We’ve all been there – weighing the cost/benefit of repairing an aging computer or buying a brand-new machine. The typical rule-of-thumb is desktop computers should be replaced every five years and laptops every three to four years. However, as a nonprofit, we understand the tendency to make repairs to existing machines in an effort to squeak out as much life as possible and stretch our dollars as far as possible. While this is a common approach, it isn’t the most cost-effective in the long run – especially today. If your nonprofit has machines that are nearing the end of their lifespan, there are two, timely factors that will impact your next steps: Windows 10 and the Intel chip shortage. Here’s why.
Upgrading to Windows 10 Pro
If your machines are running Windows 7, you need to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro. The most pressing reason is that Microsoft will be ending support for Windows 7 on January 14th, 2020. The company will no longer create new patches or security fixes for Windows 7 after that date. This means your computers won’t operate efficiently and your nonprofit will become incredibly vulnerable to security breaches. Additionally, Windows 10 Professional is the gateway to accessing the most modern computing and security tools that your nonprofit needs to be successful. You can implement the latest advancements in cloud adoption, security, production, and mobility. Here’s more information on why Windows 10 is essential for nonprofits and how to upgrade. In an effort to make sure you’re not scrambling to make the update at the last minute, we recommend making sure all computers are updated to Windows 10 Pro by November/December 2019.
Intel Chip Shortage
There is currently a shortage of Intel processing chips that is affecting every manufacturer. At Tech Impact, we are seeing 60 – 90-day delivery lead times if we don’t have the specific machines in stock. This shortage is expected to last until the second half of this year.
So, what does this mean for your nonprofit? When selecting a new computer, you’ll have to consider a machine that doesn’t use Intel chips or you’ll experience a delay in the shipment of your hardware. We’ve found that AMD Ryzen as well as AMD 9, 10, and 12 series chips are the most comparable to Intel. For Dells, they will be configured to order and Lenovo have non-custom and AMD part numbers available. Another option is HP, which also manufactures PCs with AMD processors.
Let’s Do the Math
So, if you have aging computers that are operating Windows 7, the cost/benefit of fixing the machine versus buying a new one is pretty easy math. Here’s an estimated cost for repairing a desktop computer that’s five years old, out of warranty and running slowly:
- Upgrade to 16 gigs of RAM = $120
- Upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 Pro = $16 per license/user.
- Labor = $95/hr. at roughly 2 hours per machine.
You’re at more than $300 per user, which is half the cost of a brand-new computer that comes with Windows 10 and includes a warranty. Not to mention, this computer’s legacy parts (hard drive, motherboard, fan) could still fail – at which point, you’d definitely have to buy a new computer.
Here’s a quick FAQ on how often to replace computers. Additionally, we offer help desk services to nonprofits and can provide ongoing guidance and support for all of your IT needs. If you’d like to learn more about replacing your computers or our services, please Request a Free Consult.