Computer Repairs - When Should You Repair or Replace Parts?
Nowadays, computers play an integral role in our everyday activities. Students require computers to study effectively. Business owners cannot run their businesses effectively without a computer. A corporate setup requires several computers to keep up with work demands.
Interestingly, no computer can last forever. The most durable computer systems will start showing signs of tiredness over time. The best you can do as a computer owner is to ensure that you get the maximum value from your prized asset. You can do this by supplying adequate care and maintaining the device properly at all times.
But even at that, the best maintenance practices will still not save your computer from periodic repairs and upgrades. These will stretch its life for as long as possible when done as necessary.
There comes a time regarding upgrades and repairs, when you have to choose between repairing certain parts of your computer system or changing them altogether. How do you make the right call in this dilemma? This post will offer you some insight into this.
Proper Diagnosis is Important
Your computer will most likely tend to misbehave once in a while. When this happens, you should take the time to understand what the problem is. Computer owners, sometimes, want to take a wild guess as to what is wrong with their computer. The uncertainty that comes with guessing puts your computer at significant risk.
Computers have several different components. Each component has a particular role it plays. A computer system malfunctioning may be due to issues caused by one or more of these components. So, instead of risking your repair expenses and your prized asset by guessing what could have gone wrong, make a proper diagnosis to find the source of the problem.
You can diagnose your computer by yourself, provided you have the technical knowhow. If you are not sure, hire a qualified computer technician to figure out what is wrong with your system.
At 'A Better Tech', our friendly computer technicians are always ready to assess your faulty computers and make recommendations on the best way to fix them.
Which is more expensive - part repairs or replacement?
In most post-diagnosis situations, your computer technician will present you with two significant options. The first is to repair the damaged parts, and the other, to replace them altogether. As you would expect, certain repairs are more expensive than others. The option to repair is not always viable. You would need to replace the damaged parts in such cases - a move that could cost more!
What should you replace rather than repair?
Some computer parts offer extended benefits when replaced, including improved user experience, better performance, and additional compatibility. Such replacements also add a significant number of years and stability to your computer system.
We have listed these computer parts below:
UPS or Surge Protector
Surge protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) are integral in guarding systems against energy spikes caused by lightning or powering up of high-powered devices. It is costly and challenging to repair a surge protector. Furthermore, every surge the surge protector keeps out; it loses some of its integrity.
A surge protector that has served for a couple of months will be less efficient. Repairing your surge protector doesn't replenish the integrity or improve its efficiency. So, it is best to replace it with higher quality protectors.
Your computer's video card is one of the priciest parts of your computer system. The logical cost-effective option would be to repair it and save money. However, fixing your video card is not advisable because they become more obsolete by the day. So, a faulty video card is an excellent opportunity to upgrade to an advanced model.
Another reason to replace your video card is to ensure maximum compatibility, which you may miss out on if you repair.
The more powerful your computer is, the higher its tendency to get hot. Heat is why fans are included in the crucial areas of your computer hardware, for example, on video cards, outtake and intake vents, and CPU heatsinks. The role of these fans is to cool the computer at all times and prevent damage.
Your fan, as a moving part, is at a higher risk of failing. When it does, your computer will continue working but with less efficiency. Your computer can also overheat, causing much more extensive and expensive damage. Repairing a fan is not advisable since they are cheap and straightforward to replace.
You do not want your hard drive to fail - it is arguably the most significant problem a computer system can develop. A failed hard drive comes with data loss - the last headache a computer owner wants to experience. The first logical move would be to fix a failed hard drive, at least, to salvage some data.
However, if there is a consistent backup practice in place, it is better to replace the failed hard drive. A repaired hard drive will not last long. Replacing it prevents future occurrences and allows you to go for a larger and faster hard drive.
For instance, a failed hard drive situation may present you with the golden opportunity to ditch a less efficient Hard Disk Drive (HDD) for a faster and more efficient Solid-State Drive (SSD).
Power Supply Unit
The Power Supply Unit (PSU) is a fundamental part of the computer system. However, not as highly revered as the video cards, the RAM chips, and the super-fast processors. Interestingly, no other computer component can function without the power supply unit in place. It is the power source of the entire computer.
Whichever problem your PSU develops - instability, underpower, or failure - it comes with severe consequences, including hardware failure. It isn't easy to repair a power supply unit because of its wholesome nature. Finding sub-components is difficult. It would be best to change the entire PSU to ensure stable power and prevent system crashes due to inadequate voltage supply.
Your screen is essential to your computer and a costly one at that. Without a screen, there is nothing you can do with your computer. Your laptop LCD screen may break or suffer scratches. Repairing a laptop screen can come at a high cost. However, in most cases, they are irreparable, and you have no option but to replace it altogether.
When replacing your laptop LCD screen, ensure that you go with a model compatible with your computer unit. In the case of desktop computers, the LCD screen of the monitor may be repairable, but at a very high cost. In such cases, you should consider upgrading to a better and newer LCD monitor model.
The keyboard is the most crucial input unit of your computer system. Banging away on this essential part of your computer comes with a couple of risks, including damage. Damage to your computer keyboard renders the entire unit almost useless. For starters, it is best to be gentle on your keyboard while using them.
Damages to keyboards come in different forms - keys getting stuck, coming off, or not responding at all. Whichever is the case, it is better that you opt for a newer and better keyboard model. You will need to get a replacement keyboard of the exact model for laptops because other keyboard models will not work for your PC.
Motherboard and Processor
A broken motherboard puts the computer owner in a difficult spot. Replacing the motherboard means they are starting all over. Reinstalling the operating system may be necessary, and previous data and programs lost. So, it is understandable why people want to stick to their motherboard for as long as possible.
However, replacing the motherboard offers computer owners the opportunity to upgrade to the newest technology, both for the motherboard and processor. For instance, you can move from a dual CPU to a quad CPU to improve your computer's efficiency and overall performance. A motherboard upgrade also affords you the chance to experience new technologies for other components like hard drives, video cards, and even ports.
Still can't decide? Run the numbers!
Replacement or upgrade of computer parts can be expensive. So, you must make the right call at all times. If you are still in doubt, you can run the numbers to see which option is worth your money and time.
Start by determining the potential cost of an upgrade. Compare this to the age of your computer system. The general rule of thumb states that a computer that is seven years old is not worth fixing if the repair cost is over 25% of the price of a new computer. Upgrading computers that have only served for three to four years is feasible - you can even spend up to 50% of a new computer's cost on repairs. If it goes higher than this, the cost-effective move will be to go for a new computer.
Choosing between repairing computer components or replacing them is subjective. The final decision lies with you at all times. Some computer owners want to retain their computer's design/layout because they love it so much. So, they opt for repairs even when it is more expensive than replacements. Conversely, other computer owners do not care about significant changes because they have always wanted a newer model.
While we have provided insights to help you make the right call, we have only done so based on our experience and expertise in computer repairs and market situations. If you still face a dilemma of repairing or replacing your broken computer parts, you can reach out to us for help with your decision.
Our experienced, knowledgeable, and friendly technicians are always ready to offer an honest review and clear explanations of what your best options are.