How Often Do You Replace Your PC?



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I've discovered the same thing as jakthebomb when helping out friends with their "slow" computers.  And I try to educate them along the way.  Along with sitting the user down and walking them through certain tasks,  I've also put together a little cheat sheet on weekly and monthly maintenance tips, how to look for unwanted startup items, etc. Now I don't have to show up next time they have issues - or at a minimum I can walk them through some checks over the phone as they have familiarity.

As far as my own rebuilds, I usually rebuild from scratch (including case) once every other processor family release.  As example I'm skipping Sandy Bridge and the next build will be with the Ivy Bridge technology.  Once in a while if there's an exceptional delay between processor releases, I'll upgrade the video card.  As a result, my rigs are pretty much state-of-the-art and can run any program out there at top settings.



I do incremental upgrades.  Over the last year, I have gone from an unlocked sempron, integrated gpu, 1gb RAM, and old psu to my current system, with a tricore, 460 SLI, 650TX, and 6GB RAM.  I think when I get a new mobo and CPU I'll call it a new PC, and that sounds reasonable to me.  I'll probably upgrade to Sandy Bridge in the next few months, completing my build.  After that, I'll probably do a graphics update once it starts being slow in games, in a year or two.  Other than that, I'll keep it until it becomes slow, or until Windows 8, whichever comes first.



I can't count how many times a person had me fix a Slow computer for it to turn out to be a Windows install that was 6+ years old.  Reinstalling and Optimizing (Removing unwanted startup, Defragging Hard Drive, Updating) seems to be the #1 fix to end slow down.  I have had people with 4GB of DDR2 ram say my computer is slow, I end up finding 30+ Startup programs, 5 to 7 Tool Bars, and other junk such as Google Desktop that cause it all.  I think Crusial is sending the wrong message, yes RAM can take part in making a computer faster, but not in all cases.



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