For most consumers, they wait until a disaster strikes to buy a new computer. This means a hardware failure, a screen shatter, or something else that forces them to make the buy. This often comes at a bad time, costs more than they want to spend, and can be one of the most stressful electronics purchases a person makes. Whether you’re a PC or a Mac, there comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to buy a computer. Here are some tips for when to buy one.

So, When Is It Time to Buy a New Computer?

The average PC should last about 3-5 years; the average Mac should last 4-7 years. Macs, because of their proprietary hardware design, typically last much longer than PCs. However, this all comes down to how you take care of your computer, whether it’s a Mac or PC. By taking care of your computer’s hardware and operating system, you can keep it in good running order for years beyond those time frames.

For some consumers, depending on what they use a computer for, they may find better hardware is necessary before the end of life of their computer. The issue with this is that because their current computer is still working, even if it’s slow, they don’t want to put out the money for a new computer. They’ll keep using a slow, dragging computer and be frustrated than put out the money for a new one to get everything they want out of it.

Every consumer has to determine what they want from their computer. Once they determine that, they want to keep up with that standard. If that means buying a new computer while the old one still runs, then so be it. If it means investing in hardware improvements and upgrades to make it run better, then that might be worth it.

Waiting until the last minute to buy a new computer can be disastrous. It can disrupt your life, your work, and more. By investing in a new computer before your old one finally gives way, you can get more out of your machine and how you use it.

When Is the Best Time to Buy a Computer?

The best time to buy a computer is during the back to school period and Black Friday. The holiday season, in general, tends to yield great deals for computers, too, especially for Apple products. Companies such as Best Buy, Walmart, and others will put together bundles during these periods that not only get you a new computer but also accessories and software with it, too. For students, this can be a great way to get a good deal; for others, it can get them accessories and software they may have been holding out on buying.

No matter when you buy a computer, it’s important to realize its impact on your daily life. Going without a computer may not be a good idea for some consumers.