Are you sure you need a new computer?
Here we go again
So the time has come to purchase another computer. This could be your first one but most likely you are doing this for the second or third time. You have already spent top dollar on brand name products in the past and now you are preparing to do it again,
STOP! How long ago was it that you bought your computer (the one you have now). Most computers have a three year life span in that they are considered obsolete in three years. This is because the software is constantly being upgraded and improved upon and the hardware is upgrading and improving to keep pace.
Mostly this happens due to the fact that the software companies improve their software to match hardware improvements regardless on if those improvements have actually been sold to the public yet or not. Then the software companies remove support for their previous versions of their software thus enticing the software users to upgrade their versions of the software, which will not work to full potential unless they are run on the new and imporved hardware so this in turn leads us to see our machine as obsolete and it's off the computer hardware store.
The three year and out rule is good for schools, government and corporations but when it comes to the home users we need to think if the three year and out rule is really applicable to us.
Here are some points to consider before you even decide IF it is time for a new machine or not.
2 Points to Consider
1) What do I do with my computer? Never mind what the computer will do, that means nothing if it is not what you want to do. You do not need to buy a 3000 dollar high-end gaming laptop if all you ever do is check your email, facebook your friends and watch youtube videos. For that the cheapest computer in the store will do just nicely. But before you even get to the store, ask yourself if your computer is actually broken and in need of replacement. Does it no longer do what you want it to do? If it functions fine and does what you want it to do then probably you have no need to replace it. Your not a business when you are at home. You have no competitors, there is no need for the latest and greatest computer in your house.
2) If I am to buy, do I really need the most expensive product, is it really any better? The answer to this 'not really - it depends' - despite the wide array of computer brand names such as 'Dell' and 'HP' or 'Toshiba', etc there really is only two choices - Intel or AMD processors. Both are considered 'out of date' in the same three year time span regardless of how much each one may have cost when it was purchased and BOTH will work fine for that 3 years unless they are 'lemons' and there are always lemons in every batch regardless of brand names. AMD costs less than Intel processor machines usually. Intel chips last longer so , for the home user, this may be of benefit. In the corporate world the fact that Intel will last for ten years and AMD for only five years is meaningless if the machine is considered out of date in three years and replaced but in the home user world this difference may hold signifigance in the purchase decision. Again, we don't NEED to replace our machines every three years or so just because the software and hardware industries work on this schedule. I run a server at home using intel processors and it is ten years old now and still chugging along doing what I want it to do. It is slow, the software is no longer supported by the company that made it but it does what I want it to do just fine so why replace it?
Did you know that a upgrade to active memory can add a couple of years to your computer's lifespan?
Some final thoughts on the matter
Here's a little something for the gamers out there and for the parents of gamers who get hounded for newer and better hardware all the time.
You don't need the expensive stuff. I spend a lot of time gaming on my machines at home as well and I have never needed a high end gaming machine to play any games I played and some of them were resource hogs. I play World of Warcraft, Starcraft 2, and a whole host of high end graphics games as well as watch and upload/download videos off of the internet check my email surf the web for info and even developed little pieces of software all using the cheapest ACER I could find at Walmart - yes I said WALMART. Don't be fooled by the ads and the sales pitches and your kids will want whatever is being blasted at them by the closest billboard. Remember why you need it and what you want to do with it and do a little bit of checking around and if you run into a sales person who is selling you a computer and you do not understand what they are saying then walk away and find someone you can talk normally with.
Support - very big and I have not mentioned it til now. IF you are not computer savvy (and it will be expensive for you if you are not 100% honest with yourself on this topic) then you may want to consider buying that cheapest ACER from a store that actually provides support after the purchase - Walmart does not offer any support but as I have a computer background this is not so big a deal to me as long as I can return the broken hardware then I am OK. Usually support options increase the price of the computer but the cheapest one will still be pretty reasonable when purchased from a store that offers support and warrenty assistance.
Remember, you don't need a formula 1 race car to get to work everyday, it may be fun, but you cannot stop for groceries in it.
- Upgrading a PC vs. Buying New
Upgrading a PC vs. Buying New
© 2012 Robin Olsen