Monday, April 16, 2012

To Fix or Buy New

To Fix or Buy New

How do you know when it’s time to buy a new computer?

There are several factors that will naturally come into play.

Hardware Cost: One of the largest considerations is how much it will cost to fix your old computer compared to buying a new one. The range is quite large. For a decent new “starter computer” (basic computer good for browsing the internet and word processing) prices start around $400 not including a monitor. This starting price may seem high compared to what you may see, but a lot of the computer that are cheaper than that have rather limited RAM, hard drive space, or are rather slow processors.

Programs Cost: Another piece you have to figure into the price of a new computer is replacing the programs you have on the old one. Some programs are able to simply be installed, but the license agreements for others may stipulate that they can only be installed on one computer.

Setup: If you are tech savvy, this may not be as much of an issue for you, but it could still be difficult to get your personal data transferred to your new computer. Many techs are able to do this rather easily and include it in a new computer setup. Prices range greatly for this service so, when price shopping, check what the company includes in the service: data transfer, bloatware removal, antivirus install, …

Age of Current Computer: How out-of-date is your current computer? A new computer would most likely be much faster and improve your overall efficiency. Also, newer (not newest) technology is normally less expensive to upgrade.

Value of Current Computer: It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to spend twice as much as your computer is worth to get it fixed. The value of a computer is rather subjective, but if it was only a $500 computer when you bought it 7 years ago, it might not be worth much now.

Turn-around Time: How long can you afford to be without a computer? As computers age, repairs quite often require parts; these parts can take a while to find and to get shipped. In most instances, a new computer can ready same/next day. Custom builds can take a while from a manufacturer, but a good tech can have it ready within a few days.

New OS: With a new computer, there will also likely be a new operating system that you will need to learn. Most have manuals and tutorials built in to help with the transition, but it is definitely worth considering the extra time it will take to learn.

This is definitely not an all-inclusive list. Your situation and needs must be taken into primary consideration.

A computer tech is a great tool to help you figure things out, but must also respect your decision. Hopefully this will help ease the burden and point you in the right direction.

Make it a great day!  Psinergy TechWarrior St. Paul