Knowing whether to extend a computers life or replacing it is an important tool for a client. Giving our clients the facts on this process is important for them, so they can make the correct choice regarding their computer system. In many events, we can extend the life of a system with simple upgrades, like adding memory or even replacing the hard drive disk (HDD) to a solid-state drive (SSD).
The problem, the diagnosis
Each computer is built with multiple components, understanding each component can also help in diagnosis and the ending decision as well. Knowing whether the problem is software or hardware related can also help in the decision, but also the ending cost of replacement or upgrade.
Sometimes the answer is a simple software uninstall/reinstall or even running an anti-malware check on the computer system, which we recommend Emsisoft Emergency Kit. Another major problem can be the operating system (OS) which could become corrupted and reinstalling the OS can fix many issues. Sometimes the issue is compatibility with either OS or software where it no longer works with your current hardware and causes multiple issues with your computer system.
In the times when you are unable to narrow down the issue of your computer system, it is important to trust a company or person with the diagnosis. Intrust Culligan Technology LLC we can complete a full software and hardware diagnosis and give a cost analysis in estimates on upgrade, refurbishment, or even total replacement.
Knowing the numbers
Once we have a diagnosis of the system we can begin to calculate the costs. The first step is to always factor in the age of a computer system as this will help to determine what upgrades are even available. Then we utilize the rule of three which is if it is worth upgrading the memory, storage, or video card can bring more performance without bottleneck issues on the motherboard. We never recommend upgrading the motherboard or CPU on older equipment, but rather focus on replacing with more current technology in a refurbished setting.
While many will ask what the difference between a refurbished and new system is the answer is simple. Most refurbished systems is the replacement of the motherboard, CPU, and memory while your new system focuses on replacing all the hardware. In many regards having the three estimates can help in making the decision in which like for an example your upgrade is $200, refurbished is $550, and new is $800 you can make the determination on what to do. In this case, I would go with the upgrade especially if the diagnosis doesn't show a bottleneck for performance to happen on the motherboard and CPU level.
Most computer systems last roughly 5 years before upgrade or refurbishment is needed, but also knowing what you buy in the start helps as well. You can't expect a Wal-Mart purchase to last years most of the time when they usually sell overstock product from 1~4 years aged system with usually the bare minimum system requirements for the OS itself. When a system is has reached the age of 7 years this is when we start to recommend refurbishment and/or new computer systems as technology has usually made advancements that modern software will require for smooth operation.
On a personal note, I have not purchased a new system in 14 years, but have refurbished my personal system every 5 years. Always focusing on replacing the motherboard, CPU, memory and as needed power supply and video card. With the utilization of an SSD for OS operation and high-end HDD for storage, the systems have always allowed a higher peak performance out of my personal systems. And as someone who focuses on cybersecurity always recommend utilizing a high-end anti-malware software (Emsisoft, BitDefender, Thor) along with a good solid 3rd party update software.
We encourage all readers to look at their system today and decide what it is they need from them along with what they want the system to do. Once you figure that out utilize your system performance/activity monitor to determine your needs and allow Culligan Technology LLC to meet those needs!
Thanks for reading this blog post and we hope to have you read future installments!