Last month, we covered the updated Google Backup and Sync, Drive File Stream and Google Calendar applications.
This month: Is it better to upgrade or replace older workstations?
As Always, Happy Computing!
— Tom Grundig
Computers are valuable pieces of equipment that are critical for all businesses. We would love for them to last forever, but, like any other piece of technology, they do not last forever.
The average life expectancy for a business computer or laptop is around three to five years, so it is recommended to replace the older systems before they break or become unusable.
When using an older computer, you can notice the load times getting longer and the speed getting slower, but often we acclimate to the decreasing speed and not think much of it because it happens over time. This can be an issue because those waiting times will add up and translate into you being less productive. That loss of productivity is increased when you have to work with multiple software applications.
What can you do about this?
Completely replacing older systems is the best choice when it comes to getting a performance upgrade. Simply upgrading memory or replacing a hard drive can leave other components as a new bottleneck. Computer pricing has dropped over the years. In most cases, it is cheaper to just get a new computer than to pay for a part or two and have them installed by a technician.
Are there other solutions?
There are other options if replacing your computer with a new one is something that cannot be done right away. One of the first components in a computer that is most likely to degrade in performance and even fail is the hard drive (HDD). A hard drive is a mechanical device, subject to wearing out over time even if treated well.
Upgrading your hard drive (HDD) to a solid state drive (SSD) will give you lightning speeds when booting up your computer. A computer with an SSD as the boot drive can easily boot to the desktop in seconds. Solid state drives have no moving parts, so there is no seek time compared to a hard drive. You will also see apps launch and run faster and your file transfer speeds increase dramatically. The only real downside of a SSD is the cost associated with it. The price for a 1 TB hard drive is around $60. For the same amount of storage, a SSD costs around $250.
Random Access Memory (RAM) upgrades will also allow you to gain performance on your older hardware. When you have several applications and browser tabs running simultaneously, each of those processes is going to need to use so RAM while running.
When your system is limited to a small amount of RAM, you will run out of memory as you open more applications at one time, decreasing performance. For a desktop or laptop, it is recommended to have at least 8GB of RAM, but that may differ depending on how you use it. Installing replacement RAM is quick and easy as long as your computer hardware and operating system support the extra memory.
Why upgrade now?
With the end of the tax year nearing, it is a good time for businesses to make equipment purchases. Section 179 of the IRS tax code permits businesses to purchase qualifying equipment and deduct the complete price of the purchase that was made for that tax year. Taking advantage of this tax break can help businesses replace old hardware that may limit employees and business overall. Consult your CPA for details regarding any possible tax deductions your business may qualify for.