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How Long Do Computers Last? 10 Signs You Need a New One

Posted: Aug 2021

How long your computer will last depends on what you use it for, whether you use it for work, pleasure, or how often you leave it on.

Most of us end up putting up with frustrations when our time would be better spent if we didn’t have to wait for things to load.

You must become familiar with these warning signs of a failing computer if you’re looking for a good long-term machine. We’ve compiled ten signs which we think you should look out for to determine if it’s a good time to get a new one.

1. Upgrading or Adding Components Gets Expensive

The longer your computer is expected to last, the more likely it will need to be upgraded or added to over the years. Despite this, computers don’t last forever. If you have not yet reached that stage, upgrading your computer with current parts is a great way for you to keep pace with the increasing demand for a more modern computer.

We tend to think that if replacing our computer parts will cost too much money, we’re better off buying a whole new one. It is not always the case.

Take a look at what you can get for your money and see if it’s worth upgrading parts, or whether it is time for a new computer. If you can transfer the information you need over to another computer, then it’s worth doing it before it’s too late and you lose your data altogether.

2. The Processor is Too Slow

Do you feel that your computer is running too slowly? You want to check your computer’s speed. The speed of your processor depends on the number of cores.

The number of cores in one processor doubles every few years. It means that if you have a dual-core or even quad-core processor, it will be considered an “old” machine by now and be too slow to run most modern software.

Although processors get larger and faster, the speed at which they process information is not increasing. The number of instructions per second that are processed on the cores doesn’t increase that much, but having more cores allows for multiple tasks to run in tandem, giving the illusion of speed.

3. The Computer Has a Virus

This one is obvious, but it’s worth mentioning. A computer infected with a virus can hinder efficiency. It also has the possibility of making your computer unusable and even reformatting the hard drive on your computer.

It is an expensive issue. You don’t want to get rid of your data until you’re sure that all the problems are gone.

And even if you fix the issue, if you’re unable to keep all your software up to date with the latest security patches, then you are inviting yourself to more attacks in the future. So that would be the best indication that it’s time to replace it for security reasons if nothing else.

4. Software Struggles to Run

Software issues can be a combination of hardware and software compatibility. For example, a new piece of software comes out that requires an upgrade to the Windows operating system. If you’re using an older operating system, your computer may not be able to handle it.

Further, in the case of hardware, it might be that a graphics card is so old that photo and video editing software doesn’t have enough power to generate the images, or maybe there isn’t enough ram in the system. All these hardware factors can show signs that it might be cheaper to replace the computer altogether.

5. The Computer is Hard to Use

The keys and mouse must work well together. A sticky keyboard or a malfunctioning trackpad is a sign that you should replace your laptop, as it could be expensive to repair. Of course, this is much easier in a desktop setup where you can replace the peripherals and continue as normal.

It might also be that the computer has become temperamental with loose connections that don’t connect very well to other peripherals and devices.

6. The Computer is Missing Newer Technology

A good way to figure out if you should replace your computer is to look at the standard when you first got it. If it uses old technology, this is a sign that the computer is becoming redundant in many ways. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing — it’s only bad if you’re having problems with the old computer that you can’t get around.

For example, it might be that for your work, you need a 4k screen for video editing. Or, you may need features such as in-built connectivity and security chips which older computers tend not to have, or at best have inferior versions of the same technology.

7. The Operating System Has Become Unusable

Whenever Windows is updated, it needs higher specs to run than previously released versions. As computers age, we can often expect the operating system to become more sluggish. Consequently, Windows becomes cluttered with unnecessary files as a result of regular use.

If you’re concerned about regular updates and have the extra money in the budget, consider hiring a managed IT company like ours that can best advise what’s right for your business. For example, for longevity, we often recommend Macs because of their reliability and regular, consistent updates.

Thus, you might need to upgrade your computer if it runs slower than it used to, or you might be able to get more life out of it by running a disk defragmentation tool on your old hard drive.

8. The Computer Experiences Random Shut-Downs

In most cases, sudden computer shutdowns are an indication that the power has gone out. The two most obvious causes of power loss are premature battery loss and a faulty power supply. The cause of a power failure can be difficult to determine because many different components may be at the root of the problem.

A loose connection inside the computer or excessive heat from insufficient ventilation can also contribute to this problem. If any dust remains on your desktop, give it a thorough cleaning using compressed air, but the damage may exist if it’s already reached this stage.

However, take your computer to a reliable technician to find out what the actual problem is. You might have the opportunity to fix it yourself, or you might have to spring for a new one. Either way, they can help you retrieve the data from your computer as well before it packs in completely if that’s a service you require.

9. Those Strange Noises Become More Regular

Several factors can result in unusual noises coming from a computer. It is not uncommon to hear clicking, whirring, and other odd noises coming from your computer. That’s because the components in a computer can wear out over time, especially if you have an older model.

Suppose nothing obvious seems to be causing the sound after you’ve tried to isolate it. In that case, a replacement may be a more cost-effective option than a repair, especially on a laptop where the computer is harder to dismantle and takes longer.

In addition, old CPUs may overheat and generate more noise, so you know there is a problem, which can also occur as a result of a problem. The problem is more likely to get worse if you do not replace it as soon as possible.

10. The Computer is Well and Truly Dead

The most obvious reason is a dead computer. In the case of a desktop, you can do this by simply unplugging it, and in most cases, it will work again. However, with laptops, the situation might not be so straightforward.

Several things could have caused your computer to go dead, from an overheating battery or power supply to water damage that is harder to repair than other issues.

Several additional checks can be made, including replacing the battery on the motherboard and testing the system with a boot disk. However, if those methods do not work, then the hard drive, motherboard, or another vital component of your computer may have failed, and you will have to replace the computer.

It’s Time for a New Computer

If you are planning to replace your computer soon, it is a good idea to research to determine what you require versus what you can afford. Rest assured, you’re investing in a long-term purchase, so it’s vital to do your research to get the best return on your investment.

As an extra measure, if you’re not sure how to proceed, then take a look at our managed IT services, where we can offer you advice and support on all your information technology-related needs.

If that sounds like the right deal for you, then feel free to get in touch with us today, and let’s discuss how we can help you make the right choice.

Most of us end up putting up with frustrations when our time would be better spent if we didn’t have to wait for things to load.

Contact us to learn more about how Bridgehead I.T. can help you align your I.T. with your business objectives.

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