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7 Signs Your Computers Need a Hardware Upgrade

published 5/14/2020

If your computer keeps getting slower and more volatile, it might be time for a hardware upgrade.

Most people still have a hard time understanding the inner workings of their computers. It's understandable, there are hundreds of tiny moving parts in there that all need to do their job in order for your computer to run properly. When things aren't running smoothly, it's usually because one of these parts is old and overworked.

In this post, we're going to discuss seven signs that you might be due for a hardware upgrade. It's not the most exciting thing to spend your money on, but it'll keep your computer running smoothly for a long time.

1. You Can't Install a New OS

The day that your computer doesn't meet the requirements for an operating system update is the day that you should start thinking about replacing certain parts. For those with older PCs, you might've gotten by on XP or older Mac OS's, Microsoft and Apple have stopped supporting older operating systems.

New OS's come out essentially every year now to fix bugs and enhance outdated features. If you want to live in the same digital world as everyone else, then you need to have the latest one. When these updates reach the point that your old hardware can't support them, you'll need a hardware upgrade.

2. Other Software Is Passing You By

Similarly, if your system can't support new programs that are coming out, your computer needs an upgrade. Every time you purchase new software, you'll see its system requirements.

The last thing you want to do is shell out hundreds of dollars for a new piece of software, only to find out that your computer can't run it properly. When you're going to be pushing your computer with multiple types of software, you need to have a decent processor and a good amount of RAM.

3. It's Noticeably Slower

We've all had that moment when you realize your computer is getting outdated. It starts taking a bit longer to load programs or maybe it overloads and shuts down from time to time, destroying your unsaved work. It's hard to define when a computer starts "getting slow", but you can always tell when it's happening.

The time between a computer starting to slow down and when it becomes a hindrance to your workflow is pretty short. Before you know it, you'll have the spinning ball of death or, for Windows users, the "blue screen of death." This is a pretty good indicator that you need a substantial upgrade.

4. There's No Space or Memory

Older computers come with a lot less hard drive space and memory than they do now. To make matters worse, programs are larger and you have to utilize more of them to get the most out of a computer these days. The resulting scenario is that you need to both increase the amount of RAM and get a better hard drive to make it all work.

You can cover up the hard drive issue with external devices for now, but you're going to need to do some computer surgery to improve your RAM situation. Random Access Memory (RAM) is basically what allows your computer to access information quickly and gives it the ability to multitask.

Many computers that are released these days come stock with eight, 16, or even 32 GB of RAM. If you're dealing with one or two GB, then it's going to be hard to run multiple programs at once.

5. Your Connections Are Outdated

This one even causes people with newer computers big-time problems. The hubs in our computers are constantly changing as engineers find faster ways to transmit information between devices. Up until a few years ago, most computers thrived with USB ports and most devices used USB.

Not anymore. Now, everything comes with USB-C, and computer manufacturers like Apple have ditched the original USB altogether in the new Macbooks. If your old computer can only support USB devices, you're going to be limited with what you can connect to it. It might not be an immediate problem, but it'll become one quickly.

6. Strange Noises Are Coming from Your PC

Noises are almost never a good sign when they're coming from your computer, especially when it's trying to complete a task. The cracking and hissing every time you open a program or watch a YouTube video means that your computer is having to work a little bit too hard to do what you want it to.

It could also mean that there's some overheating because your fan is about to break. In severe circumstances, these noises could be the sign that your hard drive is about to fail. When you notice the noises getting worse, it's best to take the computer in to get looked at because once the hard drive fails, there's no getting it back.

7. Replacement Parts Are Non-Existent

Running a computer with a lot of super old parts makes it hard for technicians to find the right replacement parts. If you take in to get fixed because of some noises, you might find out that you need to replace a few other parts just because they don't make the one you need anymore.

It's frustrating and expensive, but that's why it's important to maintain some modernity when it comes to your computer hardware.

Getting a Hardware Upgrade Isn't So Bad

Whether you're running a business from it or its for personal use, your computer will need a hardware upgrade from time to time if you don't want to replace the entire thing. Use these tips to keep an eye (and ear) on your computer's overall functionality and contact us at Data Doctors when you need some advice.

We've been the go-to source for computer services for Phoenix homes and businesses since 1988. Our wealth of knowledge and helpful associates are here for all of your computer needs. For more interesting computer-related articles, come back and visit our blog again soon.