Want to buy a new computer? Save money by upgrading the one you have now

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By Scott Jones

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 2, 2014)-- It's no fun when you click and click on your computer and it ignores you!  So, when is it time to buy a new computer?

“My preference is to upgrade customer computers, rather than selling them a brand new one,” said Joel Read, owner of The Mac Experience.

That's from a guy who sells new computers and fixes them. Read and his specialists told FOX59 most people who come into their business off 82nd Street are thinking their computer is useless and can’t be salvaged.

“Probably 80 percent of those computers brought in are more than fixable.  They can be made good as new or even better. It’s also much cheaper than buying a new computer,” said Read.

So what does a computer upgrade entail?   It’s different for every computer. But it generally means a hardware update.

“You can upgrade the RAM and the hard drive in an existing computer for a couple hundred dollars as opposed to buying a new computer for a thousand or two thousand dollars, “ said Mac Specialist Steven Cobb.

A good rule of thumb to follow is this:  When your computer’s hard-drive has less than 10 gigs, or is at more than 80 percent capacity, you should upgrade.

“If you don’t upgrade and it doesn't have the hard drive space, it will have to do a lot of memory swapping, and it will operate really slow,” said Read.

And don’t forget, you should also update your software and operating system.  But a software update without a hardware update can actually hurt your computer more than help it, especially if it’s in an older machine.  The fast operating systems will bog down with inadequate hardware to support it.

“People will just have to realize with the hardware that many currently have, there's a lot more life in their computer than they realize. They just don't think they have an option and go out and buy a new computer, which is usually not needed,” said Read.