If you’re the sentimental sort, you probably have a computer you’ve owned for years and years. It’s a reliable old rig, chugging along through whatever tasks you assign it like an old, puttering station wagon. Sure, it might not be the most glorious system out there, but it works, right? It does what you want it to do.
That’s the worst (or best, depending on your perspective) part of technology – it doesn’t take all that long for something to become completely obsolete.
It might be time to replace that old beast. Sure, it’s served you well in over the years, but sooner or later you’re going to have to admit that it’s getting to the point where your system can’t even open up an internet browser without screaming in protest. Here’s a few reasons a new system might just be in your future (note that none of these are absolute statements- just general guidelines):
It’s More Than Five Years Old
Technology moves fast. Five years is actually a reasonable generous estimate. Chances are your computer not only has an outdated processor, but outdated graphics, an outdated operating system (did I mention Microsoft’s cut support for Windows XP?), and run-down, rickety old hardware.
To that end, I’ve got a bit of a confession to make.
See, I had a 17-inch XPS M1730 from my university years. It was actually reasonably high-end for its time: two SLI graphics cards, a dual-core processor, two gigabytes of RAM….it was a damned powerful laptop. Six years later, I was at Memory Express, and I noticed a fifteen inch laptop with specs that blew mine out of the water – for about 200% less than I paid for the old one. That was when I realized it was probably time for an upgrade.
At this point, I can’t ever imagine using that old rig for anything other than running a server or two every now and then.
It’s Getting Slow, and Reformatting Doesn’t Help
It’s a sure sign you might have hardware damage if your computer’s starting to get sluggish, and nothing you do will help. While there’s a chance it might be your hard drive, there’s an equal chance it could be a number of other pieces of your system. Problem with computers is that they’ve got a lot of working bits- unless you know what to look for, you’re probably not going to figure out what’s wrong with it. Take it to an expert and have them look at it, first, since there’s a chance the damage might be repairable.
It’s Suffered Physical Damage In The Past
You know that laptop that got dropped down a flight of stairs? How about that computer tower that you knocked off a table onto a concrete floor? Or that netbook you just flung at your brother’s head?
Yeah, chances are good that they’re borked.
See, computers…tend to be pretty delicate. While modern rigs do tend to have a few pieces of software in place to help mitigate hard drive damage…there’s only so much punishment they can take. General rule of thumb- if you drop or strike a computer with enough force to physically damage the chassis, it’s probably time to start looking for a new rig. And in the case of the latter, some anger management therapy.
Note that I said probably. There is a chance it’ll still work after taking such punishment, but it’s not a particularly high one. At the very least, you’ll probably need a new hard drive. Noticing a trend here?
You’ve Spilled Liquid On It At Some Point
Computers conduct electricity. Electricity loves water. When the two meet, they’re all over each other like two barflies who’ve had too much to drink. Unlike the two barflies, they tend to cause a lot more destruction. If you’ve spilled anything on your system while it’s running-particularly in the case of laptops, immediately turn it off, and give it time to dry out.
If it won’t turn on after it’s had something spilled on it…time to buy a new rig, methinks. That, or hope your system’s still on warranty.
You Notice Systems With Markedly Better Specifications For Less Than Five Hundred Dollars
I don’t think I even need to explain this one.
Image Credits: Catholic Welsh Blog
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.