Should I Upgrade / Replace my Laptop or Switch to Desktop?

  BACONator1313 07:59 06 May 2015
Locked

All I am looking for is some people's opinions.

I apologize for the long post but it is my first time posting on a pc forum so I want to be accurate. I have broken down my post into simple parts. You could just read the problem and the solutions and get a general idea but there may be valuable info on my situation in other parts.

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History:

It has been about 3 years, plus or minus a year, sorry I didn't keep track of exact dates, since I got my laptop. I was looking to buy an Alienware new, but was blown away when someone I knew was selling their Alienware relatively new at such a great price. It wasn't exactly what I was looking at - a little bigger, a little less powerful - but was still nothing to scoff at and for a great price so I got it.

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What I have:

Sorry but I am not too great when it comes to knowing the parts of a computer but I think this is all the necessities. I have an Alienware M17X. My operating system is Windows 7 64-bit. I have an Intel Core i7-2630QM Processor. As far as Graphics cards or GPUs go, I am not exactly sure. I have looked up online but all I was able to find was that I have some sort of Intel HD Graphics Family. That name means nothing to me. All I know is that I have never had a problem with it as far as graphics go. I am sure it is not the best that is out there but I am sure that it still really good. I have 12 GB of RAM. Hard drive space isn't an issue.

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How I got to my problem:

There is this awesome game an android that use to have and would play all the time but could no longer play because I switched to a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone. I was looking to develop a similar game for Windows Phone 8 so I, and I am sure many others, could enjoy on WP8. I found out online that I couldn't use any development tools for Windows Phone 8 on my Windows 7 laptop. I considered upgrading my laptop to Windows 8.1. I also considered getting an upgrade to my phone. I found out that Windows 10 is just around the corner. I got to thinking about the value of a computer and how long they should last before upgrading, and about how to get the most out of a computer and about how to get the most out of my money. Some pretty deep thought.

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What my problem is:

1 (Some irrelevant problems)

I don't necessarily have a problem. I am almost perfectly fine with my computer as it is now. I have a few semi-frequent crashes, maybe once or twice a month, sometimes not even once for 2 months. Am too cheap to get it checked out. I have had a single problem with 1 game I can't play, but only because it is really old and requires a previous version of windows and my 7 home premium doesn't support reverting versions on specific programs (I know that 7 professional and 8.1 does though). And I have had this problem with supporting dev of Windows 8 games on 7. All of these problems are manageable. I know the crash thing is probably bad for my laptop but I am just making due with what I have.

2 (The real problem)

The real problem I have is if I should replace, upgrade, or switch to desktop. This laptop I have is the most expensive thing I have ever bought with my own money. It is also the most beloved thing I own. I am also pretty broke. So when it comes to spending money on making my pc experience better, I am a little cautious. I want the money I spent 3ish years ago to make the most out of it. I also would like my laptop to be the best it can be. I take great pride in being able to play my games on a high setting with no smoothness issues. I still like to play on lower settings just for the best performance boosts. An upgrade is certainly a possibility that I want to consider. I love having a laptop. It is so convenient having it everywhere I go. I also know laptops don't upgrade easily and many people recommend replacing then after so many years. I would like to either upgrade / replace or just keep the laptop I have either way. I am 19 and in my victory lap in high school and will be going to university this fall in September so I need a laptop for that. With Windows 10 just around the corner, I do not want to upgrade to 8.1 when 10 will be free for 7 and 8.1 users for its first year after release. If I get a new laptop, will I have to get a new one after that in another 3 years? If I take good care of it will it last longer? If I don't get a new laptop, do I make due with the one I have now as it still works pretty great? Or do I upgrade what stuff I can to make it better? If I keep it the way it is, should I get a desktop on top of that? I think building a pc from scratch would be a cool experience, and it may be my cheapest option as if I get a new laptop, I would want it to be really great, which would be really expensive. Getting a desktop will also make upgrading later a lot easier too. Or do I just do nothing? I just want to get someone else's opinion on this kind of stuff and on my specific situation. If someone has some great philosophy when it comes to upgrading, I would love to hear it.

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What I have done about my problem:

Nothing really. Did some searches on google to try to find someone's opinions but most of the stuff I saw was mostly concerned with money and lifespan of a computer. They were about doing the cheapest, most suitable option for the problems you were having. I want more of an opinion about getting the most value out of money and about upgrading when you want to rather than when you need to and the benefits of that. I am looking for more of an opinion on when a good time to make the change is, rather than what change is best.

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The solutions:

These are only the ones I can see clearly. There may be others so feel free to mention them if you can come up with any.

1

Upgrading my laptop. I can bring my laptop to a professional to take a look at, fix anything that needs fixing, see what upgrades can be made and make any that I see fit. With this option, I might find out that something is terribly wrong and needs to be fixed asap. The unknown is scary and it could be expensive.

2

Replacing my laptop. I am not so fond of this as I would have to get rid of my beauty. I could keep it for nostalgia purposes or sell it to get some money back. I also don't know if I would want to stick with Alienware. I love the brand name so I would prefer to stay, but I am not welded to it. It is also expensive. I have no idea who to switch to if I switch.

3

Build my own desktop pc. This is the option I would like to do most as far as pure wants go. I could go all out. 2 monitors, my own keyboard, my own parts, and putting it together myself. It would be heaven. I don't know if this is the best option. With my laptop wearing out, and university coming up - and Windows 10 coming out, which I would have anyway - having a tiptop laptop would be the best short term answer. I am also going to be super broke, even more than I am now, so upgrading later won't be such and easy option. So although I might really want to build my own pc, it would be better to do so waaaay down the road.

4

Do nothing. It would be great to keep the money I already have. My laptop as is is workable so it is not too much trouble to do nothing. Windows 10 is free and soon so that might be enough to tide me over.

5 (1 and 3)

If I feel really crazy I could get my laptop checked out and fixed. Possibly checked out and then I fix it myself. I can then build my own pc with the cheapest, good but not great, parts. This option could be relatively cheap if nothing bad happens, at least compared to option #2. I could get a nice desktop that I can upgrade later and have a "feels-like-brand-new-computer" for Uni. The best of both worlds.

I just want some people's opinions.

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Conclusion:

With everything in mind, I would really like a perspective on making the most out of the value and money of a computer. Having that information would greatly help me with a choice. Also someone else's opinion on my position would be nice too. I am leaning towards either #4 or #1/#5, either do nothing or stay cheap, respectively. Anyway, again sorry for the long post. Any help and opinions are great. Thanks.

  BACONator1313 08:08 06 May 2015

Just thought of this now but I could also build a pc (#3) and buy a new or used downsized laptop for University.

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