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Thoughts on upgrading vs. replacing?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Drjones, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. Drjones

    Drjones

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    I'm curious to know your thoughts on when to keep and work with existing equipment; adding RAM, maybe reinstall Windows, etc.; vs. buy new computers.

    I am running across a lot of clients who have very similar hardware; towers that are who knows how old with 2.4Ghz P4s, WinXP, and less than 1GB of RAM.

    When you factor in the cost of RAM (most of these systems I'm encountering max out at 2GB, which costs at least $60 for quality chips), and my labor to backup all the data & reinstall Windows, you're looking at around $200 or so to "upgrade" current machines, and for only around $400 or so you can get a pretty nice new tower.

    Heck, I've added RAM to older systems for some people and they say they do not notice any performance increase at all!

    I had my eyes opened when I got myself a new laptop with a dual-core Intel processor; I can't believe how much faster it is than my 2.8Ghz P4 that is my main computer.

    I don't have any interest in selling my clients stuff they don't need, especially in this tough economy, but when they have an old generic tower with 512mb RAM and WinXP Home, I personally think that a new tower is money well spent, but how do you communicate the benefits of new equipment to people who aren't really tech-savvy?

    Depending on the version of XP, support has either already ended or will within a few years, and of course nobody likes to sit and wait while their computer works.

    What are your thoughts on how to express the benefits of new hardware to people who might be wary they are "just being sold"?
     
  2. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Well, tell them exactly what you've told us. Show them on paper the cost of RAM, backing up, labor, etc... vs. buying new computers w/ 7. If you can make it make sense on paper, I'd imagine most bean counters would get it.

    IGF
     

  3. Drjones

    Drjones

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    Right, and that's what I always do. It goes without saying that I'm 100% honest and I don't charge any markup on parts/equipment we sell; only our labor to install/set up.

    With some people, they're pretty aware they are due for a new system, others are more reluctant. Just wanted your guys' thoughts on the issue.
     
  4. Linux3

    Linux3

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    Tough question. What are the clients doing with the systems?
    You might think an upgrade is money well spent but will they?

    Lots of systems at my employer are about what you describe. People who need to do basic computer tasks like web apps, check data on servers and work with email really don't need much more of a system, imho.

    If you do recommend a new system and all they do is the basics they may not see any improvement just as the extra ram didn't impress everyone.
    Further the loss of time while you upgrade them and move their "stuff" may be a greater disruption, to them, than system performance. They use XP, they know XP why would they want to learn a new OS?

    We use computers as a career but also a hobby. What we accept as a basic system often is way off what someone who is "just trying to get their job done" accepts.

    Not to say clients should not be upgraded. But look at all the issues and talk with the clients about them.
     
  5. Drjones

    Drjones

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    Thanks for the advice.

    Well, my clients vary; most are individual consumers, but I'm getting some small businesses; a law firm, a country club, etc.

    The country club is a much easier sell as everyone there hates their computers because they're all so slow. Plus, the manager is kind of a tech guy & he really wants new toys. :)

    But the law office is a bit more reticent....like you guys are saying, I'll lay it all out & let them make the call, just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing any glaring obvious points to make for them.

    As far as learning the new OS, 7 isn't THAT different from XP - sure it looks different, but that's about all as far as the user interface. Once you get used to the new start menu, it really is easier & faster since all you have to do is hit the window key and start typing what you want: "Word" "mouse" "disk cleanup" etc.

    I add the quick-launch bar back, unpin programs from the taskbar and set it to "show labels & never combine" on the taskbar, and it functions just like XP, but with a fancier face.
     
  6. mitchshrader

    mitchshrader Deceased

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    if they can get another year for 100$ or two for $200, give 'em the option..fill up the ram, clean off C, dump the junk programs, it'll speed up significantly, for a while...
     
  7. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    As the others have said I always lay it out for my clients, the cost of the repairs/parts and labor versus the cost of a new system. I also point out that their current system is out of warranty and who knows what's going to break next, but then again it may last ten more years. In the end if they want to spend a couple of hundred and "band-aid" a antique I'll do it.

    .
     
  8. keninnavarre

    keninnavarre bulletproof

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    Im not really tech savvy, and neither is my wife. We both work in a home office. Ive known we need to upgrade for about a year, and finally did, with 3 new computers, and windows 7. I went for max RAM, I also went to a 64 bit system. Big mistake, most of my most used programs, such as the Hotmail active x photo upload tool, as well as my fax program, scanner program etc, now either dont work, arent supported yet, or work at half the speed of the old XP OS.
    Just something to consider if you suggest an upgrade to newer equipment. Right now,
    Im the one to blame, according to my wife and her office assistant. If the guy we use for computer problems in the past would have been the one to suggest an upgrade, he would be taking the flak, instead of me.
     
  9. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Yeah, to me.. Switching from 32 to 64bit, unless you are planning a complete overhaul(all new hardware, including printers, scanners, etc..) and all new software programs, or you know your software is 64bit compatible... thats just not an upgrade I would take lightly. If you'd have stuck w/ 32bit, you probably would be fine.

    IGF
     
  10. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

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    If the computers are running Windows 7 Professional or Ultimate and your CPU supports chip-level virtualization then you should check out Windows XP Mode. With XPM you actually download, install and run a virtualized copy of Windows XP SP3 (free) to minimize compatibility issues.

    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/default.aspx



    To use any old scanner that isn't supported by Windows 7 I use VueScan ...
    http://www.hamrick.com/

    .
     
  11. MavsX

    MavsX The Dude Abides

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    my work uses p4 3 ghz machines with 512 ram..80 gig hard drives...dvd roms! some only have cd-r burners...

    just because they do business applications..dont need any real horsepower for that. We've had them for 3-4 years..and management has no plans to buy any new machines for awhile. like at least 2 maybe 3 more years. ridiculous i know.

    i've got a pentium D machine with 3.5 gigs of ram in it for my workstation and dual screens...unlike everyone else...suckers

    at home i've got a core i7 920, dual dell 2408's raid 1 for my os, raid 5 for my storage, 12 gigs of ocz ram..and some other crap..got a nas with 2 tbs of storage. cisco products at home,(ie cisco switch, cisco asa 5505 firewall, cheapy linskys access point...because cisco AP's are too expensive. etc.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  12. Drjones

    Drjones

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    See, if you would have hired me, I would have known better than to migrate you to X64 unless all your programs would be fully compatible. ;)
     
  13. bobby_w

    bobby_w Alienigena Platinum Member

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    Why not just keep one of the older machines running in a corner with the above needed programs and hardware running on it until updates/replacements become available.