Replacing Computer Can Improve Performance & Internet Experience
One of the most common speed issues Golden West customers experience is using an outdated computer, tablet or smartphone on the network.
“There’s a reason why the cell phone companies want you on newer phones other than just to sell you a new phone,” said Golden West Director of Engineering Operations Nick Rogness. “People have a more positive online experience when they use newer devices.”
How Long Should a Computer Last?
Most online sources agree you can expect the average computer to last about three years. Performing maintenance, such as removing dust, and keeping the operating system and other software updated are important tasks for many reasons and can prolong a computer’s life. While computers may run longer, the performance will still likely be compromised.
“Using anything three years old or more is the equivalent of driving a 1970s vehicle today,” Rogness said. “The (prcoessor) chips have changed that much.”
Computers have become more affordable in recent years. As a result, service and repairs often cost as much or more than replacement. According to Statista, a leading online provider of market and consumer data, the average price of a personal computer dropped from $805 in 2005 to $632 in 2019. The drop is more significant when factoring in inflation.
Signs Your Computer Needs to be Replaced
Beyond age, here are five signs to watch for on your computer. You may want to replace it if it:
- Overheats quickly. If your computer gets very hot when it’s been on for a while, it’s more prone to perform poorly and ultimately fail.
- Crashes often. If your computer crashes frequently, you may be at risk of losing your information.
- Makes odd noises. Odd noises aren’t generally a good thing, but noises are especially concerning and could indicate a serious problem if they repeat themselves.
- Performs slowly. Taking longer to start up and shut down or to load and switch applications could be a sign that your hardware may no longer be able to keep up with the latest software.
- Experiences component failure. Parts of the computer, such as the screen, keyboard or battery, can experience issues that are often most affordably and best resolved with a new machine.
You should back up your data regularly. If you experience any of the issues above, you should be especially vigilant about backing up.
If you don’t care about having the latest and greatest and you don’t tax your computer too much, you may not need to replace it as frequently. At the same time, just because your computer still runs doesn’t necessarily mean it’s operating well enough to keep using it.