Should I get a new computer?

I get this question often enough from people who have computers they consider old or slow. The question then becomes where should you put your money?

Many times, the older and slower equipment is fine and just needs a bit of software tweaking. I’ve had amazing performance increases from just changing the anti-malware software that’s on the computer. Some computers, however, need to have everything wiped and reinstalled from scratch to bring them back to their original glory and speed. Part of the problem is finding all the software that was originally installed so it can be put back. Then there’s the time to do it (it typically takes me between two and four hours to backup, erase, and reinstall a computer running Windows, depending upon what needs to be put back when I’m done). This is usually where the money question usually ends up.

Because of how long it takes me to do the job (believe me, I’m not lollygagging around either, I’m just focused on YOUR computer while I do it), if the computer is five years-old, it may be your money is better spent on a new computer instead. New PCs running Windows can be had for $400 or so for something half-way decent. The last couple I customized through Dell were around $700, but had some extras the clients needed as well as some additional software.

What do you do with the old when you’re done? I think I’ll wait until my next blog entry to answer that one. So many possibilities.

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