, the newer the security. Much of the new security out there for both PCs and Macs are biometric, which your hardware may not fully support. That means a security update or an operating system update may be installed but won’t offer your old computer the same level of protection as it can’t support certain accessories or plugins.

You must check for eligibility before any operating system upgrade. Even if your computer is eligible, you’ll want to consider its age and use that to decide whether it may be time for a new one, especially if it involves security updates.

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You Get Constant Error Messages

If you receive continuous pop-up error messages while you’re using your computer, it’s another sign of its downward spiral. The same goes for frequent freezing and the god awful blue screen of death.

Of course, these could all be signs that you have a virus, malware, or corrupt files in your operating system. Those kinds of problems can be fixed to an extent, but can also cause your computer to meet an early demise.

There’s Visible Wear and Tear

This one is more true for laptops, but it can still apply to desktops at some point. After a certain amount of time of carrying your laptop with you, the outer shell, screen, and keyboard will begin to wear down. Between taking it in and out of a backpack or carrying case, moving it from table to table, opening and closing it, typing away, it’s bound to lose its aesthetic appeal.

Outlets gather dust and debris. The lettering on your keyboard fades from the oils in your fingers. The edges may dent or chip, and the trackpad starts to stick. The worst-case scenario is that the hinges or screen may crack and break.

Your computer may show these visible signs of aging while its internal components are working just fine. However, repairing a broken screen or hinge can be costly and ill-advised if your computer is more than five years old since it’s inner workings are likely obsolete anyway.

It’s Time to Move On

If you’re not in the know-how of when to buy a new computer, you run the risk of yours crashing on you at the most inconvenient time—like during a presentation, for one example. Additionally, if your files aren’t backed up in the cloud or on an external hard drive, you also run the risk of losing all of your work and personal documents.

When it’s time to move on, it’s time to move on. There are plenty of affordable computer options on the market today, and it’s better to buy a new computer than have to pay for frequent repairs.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our website for more informative articles on all things technology.


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