4 reasons to upgrade your old PC or Mac – even if it still works

We use computers for everything from checking email to work to school stuff and more. However, as your computer ages, it becomes more difficult to install new programs and operating system updates. Tap or click here to see how Microsoft’s end of support for Windows 7 will affect users.

So why not have a computer you can count on? How old is yours and how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye and hello to new technology? Upgrading your old computer can give you more speed and storage space, but will it do everything you expect it to?

You don’t want to add new components to an old system if it doesn’t result in a like-new system. Because of this, it might be time to switch to a new machine. Here are some reasons why it might be about time.

1. Operating System/Security Updates

With Windows 11 releasing later this year, you’re probably wondering if your old PC will be compatible. There are some minimum requirements that your machine must meet. Tap or click here to find out if Windows 11 can run on your PC.

Windows 10 is a much better operating system than the previous Windows 8, Windows 7 and older options. Windows 11 is sure to be even better. Upgrading to a new computer gives you access to the latest Windows operating system and all the security upgrades and cool new features.

If your old PC can’t run Windows 11, it’s a good idea to find your nearest computer. You don’t want to be left stranded like out of support Windows 7 users. Looking to switch to a laptop? Tap or click here to take our quiz and find the right one for you.

2. Programs are not compatible

If you have an older computer and can’t upgrade to the latest operating system, new problems appear – programs that are no longer compatible.

Programs you are currently using, such as Microsoft Office, may no longer work. For example, a 2012 Macbook Pro will not run the latest version of Microsoft Office if the operating system cannot be updated. Many new programs have minimum requirements that your older machine may not be able to meet.

This is often the case with many games that you might enjoy. For those who like the new game releases, you may not be able to play them on your current computer. Today’s games are all downloaded from the Internet and require a minimum amount of RAM memory, specific graphics, and more storage space on your computer overall.

How big is your hard drive? A recommended minimum size is 500GB if you plan to store lots of documents, play tons of games, or download music and movies. If you fall into this category, it’s probably time to get a new computer with more storage.

3. Hardware replacement cost (RAM, hard drive, etc.)

When it comes to replacing components such as RAM, hard drives (whether traditional or solid state), graphics cards, motherboard, etc., each part can be very expensive. For example, upgrading your RAM from 8GB to 16GB (to give you more space and faster speeds) could cost anywhere from $100 to $300.

If you add up the cost of each piece of hardware you’re looking to upgrade, you might be better off buying a new computer. Another expense after purchasing hardware is finding someone to install it if you’re not tech savvy. Do you know a reliable IT service provider? Would you trust giving your machine to someone you don’t know?

Instead of incurring the expensive expense of replacing hardware, buying a new PC or Mac might be the way to go. You will be better off in the long run and have a new machine that will last for many years.

4. What is that strange noise?

Normally, a computer doesn’t make much noise. You may hear a faint whirring of the fan or the gentle meandering of the hard drive.

But keep your ears open for unusual noises, including grinding, knocking, or clicking noises. All of these can be telltale signs of inevitable hard drive failure.

First, make sure you back up any data you want to keep from the hard drive. Then you can decide whether it’s worth replacing the drive with a new one or cutting your losses and opting for a completely new machine.

You can count on an average lifespan of your machine of 3 to 5 years. If you hear strange noises from your computer, in most cases it is better to buy a new one. Especially if it’s more than 5 years old, treat yourself to a new PC or Mac and surf in peace for years.

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