Do you have aging legacy computers that you need to replace? Do you have a cranky old desktop staring you in the face each day you come into the office? Unable to get drivers anymore? Faced with new software that’s not compatible with Windows XP? Before planning your budget to replace your aging legacy computer(s), there are a few factors that you should consider to ensure you make the best choice for your use case and your budget. In this article, we’ll cover key items to plan for such as:

  • What do you want to improve upon?
  • What do you like about your current PC?
  • What are your software requirements?
  • What environment do you plan to use it in?
  • What form factor should you consider?

What do you like about your legacy hardware and what needs an upgrade?

Old computer with a DOS promptThis is a critical question to ask yourself before shopping for a new PC. You can run the risk of buying a new PC with all the bells and whistles when in reality, all you needed was the bells. For example: your current 3rd Generation Core i5 CPU is running slow and holding your software back, but your 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM are sufficient. In this case, it’s clear a current generation Core i CPU or even a Pentium CPU will be a significant upgrade, but you don’t need to upgrade your RAM or storage unless your software requires it.

What are the minimum PC requirements for your application’s software?

Whether you’re running a SCADA software platform like Inductive Automation’s Ignition Edge or a Thin Client software program like ThinManager, most software packages will provide minimum hardware requirements. This is an excellent base line you can use when researching your next PC purchase. In addition to software, identify which Operating System you’d like to use. Windows or Linux options require varying storage capacities. You may also want to consider a dedicated SSD for your OS allowing a second SSD to store your software.

What environment will your PC be used in?

Whether you plan on installing your PC on the factory floor, inside a machine, or in a vehicle, determining your environment will guide you to the right PC that will stand the test of time. When considering your environment, take into account: what operating temperature range will you need? Is there vibration or shock? Is there sufficient air flow for cooling? Do you need a fanless PC? Finding the right PC that meets your environmental requirements will extend the life of your replacement PC. Want to learn more about the benefits of a fanless computer for your tough environment? Check out our white paper for the 5 Ways Fanless Computers can Help your Business

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What form factor PC should you use?

This ties in nicely with what environment your PC will be installed in. First, understand how much space you have to work with. Second, determine if you’ll need to wall mount, DIN Rail mount, or VESA mount your PC. Lastly, consider access to key I/O or expansion slots. By answering these key questions, you and your end user will have a better experience with your new PC.

In conclusion, there are a variety of criteria you should consider when replacing aging legacy computers. By understanding what you need in a new PC, what environment will it be used in, what form factor would work best, and what does your software require you’ll be in great shape before talking to a technical associate to determine the best replacement PC.

Are you facing an upcoming upgrade to your legacy PC? We can help! Contact our Technical Sales Team at 802-861-2300.