There’s no denying that laptops and desktops don’t last forever. If you’ve ever used a PC for a long time, you begin to realise that it’s just not as blazing fast as it used to be.
Most users simply learn to live with the inconvenience even to the point where they’re willing to tolerate daily crashes. The reason behind this is they don’t want to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new system; but this is simply a desperate effort to keep down costs.
Struggling with machines well past their prime negatively impacts your bottom line. And although there’s nothing wrong with being attached to your computer; it’s important to beware of the fact that all PCs have an expiry date.
Average lifespan of desktops and laptops
In our experience, the average lifespan of a desktop computer is around three years. While many computers can remain operational several years after their projected lifespan; the accumulation of files, software, and updates takes a toll on the hardware.
For instance, using resource-intensive applications and having multiple ones running in the background puts pressure on the CPU; which leads to overheating. Under most circumstances, the desktop’s cooling unit mitigates this, but over time it can suck in dust, clog up vents, and limit air circulation. The excess heat produced will then wear out internal components and affect overall performance.
Meanwhile, laptops have an even shorter lifespan of two-to-three years. Unlike desktops, which have larger CPU cases, laptops are compact and have minimal ventilation. And since they’re usually carried around, they’re often more susceptible to wear and tear.
For this reason, it’s important for business owners to carefully consider what to do with machines nearing the end of their life cycles. In other words, they have to decide whether to purchase a new model or keep their current one.
There are plenty of ways to extend the life of your machine and put off purchasing a new one.
For example, to speed up performance, you should consider uninstalling unnecessary programs and deleting unused files. After that, clean your CPU to prevent overheating which can accelerate the deterioration of your hardware. Finally, minor hardware issues that involve RAM, hard drives, or laptop batteries also don’t warrant purchasing a new computer since these parts are easy to access and affordable to replace.
The easiest way to determine whether you should replace your computer is by weighing the costs. One good rule of thumb is if the cost required to maintain existing hardware reaches 66% of the price of a new computer; you should opt for a new one.
While it may seem wise to use an old computer until it dies, that’s often not the case. Eventually, processors will give out and the replacement part will not be available; this could cause downtime for your workers. Additionally, products past their warranty will no longer receive support from the manufacturer; making it difficult to keep systems functional and prevent massive productivity losses.
Purchasing a premium-priced PC is more cost-effective in the long run because it often comes with high-performing, durable, and energy-efficient components that ensure your employees can use their software efficiently.
The biggest motivator for purchasing new hardware, however, is software. Resource-heavy programs like video editing and business intelligence apps place higher demands on processors, memory, and video-rendering capabilities; which means older computers are simply not up to spec. For example, you shouldn’t expect your 12-year-old workstation to run the latest Microsoft Dynamics CRM efficiently.
Sure, you can simply replace the hardware components to accommodate the software; but most business machines don’t leave much room for customisation. In this case, it makes more sense to check the hardware requirements of all the critical applications you rely on and purchase a new machine with slightly higher specs to account for future updates.
But at the end of the day, it’s all about assessing what your company needs.
Not everyone can afford to purchase new computers regularly, so if yours are able to run your critical applications without issues, you should invest in ongoing maintenance. But set aside some cash for replacements further down the road.
No one likes to think about the end of their computer’s life cycle, but it’s an important part of the process if you want to maximise productivity and keep your bottom line healthy.
So whether you’re in the market for a new PC or need technical support to prolong the life of your current one, Empower IT is your all-in-one solution. We provide comprehensive IT support and consulting services that ensure your systems are operational and optimised. Call us today!