When is the Right Time to Upgrade Your Computer Hardware?

New hardware can speed up your workflow and help you be more productive, and often it’s needed to run the latest software efficiently. Kingston, Ontario, business owners know that investing in new computer hardware can be a significant expense. And this expense is why upgrades are often delayed or ignored.


Eventually, you’ll outgrow your computer hardware. Hardware may become obsolete, you may change your business model, or you may need more computing power.


From solid-state drives (SSDs) to tablets, laptops, and computers- there are many different products that businesses may need to upgrade from time to time.


Ignoring upgrades can cause more damage in the long run. It’s prudent to audit hardware at regular intervals to ensure everything runs smoothly. If you have equipment deployed in the field that experiences more physical wear and tear you might need to pay attention a little closer than in a small office setting with light usage. 


Here are some critical questions to ask yourself when considering whether you should upgrade your computer hardware:

How Often Should You Upgrade Computer Hardware?  

Keeping business technology up-to-date, secure, and reliable is of utmost importance in the workplace.


Hardware refreshes can make your company more efficient and cost-effective. They allow you to replace older computers with newer ones, making it possible for workers to complete tasks faster. Some small businesses decide to go with a single major system overhaul instead of rolling upgrades. At the same time, larger organizations typically plan one significant upgrade every three to five years.


Ask yourself what your next computer will do and what quality you should expect from it. This will help you decide how long your current machine should last.


When businesses employing designers and programmers buy a high-end system, they tend to use these for less than three years before replacing them. Office workers using programs like Word, Excel, or Docs can usually push them to five years.


In short, you should keep your computer updated with monthly software updates and hardware replacements at least once every three to five years.

Signs You Need to Upgrade Computer Hardware

Some people don’t upgrade computer hardware because they’re familiar with the quirks of their current equipment and can figure out simple, although often time-consuming, workarounds. 


As a result, machines are often used well past their prime. This doesn’t need to happen and can cost you dearly in productivity costs.


Here are some signs that it’s time to upgrade computer hardware:

You Can’t Run the Latest Apps, Games, or Programs

When you can’t run the latest apps, games, or programs on your current computer hardware, there is a good chance that you need an upgrade.


Can't run the latest apps or programs


With the development of artificial intelligence and ever-evolving software, many newer versions of apps, games, and programs require increasingly high specifications to function. You will need a late-model computer to experience all the software has to offer. 

Turning the Computer On/Off Takes a Long Time

When your computer takes a long time to turn on and off, it can aggravate and cause inefficiencies. Newer computer hardware enables a quicker startup and faster shutdowns because they are not use obsolete components. Purchasing hardware such as a new hard drive improves reliability and reduces downtime.

The Fans Are Loud

Over the years, the noise of the computer fan may gradually get louder. It is because the CPU has become more demanding, or there might be a fault with some parts that lead to higher temperatures.


If you suddenly hear a new noise coming from your laptop, desktop PC, or other devices, it’s likely not a good sign. It may indicate significant issues with the hardware and its components.

Moving Files is Slow and Difficult

You might notice your computer is slow when programs take longer than usual to open, there is a lag when you move files, or when you click on a website and wait for it to load. If this happens, there is a fair chance that it is time to upgrade the computer hardware.


Sometimes, it is only necessary to run some routine maintenance on your computer to speed it up. Other times, when you will need a complete replacement. If your battery life has significantly reduced, moving files is slow and challenging, or your computer shuts down without warning, it might be time for an upgrade.

Your Computer Crashes or Freezes A Lot

Your computer can freeze or crash for various reasons. Overheating, faulty software, faulty hardware, and issues with your memory are all possible explanations. When your computer freezes up or crashes only once, it is most likely nothing to worry about. But if it happens to you often—like when you start up your computer or when opening a specific program – there could be an underlying issue.

You Have Less Than 8 Gigs of RAM

Upgrading RAM on a computer is usually one of the most manageable changes you can make. Most computers that use programs like Microsoft Word require 8 GBs of RAM. However, a growing number of computers are performing more intense computing tasks and may require more memory.

Your Frame Rate is Below 30

The traditional video standard is 30 frames per second (FPS). However, the faster, albeit slightly inferior 29.97FPS standard is used by broadcast T.V. The optimal frame rate for syncing to the U.S. power standard of 60Hz is 30 frames per second. If your computer’s frame rate falls below 30, it is likely time for a computer hardware upgrade.

How to Upgrade Computer Hardware

Computers slow down over time as hardware deteriorates and software updates raise incompatibility concerns. If not properly addressed, these problems can be a headache for small business owners and lead to significant downtime, lost data, and more.


Your computer might be working more slowly as a result of it being outdated. To fix this, you’ll need to upgrade the computer hardware.

Buy an SSD

Adding a solid-state drive (SSD) to your computer will have it booting in seconds. A hard disk drive (HDD) is slower to load and boot than an SSD; it will also take longer to start up. SSDs are generally faster in launching apps and transferring files than HDDs.

Improve Cooling

Your computer is composed of many sensitive and expensive parts. If allowed to overheat, it could result in irreversible physical damage.


A broken CPU fan is one of the more common causes of a computer that won’t turn on. Fortunately, it’s easy to find a replacement motor online and swap it out yourself because you’ll be able to install the new one relatively quickly.

Increase RAM

Adding more RAM is typically the most effective hardware upgrade you can do to significantly improve performance.


Microsoft Windows is a popular operating system for many reasons. It is considered a reliable and familiar platform, unlike other systems. However, Microsoft’s operating system is often resource-heavy which can diminish your computer’s performance when under heavy load.


Multiple applications can slow down your computer to a snail’s pace. Windows will constantly swap the data and code between RAM and the hard drive, which make it difficult for you to use any of them effectively.


Adding more RAM to your system can reduce the need for the so-called swapping, which often results in a significant boost in performance. It’s one of the most accessible and affordable hardware upgrades you can make.

Replace The Graphics Card

If the computer’s display glitches when you’re trying to design, watch or edit videos or when gaming, it might mean that the GPU will fail fairly soon. 


The next time this happens, try isolating the problem and see if it only occurs using graphics-intensive programs like modeling software or watching videos.

Replace CPU

A critical component of upgrading a computer is the CPU (Central Processing Unit). While using an older motherboard with a newer CPU is possible, installing the correct type of motherboard is advisable. 


Upgrading your CPU can help fix slow or outdated processors. CPU coolers allow your computer to run more smoothly, which is vital for people who work with graphics-heavy programs.

Upgrade Computer Hardware With The Help of Response I.T. 

As a Kingston, Ontario small business owner, you have to balance the long-term benefits with the immediate needs of your operations, or else you risk missing out on opportunities and maximizing your I.T. infrastructure. 


Creating a technology replacement plan is essential if you plan to update your I.T. infrastructure, including updating software to the latest version and updating outdated hardware components. 


It’s common for businesses to have a lapse in investing in technology upgrades, which can be a massive waste of resources. Having a budget and plan in place for pre-scheduled computer hardware updates is a good idea. This will make sure the investment pays off over time.


Response I.T. has years of experience providing onsite technical support throughout the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox, and Addington areas. We offer the total package of technical expertise from the ground up. 


At Response I.T., we prioritize our customers and ensure our services satisfy their needs. From small startups to large enterprises, we’ve always got your back. Save extra money with our professional service technicians that come to you for computer repair, managed I.T. support services, and more. 


If you need a computer hardware upgrade or evaluation, contact us. We’ll assess your current setup, recommend possible upgrades, and install them when necessary.