Tech Refresh – Upgrade or buy new?

As time goes by, computers age and software resource requirements increase.  Buying a new computer every few years is sometimes a necessity, especially as security risks increase and operating systems change. There is, however, a couple of relatively cheap options to bring your listless computer back to life. We've put together two examples of the most cost-effective components to upgrade, the storage and memory of a computer. 

SSD

An SSD (Solid-State Drive) is a hardware device used for storing data that is not lost when a computer is switched off, this is known as non-volatile. In an SSD, non-volatile data is stored on interconnected flash memory chips. These are similar to ones found in a USB memory stick but are faster and more reliable. An SSD differs from the older traditional storage Hard Disk Drive (HDD). An HDD is mechanical and works by storing data on a spinning metal platter that a read/write head moves back and forth to access the data. An SSD has many advantages over an HDD including; read/write performance, power usage, noise, fragmentation, durability. This all does come at a price with SSDs being more expensive especially in higher capacities.

RAM

RAM (Random Access Memory) is a hardware component used to store and retrieve information on a computer quickly temporarily. This memory is where the computer will store data that it is actively using. RAM differs from your computers main storage such as a hard drive or network storage because it is classed as volatile and data is lost when the computer is powered off.  The main benefit of upgrading memory would be to increase multitasking performance, allowing your computer to do more things at once. The amount of RAM required for a computer depends on your uses. At least 4GB but ideally 8GB of RAM would be recommended for a new laptop being utilised for general office use. If, however, you are using more resource intensive software or multitasking, more may be advised, but this can vary greatly based on your needs.

 

Considerations

There are many factors to consider before believing that upgrading the above will solve all your computer speed woes. 

●        Is something else causing your computer to be slow in the first place?

                           Do you have many applications running in the background?

                           Is your computer up-to-date with the latest patches, drivers and updates?

                           Do you have a virus that is using up your resources?

                           Is another component acting as the bottleneck?

●        Will your operating system support more memory?

●        Is compatible RAM readily available for your ageing system?

●        Will your motherboard/processor support more memory?

●        Will your storage requirements make an SSD too costly?

As technology is forever advancing and changing, merely upgrading the above mentioned in a computer may not be the best option. Depending on the age, specification and compatibility of your system, it may be worth biting the bullet and purchasing a new computer entirely especially as older operating systems are made obsolete and no longer supported.

Not only will the new machine have the latest generation of parts but it will also be under warranty with security updates and hardware drivers readily available. The decision to upgrade or buy new when considering a tech refresh is dependent on your needs and current situation.

Is your current computer hardware suffering from age? Do you need advice on what to do for your next upgrade? Call us on 0114 352 0688 to schedule an appointment today.

 

 

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