That smoking fast laptop you bought in 2012 has most likely turned into a Jurassic Jalopy. Gone are the days where 4GB of RAM was enough for gamers and software developers. In some cases, modern iPads and Android tablets produce more performance that the computers of yesteryear.
So the questions remains, do I update the hardware that I currently have or upgrade to a new computer? This is not easily answered and usually a case by case situation. These are a few things to consider to help making this decision.
- First and foremost, are you 100% comfortable taking your computer apart and are you familiar with the internal hardware? (RAM, CPU, Motherboard, Power Supply, etc.)
- Is your computer actually available to be updated with up to date hardware?
- If your computer is update-able, is it cheaper to upgrade (buy a new one)?
- Are the parts easily found on reputable websites or retailers as NEW?
- If this is overwhelming, it might be a good idea to talk with a technology expert or buy a new computer.
An honest technology expert will be able to guild you in the right direction and not persuade you to but something you do not need.
If you decide to buy a new computer, here are a few things to consider:
- What are you going to use it for? Gaming? Word Processing? School Work? If you just need an email reader, consider opting for a small inexpensive tablet.
- Gaming, graphic design and software development (just as a few examples), will need more computer power and you expect to pay upwards of $2000 to $5000+.
- For normal daily use, expect to pay anywhere from $250 to $800.
- Look for package deals for desktops (Computer, Monitor, Keyboard and Mouse).
- Laptop screen sizes usual range from 12 to 17+ inches.
- The average weight of a laptop is just under 5 pounds however, high performance laptops can weigh over 10 pounds.
- Always check product reviews to avoid getting a problem computer.
I got a new computer!!! What do I do with the old one?
- MOST IMPORTANT! Upload/Download ANY data you need or want from your old computer. This can be done by uploading data to your cloud storage provider of choice or onto an external jump drive. Once it is gone, its gone. There is a possibility of data recovery but is timely, costly and comes with NO guarantees.
- Install a Linux operating system. These are normally Open Source(free) and run great on older technology.
- Build out a home based storage server. This can be done with Open Source software like FreeNAS.
- Donate your dated hardware. Donate to charities, libraries and sometimes schools. You can also use refurbishers or recyclers as well. Before giving your computer to anyone make sure the hard drive(s) have been cleaned of all data. Open Source solutions can be used (http://www.killdisk.com/killdisk-freeware.htm).
If you need assistance at all with anything in the article, please feel free to reach out for assistance.