May 20, 2022
Very old computer

When To Buy A New Computer In 2021

When is it time to buy a new computer? when it’s too slow, or when it just won’t work anymore? will it be worth upgrading or fixing? In This article, I’m going to discuss what would be the best option and why should you get a new pc or upgrade. There are many factors that are very important when considering to buying a new PC or upgrading.

How Old is Your Computer

I’m just going to say it, It’s time for a new computer when it’s 10 years or older. You can get an idea How old your Computer is by looking at what kind of operating system it originally had when new. A computer that comes with Windows XP is too old, the hardware is too out-of-date to be useful even if fully upgraded. There might be a chance to upgrade a system that came with Windows Vista, but the hardware in these’s computers starting to age. Don’t waste money on those old computers and save your money and buy a new computer. For any computer with a windows 7 or newer, there’s a chance it can be upgraded.

CPU Performace

Even if the computer is new, the CPU might be an issue on a slow pc. So seeing what kind of performance it has will help us determine the best course of action.

Firstly, we going to need take a look at what kind of CPU your computer has. Found out by following these’s steps

  1. press Windows+R keys then enter msinfo32 in the text box and press enter.
  2. In the left box select system summary.(it should have loaded up by default)
  3. In the right box there will be a list of information, scoll down and look for Processor.

Web search the model of the CPU with the word benchmark after it. For example, my CPU shows in msinfo32 as “Intel(TM) Core(TM) i3-5030U CPU @…..”. So I would search “i3-5030U benchmark”. The number one result will likely be from cpubenchmark.net. I use this site all the time to determine if a CPU’s performance is good or not. The table below shows scores on my best recommendations.

Score on cpubenchmark.netBest Solution
Less then 1200Even if the computer is upgradable it must be a very old CPU to have such a low score. Best to replace the computer.
1200 to 2000Here it depends on what kind of system you have. Most laptops have solder in CPUs and are not upgradable but many older business-class laptops are upgradeable. I personally would get a new computer, but upgrading might be an option.
2000 to 3000Any score this good will be good enough for web browsing and watching videos.
3000 to 6000Should be able to comfortably use the computer without much slowdown. Upgrading is not needed unless your trying to perform video editing.


RAM (Random Access Memory)

This memory is for applications to use, it has much faster read and write than the hard drive. When there’s not enough ram, windows will start using something called virtual memory. This means that windows will begin to use the Hard drive like RAM. The computer will slow down and you start seeing a lot of disk activity.

Total Physical MemoryBest Solution
Less than 4GBHighly recommend upgrading the memory. If upgrading is not possible it’s time for a new computer.
8GBYou should be fine, but upgrading isn’t a bad idea. I recommend upgrading to 16GB
16GB or greaterMost workloads should work great with this amount.

You can see how much RAM your computer has by pressing Windows Key+R then typing msinfo32 in the Run window. Scroll down and looking for Total Physical Memory.

Drive Storage

The Drive storage in the computer could be slowing down the system there and there are two possibilities.

Firstly It might be a full drive, You can check the free space by using windows explorer.

  1. Press Windows key+E (opens windows explorere)
  2. Then on the left side press This PC in the list.
  3. C: drive on the right side with a bar under it shows how much free space is left, if its red and full that means the drive is full.

If that is the case you could try running the disk cleanup utility windows to free some space. It can be found by typing in the windows start menu disk cleanup. You still might need to free some more space, try moving them to a flash drive, or deleting some of them.

Secondly, the drive might be slowing down because the hard drive is going bad. Almost every drive Has something called SMART, which monitors and reports if drive failure might occur. Following these steps to help find out the status of your drives SMART.

  1. Press Windows+R keys.
  2. Type cmd in the box, and hold down Ctrl+Shift and press enter. This will open the command prompt.
  3. Type wmic diskdrive get status in the command prompt.

You should see Status OK. If the Status says “bad” or “caution” it means that the drive might be dying if you see that back up as soon as you can! “Unknown” means that the firmware doesn’t support or it could mean it’s dying too, best to back up just in case.

Note About eMMC Storage:
If your computer was less than 64GB of Main storage it might be eMMC storage. This memory is very similar to flash memory like SSD. Sadly chances are its solder inside the computer and might not be replaceable. If is solder the only other feasible solution is to replace the computer. Since it’s more than likely the main bottleneck of the computer, any kind another upgrade won’t help much.

Upgrading Storage

Signal handly the best upgrade you could install for your computer is an SSD (solid-state drive). Many computer manufacturers install Hard Drives because they are cheaper per gigabyte of space, and chances are it’s what’s in your computer now. SSD‘s have many advantages over Hard Drives, Firstly they are much faster at reading and writing data. Secondly, they have almost instantaneous Random access time, meaning that they can access data anywhere on the drive without delay. Thirdly they are able to paralyze much better too! which can help a lot when running multiple applications.

Can you install a better storage drive? If your computer is a desktop you shouldn’t have a problem with upgrading. But many laptops might not be able to. check the model of your computer and see if the storage drive is upgradeable. This can be found usually under the laptop or the battery.

But before you go buying an SSD check if your computer already has one. You can find out my opening defrag, there you see that the type of drive it is.

If you have a SSD it will display “Soild state drive” Under Media Type

About any SSD will be faster than a hard drive but I recommend a Samsung SSD. They are made with higher quality flash memory and have cache for reading and writing.

Buying A New Computer

When upgrading can’t work, A new computer is the way to go. But be careful what you get, as even if the computer is new you might end up with something slower than you had before! Here are some tips on making sure not getting a clunker.

  1. Check the performace of the cpu and compare it to others on cpubenchmark.net. Try to aim for a score thats at least 3000.
  2. 8GB of RAM or better. Todays web browsers use a lot of ram, 10 tabs in google chrome could use up to 3GB in some cases!
  3. Perfer SSD over a hard drive. This will make a big differece when using your computer for daily tasks!
  4. (laptop) Be sure it has all the ports you need. carreing around a bunch of adapters can be annoying.

colby

Computer guru with years working with technology. I find it fun to tinker with computer new and old, and make them do my work for me.

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