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Considering upgrading to Windows 10? Three reasons you should buy new hardware instead.

Client Computing | Posted on September 6, 2016 by Tania Stadnik


If you’re unsure about whether to update your operating system (OS) to Windows 10 or just buy a new computer, you are in good company. For months our Softchoice team has been fielding questions like “Is my hardware capable of making the leap to Windows 10?” and “Am I better off just investing in new hardware now?” Sound familiar? Here are three reasons you should buy new.

#1 Old computer

If your computer is five years old or more, you’re better off buying a new computer than upgrading your machine. Why? Putting aside the fact that your machine is probably slow, it is quite possible the hardware you have won’t be able to handle the new Windows 10 OS. For example, the 64-bit versions of Windows 10 require a CPU that supports specific instructions. If you need to upgrade your CPU in order to handle the OS update, it’s likely the motherboard and RAM could use replacement too. In this case, you’ll be further ahead if you buy a new computer.

The majority of computers are not designed with sufficient capacity for a major upgrade. If you are on Windows 7 or earlier, it’s likely one or more components will be insufficient for the demands of Windows 10. But if you have a newer computer that’s running Windows 8.1 or Windows 8, an install should be smooth because these earlier versions have the same requirements as Windows 10. Just look at the storage capacity as you may need an SD card or USB drive to store temporary files during the install. (But wait! If your computer is only a few years old, please read on.)

#2 Computer use

If your computer is only two or three years old, you might still be better buying new over investing time in updating your existing OS. You must consider the use case.

For components like graphics cards (GPU or GFX) and solid state disc (SSD), years are like dog years, so for people in fields like design engineering, architecture and gaming who lean heavily on their graphics and memory, replacing a machine that’s relatively with one that houses the latest technology can significantly increase in productivity. If you think that a GFX or SSD will give a sufficient performance boost, invest in a new computer.

#3 Multiple computers

For IT departments, a pan-organization OS update is daunting. If you have solid IT asset management record keeping, use your data to inform this OS decision. Figure out which of the newer machines can handle the update to Windows 10 and are worth the investment of time to do the install, then create a refresh plan for your remaining hardware. This is a good excuse to develop a proactive replacement plan—one that takes advantage of buy-back programs and optimizes your IT spend based on actual use (think mobility, software, and memory).

If you don’t have good asset records, there’s no time like the present. Gone are the days of high maintenance spreadsheet record keeping—there are excellent ITAM tools available like the Softchoice ITAMaaS Suite, which gives you a single-pane view of your entire IT asset mix, including software and hardware, on-premise and off-premise.

With older machines, the decision typically clear cut: replace the computer. The gray area is with newer computers, but the rule of thumb is if you need to replace components, then buy new. If you need advice on buy-back programs, auditing your hardware inventory, and setting up a hardware refresh program, we’re here to help—and our consultations are always free.

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