When Is a Computer Worth Repairing?

Posted on: 19 March 2020


Choosing to have computer repair work done is an investment, but you may be wondering whether it's worth it. Here are four things to consider when deciding to contact a computer repair services provider.

What Is Your Investment in the Machine?

The cost-benefit analysis of repairs always matters. Dropping $200 to fix a $350 system from Walmart, for example, is difficult to justify. On the other hand, spending the same $200 to repair a $4,000 gaming rig likely makes a lot of sense.

Bear in mind, however, that computers generally decline in value over time. The $4,000 rig you purchased four years ago probably isn't worth that today.

How Old Is the System?

A unique older setup can sometimes justify repair costs too. For example, if you're using an old 486 for retro gaming, it may not be that easy to replace the system. Investing in repairs can go a long way toward extending the life of the machine, and that can maintain your enjoyment. That has a value that ought to be considered.

Similar concerns can apply to old business systems. Companies oftentimes use old computers to operate machines like CNC lathes, die cutters, and large-format printers that aren't supported by modern hardware or software. If an old setup is the best way to keep flying, it may be worth the effort to repair it.

Is the Machine Unique?

Lots of odd parts can go into systems, and people often like to keep them configured a certain way. Migrating to a new system can be a pain, and repairs may be justified to avoid the hassle. For example, many people who edit audio and music have their machines configured perfectly. Odd setups, like one with a motherboard that supports a modern CPU and an older card slot like PCI or ISA, may also be worth fixing.

The same logic applies when a machine can run certain software. A company may have programs that were compiled to run on a certain setup, and that can make rebuilding the code for a new computer a pain.

Do You Need the Data?

Retrieving data from a failing system isn't always a simple undertaking. That is especially the case if the setup is encrypted. Rather than jumping through all the hoops to get files and programs moved to a new machine, it may be worth seeing if a professional can repair the computer.