This is something I get asked all the time, should you upgrade your current computer or buy a new one? This is an age old question that doesn’t have a simple yes or no answer. The choice is really up to you but here are a few things that I point out to my customers.
First: what is it that’s wrong with your current computer? If its something what I consider major like a motherboard which will probably require a new processor (CPU chip), then it might be cheaper to buy a new computer. But if its a new hard drive, video card, memory, or other easily replaced components then by all means upgrade. You can often find deals on these components.
Second: Is your current computer meeting your needs? Consider this, if all you do is surf the Internet or send/receive email, then why do you need a new computer when your current one is doing that for you now. You might say to me that your computer is too slow. If that is the case then I look at why its running slow and there are a number of reasons. I look at the internal parts like the fans (are they full of dust and debris?), I look at the memory to determine if you could use more, a PC tune up might help as well. Sometimes doing the simple little things can help to speed up a computer and make it run more efficiently.
Thirdly: What is the age of your current computer? I tell my customers who are thinking about buying a new computer that if their current computer is more then 4 years old then it may be time to look at the new computers. But once again age is only a small factor in the decision. It really brings you back to points one and two.
Let me just say this in closing; new computers are faster but not necessarily better. I strongly believe that with the proper maintenance a computer can and will last for years. Like homes or cars your computers need to be checked over, cleaned out, and tuned up once or twice a year. Your computer will be faster, less prone to crashes, and be better behaved when you have it tuned up. I am a big fan of recycling and refurbishing older computers because it keeps them out of the landfill. If you are determined to purchase a new computer then make sure you buy something that will meet your needs now and in the future.
I have been in the computer industry for a number of years now, silently sitting back and observing. Now that I run my own computer service I feel I must speak out. I pride myself on my honesty and integrity and can not tolerate dishonest people or poor workmanship. Too many times I have come across another technician’s work that was either done improperly or down right illegally. I have been told that I should become the Holmes On Homes of the computer industry and that is why I’m writing this. I want to inform my customers and the public what to look for in their computer technicians. Over the next little while I will be writing my opinions and observations regarding the computer industry. I realize I can’t change it but perhaps I can help to better inform you. It is far too easy for a computer technician to take advantage of someone that doesn’t know better.
Today lets talk about the Windows Operating System (Windows Vista or Windows XP). I have known people who have gone into a computer shop and had operating system down graded from Windows Vista to Windows XP and had not received a copy of the windows software nor had they received the COA (Certificate Of Authenticity). The COA is a visual identifier that assists in determining whether or not the Microsoft software you are running is genuine. It includes the product key that is required to reinstall Microsoft if the need arises. Keep in mind that the COA should never be purchased without the software that it authenticates.
When you buy Microsoft software they have built in features that prevent piracy and indicates whether or not its genuine. The COA label is one way but the software media is the other. The media will be a DVD with a hologram with the words Microsoft and Genuine on it. Always check to make sure that the hologram isn’t a label that can be pealed off. If in doubt check the Microsoft website under How To Tell windows is genuine.
Keep in mind when you go to buy Microsoft software if its a ridiculously low price, then be cautious. I’ve seen ads for Windows Vista Ultimate for $50.00 to $100 including installation. Think about it, Windows Vista Ultimate is retailed at $330.00 or more. OEM software should never be sold without the purchase of system hardware like a motherboard or harddrive. If you purchase it without system hardware then the copy of windows becomes illegal to own.
I hope you enjoyed reading this and once again please keep in mind these are my opinions. Its best to educate yourself on what is out there to prevent problems in the future. Please feel free to comment on my blog.