News – Do I Need New Hardware

Do I need new hardware?

This newsletter will help you determine whether you need new computer hardware equipment.

First, what is “hardware”?
Literally, it is any computer equipment that you can trip over. Any piece of your computer that you can grab and toss across the room is hardware. Including the CD-ROM and/or floppy disks that your software comes on!

Now, here is my question to you:

Does your current hardware do what you want or need it to do?
No?  Then, of course you need new hardware.
Yes?  Then leave it alone!

Exception — Year 2000 Compliance
There is an important exception to the above question.  Is your hardware Year 2000 compatible? One way to check is to ask your hardware vendor.

Do your office workers need to share data, printers, faxing capability, etc.?
No?  Then you’re fine!
Yes?  Then you need a computer network.

A network is a system of two or more computers connected together via cables and other hardware that can give an office the ability to share data, file storage space, printers, faxing capability, Internet access, etc.

For more information about networks, see our Newsletter, What is a Network? Why Should I Network?.

Why do you need new hardware?
If you need to use any of the software being sold today, you need at a minimum hardware no older than four years old hardware — possibly with memory and/or hard drive upgrades — in order to keep it singing and dancing.

You can use older hardware, but this can get to the point where you find yourself waiting 20 minutes for your system to start so that you can wait another 10-20 minutes for your software to start so that you can then wait another 5-10 minutes to open your file so you can work… Time enough to brew a pot of coffee and practically drink the whole pot. Don’t laugh —we’ve replaced such systems!

For more information about software, see our Newsletter, Do I Need New Software?.

What is the difference between “clone” and “name brand” hardware?
“Clone” hardware — hardware that is IBM compatible — comes in two flavors:

(1)  Those produced for the general public by many retail outlets including mail-order, computer “super-stores” and small retail shops. These systems are sometimes put together with the cheapest parts that the builder can buy and last about as long as you’d expect for a low price.

(2)  Those produced by reputable systems service businesses that have an idea of what name brand pieces work together based on their years of experience in the field. An advantage that clone systems have is that you can get parts for them literally anywhere.

“Name brand” hardware is hardware made by a large corporation that numerous people know and have bought from for one reason or other. These can vary from “they had the lowest price” to “well, they make great printers!” These companies use most of the same parts that any good manufacturer would, sometimes along with hardware that they manufacture themselves. A disadvantage with name brand systems is that you can usually only get parts from the manufacturer, period.

Computer Technology Solutions builds clone systems from known good components and we have excellent results with them.  For instance, other than hard drive failure (which has increased 600% in the last 3 years) we have a repair rate of less than 10% on our quality systems.

When do I need new hardware?
You may need new hardware under the following circumstances:

  • Usually when you upgrade your operating and/or network system. You may need more memory, bigger hard drives, faster video cards and/or whole new computer systems to run these items.
  • Sometimes when you add software. This can be as simple as needing a bigger hard drive to hold this software, or your computers might not be up to the job of running that software.
  • You hire new employees.
  • Your computers are wearing out or just too slow.

As you can see, the hardware you use does make a difference! Determine your needs and the hardware’s capabilities and recommendations well before buying, or you’ll be waiting a long time with your coffee…

How can Computer Technology Solutions. help my business?
We can help you find out what hardware you really need for your business. We can help you install it, set it up, and organize your data in a manner you would organize your paper data so you can find it easy to use.

If you need a network of computers, we can design a one to fit your office’s needs, help you organize it, provide you with good equipment at a fair price and support it.


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