These days, our lives are powered largely by computers in some way, shape, or form. Most of us carry smartphones in our pockets capable of doing complicated calculations, as well as finding out where we are in the world and how to best interface with our surroundings. The desktop computer is still as relevant as ever, as they power schools, governments, and corporations alike. Because of this, it’s important to figure out how to maximize the lifespan of any given computer, so as much utility is derived from its use before having to make an upgrade.
In that vein, here are a few ways to extend the lifespan of any computer:
Pick the right computer from the start.
Knowing what you’re going to be using the computer for and buying with a few major components in mind is necessary for a long-lasting computer. For instance, the processor should be able to handle the demands expected from the computer. Simple data management and Internet browsing don’t need massive amounts of processing power, while image manipulation through Photoshop or other hardware-intense programs like AutoCAD requires the use of a good processor. Your computer will conk out sooner than you’d like if you’re always pushing it to its limits.
Manage dirt inside and outside.
A computer will largely stay in the same place for the entirety of its lifespan, making it incredibly susceptible to the effects of dust and debris in any given area. Fans have a tendency to suck in dust over time, so once every few months, the computer should be disassembled and each individual component cleaned using compressed air. Besides stopping the fan from operating how it should, dust and other debris can heat up in unexpected ways and damage components within the computer. A fan can easily be replaced by a budget PC repair shop for little money down, while the components that can be damaged due to an improperly functioning fan might not be so simple to replace.
Get lots of hard drive space.
As a computer gets older, and more and more things have been done with it, there will eventually be some bloat on the hard drive. Many of these things will be essential to the computer’s function, so it isn’t like you can just erase them to make room for new things. The more full a computer’s hard drive is, the slower it will operate overall. Ideally, you should have 20%-30% of free space, but the higher that number is, the smoother your computer will run. Since the slowed operation is one of the main reasons to upgrade to a newer computer, this simple tip can help extend the life of your computer by at least a year or even more.
Simple maintenance and a little understanding of how computers work can go a long way when making a purchase. These things are considered heavily by big firms who need to make purchases of hundreds of computers at a time, as having to buy replacement computers is a massive financial and logistical undertaking. Computers that have the right hardware for the job are essential as a starting point, and from there, simple routine maintenance can keep it operating in a like-new fashion.