3 Reasons Why You Need a New Computer

An ultra thin Samsung Notebook Series 9 laptop computer (L) runnung Microsoft Windows 8 sits next to an Apple Macbook Air brought by a visitor during a press day at the Samsung stand at the IFA 2012 consumer electronics trade fair on August 30, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. IFA 2012 will be open to the public from August 31 through September 5. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

An ultra thin Samsung Notebook Series 9 laptop computer (L) running Microsoft Windows 8 sits next to an Apple Macbook Air brought by a visitor during a press day at the Samsung stand at the IFA 2012 consumer electronics trade fair on August 30, 2012 in Berlin, Germany. IFA 2012 will be open to the public from August 31 through September 5. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Many people cannot get through a single workday without them. Some use them for gaming, shopping, socializing, and even dating. Computers have become such a part of our lives that we are willing to endure lengthy hold times, tech jargon, and software download agreements to ensure a PC and Internet connection are running properly.

With an average cost of around $275 for a lower-end model and around $1,600 for something with higher performance capabilities, computers have found their way into the homes of millions of Americans. From 1984 to 2011, U.S. Census data indicate the percentage of households owning a computer rose from less than 9 percent to over 75 percent. This increase directly correlates with availability and increase in Internet usage.

Computers have also seen a significant price drop over the past several years. In 1996, you were looking at a cost of around $3,500 for a model with a 100 MHz processor, 1.2 GB of hard drive, and 12 MB of RAM. Your monitor was around 15 inches in size and features like a CD-ROM were still considered pretty flashy. Today, with our touchscreens, terabytes of RAM, and high-definition monitors, it’s tough to even think about a computer with such little power.

Because parts have become less and less expensive and there are so many computer sellers out there, the price of a PC has reduced based on simple principles of supply and demand. With computers being relatively inexpensive, what is the best action to take in the event of a PC breakdown? When should you buy a new PC?