It’s the age-old question that plagues many PC owners, and it’s not a simple question to answer. Fortunately, though, we have some tips to help you make the best decision for your own personal circumstances:
- If the computer is 4 years old… You can still keep it, if you’ve been maintaining it well enough. The performance difference (if you’re using the PC primarily for e-mailing and web browsing) between an older PC and a newer one is fairly difficult to notice.
Also, if you bought MS Office or Photoshop, and you don’t know where the CDs are (these 2 programs could easily exceed the entire cost of replacing your computer), you can’t transfer these to the new PC (legally anyway!).
- Consider how you use the computer. If you have a child who’s a serious gamer (or you yourself are one), it may be worth it to get a new powerhouse computer. Games take advantage of the newest hardware the fastest, so replacing may make sense if you have an older gaming rig.
- Did you buy that software separately? One great example of this is Microsoft Office. If it came pre-installed on your computer, then legally you have to buy a new version to place on your new computer (not as common these days).
If you bought it separately, and if you still have the CDs, then you’re okay. Take an audit of the programs you use most commonly on your computer, and if they came already installed on it, you might be better off repairing. Also, keep in mind that it is a pain in the neck to get all your old programs on your new PC (assuming you have the disks), and then configuring the new PC the way you had your old one.
- What about all your files? If you’re not storing them on some sort of external source (whether a thumb drive, the cloud, or an external hard drive), do you know where all your important files are? If you don’t and you want to pay someone else to do the work for you, factor that cost into buying a new PC.
- Examine your own budget. If you don’t have a big budget available for repairing your PC, and it costs $100 to repair a $700 PC, why not just pull all your files off of it, and get a new PC? Unless you’re a serious gamer, you can get a reasonably decent PC (or laptop) for $500 (or even less if you look for refurbished models on deal-a-day websites).
It’s Your Decision…
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide the right move. In most cases though, you’ll want to repair, if that’s possible.