7 Signs It’s Time for a Computer Hardware Upgrade


As with anything electronic, computer parts age and eventually need to be replaced. But knowing when to replace hardware can be tricky.

What are the signs to look for when considering an upgrade? When can you be sure that it’s time to bring new life into an older system?

Keep reading to learn about 7 signs it’s time for a computer hardware upgrade.

1It’s Running Slower Than It Used To

One of the more obvious ways to know that its time to upgrade an older system is when it starts to run slower than before.

Even if you haven’t changed the tasks you perform on your computer, newer software changes and becomes more demanding as time goes on.

Look at your CPU usage; is it frequently near 100% even if you’re just doing a simple task? Does your computer often crash? Are the fans constantly loud and running at maximum? If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it may be time to make an upgrade.

Adding more RAM or buying a new processor may help give your computer the speed boost it needs. If you’re an Apple user, check out this guide on how to upgrade Mac RAM.

2Your Needs Have Changed

A computer with low-specs can be fine for browsing the internet and checking emails. Yet in some instances, the tasks you need to do suddenly become more demanding.

Whether you started a new job as a graphic designer, or have a newfound interest in gaming, upgrading your computer will ensure that it will handle the tasks you’re about to subject it to.

Many demanding software programs require faster processing speeds, newer video cards, and more RAM.

All software tells you the requirements it needs to run properly, as well as what it needs to run optimally. Pay attention to these, and you’ll know when it’s time for a computer upgrade.

3You Want to Play the Latest Games

As graphics become better and better, games also become more demanding. That excellent image quality has to come from somewhere.

Even if your computer handles other tasks speedily, gaming may be too much for it. That’s because there’s a difference between a gaming computer and a regular machine. There’s also a huge difference between what a 2008 game requires, and what a 2018 game requires.

If you have a desktop, consider upgrading your video card. This will ensure that your computer can play the latest and most demanding games. Adding more RAM and getting a faster processor can also help it be faster.

Like other types of software, games tell you the requirements they need to run. Some websites can also help you determine if your computer can handle a game.

Check to see if your computer can handle the game you want. If you

4There Is Physical Damage

Is there a crack on the screen you’ve been trying to ignore? How about a strange noise coming from inside your machine?

If anything looks off with your computer, consider making an upgrade. Yet although some parts, such as displays and desktop components, are easier to switch out, others are more difficult.

If you’re been using a damaged laptop, you can get it repaired, but consider investing in a new system altogether. In some instances, particularly with older laptops, repair costs may total around the same as a new machine.

5Your Ports Are Outdated

If you’re using an older computer, you may notice some strangely shaped ports you’ve never used before.

Today, most cables use HDMI, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt 3. Older systems may not have these ports, however. This can make it challenging to use the latest mouses, use the newest keyboards, and connect your computer to modern external devices.

Your VGA and USB 2.0 ports may have been all the rage years ago, but they’re now not commonly used and are now taking up space.

If your computer has outdated ports and is missing other newer ones, it might be a sign that you should make a hardware upgrade.

6Your Computer Is Several Years Old

Maybe your computer has lasted for a long time without an upgrade and is seemingly chugging along without any issues. Although everything may seem fine, be aware of your computer’s age.

If you own a laptop, there is a correlation between how much you spent on your computer and how long it lasts.

If you spent less than $700, you can expect to get around 2-4 years. $700-$1000 will give you 3-5 years, and anything more than $1000 can get you 4-7 years.

With a desktop, upgrading parts is easier. Make sure that you do your research, though. Try not to invest money in old-hardware that will only extend your computer’s life by a few years. In many cases, spending a little more will give you newer and more up-to-date technologies.

7Your Operating System Has Aged

You may still be a fan of Windows XP, but modern software is not.

After a certain point, developers no longer write software for older operating systems. This can make it difficult to enjoy new programs as your computer becomes more obsolete.

In some cases, your current hardware may be unable to support the latest operating system. If you’re attempting to install an update and your computer is unable to, consider replacing some hardware or buying a new system altogether.

Computer Hardware Upgrade: When Else?

Knowing when it’s time for a computer hardware upgrade can sometimes be difficult. But if you recognize any of these signs, it might be time.

Do you have any other tips for knowing when its time to upgrade? Let us know!

If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips.


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