Upgrading vs. Purchasing a new Computer

I get asked this question often.

 

Hardware

I’m constantly seeing computers (and now iPhones) that are running out of storage. Adding a larger hard drive capacity was normally the solution. Most hard drives start to slow down and eventually fail somewhere around year 3-4 (depening on use of course). If you’re constantly seeing the spinning wheel, you likely have a Failing, or very full hard drive. If your machine is around four or five years old and you have logic board or video issues, I would recommend you start looking for a newer computer. Hopefully, you’ve noticed the importance of backups at this point.

Users of laptops maybe familiar with batteries that gradually fail to hold a full charge, and will eventually need to be replaced, which is very simple. However, Many of the new machines have the battery glued into the top case, and even the trackpad is not a seperate item anymore, making repairs very expensive, especially if you don’t have the extended warranty…. 

SSD

Swapping out your internal hard drive with a solid state drive (SSD) is a great way to see immediate and often startling improvements in data access speed on your system. The obvious tradeoff, is they’re more expensive, especially compared to a traditional hard drive. Apple use the fusion drive in many of their newer iMac models, a fusion Drive is a combination of  Flash Storage and spindle drive.

Software

Computers around 5+ years old are Not able to run the latest operating system (by design of course) that whole planned obsolescence thing. You’re unable to install the latest apps, and eventually your browsers will not correctly load web pages because of security issues (mostly).

Of course, you can install the very latest Linux operating system on almost any antiquated Computer…. OS X was developed with a Unix foundation (or kernel), so it has the same reliability and performance as Unix, and it’s free. 

SSD

The need for speed

More Ram

More Ram

Backups

Backups

Most asked questions:

Does an SSD really make a difference?

Yes. The bottleneck has always been the hard drive, since it could never keep up with the speed of the computer.

What if the logic board fails after all the upgrades?

If the machine develops a logic board or video issue, in most cases, it’s not worth investing more money

What about my Data if installing a new hard drive or SSD?

A fresh operating system will be installed on the new drive, and your data will be migrated to it from your backup or current drive. It’s also a good way to get rid of all the rubbish that your Mac has accumulated along the way what with all the upgrades over the years.

Is heat going to be an issue with a new SSD?

Solid State Drives have no moving parts, so much less heat is generated.

Some 2009 & 2010 iMacs need to have a special thermal sensor installed ($40), since Apple thought it was a good idea to incorporate the thermal sensor into the existing hard drive (that’s what we are swapping), although I have used a fan based software to control the fans…. otherwise the fans blow at warp speed constantly.