The lifespan of your PC will largely depend on the system itself, but how you use and maintain it also play a huge role. Generally, desktop computers can last up to two years without showing any signs of slowing down, but again, that would depend on how you are taking care of it. The moment you notice that your system is not as fast as it used to be, or if it stops meeting the requirements of new software, it’s time to decide to either upgrade or replace it. Choosing between upgrading and replacing can be very tricky. As a rule, however, you should only choose the latter if upgrading will only cost you half or less than half the price of buying a new system.
Unlike laptop computers, desktop PCs have more room for upgrading. The only problem that most consumers face when it comes to upgrading is that the combined costs of the parts that need to be upgraded usually tend to go higher than the actual cost of replacement.
Meanwhile, here is a list of the parts of a desktop computer that can usually be upgraded:
CPU – Upgrading the CPU or motherboard of a PC is not that very popular and it’s not surprising at all considering the intricacy of the process of doing so. Unless you have assembled your computer yourself, or unless you will hire a technician to do it, it wouldn’t be a good idea to upgrade your system’s CPU.
RAM – Even if your computer initially came with enough memory, it will eventually require more RAM as the programs you install become more intricate. The RAM is actually one of the easiest parts of a computer to upgrade and installing it on your own is rather simple. The only thing you should be concerned about is the 4GB RAM limit in a computer that runs in a 32-bit operation system.
Video Card – Unless you are a heavy gamer and unless you use your computer as an entertainment system, there is really no need for you to upgrade your video card. Just like your RAM, the video card is one of the easiest to upgrade. All you really need to do is find out what graphics slot your computer is using and decide which 3D graphics card would suit your computer needs the best.
Hard Drive – The major thing you need to be aware of when upgrading your hard drive is whether your computer is using the newer SATA or the older IDE interface. Other than that, upgrading the hard drive should be easy. The main role of the hard drive is for storage, so you will know when you need upgrading when your computer starts to require more space, especially for large applications such as videos, audios, and even games.
Now, to answer the question “To replace or to upgrade?” it all depends on how much you will be spending on the upgrade. If the collective cost of the parts you upgraded is fifty percent or more than the cost of buying a new system, then you should definitely consider just buying a new computer.
Despite the fact that gadgets are getting smaller and smaller, the need for high-end desktop computers still cannot be neglected. Keep these things in mind the next time you come into some crossroad and need guidance on whether you should upgrade your PC or just get a new one.