Q. I have a mid-range Windows 7 desktop computer that I bought five years ago. I'm about ready to make the upgrade to Windows 10 and I feel like it needs better hardware to run well. Should I upgrade my current system or just buy a brand new one? If I'm upgrading, what do I need?
-Gary from Houston, Texas, listens to Kim's national radio show on 950 AM KPRC
A. The recommended lifespan of a computer is about four years, Gary. If you keep it in good shape, of course, it can last longer and still do the job, especially if you regularly follow these three steps to speed it up. But you do have an increased risk of hardware failure, especially with the hard drive.
That being said, after years of increasing bloat, Microsoft made the bold decision to have its new operating systems be MORE efficient. That's mainly because it was aiming Windows more heavily at the mobile market and weaker mobile hardware, but it works in your favor for desktops and laptops as well.
Any computer that runs Windows 7, 8, or even later Vista machines, should be able to run Windows 10 just as well. This author is running Windows 10 on a system with a high-end Core 2 processor from 2008 and it runs just fine. Of course, other parts of that computer have been upgraded over the years.
Let's take a look at what upgrades you'll want to make and how it will compare cost-wise and trouble-wise to just buying a new computer.