Sooner or later your computer will die. Whether it is due to a hardware failure (hard drives will ALWAYS fail, it’s not a matter of if, just a matter of when), or sometimes Windows just gets tired, or infected and dies; when it happens you are faced with one of two options: fix it, or buy a new computer. The hardest decision comes when you think how much you payed for your current computer. It may have cost you $2000 five years ago, but in today’s terms it might be worth $100 if even that.
The problem with investing money in an old computer is that it will never get much faster, even if you spend the money to upgrade the memory, processor etc. The other issue is that once one component fails, even if you replace it, time is against you and it is probable that something else will fail fairly soon. There comes a time when putting money into an old computer just isn’t worth it, and it’s time to start looking for a new computer.
Fact is, even the cheapest computers out there today are probably quite a bit faster than your old computer. With computer programs and internet content becoming more demanding every day, it is always advisable to have hardware that will not only be able to handle what is out there today, but also be able to deal with what is coming. With rich multimedia becoming more popular on the internet, there is a great demand for more memory, faster processors, and better graphics hardware. When you computer dies, you need to carefully consider how much it will cost to fix it, and whether or not that money wouldn’t be better spent putting it towards a new computer. 10 years ago, the lifespan of a computer was much longer than it is today, however, with mass production that is used to make most systems today, computers just aren’t made to last as long (and there is no reason for them to be because the technology is changing so fast that making a computer that lasts 5 years or more just doesn’t make sense anymore because in 5 years the hardware and software demands will be so much greater). Sometimes the question isn’t so much ‘can you afford a new computer’ as it is ‘can you afford your old one’.
Black Friday Sales – all touting super cheap computer deals – but how to tell what is really a deal? Unfortunately, retailers have pulled out all the stops in trying to sell their computers, and along with it, they often pull out some of the important specs. Right now, one of the best processors for comsumer systems is the Intel Core 2 Duo, however this is where it can get confusing. While a Core 2 Duo IS an intel processor, it is NOT a Core 2, nor is it the same as what advertisers tout as an Intel Dual Core, nor is it a Pentium D Dual Core, or Pentium Dual Core.
Advertisers also tout the amount of RAM that a computer has, but often neglect to tell you the actual speed of the RAM, ie: PC-5400 is slower than PC-6400 – they also tout the amount of Video memory, which in reality is nowhere near as important as the type of card – ie: a 1 GB 9200 is magnitudes of order slower than a 512 MB 9800. Generally if a computer has really good specs, they will announce it in all it’s glory : Intel Core 2 Duo – 4 GB DDR3 1066 RAM, 512 MB 9800 GT Video Card, Dual 7200 RMP 5000 GB SATA II Hard Drives etc, as compared to: Dual Core Computer, 2 GB RAM 256 MB Video, 250 GB Hard Drive.
Always, ALWAYS check the full specs on a computer before buying – often you have to get the model number and go to the manufacturers website – don’t rely on the best buy kind of websites to supply the full information as they often neglect to fully mention the specifications.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t some really good deals out there – heck a $200 computer that is just going to be used to surf the internet and basic word processing is still a good deal regardless of the kind of parts it has (as long as it’s new and comes with a one year warranty)