When to Buy a New Computer

Considerations for a New PC

  • Form Factor

  • Processor

  • RAM

  • Storage

author-image

By

When Is It Time to Buy a New Computer?1

While it may be possible to add memory or hard drive space to keep older computers working longer, there are several signs you should look for to know when it’s time to replace them with modern devices. Perhaps your laptop has been crashing during demos you just can’t seem to run videoconferencing apps smoothly. Maybe it’s taking longer and longer to boot up your system and your clunky computer looks like it’s old enough to have survived Y2K. If your computer’s memory, storage, and processor aren’t keeping pace with your computing needs, if your computer is more than five years old, or if your staff needs the mobility of laptops or 2-in-1s vs. a desktop computer, it’s time to consider buying new computers for your small business.

How Long Do Computers Last?

You may think you can keep your business’s old PCs running until they die, but there are many PC replacement benefits to getting a new computer before that happens. For instance, the older computers get, the more likely they are to need repairs. According to research from J. Gold Associates commissioned by Intel, a five-year-old computer costs an average of $662 annually in repairs.2 Small businesses in the study also reported that, on average, 43% of their PCs more than five years old malfunctioned annually. By comparison, just slightly over 5% of computers less than a year old malfunctioned.3

Older PCs also have more difficulty running today’s resource-hungry software applications. Using a computer more than five years old can reduce employee productivity by 29%, according to the same J.Gold report4 This lost productivity can cost your business up to $17,000 a year per employee.3

Finally, older PCs are more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Among small business computers more than five years old, the J.Gold study found that 34.47% had been hacked.5 The average cost of one such data breach worldwide is estimated at $35,745 per employee.6 New PCs come with built-in security features that can help protect your business from increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals.

Things to Look for in a New Computer

Now that you’ve decided your business is ready for a PC refresh, here are some tips for buying a new computer.

2-in-1, Desktop, or Laptop?

Whether your employees need desktops, laptops, or 2-in-1s depends on when, where, and how they use their computers. For employees who never work outside the office, a desktop computer can be a smart choice. Desktops typically cost less than comparably equipped laptops, which can help to stretch your technology budget. A desktop with an 8th Gen Intel® Core™ processor with Intel® Optane™ memory is a good choice that provides plenty of computing power for in-office employees using common applications such as CRM, accounting, and inventory management.

When comparing small business laptops vs. desktops, also consider if you or your employees may need to use the computer both in the office and at home, at client locations, or while traveling. If that’s the case, a laptop or 2-in-1 offers the portability and flexibility you need. For example, the latest thin and light laptops, powered by the latest Intel® Core™ processors, provide innovation that boosts productivity, powers long-lasting mobile performance, and delivers ultra-fast connectivity—all you need to get the job done wherever you may be working.

Choosing the Right Processor

When choosing the right small business computer, the processor is a key consideration. The central processing unit (CPU) sends commands to the computer; the faster the CPU is, the more responsive the computer will be. If employees frequently multitask among different applications or use data-hungry applications like video editing, it’s worth investing in a faster CPU.

The Role of RAM in PC Performance

Random Access Memory (RAM) is short-term memory that temporarily stores data the computer is using to operate. How much RAM you need depends on the types of software your business typically runs. Resource-heavy apps such as video editing use a lot of RAM, while basic apps such as word processing and spreadsheets do not. When buying a new computer, look for one that not only has plenty of RAM to handle today’s tasks, but also has enough capacity to add more RAM in the future.

The amount of RAM a computer has isn’t the only factor in its overall performance, however. You’ll need a fast processor to take advantage of all that RAM, since RAM and processors work together to maximize your computer’s power, speed, and performance.

Don’t Let Storage Limit Your Staff

Unlike the short-term data storage RAM provides, a computer’s storage drive stores files and applications—including the computer’s operating system—for the long term. Storage drives come in two formats: a hard disk drive (HDD) or a solid-state drive (SDD).

The larger your storage drive, the more data and applications your computer can store, and the more easily you can access files, launch programs, and run software applications. This translates to faster computing speeds and better overall performance. Keep in mind that SDDs are significantly smaller and lighter than mechanical hard drives and don’t require a fan, so they are better suited to laptops and other more mobile computers.

Don’t Let Your PCs Hold Back Your Growing Business

In an increasingly competitive world, the right technology can make all the difference in your small business’s success. If your company’s computers aren’t keeping pace with the demands of your business, it may be time to invest in modern PCs.

Do you need a tech refresh? After assessing your business’s computing needs, follow these tips for buying a new computer to choose the right PCs to power up your business. When you’re ready to invest in a new computer, you can be confident there’s an Intel-powered PC for you.

Product and Performance Information

1

Intel does not control or audit third-party data. You should review this content, consult other sources, and confirm whether referenced data are accurate.

2

Based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J.Gold Associates, LLC, of 3297 respondents from small business in 16 countries commissioned by Intel and conducted by J.Gold Associates, LLC, to assess the challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. Survey respondents estimated that for PCs more than 5 years old, employees would be 29% less productive – based on an average assumed employee’s salary of US$60,000, the lost productivity cost will amount to US$17,000. To review this statistic and the full report, visit here.

3

”Every 5-year-old computer you have could be costing you up to US$17,000 per year” is based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC., of 3,297 respondents from small business in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA) to assess the challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. Survey respondents estimated that for PCs more than 5 years old, employees would be up to 29% less productive—based on an average assumed employee’s salary of US$60,000, the lost productivity cost will amount to US$17,000. To review this statistic and the full report, visit https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/business/small-business/sme-pc-study.html.

4

“Employees are up to 29% less productive on PCs that are 5+ years old” is based on a 2018 web-based survey, commissioned by Intel and conducted by J. Gold Associates, LLC., of 3,297 respondents from small business in 16 countries (Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA) to assess the challenges and costs associated with deploying older PCs. This statistic is based on the productivity impairment respondents estimated was attributed to using a 5-year-old PC multiplied by the average amount of time respondents estimated was spent on a PC. To review this statistic and the full report, visit https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/business/small-business/sme-pc-study.html.

5

To review this statistic and the full report, visit here.

6

Allocating the cost of a malware attack or data breach by employee can be calculated by the following formula: $35,745 (Cost per employee) = 34.47% (average percentage that have had a breach) X $103,705 (the average cost of the breach). To review this statistic and the full report, visit here.