How To

How do I know if I need to upgrade my PC?

Kayla Matthews


Computers are finicky devices. Although the current generation of hardware is much easier to work with than earlier models, modern systems still need to be maintained, updated and protected from outside threats — and that still might not be enough.

Even in the best-case scenario, computers are known to fail from time to time. The good news is that most of them provide telltale warning signs well in advance.

How do I know if I need to upgrade my PC?

1. Slow system speed

Your system probably doesn’t perform nearly as well as it did when you first brought it home. There are numerous strategies to help restore the original speed and performance of a laptop or desktop PC, and some of these tricks are quite helpful. Defragging your disk drive, removing junk files and physically removing dust from your PC’s case all go a long way toward  restoring your computer to its former glory.

But if you’ve tried all of the methods without any luck, it’s probably time to upgrade. You might be able to struggle by for another year or two, but the rapid development of technology makes it even harder to catch up if you do fall behind.

2. Frequent crashes or virus infections

Every computer is prone to virus infections, but most of these threats are mitigated by modern antivirus or anti-malware protection. Even if your system is infected, the effect on a healthy computer is typically minimal.

If you find that a recent virus is wreaking havoc on your desktop or laptop, or if you experience frequent or regular crashes, it’s probably time to upgrade your entire computer.

3. Software incompatibility

Is your computer capable of running the latest applications and utilities? Can you play new games with your graphics settings at the maximum? Unless you bought your computer secondhand, it was likely compatible with all of the software on the market at the time.

If you find that you now have to pass up the newest and most exciting games, or if you find it difficult to find compatible drivers for the latest software, it’s probably time to begin shopping for a whole new computer.

4. Showing its age

Computers are like humans — no matter how hard they try to hide it, their true age always comes to light eventually. There are several signs to look for when trying to determine if your system is too old. Odd or unexpected noises, internet lag and the appearance of the infamous “blue screen of death” are all telltale signs that your computer is just too old.

As a general rule of thumb, many computer enthusiasts upgrade their systems every four years. Not only does this ensure compatibility with the latest software and hardware releases, but it also helps safeguard your system against the most recent viruses, malware, and cyber-threats.

Upgrading your PC on a budget

Although brand-new components are expensive, it is possible to upgrade your PC while maintaining a tight budget. Refurbished hardware and used hardware mean different things, but both types will help keep your costs to a minimum.

The term used typically refers to pre-owned hardware. Unlike refurbished equipment, there typically aren’t any guarantees to the remaining performance of the device.

Authorized refurbished equipment undergoes a remanufacturing process and extensive testing before it’s made available to consumers, and many refurbished items include a limited warranty of some kind.

Don’t wait until it’s too late!

It’s easy to get aggravated when your desktop or laptop is struggling to perform at acceptable speeds, but tech-savvy users know that this is a sign of an outdated system.

Whether you’re experiencing system bottlenecks, frequent crashes, or software incompatibility, it’s important to recognize what your computer is telling you and respond promptly.

Not only does this let you get a jump on any serious problems, but it could help you prevent data loss or corruption in the future.

You may also like