TIME TO UPGRADE I.T.
Now is the time to be looking to replace your existing old computer(s). If you were considering buying a new PC or laptop then the planned increase to VAT rates should encourage you to get sorted before the New Year.
Your old machine is likely to be getting noisier, slower and hotter. Over time dust is sucked into the machine and covers the components and starts to block the fans and vents, increasing the temperature of everything and demanding the fans to run faster and for longer. Overheating components are likely to result in a more rapid system failure.
Older computer processor chips were not designed to run economically. Speed was king and they would run as fast as possible. Unfortunately they ran at 100% speed and power for 100% of the time. The modern computer processors in both PCs and laptops, like the Intel Core2Duo and new Core i Series, are designed to be energy efficient so that they can run longer on battery in laptops and generally use less electricity for day to day tasks but can increase or decrease their speeds according to the task requirements.
Everyone is encouraged to replace their 100w light bulbs with energy-efficient ones but an old PC can be consuming 200w, which is like leaving 2 lights on – and that doesn’t include your monitor which could be another 100w or more. A modern laptop in contrast could consume just 60w whilst in-use and charging the battery.
Many people were put off buying a new machine when they heard bad things about MS Windows Vista, how slow it was, how often it appeared to freeze or crash and that they had to upgrade all their other programs. MS Windows 7, its replacement, is much better. It starts faster, rarely freezes, and runs much more smoothly and efficiently. It is much more user-friendly to older programs that would run on Windows XP and has new features such as the easy to use backup software.
The choice between a desktop PC and a laptop has now been joined by netbooks, slates (and iPads), MediaCentres and All-in-one touch-sensitive devices. Choose wisely and buy something that meets your needs. Something around £400 will get you a good laptop for day-to-day internet, email and word processing; For gaming, a PC with dedicated graphics is probably more cost-effective.