Signs Your PC Needs A Tune-Up (Or Replaced!)

Jason Cooley is Support Services Manager for Tech Experts.

One of the most frustrating things a person can experience in the office is a slow computer system.

As modern systems get quicker and Internet speeds continue to soar, we really notice when performance seems off.

Watching a video online 10 years ago versus today is a world of difference. Take it back 15 years, and it’s like two different universes.

Yet, we are so used to these speeds and increases in performance that we often assume that there’s something “wrong” with our computer or Internet connection when it slows down. Sure, this can be the case, but how can you tell?

First, you really need to isolate whether your computer system is slow or if your Internet is causing the problems. This is easier than you would expect.

Try loading a webpage. See if there is a delay in your keyboard input. Look for spinning wheels. These are indicative of system processing actions. You can try opening a few documents or pictures stored on your computer.

If there is no delay but webpages load slower than normal, you likely are having Internet speed issues.

Let’s assume that your Internet is fine. Speed is good, connection is strong. How can we tell if there is something wrong that needs fixed or if it’s just a temporary issue?

Let’s talk about age. The average usable life of a PC is around five years, give a take a year or two based on how good the system specs were at the time of purchase.

For instance, a laptop at a chain retail store might be a great price, but if you buy outdated products to start with, you will definitely have a harder time reaching the target goal of five years of use out of your computer. You can sometimes find a bargain, but a lot of times, you really get what you pay for.

Speaking of getting what you pay for, you may not be an expert, but remember that, while features like touchscreens are nice, they’re not a great help when your system resources are maxed out.

A touchscreen in a laptop is basically a tradeoff for two other specs when it comes to cost. Basically, if you had two identically priced laptops, the one with a touchscreen would have less RAM and a slower CPU, for instance.

Other things can let you know if there is more to it than needing a new PC. Is your lag recent and sudden? How secure are you? Is your operating system up to date?

A recent virus could quickly impact your system. While they don’t always work like this, a quick change in performance is typically failing hardware or an infection.

The best thing to do is to rule out the virus first. Always better to be safe. If you aren’t sure about how to thoroughly check for and remove virus infections, look for someone who can help.

So what if you still aren’t sure? If you are on the cusp of having your computer for four or five years, it might be time to make the call to replace it.

If there is a chance it’s the CPU failing and it’s close in the age range, replace it.

It is a calculated decision, but don’t let trying to save a few bucks for a few weeks longer cause you endless frustration. It may just be time to say goodbye.