Will Windows 10 still work on my computer?
Windows 7 Support lifecycle ended on January 14, 2020. Microsoft recommends that users replace older devices with newer units that come with Windows 10 pre-installed. However, if your laptop or PC is still working, you might find yourself asking why not just upgrade to Windows 10? After all, if it’s not broken, why fix it?
Your decision should come down to:
the age of the unit,
what software it was originally designed to run, and
subsequent developments in hardware.
Windows 7 came out in 2009. Windows 10 came out in 2015. This means any devices still running Windows 7 are between 6 to 11 years old. Even if you set aside the age of the computers, and the associated fears of failure, some of the hardware changes that have happened over the same period of time cannot be ignored. Their implications on, or interactions with, software, also warrant further consideration. Some of the hardware changes to think about include:
1) The CPU (power, speed and performance)
If your laptop or PC was bought early in the Windows 7 release period, it’s likely your computer is running on an old dual-core, quad-core or 1st generation Intel processor. Modern-day CPUs have advanced multiple generations since then. They have more cores, offer better hyper-threading, and are generally faster, more powerful and offer better performance. As the Windows 10 operating system will command more juice from a CPU than Windows 7 did, it makes sense that, not upgrading a device, will result in a slower, less powerful, less efficient or less reliable system.
Most devices old enough to run Windows 7, most likely had only 2 to 4GB of RAM.
While 4GB RAM would be effective for most basic day-to-day business activities, it isn’t powerful enough for works entailing design, video editing and storage of large file types.
The earlier version of windows 7 is also problematic as it would have been a 32bit OS. This meant that only 3.2 to 3.6GB of RAM could be seen or utilised by the system. It also restricted use of peripheral hardware to older versions with 32bit firmware. By contrast, an up-to-date Windows 10 Pro operating system would support 64 bits and utilise more of the 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB RAM offerings of today. More RAM impacts the speed of the computer, software loading times and the number of simultaneous activities you can do. The higher the RAM the better off you will be.
3) Storage Drives (HDD vs SSD)
In recent years, SSD storage drives have become popular and more mainstream. They don’t have mechanical parts, are smaller, take up less real estate in a PC or laptop and are faster than HDD equivalents. Similar to having extra RAM, SSDs enable faster read and write capabilities and are especially handy as boot-up drives for Windows and other frequently used programs. SSDs used as boot drives enable faster OS loading and allow Windows to perform required actions much quicker. Coupled with HDDs (or cloud storage) for all your other storage requirements – SSDs can make a noticeable difference to your everyday computing.
4) Intel Optane Memory
Intel Optane memory also increases the speed and performance of computing devices. Only compatible with later generation motherboards and CPUs, Optane memory acts as a cache memory-bridge between CPU, RAM and storage drives. It has the ability to accelerate every operation users perform and offers better responsiveness for everyday tasks. Optane memory can be especially useful if you need large storage drives on your computer. In such cases, you might use the more expensive SSDs for booting programs or applications and coupled them with larger size HDDs to meet your storage requirements.
5) Biometric Security
Fingerprint scanners, palm readers, facial recognition and other elements of biometric security are becoming regular features of new hardware devices. In particular on laptops and other mobile devices. Windows 7 wasn’t designed with this biometrics focus in mind. Windows 10, with the added focus on evolving apps, is likely to be better suited for this. Windows 10 also comes equipped with Windows Hello. This, in turn, allows users to secure access to their computers or data, using fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition technologies. The end result is potentially passwordless, safe and secure computer systems.
In addition to the above hardware components, it is important to acknowledge that usage types and requirements have also changed over time. Software offerings have evolved and it only makes sense that a replacement computer will outperform systems where only the operating system was upgraded.
If you need a low cost solution to your business computer upgrades, speak to us today about what options are available. If you’re happy to make a few concessions, we’re confident we can help you find the right balance between newer hardware and optimised performance - without breaking the bank.