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Tech tips

4 reasons to upgrade your old PC or Mac – even if it still works

We use computers for everything from checking email, work, school stuff and more. But as your computer ages, it gets more difficult to install new programs and operating system updates. Tap or click here to see how Microsoft ending support for Windows 7 is impacted users.

So, why not have a computer that you can depend on? How old is yours, and how do you know when it’s time to say goodbye and hello to new technology? Upgrading your old computer can bring you more speed and storage space, but will it do everything you want it to do?

You don’t want to put new components into an old system if it’s not going to result in a like-new system. That’s why it might be time actually to upgrade to a new machine. Here are some reasons why it may be time.

1. OS/security updates

With Windows 11 to be released later this year, you are probably wondering if your old PC is compatible. There are some minimum requirements that your machine will need to meet. Tap or click here to find out if your PC can run Windows 11.

Windows 10 is a much better operating system than its previous Windows 8, Windows 7 and older options. Windows 11 is sure to be even better. By upgrading to a new computer, you’re sure to have access to the latest Windows OS and all the security upgrades and cool new features.

If your old PC can’t run Windows 11, it’s a good idea to go ahead and find your next computer. You don’t want to be left high and dry like Windows 7 users who no longer get support. Want to make the switch to a laptop? Tap or click here to take our quiz and find the right one for you.

2. Programs are not compatible

Having an older computer and not being able to upgrade to the latest OS comes with a new set of problems — programs that are no longer compatible.

Programs that you currently use, like Microsoft Office, may no longer work. For example, a 2012 Macbook Pro will not run the latest version of Microsoft Office if the OS cannot be upgraded. Many new programs have minimum requirements that your older machine might not be able to meet.

This is often the case for many games that you may like. For those who enjoy the new game releases, you might not be able to play them on your current machine. Games these days are all downloaded from the internet and will require a minimum RAM space, certain graphics and more overall space on your computer.

How big is your hard drive? A recommended minimum size is 500GB if you save lots of documents, want tons of games or like to download music and movies. If you fall into this category, it’s probably time to get yourself a new computer with more storage space.

3. Cost of replacing hardware (RAM, hard drive, etc.)

When it comes to replacing components such as RAM, hard drives (whether you want a traditional one or a solid-state), graphics card, motherboard, etc., each part can be very expensive. For example, upgrading your RAM from 8GB to 16GB (to give you more space and faster speeds) could cost anywhere from $100 – $300.

If you were to add up the cost of each piece of hardware that you want to upgrade, you could be better off buying a new computer altogether. Another cost after you purchase hardware is to find someone to install them if you’re not tech-savvy. Do you know a reliable IT service? Would you trust giving your machine to someone you don’t know?

Instead of incurring the expensive costs of replacing hardware, buying a new PC or Mac could be the way to go. You’ll be better off in the long run and will have a new machine that will last for years to come.

4. What’s that strange noise?

Normally, a computer won’t make much noise. You may hear a soft whooshing from the fan or the gentle meanderings of the hard drive thinking.

But keep your ears open for unusual sounds, including grinding, knocking or clicking noises. These can all be telltale signs of an inevitable hard drive failure.

First, be sure to back up any data you want to keep from the hard drive. Then you can decide if it’s worth replacing the drive with a new one or cutting your losses and going with an entirely new machine.

You can expect the average life of your machine to last between 3 and 5 years. In most cases, if you hear strange noises from your computer, you’re better off buying a new one. Especially if it’s older than 5 years, go ahead and treat yourself with a new PC or Mac, and you’ll be surfing in peace for years to come.

If it’s a PC that you’re after, check out our sponsor Dell’s Black Friday in July sale. This is when you can get some of the best deals of the year.

Enjoy a powerful business upgrade with Dell Technologies’ Black Friday in July event. Get amazing savings with up to 50% off high-performance computers and tech built for business and be able to take your office with you with Windows 10 Pro.

Plus, you can get great offers on Dell servers, monitors, docks and more — all with easy financing options through Dell Financial Services. Call 877-ASK-DELL and speak to a Dell Technologies Advisor today!

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