What To Do: Buy, Build, Upgrade or Repair Your PC

Deciding when to get a new PC can be a hard decision to make. New computers cost large chunks of money, but nothing is more frustrating than a broken or excruciatingly slow computer. Eventually, you have to do something, but what? There are multiple different choices possible so here is some advice on whether to buy or build a new PC or to upgrade/repair your current computer.

Buying A New PC

Probably the simplest solutions to PC problems is simply to buy a new one, but it can also be the most expensive. You just go to the store, pick out what you want, plug it in, and you are good to go. Minimal installation of new software, easy to work with and convenient.

There are some instances though that buying from a retailer is better than building a PC. If you are only going to use the computer for basic needs, like browsing the internet or playing solitaire, look at buying a lower end PC. PC manufacturers are able to buy common parts in bulk, resulting in lower costs. They also come bundled with things like a copy of a Windows operating system (usually about $100) and peripherals like a monitor, keyboard, mouse and speakers.

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Another example where buying a PC is best is when you need a laptop. Building a laptop is possible, but is a lot harder to pull off successfully. The pieces are much more expensive, harder to assemble and, unless you are in need of something extremely powerful or specific, unnecessary. It’s possible to even get pretty good laptops for less than $500 that can do nearly anything you need.

Building A PC

But let’s say you want a higher end PC or have a specific need for it. These needs could include gaming, photo and video editing, or highly intensive software. These different needs require specialized pieces of hardware that are either more expensive or harder to find in pre-built systems.

Building a PC allows you to have extra control over the different components and help keep the costs lower. Getting a pre-built, high end PC can cost you sometimes even double the cost of building it yourself. It also lets do things like overclocking or easily switching out components to get more performance out of them.

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I built my own PC and it was super easy – here’s how to do it

Now, building a PC can sound intimidating to somebody who is unfamiliar with it, but there are tons of resources to help. There are guides to explain the different pieces and what they are used, how to build a PC step by step, to maintaining it to last. The actual building process also isn’t complicated as long as you follow instructions and are careful. It’s like a slightly more complicated Lego set, except at the end you get a working computer.

Upgrading Your PC

Now, it’s not always necessary to buy a new PC if your current one is failing. If you have a standard PC that’s lagging on you, looking into different ways to upgrade it. It’s possible to change out parts to improve your performance without needing to buy a whole new computer.

There can be issues with simply upgrading instead of buying a new PC. The largest being if the computer in question is originally a pre built from a store. These computers sometimes aren’t friendly to parts being changed out or even being opened up. Checking the compatibility between new parts and your existing PC should be done before buying anything new.

Upgrading your PC can solve problems you’re having without breaking your wallet. Computer acting sluggish and taking forever to load things? Upgrade your processor and RAM. Need more storage? Buy a new hard drive. Want to play the newest games at a higher resolution? Pick up a new graphics card. Doing this can transform a 500 dollar cost into maybe a 100 dollar expense.

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Repairing Your PC

Sometimes, your problems can be fixed without buying new hardware. Some situations only require simply fixing and cleaning up your computer. A good starting point is to check for viruses or spam ware that could be the cause of your problems. Cyber threats are evolving every year and can lower your computer’s performance significantly. Getting protection software to prevent and clean up any viruses is a great first step to repairing a crumbling PC.

Next comes with general PC cleaning. Life is dirty and that dirt gets into your computer. It chokes up your fans, ruins your wiring and causes your PC to run hotter and slower. Grab a can of compressed air and slowly clean out different parts.

Start with filters and fans and get the dust off. This can help cool down your computer and improve your performance. From there, gently clean out the rest of the parts with compressed air and a dry rag. Do not use water or other liquids when cleaning as it can damage your electronics.

Hopefully, these tips can help you choose what to do with your computer situation, whether it’s to get a new one or fix your current one. If you have tips you want to share with others, or a question you want answered about PCs, let us know in the comments below.  

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About the Author

Ben Allen

Ben Allen

Ben Allen is an enthusiast when it comes to video games, crazy technology and all things shiny and fun. If you would like to read more of his writing, follow him on Twitter @allen24ben.