Upgrading a Computer: How Long Should A Desktop Computer Last?
Summary: This 2-1/2 minute article explains what you need to know about upgrading a computer before your system slows down and affects productivity. Don’t wait for your old computers to fail. Instead, contact GEEKAID Computer and Network Support at https://www.geek-aid.com/ to schedule a hardware services analysis.
One of the side effects of the current remote access hybrid work environment is that employees working from home might not be tech-savvy enough to know when their work-from-home-hardware is showing signs of age. Working on the same desktop or laptop computer every day, most remote users could take a while before realizing that their technology is slowing their work down. Do your SMB’s remote users know when to upgrade, repair or replace computer hardware?
Here are some basic questions to ask when evaluating the state of your SMB’s computer hardware:
- Is Your Hardware Still Under Warranty? – If your computer hardware is still under a manufacturer’s warranty, report any suspected issues to the warranty issuer as soon as possible. Good computers will typically outlast their warranty periods. If they begin to malfunction after the warranty has expired, you must decide if the machines are worth repairing or whether it is time to buy new hardware. One primary consideration is whether your old computers will support updated or new operating systems. Current, updated operating systems are one of the basic tenets of a secure network.
- Are You Able To Install and Update Software? – As computing power continues to grow, software developers create programs that cannot run properly on old systems. The more robust the software, the more processing power and memory are required for them to operate. Also, developers try to stay in step with cyber security issues by including security fixes in upgrades of existing software and incorporating them into new programs. As a result, the cost of upgrading a computer or replacing it with a new one is far less than the cost of a severe cyberattack.
- Is Your SMB’s Productivity Waning Lately? – Your employees might not notice that they are producing work at a slower pace. Likewise, a user working on the same computer every day might not notice a gradual slowdown of computer functions. Unfortunately, most users don’t report problems until their system fails and they cannot work. By then, it is often too late, and the loss of work output far outweighs repair costs. The result is a reduction in productivity or, worse, a cyberattack on your hard-earned data. If SMB owners could predict the future, most would repair or replace computers before such events occur.
To Repair or Replace? How Do You Know?
Although there are exceptions, most IT experts believe that once a computer is 3-5 years old, it is only a matter of time before it fails in some way. However, a laptop’s life expectancy is often shorter as mobility adds to the wear and tear on the machine. Also, upgrading and expandability are limited due to size, and physical repairs are more complicated than they are for desktop computers.
After the 3- to 5-year period or the past, the warranty period, hardware upgrading and replacement become a priority. Hard drive failures and bad memory become more likely as time passes. Therefore, it is a standard best practice to have secure backups of your company’s data in case of a system failure or data breach.
Some repairs can be inexpensive. However, it is essential to have IT professionals evaluate what needs to be repaired and if the rest of your system is up to date. New hard drives and replacement of other components and system updates can often be cost-effective and straightforward fixes.
Upgrading a Computer is Sometimes Enough
Some simple upgrades can enhance computer performance:
- Adding Memory – The addition of Random Access Memory or RAM can substantially improve computer performance. The functional difference between a system with 4 GB RAM vs. 16 GB RAM is substantial. As the size of programs continues to grow, the addition of RAM can afford the user significantly faster performance.
- Replacing Hard Disk Drives – Hard Disk Drives (HDD) are memory disks that spin to locate, read and write data. As they do with all mechanical devices, moving parts wear out over time. Replacing older, slower Hard Disks with new, faster ones is an option. However, if you replace your storage memory with a Solid State Drive or SSD, you will achieve faster writing and reading speeds and have no moving parts to wear out. If your HDD is performing well, you still have the option of adding an SSD without removing the hard drive.
IT professionals Can Do Onsite Upgrades and Replacements
Before wasting money on expensive repairs or replacements, it is wise to enlist IT consulting services to help you make an informed and cost-conscious decision.
GEEK-AID® Computer and Network Support specializes in customized computer network installation, upgrades, maintenance and repair for small to midsized businesses. GEEK-AID®'s team of experts is comprised of top specialists in different areas of IT services, serving clients onsite and remotely for Macs, PCs and all your connected devices, including new ones that are part of the ever-expanding IoT. They can answer all your IT questions from “How to find saved passwords on Macs?” to “When do I need to upgrade my company’s hardware?” More importantly, when your business network goes down, they will perform onsite computer repairs if required. And the GEEK-AID® team doesn't clock out at five o'clock on Friday. They are available to you 24/7, remotely or in person, to ensure your computers, network and data stay up-to-date, healthy and secure. As your business grows, expands its network and adds more devices such as smart controls, smart devices, wireless access and remote access, your network's cybercrime vulnerability and need for cyber security will grow, too. In addition to maintaining the hardware, software and security, employee training and regular IT support must be ongoing. New users and new devices will require additional training to use those devices efficiently. Hardware and software installation and maintenance, repair, cyber security and network protection are inter-related concerns. They must be addressed consistently and proactively to best support the seamless operation of your company, minimizing costly and time-consuming mistakes.
Call (877) GEEK-AID (877-433-5243) to discuss how they can design, maintain and secure your SMB computer network with the correct, up-to-date hardware for your company.