Seasonal sales like Black Friday and Easter Monday are powerful drivers of impulse buying. It’s a mad rush for the stores as people hope to grab an item they might not really need. You will get great deals for laptops and desktop computers. But a life of impulse buying can only end in financial ruin.
Except for people in the top 1 percent wealthiest households, no one can afford to buy a new home computer every day. Most people cannot even afford to buy a new computer every year. As such, you have to buy a new computer only when you need. It’s a bit like applying Kanban principles to your spending.
Here are some of the most important telltale signs that it’s time to upgrade.
1. Incompatibility with the Latest OS
In the past, upgrading to the latest operating system (OS) wasn’t a major priority for home computer users. It didn’t help that whenever there was a new release every four years or so, installing it would cost money and often end up introducing new problems. It took time before one could use the computer as smoothly as they did before the upgrade.
So people would stick with the familiar for as long as possible. However, new updates are attractive because they come with added functionality and better security. But each new release also has progressively higher minimum specifications for the hardware needed to run it. When it starts becoming impossible to install new releases because your computer is no longer up to speed, it’s time to replace it.
2. Unable to Run Latest Apps
As software applications grow in functionality, they also become more demanding on computer resources. It’s not possible to future-proof your PC in this regard. Gaming apps are particularly resource hungry but so are everyday home and business applications. For example, Adobe Photoshop requires a minimum of 2GB RAM in order to launch but Adobe recommends a minimum of 8GB for smooth performance.
Even web-based apps won’t perform as well on an outdated PC. One would assume that a high-speed internet connection is all you need to effortlessly stream 4K video — that won’t happen if your hardware cannot keep up.
3. Too Slow
The slowness of a computer isn’t always something you can easily define. A computer’s speed at any point in time is often a function of the number and nature of open applications and background processes. Your computer can also be slow if the hard disk is almost full or when it’s been infected by malware.
Some of these problems can be resolved by deleting unnecessary files, removing unneeded software, running an antivirus, or simply having fewer applications or browser tabs open simultaneously. But if you do all this and your computer enters snail-mode even when just one window is open, you are fighting a battle you cannot win. A new computer is an enduring solution.
4. Physically Incompatible with Accessories
Few things will drive you to the computer store faster than the frustration of your PC’s incompatibility with exciting new gadgets. The money you spend on acquiring a shiny new 4K monitor, a superfast router or a device with a USB-C plug can be a powerful incentive to upgrade.
There are always workarounds that you can use to get these accessories to connect and work with an older computer but that comes with a substantial deterioration in their performance. Your computer won’t be able to support the accessory’s full functionality.
As far as noise goes, your computer is not too different from a car. The more noise your car makes when on the road, the more urgent the need to replace it.
When you turn on your PC and can hear the hard disk sputter into action; when you open an application and the computer’s noise moves an octave higher; when you hear clicking grinding sounds; when the fan seems to strain and gets unusually loud. All these are signs of a hard disk teetering on the brink of failure.
Just like a car, such noise is an indicator that you need a new computer.
An underperforming computer is not just annoying but also hampers your productivity when using it. Follow the above tips to know when it’s time to let it go.