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 Intel® Core™ processor 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.