Is it time to put your rig out to pasture?
It’s quite frustrating when you realize that your computer is starting to get on in years, especially when it’s only like, three years. That’s the paradoxical things about computers; they keep getting more and more powerful, and yet they can’t seem to invent a computer that doesn’t start coughing its lungs out after a few years. Them’s the brakes, I guess. The point is, you need a good computer, so when yours starts getting up there, you need to make an executive decision on whether or not it can be salvaged.
The big question is whether or not your computer’s problems can be remedied with replacement parts, and if the cost of said parts is low enough that it wouldn’t be cheaper to get something new. Peripherals like keyboards, mice, monitors, and speakers can be replaced very easily and cheaply, while your rig’s innards such as fans, graphics cards, and RAM sticks may cost more and require more specialized knowledge to install. There’s also the matter of how much stuff is breaking down simultaneously; if all of the parts are on their last legs anyway, it’d be much more cost effective to just get a new rig instead of replacing it all. Heck, at that point, it wouldn’t even be the same computer anymore. Are you familiar with the Ship of Theseus? Er, never mind.
Of course, you do need to consider what you’re using your computer for. If all you do with it is check your email and maybe watch a couple of YouTube videos, you can probably get a longer shelf life out of your rig, provided you don’t mind gradually slowing load times. On the other hand, if you use your computer for more strenuous stuff like gaming or rendering video, you’re gonna need to make a decision much sooner.
Whatever you decide, remember that you may be able to save some money on a new rig by buying the composite parts and either assembling it yourself or paying someone to do it for you. And don’t forget to properly recycle your old computer when you’re done with it.