4 reasons why you need a PC Refresh Cycle strategy

Over the past 2 years, I have been investing more time and money in my newfound love/hate relationship with running. One thing I learned early on is that you should replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles, which equates to approximately four to six months for someone who runs 20 miles per week. Worn-down shoes cause runners to change their form, which in turn can lead to injuries and sideline them for days, weeks, even months. If you do not replace your running shoes, you will pay for it two-fold–financially and physically.   Similarly, workstations wear down over time due to usage and need to be replaced, and that’s why we recommend a PC refresh cycle.

Here is a quick overview of the life cycle of a PC:

  • Year 1: Brand new, fast, and productive
run forest run
  • Year 2: The normal support issues here and there
help needed
  • Year 3: Some users might start to notice some lagging
slow PC
  • Years 4-5: The slow decline: Depending on the original specs of the computer, the user might notice significant speed and function decline  (slow and steady does NOT win the race)
slow turtle

According to a survey conducted by Intel in 2018, employees are 19.16% less productive on PCs that are 5+ years old. Over the course of a year for every 5-year-old computer, you lose an average of 42 productive work hours and $12,495 per year in lost productivity due to aging workstations. When workstations wear down you will see:

  • Decreased Productivity: A few seconds per task adds up over the course of a day.
  • Increased Support Costs: Component replacement, software fixes, IT breaking often etc.
  • Lost Time: Not only are you waiting for your workstation to load, but you are waiting for repairs
  • Lost Business: Not many customers have the patience to wait for slow workstations, there are many competitors out there.
  • Security Breaches: By using outdated software you leave your company open to cyber-attacks.
  • Frustrated Users: User’s frustration can spill over into conversations with coworkers and clients.

So, what can you do about it? We’ve got 4 tips for you to take charge of your PC budget:

Tip #1 Plan Out Your Workstation Refreshes

Instead of purchasing and refreshing all your workstations at once, start a workstation refresh cycle and purchase 20% of your workstation fleet yearly. This way you can budget your capital expenses over 5-years and are not dreading a full workstation refresh every five years.

Tip #2 Buy a Warranty that Aligns with Your Refresh Cycle

If you’ve taken the advice of Tip #1 and are planning a 5-year refresh cycle, make sure your warranty lines up with that. Buy a quality, business-grade PC with a 5-year warranty that will protect you from unforeseen expenses. Basic warranties cover hardware failures.  For laptops or desktops on the move, we also recommend adding accidental coverage which covers drops, cracked screens, water damage, etc.

Tip #3 Always Buy Business Grade PCs 

It might be tempting to go down to Best Buy to pick up your new PCs, but please don’t. PC Manufacturers have two distinct grades that they offer to the market. The type sold at Best Buy are typically “consumer-grade” and are built to be cheap and flashy. They might have specs that wow you, but are often built with subpar materials and aren’t designed to be used for 40+ hours a week. They also come with a home version of Windows, which can be expensive to upgrade. You want to look for business-grade desktops and laptops that are built to be sturdy and operate at peak performance for at least 3-5 years.

Tip #4 Put the Employee First 

Have you ever seen the smile on an employee’s face when you set up a brand new computer for them? Keeping your users equipped with the tools they need to do their job well (with minimal frustration) helps them feel valued, supported, and excited! On the flip side, if an employee is constantly frustrated by their PC it will leave them feeling disgruntled, undervalued, and more likely to leave. The productivity loss is just not worth it.


We have all had those shoes that we cannot part with even when there is a hole in the sole, but when they start to hurt, remember it is for the sake of your health (and your running game!). And when your workstations are reaching end-of-life and it is time to purchase new workstations remember it is for the health of your company. 


If you have questions on where to start, schedule a consultation with our team to discuss the next steps and a plan to get your PC budget under control.