Your computer has been a loyal technological companion for years, but it’s suffered a little wear and tear during that time. Now, a variety of shiny new devices beckon you. However, while a new Mac or PC may seem like the ultimate answer to your current tech problems, it could also prove a needlessly expensive solution. Often, a few small tweaks can significantly improve outdated devices – and at a fraction of the cost of a new computer.
The challenge, of course, is when to repair and when to replace. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer, as different circumstances, preferences, and budgets call for different solutions. Below, we outline a variety of factors that can help you determine whether you’re ready for a repair, an upgrade, or a full replacement.
When to Repair or Upgrade Your Computer
As a general rule of thumb, you can get away with repairing or upgrading your device if it’s relatively new or if the cost of the update is minimal. How much money you should invest in your computer will depend largely on the extent to which it has already suffered issues. You should also consider whether it can continue to fulfill the specific purposes for which you intended it in the first place.
The following are a few of the main situations calling for repairs or upgrades, as opposed to replacements:
You’d Like to Improve Specific Functions
Perhaps your computer works fine for the most part but struggles with a few key tasks. In such situations, targeted repairs or updates could make all the difference. Examples could include the following circumstances:
- If you’re determined to edit a video but are struggling with slow processing speeds, you could benefit from a new CPU.
- Low frame rates can be frustrating when playing games, but this problem can be resolved with a new graphics card.
- If your computer is running slow, it’s possible that you’re simply short on storage or memory. The addition of an internal or external hard drive, as well as faster RAM, could pick things up.
In the above situations, targeted upgrades can take your computer’s performance to the next level without requiring the full investment of a new device. Computer experts can help you determine whether a viable solution is available for your specific concerns – and whether the right updates or repairs could save you money.
You Mainly Use Your Device for Internet Browsing
Perhaps you’re content to use your old laptop or computer to surf the internet. If so, a full replacement may not be warranted just yet. While you don’t necessarily need significant upgrades, you can feel confident that minor repairs are still worth your money when manageable issues arise.
When Should You Replace Your Computer?
Repairs and upgrades are often worth considering, but select situations call for complete replacements. This is never an easy decision to make, but the following factors may push you towards investing in a new device:
Your Computer Is Over Seven Years Old
Computers don’t necessarily need to be replaced as soon as they reach a certain age. That being said, each additional year should bring further caution as you determine whether to upgrade or replace your device.
Seven years is often cited as the magic number, after which computers in need of major repairs should be ditched in favor of newer devices. Conversely, plenty of life should still be available in a device you’ve owned for just three or four years.
Multiple Upgrades Cost as Much as a New Computer
One or two upgrades may not be particularly expensive, but if your computer requires several, you may find yourself shelling out a pretty penny. Plus, these updates don’t necessarily ensure that your device will continue to function as desired several years down the road. Unfortunately, some upgrades are costly and only provide temporary relief for significant issues. In many cases, it’s best to solve these problems by purchasing a new device – before you waste your money on short-term fixes.
Major Components Are Failing
Minor components such as RAM or a hard drive can easily be swapped out as needed, even on older devices. However, some elements should make you think twice about repairing your computer, and instead, urge you to investigate the possibility of investing in a full replacement. The CPU and motherboard, in particular, are worth considering. Think of them as the engine or transmission in your car. Yes, a replacement is a viable option, but is it really worth the expense if you’re already dealing with an aging system?
When in Doubt, Talk to an Expert
If you’re struggling to determine whether your computer is a prime candidate for a repair, update, or replacement, you can benefit from the insight of the experts at NerdsToGo. Our certified Nerds know how to upgrade a Mac, PC, or laptop. We can provide the repairs you need to get your device back in working order without spending a fortune.
The NerdsToGo team is proud to provide affordable computer repair service in Charlotte. And if you opt for a new device, we can help you set it up and get started with the maintenance necessary to make it last. For more information about how we can fix your computer’s issues or set up your new one, contact us today!