Like it or not, your computer needs as much attention as your car. Every now and then, it needs to be cleaned, maintained, and its parts need to be replaced. And like a car, it eventually reaches a breaking point when it starts to slow down and crack under pressure.

By that point, you’ll probably ask yourself whether it’s time to take it outside and beat it with a baseball bat. While we we’re not saying you should reenact a scene from Office Space, we’re here to tell you it’s perfectly okay...just as long as you notice these signs.

Your PC is not hip enough for new software

If you want to run the latest software tech experts are raving about, your hardware must be strong enough to support it.

Besides, you can’t expect this to be running virtual reality simulations.

Even if your computer doesn’t seem that old, it’s a good idea to check its hardware specifications and compare it against the minimum hardware requirements of the operating systems and software apps you plan on using. If it can’t even handle the most basic office applications, you should probably replace it.

Programs are extremely slow

Slow computer performance is quite subjective, but you’ll know it’s bad when videos play like PowerPoint presentations or your screen freezes up because you have multiple tabs open. Sometimes these problems can be fixed by cleaning your hard drive, running antivirus software, or upgrading your RAM, but these strategies can take you only so far.

If you’ve exhausted all the guides on how to speed up your computer and nothing is getting better, then you should probably start looking for a replacement.

The machine is noisy

Just like any machine, when you start hearing weird sounds, it’s probably a sign of old age. Fans are usually the first hardware components you’ll hear breaking down because they gradually pick up dust and overheat.

It happens more likely than you think.

Also, when you start hearing other scraping sounds, your hard drive -- that thing that stores most of your precious files -- could be moments away from failing.

It’s over three years old

Although computers can last for a fairly long time, computer experts say that you should be thinking about pulling the plug after their third year. That’s because most warranties last for only about three years, which means no more free replacement parts or repair services. If you took an old machine to a repair shop, they might not even have the expertise to help you out, and may even charge you premium prices on the replacement parts alone.

Out-of-warranty hardware also don’t receive anymore firmware updates, which puts your system at greater risk of hacking. In fact, there have been reports of old processors being extremely vulnerable to attacks called Spectre and Meltdown -- which basically allows hackers to steal sensitive data directly from the computer’s temporary storage.

So if you don’t want to be part of a growing statistic, it’s best to have up-to-date hardware.

Repairs are costing you a fortune

There are only so many repairs you can do before you start losing money. And if you feel like you’re spending most of the day as a pseudo-computer technician instead of a regular computer user who has a life, it might be cheaper (and probably less frustrating) to buy a brand new computer.

...just don’t treat it like garbage on the first day.

Are you experiencing these problems? If so, you should get rid of your PC (or smash it to smithereens) and talk to Red Key Solutions to find a new, cutting-edge machine. We’ll also provide ongoing maintenance for a small monthly fee, so contact us today.

Red Key is a leading Managed IT firm that is bringing AI to companies in New York City, Westchester County, Fairfield County Connecticut, California & beyond.