If your computer is more than a few years old and broken or has lots of issues, you might be wondering, “Is it worth it to fix my computer?” Or would it just be better to buy a new computer?
As a computer repair store, we spend a lot of time fixing computers and we often get customers asking us just this question. We assess each case individually depending on the age of your computer, the issues you’re experiencing, your budget, and other factors. We’ll always be honest and let you know if it makes more sense to buy a new desktop computer or laptop than fixing the computer.
If you’d like to get our personal opinion on fixing a computer and you’re in one of our service areas in New Jersey, just get in touch and we’ll be happy to give you more advice.
We’ve laid out some helpful tips in this guide to help you decide if you should fix or update your computer or trade it in for a new model. Of course, the final decision is up to you, but we’ll give you our honest opinion if you contact our PC repair shop. There’s even the option for us to come to you with our in-home computer repair service in NJ.
Is it worth it to fix my computer?
If you’ve been wanting to upgrade your computer for a while anyway, a broken computer could be just the incentive you need to take the plunge and invest in that brand-new laptop or PC.
But if you are reasonably happy with your existing computer or you’re on a tight budget and cant really afford to upgrade right now, it’s not so easy to make the decision to pay for a replacement.
If this is the case for you, the first step is to find out how much it will cost to fix your computer. If the cost of the repair is high, you may decide that it’s a better decision to pay a little more for a new one. However, if the computer fix is relatively simple and easy, it makes sense to opt for the repair. Once you have an accurate quote for fixing the computer, you can weigh up your options.
Computer repairs are usually significantly cheaper than buying a new model. But that doesn’t mean you should always opt for the repair. Usually, if repairing a PC or laptop is going to cost more than half the price of a new one, it doesn’t make sense to fix it. However, this does depend a bit on your individual circumstances.
The best way to get an accurate quote for the repair is to contact a computer repair shop in your local area. If you’re in our New Jersey service area in Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon, or Mercer County, give the team at Dave’s Computers a call at (908) 866-8173 or fill out our contact form, and we’ll be more than happy to help you out.
If you’re in another area of the country, you can find your nearest computer repair shop by googling “repair computer near me” or “fix computer near me”. Make sure you choose a computer repair service with good reviews and double-check they offer a free repair estimate before you take your computer in for assessment.
How do I know if my computer needs replacing?
Apart from the cost of the repair, there are a few questions you should ask yourself that may help you decide whether replacing your computer is a better option than repairing it:
How old is my laptop or PC?
If your computer is less than a year old, there’s a good chance it’s still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, which will cover the cost of repairs.
The length of this warranty will depend on the brand of your computer and where you bought it from. Check the documentation that came with your computer as well as sales receipts and any emails you have confirming the sale or registration.
Some computer brands offer an extended warranty (for example, Apple Macs users may opt to extend their warranty to the AppleCare+ plan for an additional fee, which provides support, service, and mac repairs for up to 3 years after purchase.) So even if your computer is up to around 4 or 5 years old, it’s still worth checking your paperwork to see if it may be covered for repairs.
If your computer is well out of the warranty period and you’re wondering “Should I repair a 5-year-old computer?” The answer depends on whether you are planning to upgrade within the next couple of years anyway.
Most people replace their laptop every 3-8 years, and desktop computers a little longer at 5-8 years so it comes down to personal preference whether you think you can squeeze a few more years out of your computer.
On the other hand, is an 11-year-old computer worth fixing? Probably not. It really depends on what you’re using it for and the quality of the build.
Computer components do wear out over time, and 10 years is a pretty good lifespan for a computer. But if you’re just using your computer for web browsing and emails, you might be able to get a few more years out of it by just replacing the worn-out part.
It’s best to get in touch with your local laptop computer repair or PC repair shop and see whether they think it’s worth fixing or not.
Does my insurance cover computers?
But all is not lost. It’s worth checking your insurance policies and if you can claim for a broken laptop on your insurance.
Many renters and homeowners insurance policies cover laptop and desktop computers as part of your personal property coverage. However, this may be an optional extra and may not cover all causes of damage, so you’ll need to check your policy wording to see if it might be covered.
Typically insurance will cover damage due to fire, a falling object, or water damage caused by a leak, for example. But if you leave your laptop on the floor and step on it, this type of “negligent” damage will not normally be covered.
If you use your laptop for work, you may be able to claim on your company insurance. Some people also take out separate insurance policies for computers and other electronics. Some credit cards even include travel and other types of insurance that may cover your computer, so it’s well worth checking all your policies.
If your insurance will pay for all or most of the repair, then getting it fixed is a no-brainer. However, if you have to cover the cost of the repair yourself, you’re back to deciding whether it’s worth it.
Is my computer running well?
Were you using your laptop or PC happily before it broke? If so, it may just be a case of replacing a component or making another fix and we can get you up and running in no time at all.
Some people get very attached to their computers: they’re set up exactly how they want and they don’t want the hassle of moving to a new machine. If this is the case for you, great! We’ll fix and refurbish your existing computer to the best of our abilities so you can keep using it for as long as it keeps running!
If your computer has an outdated operating system or is running slow, oftentimes it’s just a case of upgrading the OS and cleaning up the hard drive to get it operating smoothly again.
On the other hand, if you’ve been looking for an excuse to make the switch from PC to Mac or you bought a cheap computer and it’s been a slow and frustrating experience since day one, it may be time to call it quits, and buy a new computer.
Is it a hardware or software problem?
Generally speaking, it’s more expensive to repair or replace a hardware component on your computer than it is to fix a software problem.
Of course, it’s not always easy to tell what exactly the problem is. For example, if your computer is crashing frequently or keeps showing error messages, this could be a simple problem for us to fix such as removing viruses, removing spyware, or reinstalling or upgrading Microsoft Windows or MacOS. However, sometimes these errors can be an indication of a hardware problem.
We’ll be able to tell what the problem is after assessing your computer, so get in touch with our IT technicians for help.
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Is it the right time to buy a new computer?
As we mentioned previously, if your old computer has come to the end of its natural life, it may just be the right time to invest in a new one.
But it’s also worth considering if there are any big discount sales like Black Friday coming up. If this is the case, you could get a bargain on a new machine, which would make it less worth fixing your computer.
What is the average life of a computer?
So, at what age should a computer be replaced?
For most laptops: 3-8 years
For most desktop computers: 5-8 years
Why the difference? Well, laptops tend to take a lot more wear and tear. They’re often carried from place to place and unless you use a separate keyboard and mouse, you’re putting stress on the inner components every time you type and click too.
Laptops can also be a lot harder and more expensive to fix if you physically break something. For example, if you spill a drink in your desktop keyboard, you can just buy a new keyboard. However, this could mean you need a whole motherboard replacement if you do the same to your laptop.
In general, desktop computers are easier to upgrade, so you can get a longer lifespan out of your computer by upgrading and replacing parts over time.
It’s not as easy to replace laptop parts but this is still worth considering. For example, if you’re simply running out of space, you can upgrade your Windows laptop SSD or HDD or replace your Macbook hard drive with a higher-capacity version.
Essentially, the lifespan of a computer depends on its components:
- HDD: 3-5 years
- SSD: 5-10 years
- Motherboard: 20 years or more
- CPU: 10 years or more
- GPU/graphics card: 5-8 years
- RAM: 10 years or more
The figures given above are just an average and depend greatly on how and how much you use your computer (for example several hours of intensive gaming each day will wear out components much faster than if you just use your computer occasionally for emails and web browsing.)
There’s no need to replace your computer just because it’s old. If it’s still working fine for your purposes and you can get away with a new hard disk or upgrading the memory, it’s probably worth doing. (We can even recover data from broken HDDs or SSDs in many cases.)
However, if you’re an avid gamer and you like to have the latest specs, or you use your computer heavily for work, it may make sense to upgrade to a new model.
Still confused? No worries! That’s why we’re here!
Contact Dave’s Computers in Hillsborough Nj to have a chat with our dedicated “computer fixers” about what you need from your computer and how much a repair or upgrade will cost. If you’re thinking about a replacement, we can help with that too! With our custom PC build service we can design and build a computer specifically for your individual needs.
Call us or fill out our contact form today!