When we are asked the question “Should I upgrade or buy a new computer?” The most common response we give is “it depends…” This is not always what people want to hear because of the ambiguity of our reply. But generally it is true. From our perspective it depends on a few, but very important factors which we will outline below.
Current Computer Age
The current computing speed, power, series (make or model) and “upgrade-ability” of your computer can weigh heavily on our recommendation. Reason being, you may have a computer that is less than two years old, and the series may be under a service attachment, warranty, or recall alert that you are unaware of. Many people are unaware of warranty packages that are attached the their computer when they purchase it. To add to that, in the computing world there is something called Moore’s Law which is basically the theory that the speed and power of computer devices doubles approximately every two years.
We try to implement a 50% rule in our shop. If the cost of a repair is equal to or supersedes the cost of purchasing a new or refurbished $300 computer, we will advise you of the options and recommend the new purchase. Our reasoning behind it is simple we (like most repair shops) can only warranty our repair for as long as 90 days from the time of pickup. With a new computer purchase, the minimum is one (1) year manufacturers warranty, with a refurbished computer the warranty is 90 days with many companies offering an extension for a minimal fee. If you are spending less than $150 to breath another year or two of life back in to your old computer, then it is a worth while investment. If you are receiving a higher quote, you might want to consider other options like BestBuy.com or TigerDirect.com for your next purchase. If you have not purchased a computer in a while, you might be surprised at the sea change in pricing.
Once you have taken into consideration the age of your computer, and how much money you would be willing to invest into purchasing a new or refurbished computer the final motivating factor in most cases is computer usage. If you are interested in the technical perspective of your computer purchase, a quick Google search should give you what you are looking for. We like to simplify the technical part as much as possible. Here is our “Non-Technical” computer buying guide:
Two is your magic number… at least Two and above for example “Core TWO Duo”, “Two Gigahertz” or more etc. Most processors on the market now have more than enough processing power for average to mid-level computing. If you need something above average (for work or something else) try to find out what type of processor you need and add .5 to the speed of the processor you want to purchase.
Hard Drive Size
(Not to be confused with Memory): The more the merrier. Hard Drives store your data such as pictures, documents, videos and the like. The larger the hard drive the more data you can store on it. The objective is to get the largest size hard drive for the least amount of money.
Think of Memory (also known as Ram) as a waiter at a restaurant, if you have one waiter serving you food your food will only appear on your table as fast as your waiter. If you have two, three, four or six waiters, the moment you order your food the next will help it appear on your table. The more Memory you have the faster your computer will place information on your screen.
Making a Buying Decision
Taking all of the above into consideration, you should be able to make a rational well formulated buying decision. If you have any questions please let us know we would be happy to help you if you are asking yourself “Should I upgrade or buy a new computer?” and point you in the right direction.