Is It Finally Time to Upgrade?

When is it time to give up on your old PC and move on to something new..–PC Pitstop.

Is It Finally Time to Upgrade?

by Richard Pedersen for Daves Computer Tips

There comes a time in the life of old computers that a decision needs to be made. “When do I stop spending money on this thing and get a new one instead?”

It can be a confusing choice and, like pets, we tend to get attached to them and their many quirks that we have come to understand so well.

How about a brand spanking new Solid State Drive (SSD)? People say that’s a great bang for the buck. Or what about a memory upgrade? More RAM is a better thing, right?

Random Access Memory (RAM) and an SSD are both cost-effective choices where system upgrades are concerned, but there are also other considerations that may negate those purchase-options. A new computer might be the better choice when you look at the whole picture.

If you don’t mind anthropomorphizing your computer for a minute, then the motherboard could possibly be called the skeleton. It can only carry so much weight, as it were, and therefore limits your decisions.

Let’s Start With RAM – Article Continued Here

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18 thoughts on “Is It Finally Time to Upgrade?

  1. I’m 70 yrs. old and everything u say is way over my head. The last computer I used at work was a Burrough’s 3000(excuse spelling)in 1969. The last computer I tried to understand was an IBM w/a 8086 chip. At that time there was more info in everyone’s brain than in the computer. Give me an idea of a good, inexpensive computer w/ good, easy-to-understand software that will be used for surfing.

    • Hi Jim,

      You’re only 10 years older than me 🙂

      I own several computers. My main system (not the best) was bought in 2003. I’m waiting for the new Intel Core i9 processor to hit the market so the i7 prices will fall into my budget range. I work with computers every day. I have 4 of them on my desk right now. So I am pretty much up to date on the techno-jargon and the technology.

      There is no simple answer to your question. If you are not into video gaming you don’t need a high-end processor, a high-end graphics card, lots of memory and a big drive. You should be able to find a decent PC with all you need on it for under $700.

      Your best bet is to go to a computer store and take some time with a knowledgeable salesman to look at a few that fall within your budget. They will take the time to explain the technology to you and help you find what best fits your needs.

    • Jim, I too am 70 but have worked with computers since 1966 (main frames). I was probably among the first people in the early 80s to have a “PC”. From there I learned how to build computers, troubleshoot them, etc. At the moment I would suggest a mac pad of some type. My decades long experience with Microsoft has finally steered me away from any product Microsoft. That includes smart phones and PC products. Microsoft is prone to viruses, extreme malware, constant hackers trying to get past the firewall etc. A mac IPad is relatively simple to learn. My 88 year old mother-in-law knows 95% of the IPAd and she and my wife actually do face to face chats, IPad to IPad. I am so disappointed in Microsoft they have never attempted to fix certain issues, relying on others to create products that cost hundreds of dollars and that is every year.

      • Hey Victor,

        Microsoft suffers from the popularity they have had. There are so many people on their OSes that they have the popular OS to attack.
        With a little bit of common sense you don’t have to be faced with attacks on MS platforms.

        MS is too big to fail right? WRONG! They have let their own complacency lead them into this predicament. MS has, for decades, gobbled up smaller companies taking what they wanted and dumping the rest. They have become too big to be efficient. I can see their market share dropping off significantly over the next 10 years.

        People thought MACs were immune to viruses and hacks. WRONG! They just aren’t that common yet. But, if Apple can steal MS’s thunder, I can guarantee you that they will be in the same predicament that MS is in right now.

        Nothing is hacker-proof. But hackers tend to attack what’s popular because they get more bang for the buck. Why bring down a handful of MACs when you can bring down millions of PCs?

        And, BTW, I am all over the web from Canada to US to China to Russia and I don’t get loaded up with crap. Stay off the adult sites. They’re the ones that will give your computer a nasty disease.

        Ive had home computers since I bought an Apple IIE in 1984. I’ve done OK with windows PCs as far as attacks and infections go. But I’m careful what I do. I make use of the better multi-scanner web resources to check out software before I attempt to install it.

        • I am careful but its an aggravation. One of my first experiences with MS was MS Word for an off the wall PC in 1984. It was a piece of crap and I told myself then MS would be dominating the market with stuff that was tested very little. I have a friend that does a lot of UNIX stuff. Some web site stuff doesn’t come up but what the hell. My latest malware problems were when I had a problem with a piece of crap HP all in one printer that stopped scanning. Went to the HP web site and all kinds of crap was happening. Had about 600 malware infections. Threw the HP in the garbage and bout an Epson XP-400. Thought I would look into that and the same thing happened. I will have to say though, both links caused my firefox browser to open which I don’t use. I use google chrome which has far fewer problems. Regardless, any person should be able to go to a web site and NOT have 600 bugs, some of which are hard to eradicate, get into the computer. It may be an inconvenience, but if MS took away the auto-load feature and made it so nothing happened on the computer without notification or permission viruses and malware would be greatly reduced. My friend using UNIX says he never has any of these problems.

          • Sorry to hear that Victor. I am on Windows XP pro. It’s the best OS MS has put out as far as I am concerned. I have Windows 7 at work. I find it aggravating to have to allow the OS to do what I asked it to do even when I am the administrator. Maybe you will like Windows 7. The security is a lot more restrictive.

            • I have Windows XP Pro too, the best MS has made so far. For a while there were blue screens and they slowly faded away. Still get one on a rare once in a great while. Years ago I opened the file manager to my desk top and did all my work right from file manager. Even when 98 came out, I continued using file manager because you could do everything in the computer from that screen. MS gradually got worse from there on. Funny thing is my son has a master’s degree in computer sciences and software engineering. We’ve done some projects over the years and I always have to jerk back on the reins and tell him he’s thinking like a programmer and NOT a user. Back in the 90s we had some stuff on, a bunch of web sites we did and some gaming programs. One site and the game is still out there I think, Wizard Cards. They may have gone to JAVA by now, I don’t know. Its one thing to improve on the egg, another to throw it on the floor and make something totally different. But I guess that’s thinking like a software engineer.

              • I work with software. But I also work with several different kinds of users (retailers and customers). So I get to see all sides of the bigger picture.

                bern has it right. MS is making Windows 10 free for those with Windows 7 or 8. But many many people still have XP. They know that.

                I’ll go to Linux next before I pay for Windows 10. Now there’s a stable OS Victor.

                The company I work for has been a pro MS shop for ever. They are slowly moving over to Linux. I ran SuSe Linus at home for a couple of years. I found it quite stable. But, there’s a learning curve involved. Maybe that’s better than the risks that MS OSes bring.

                • Two reasons why MS has to keep writing OS software. 1. They often write a juk program they have to get rid of/replace. 2. They make stuff “planned obsolescence” so it doesn’t work so good any more. This is forever putting BILLIONS of dollars in their already fatter wallet. Year ago in the mid 80s one of the computers we bought was the Atari. What an amazing machine. I will admit a large part of the OS was on ROM chips and you had to tell it to load every program but it didn’t have an auto load capability. I sat next to a guy with an IBM PC, both computers turned off. We both started at the same time a loaded up the “airplane” software. My Atari was up and running the software way before his was and I was making the plane do things he couldn’t on his IBM PC. The IBM back then was over $3000 and the Atari was less than $500 and a far superior computer. And you had to be a total idiot to install a virus on it.

                  • This is not just about MS selling more OSes. The whole PC industry is driven by it. And the cause of this situation is the customer. And here’s why …

                    I want that.

                    Every time someone comes out with something new, there is a whole group of people that just have to have it no matter what it costs them.

                    When we stop saying I want that, things will settle down.

                    I am pretty sure my next OS will be Linux on the hardware I already have.

  2. Newer Windows OSes are only faster than older Windows OSes when they are installed on newer hardware.

    Otherwise, I’d be able to boost the performance of Windows XP Pro by installing Windows 8.1 on my Pentium 4 PC with 2GB of memory.

    You have to lay out some cash for better hardware to run the newer Windows OSes. It’s not the OS that’s faster. It’s the hardware.

    • True, but my next computer will probably be a mac product. Microsoft has always been unreliable and bad quality. Rarely do they put out a product with only a few bugs. Its a constant stream of updates.

  3. I see most of the comments are about the Microsoft OS’s.

    Every OS Microsoft released was better than the one before it (excluding Vista). Each new version required a certain degree of learning from the previouse version.

    When XP was first released it recieved a lot of flack such as 8 is now. XP was great once service pack 1 was released. It did function differently than 95, 98SE and 2000 but it was close enough for plug-and-play.

    Vista like 8 tried to introduce too many changes at one time. The layout looked more confusing than it was.

    Best advice for people buying Windows is NOT to buy it as soon as it is released. Wait 6 months to a year before upgrading. That will give Microsoft a chance to fine tune it due to the thousands of computer hardware combinations out there.

    XP was faster and more stable than older versions. 7 was faster and more stable than XP. 8 once the 8.1 update was installed is faster than 7 and more stable as well. 10 hopefully will be better than 8 just don’t get it at first release.

    Time is the great healer. So true with OS’s as well……………Alan

    • I’m still using XP professional. Problem is you can’t go to virtually any web site any more without being loaded up with malware. I won’t buy another Microsoft OS based product ever again.

  4. This is my last Microsoft OS PC. I will never buy another PC, smart phone, pad, whatever with a Microsoft operating system. The crap I’m putting up with on the internet isn’t worth the bother anymore. Trying to prevent viruses and malware all the time. Paying hige money to clean it up and that stuff doesn’t work all that great. I want to prevent the garbage from getting on my computer, NOT clean it up after its infected.

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