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When Should I Replace My Computer?

When Should I Replace My Computer?

We are often asked to diagnose and repair problems on computers and one of the first questions our engineers always ask is ‘How old is it?’ As we all know, the world of technology moves at an alarming pace, and similar to a car losing a huge chunk of its value as soon as it is driven away, a computer is replaced by a newer version almost as soon as it is released. But how long can you use a computer for before you need to replace it, and even through there is nothing wrong with a computer why does it get slower as it gets older?

How long does a computer last for?

All hardware and software (including operating systems) has a limited lifespan, with superseded versions or old technology being retired from service as replacements take the majority share of the market place.

Hardware manufacturers and software developers base this continual progress on a 5-year lifecycle, meaning that once a system is over 5 years old support (driver updates, operating system updates etc.) starts to be phased out leaving it vulnerable to failure or security breaches. Furthermore, the individual components are only designed to last for 5 years (at most), and there is nothing worse than replacing one component to find another needs replacing a few weeks later!

Generally, unless a computer is of very high specification, or very specialised, we suggest it is replaced at least every 5 years, but if components start to fail it is often more economical to replace it rather then buy and fit replacement components.

Why does a computer get slower as it gets older?

A common problem is the build up of unwanted background programs (all those icons down by the clock in the corner of your taskbar), which take up resources even when they appear to be doing nothing. Most of these can be removed, but be careful – they are there to make it quick and easy for you to access certain programs/features, so some of them might be a vital part of your day to day computer usage!

Generally though, computers do not get slower (in terms of base performance), but the tasks they are required to carry out get more complex. As technology develops software is designed to run on faster and faster systems, meaning when you try and run new software on an older computer it has to struggle through all the extra processing it is being asked to do – which takes longer.

While everything continues to run, albeit a little slower than you would like, there is no hard and fast rule as to when you should replace a functioning computer, but to keep up to date with the latest software, and to reduce the likelihood of any nasty hardware failures, Halchax always recommend the replacement of hardware at least every 5 years.

To find out more about how Halchax can keep you up to date contact us to speak to one of our experienced consultants.