19 August 2016

How to Know Your Computer Needs Upgrading or Replacing


In life's daily walk, almost everything has an expiry date. In the same way, your personal computer has both a date of initial manufacture and a date of expiry. But before any computer gets to that point where it no longer functions as it really should (or no longer exist), there are tell-tale signs that you need to look out for capable of warning you ahead of time that it is old.

This article looks at those helpful signs, and examines how to know that your computer has gotten old and needs a replacement. This is necessary because it gives you ample time and opportunity to save your important work, documents and software before the PC eventually crashes.

How to Know Your Computer is Old and What To Do

Signs that your computer is old

The following signs will warn you that your computer is too old and needs to be upgraded or replaced:

1). You can’t install the latest Operating System

Operating Systems are updated almost every year by the manufacturers to fix bugs and add new functions. According to www.makeuseof.com, with each update in an OS, there is likely to be an increase in the minimum hardware specifications required to run it. In order to run well, your computer should be above the minimum specification. But if your computer is old, it may not be able to install this new OS and its functions will be limited as a result.

2). You can’t run the latest apps and games

You will know your computer is old when you are not able to run the latest games. In addition, professional apps like Photoshop have relatively modest minimum specs, but need far more to attain a decent level of performance. (For example, 2GB is the stated minimum RAM, but Adobe recommends 8GB.)

3). You computer becomes slow

Slowness can be difficult to define, but you’ll know it when you see it: you can make a cup of tea while your computer boots up, it grinds to a halt when you have more than half a dozen tabs open in your browser, and you can type a full sentence before a single word appears on screen.

Some of these problems can be alleviated to an extent when you clean the computer but in the long run, that will not solve the problem. This is because if it's old, you need to deal with it.

4). You can’t connect it to anything

Nothing ages a computer faster than other, newer gadgets you want to use it with such as a massive new 4K monitor, a superfast 802.11ac router, an accessory with a fancy new USB-C plug. New computers have built-in support for all these latest gadgets.

5). You’re running out of space

If your hard drive has limited space, and you open the system monitor on your computer and see that the RAM is all in use when you’ve got a few apps open, and that the CPU usage is routinely hitting 80 per cent or more, then it is a sign that you are reaching the limits of what your hardware is capable of doing.

6). It becomes noisy

Over time, a PC becomes louder than it was in the beginning when you bought it. Each time you turn it on, you may hear some creaking, grinding and/or clicking sounds. These sounds indicate potential impending damage to the hard drive.

Similarly, the fan could get louder, either because the CPU is working harder than it used to, the components are overheating or simply that the fan is about to break. Just as with a car engine, a new, unexpected noise is often a bad sign.

7). You spend more time fixing than using it

It is time for you to upgrade or replace your computer when you are always fixing it because apps crash for no reason, Wi-Fi keeps disconnecting, the malware problem you thought you’d fixed resurfaces, the whole system freezes, you get the annoying spinning beach ball of death on a Mac, or the blue screen of death on Windows.

Computers don’t live forever, and before they reach their demise, they become more trouble than they’re worth.

Also read: Top 3 Smartphone Battery Myths You Need to Disregard

What next? How to manage your old PC

Tip 1: Upgrade individual parts

Some of the issues you will encounter with your computer can be fixed by upgrading specific components, like the battery or hard drive. But you should weigh up the cost of upgrading compared to buying something new.

There will always be a bottleneck somewhere in the system. If your computer is still fairly young and healthy, then adding a bit more RAM is an easy way to give it an instant boost.

Eventually, though, you’ll come up against something that cannot be resolved, or is just not worth trying.

Tip 2: Dispose your old PC

Aside upgrading the individual parts of your old PC, there are practical steps you can take after you begin to notice the signs showing your PC is now old. You should back up, de-authorize, restore, clean, and finally, sell your PC. Our next article on this important topic would discuss these steps in more detail. You may read that article here: Best Way to Dispose Your Laptop After You See Signs of Aging

Related: Internet Safety - Common Sources of Viruses and Spyware

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