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Simple PC upgrade to keep them usable?


I get a lot of questions from people who are trying to decide what specific hardware to put into their computers. More often than not, they are trying to take a very old computer and make it usable again. The problem with very old computers trying to run current operating systems and applications is that it requires almost an entire new computer worth of upgrades to bring it up to speed. On the other hand, I've used several computers now that are a few years old and only need a very simple upgrade to keep them usable for another year or two. The problem is that most people simply don't know when it's worth it to upgrade and when it's time to just replace it all. Fortunately for them, I can answer most of the questions here.





Should You Replace or Upgrade Your PC?

Deciding to replace or repair a computer depends on the age of the computer, the problems it is experiencing and how difficult it is to fix them. Take these computer troubleshooting tips from an experienced computer technician and make a decision based on these points.

Replacement Parts

Replacement parts are getting hard to find or have become more expensive then the same part for a newer PC. In this case, replacing the old machine is probably the wisest choice. After all, you will most likely get a much more powerful machine for less than you paid for the one you are replacing.

Hardware Drivers

If it is getting harder and harder to find drivers that will work with the newer operating systems for your hardware, it is probably time to replace your PC. But, do keep in mind that there is a lag time between the introduction of a new operating system and new hardware drivers being released. It can take up to a year before drivers are available for some of the older hardware.

Cost Considerations

If an upgrade costs as much as or more than buying a new computer, buy the new computer. But make sure you are getting similar quality and not replacing a high end, reliable machine with a bargain basement one.

Processing Power

I do web design which means I frequently have the entire adobe graphics suite open on my computer when I am designing a website. I replaced my desktop last year because the old one could not run the programs fast enough and it had all the fast memory the machine could handle. The only option was to replace the motherboard and memory which was almost as expensive as replacing the computer. It made more sense to replace the computer

32 versus 64 Bit

Eventually we will all have to move from the 32-bit platform to a 64-bit platform just like we had to move from a 16-bit to a 32-bit platform approximately 10 years ago. Will you need to do this soon? Probably not but it does need to be considered when deciding whether to upgrade or replace.


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