Reasons to Keep Your Hardware Current

Too often, we come across clients whose systems are out-dated. A general rule of thumb that we try to follow is replacing desktop systems every 3 years, servers every 5 years. These are general rules, and they don’t always apply. Here are some reasons you may need a hardware replacement now.

  1. You spend a lot of time waiting for your computer to do what should be simple, quick tasks. While this problem is often resolved by a clean reinstallation of the operating system and software programs, a general “cleanup” of unused stuff on the system, or a memory upgrade, sometimes a system is just too old to warrant upgrading and needs to be replaced.
  2. Your system has a proprietary component which will be difficult (read “expensive”) or downright impossible to replace. As standards change, manufacturing of older parts tapers off in favor of the newer trends. EIDE drives are giving way to SATA, older memory types are replaced with newer, faster ones, etc.
  3. Another good sign that your hardware is obsolete is that it is no longer under warranty. My rule is that every production system must be under a service contract. If it’s no longer available, it should be retired. To get an idea what it would take to repair your system in the event of a catastrophe, contact the manufacturer or place where you bought it, and find out what it would cost to replace the motherboard, processor, memory, and hard drive. More importantly, find out the availability of those parts and ask “Can we afford to be down for that long?”
  4. A large portion of your organization has migrated to a new hardware platform/manufacturer/brand. Having a single platform (Dell Optiplex 745, HP Business Desktop dc7800, etc.) in your organization lowers management costs because your techs need to be familiar with fewer configurations, fewer sets of spare parts need to be stocked, and if a certain software runs on one machine, it’s pretty likely to run on any other. You don’t want to be the lone island in the corner clinging to your precious Gateway 2000 PC just because it doesn’t have any problems. If the rest of your organization is moving forward, join them.
  5. Your system isn’t right for your business needs. You are a traveling salesman, rarely in the office, yet you don’t have a notebook.
  6. It’s time to change. You are considering “thinking different” and using Apple Macintosh systems as opposed to Windows, or vice versa, because they better meet your needs.

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