Buy a New Computer, or Upgrade?

Posted by jplesset on January 26, 2014 under Computers | Be the First to Comment

I hear people talking all the time about getting a new computer.  I always wonder why they’ve decided to throw away the old one, when likely there’s little wrong with it, and most of the parts are no worse than what they get in a new one.

Personally, I haven’t purchased a completely new desktop/tower computer in many years; I just replace what needs to be replaced for upgrading. I save hundreds of dollars, spend an hour or so unscrewing and removing the motherboard, and installing new.  Larger hard disks take just a few minutes to install, too.

OK, I understand that most people aren’t able to open up a computer to “fix” it. I think that’s mostly fear.  For example, adding memory to a computer is just about as difficult as putting bread into a toaster. Many local computer stores are willing to help you. No, not the big chain stores. Most big chain stores have limited knowledge, except for the “service department”, and those people will charge you for help. Find a small, locally-owned store, and most likely the sales people will know what you need, and are willing to offer help. In Portland, I like, Pacific Solutions. The owner and all the sales people seem quite knowledgeable, and have always given me good advice. Their prices are competitive, too.

When my wife needs more performance, I get her a new motherboard, processor, memory.  I take the old out, which is likely better than my system, and put it in mine. My old stuff goes to another system, until all are upgraded. I never buy the “state of the art”, because I refuse to pay the premium for something that’s going to be reasonably priced in 6 months or a year. I buy what was state of the art a year ago. Typically, that means under $100 for the motherboard, another $75 or so for the processor, and maybe $80 for memory. The DVD burner/player is fine, the case is fine, the video adapter is fine, as is the monitor. Why replace stuff that’s good?

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