Intel announced in April that they are stopping work on microcode updates for certain older processors in regards to Spectre Variant 2 vulnerabilities. While that likely doesn’t mean much to most people, it does pose an interesting dilemma. Next, even though some older computers can run Windows 10, there could be other underlying issues with drivers, and other things. Also, Spectre Variant 2 is just one vulnerability and as more vulnerabilities come out there will invariably be systems that won’t or can’t be fixed. So, how do you best protect yourself?
The processors in question, mostly the Core 2 series, are not very common today, but for those that have them, it is probably time for a new computer.
There are a lot of factors to take into account when making this decision. One of the biggest is the age of the current computer. While it is somewhat subjective, you want to make sure that you’re getting a good value if you are looking at repairing or upgrading a system. The average lifespan of a computer is about 3-5 years, though generally desktops can be more in the 5-7 year range. Computers that are well maintained and not abused last more on the older scale, and some even longer. Honestly, many computers can be functioning close to new, or better than new, just with the simple Computer Tune-up service.
We have one computer in our office that we still use that is over 13-years old! LOL, it’s now officially a teenager!
So, what you have to ask yourself if your computer is already 3 or 5-years old, is it worth repairing or upgrading it with the limited life remaining? A second factor is cost – just how much will repairing or upgrading the computer cost? Thirdly, how much more “life” will you get out of the computer if you do the repair, or upgrade?
We’ve recently seen some computers come in for repair where the required parts to fix total more than the initial price of the computer or much more than a new, comparable computer.
There are also negative factors to consider, of course. Some accessories and software may not be compatible with a new computer and will require replacement. It may require you to learn a new operating system. Getting a new computer can be a hassle and can be quite overwhelming – will it work for what I need to do, is it “too much” computer for what I will be doing, do you need all these bells and whistles. The list goes on. If you would like help finding your next computer, talk to André about our Computer Purchasing Concierge Service. André will find out what your specific needs are, what your budget is, how you are currently using your computer, things you like about your current computer, what you don’t like about it, and then come back with 2 or 3 options and walk you through the benefits and drawbacks of each one.
So, you’ve decided to get a new computer! Great! One thing to keep in mind though is that there are likely several updates since your computer was built, many are probably security updates. So, one of the first things you will need to do — check for updates as soon as you can. André has seen as little as 20 updates with a new computer just off the shelf, and some that need over 200! Obviously, before you check for updates though, you want to make sure that your new computer has an up-to-date, functioning anti-virus or all this time you’re taking setting up your new computer could be a sheer waste of time by becoming infected.
Yes, your computer can become infected today in just minutes without up-to-date, functioning anti-virus software protecting it… even if your computer is only on and just connected to the internet.
Next, do you want to keep the things from your old computer and put them on your new computer? While this may be easier for some, it can also be a huge task and take hours if not weeks or months for some people. The easiest way for a home user to accomplish this is to back everything up onto an external hard drive, then copy those files onto the new computer. You will also need to purchase, download, and/or reinstall any programs that you use – Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Office, etc. With Chrome and Firefox, you might also want to check to make sure your bookmarks/favorites are already synced, that is if you are really big on those things.
Also, during the setup process, you were probably very conscientious about the privacy settings and turned most things off. Just keep in mind there are other places that you need to make adjustments as they don’t show you everything during setup. These are stored under Privacy Settings (Settings > Privacy). Also, you’ll want to take out any bloatware that may have come with your computer that will slow your system down, as well as taking the time to figure out where everything is if you got a newer operating system.
If that time commitment doesn’t sound fun to you, talk to André about the New Computer Setup service.