Buying a computer system/Durable computer

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Question
I have a small sign business and I am looking to replace my 16 yr old Dell Optiplex.  I have had no problems with it and have only had the battery changed.  Do you have any suggestions for a long lasting computer?  My long lasting Dell is crashing and I have already bought new software ( omega 5).  I was told they don't make computers like they used too.  I am looking for something with about 6-8gb, a multi -core cpu, and more than 40gb of free disk space.  Thanks!

Answer
Sixteen years is absolutely astounding for a machine, even a personal computer. I would say that you're long overdue for an upgrade - I can't imagine that system is running a very up-to-date version of Windows, and that's a potential security issue in and of itself. Generally speaking 2-5 years is a reasonable lifecycle expectation, even by older hardware standards. If you're light-wearing enough to stretch over a decade out of a system, the upper-end of that should be no problem. Keeping machines much longer than that five-or-so years usually gets into issues with discontinuance of software support, which may mean security vulnerabilities or other problems. If you have more questions about this kind of lifecycle stuff, feel free to ask.

As far as a modern machine goes, do you have system requirements for your software (e.g. Omega 5 - admittedly I'm unfamiliar with this application)? That would be helpful in figuring out what kind of hardware would best suit your needs. As would a rough budget. Does the machine need to be a desktop or a laptop? If a desktop, do you need new peripherals? Regarding the specifications you've listed, "6-8GB" leaves me asking "of what?" Do you mean memory? Storage? Removable storage? etc Multi-core CPUs are standard fare these days, so that's not a problem. 40GB of disk space is no problem either - most systems include hundreds of GB of storage (and multi-TB hard-drives are cheaper than ever).

Another question is, does this machine need to run Windows? Or can you also consider Apple hardware (which will run OS X, primarily)?

-bob

Buying a computer system

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Bobbert

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I have nearly two decades of experience in IT, computer repair, and related fields and will attempt to provide the most solid, brand-agnostic advice when it comes time to purchase a new computer, or upgrade an existing machine. I can answer anything from the seemingly basic to the downright complicated - and will do my best to provide this information in a clear and concise manner.

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I have been an enthusiast of PC's for many years, and can answer questions about the purchase/use of a new computer or the purchase, installation, and use of upgrades for existing computers. There probably isn't a whole lot related to the home computer that I haven't seen over the years.

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15+ years of experience

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