The functional lifespan of an average business computer would be roughly three to eight years. The time depends on the type of system you purchased, advances in hardware components, and changes in the software requirements over its lifetime. Many slow-running business computers will have a significant speed boost if you uninstall old programs. Modern apps startup silently in the background. These consume system resources even when you do not use them. Before you conclude that you must upgrade or replace your business computer, the ‘Reset This PC’ tool can engage in even more under-the-hood housekeeping.
Upgrade or replace your business computer?
When you are factoring in the costs of upgrades, think about the main replaceable components: memory, hard drives, video cards, and processors.
- Memory: The memory is the most cost-effective upgrade. The more memory that a business computer has, the more data it can process without having to use virtual memory. Virtual memory goes to and from the hard drive to keep the system running. As computer programs get more multifaceted, they use up more system RAM. Memory upgrades vary in cost depending upon the type of memory that your business computer system uses and the amount you buy. One of the easiest hardware updates is swapping memory chips. Is your business computer affected by the 4GB memory limit in 32-bit operating systems? If your business computer can’t run a 64-bit operating system, it can’t access more than 4GB of onboard RAM, no matter how much RAM you install.
- Hard drives: The second-easiest upgrade for a business computer is with the storage drives. Hard drive space roughly doubles every two years. The amount of data that you store is growing quickly, due to digital audio, video, and pictures. Is your business computer running out of space? A quick solution is buying a new internal or external hard drive. A pro-level upgrade includes the addition of a solid-state drive (SSD). SSDs offer a noteworthy increase in storage speed. But they have the drawback of much less storage space for the price. You can use an SSD for Windows, with your data on a separate physical drive. This will harvest substantial performance improvements. A substitute is to use a new solid-state hybrid drive that uses a conventional hard drive plus a small solid-state memory as a cache. You will see a performance boost when these become the primary or boot hard drive.
- Video cards: Do you upgrade your business computer’s video card when you are looking for extra performance or functionality with advanced games or computationally complex programs for statistics and data mining? The amount of performance that you might need from a graphics card will differ greatly depending upon your tasks.
- CPU: While it is possible to upgrade a processor in most business computers, the process is complicated and difficult for most users to perform. Even then, the computer’s motherboard might restrict you as to what processors you can install in the system. If your motherboard is too old, a processor replacement might also require the motherboard and memory to be upgraded as well, which can end up being as expensive as buying a whole new computer.