How Often Do You Replace Your Freelance Business Computer?

I’d originally planned to blog about Macs vs PCs because I knew there would be some pithy things to say about this heated debate topic. Our house is divided, for what it’s worth.

freelance computers

Image via Pixabay

So I asked a few friends about their preference (ok fine, I posted on a Facebook group for local freelancers) and used a funny cat meme – because gifs always help break the digital ice.

My completely unscientific results show that 75% of the freelancers polled prefer Macs. That’s a no-brainer, in my Apple-loving opinion. As one group member said, “After going Mac, I’ll never go back.”

Most of the freelancers who use PCs seem to be IT-related professionals with a natural aptitude for anything technology based. They used big computer words and tended to know how to upgrade parts to extend the life of the machine. ⬅️ This is exactly why I didn’t buy a PC for my business.

Then there were the freelancers who worked on multiple devices and machines. As one group member said, “My edit suite is PC based, but I use a Macbook Pro when I’m mobile. I guess you could say I’m business in the front, party in the back?”

However, the really interesting conversation revolved around how often these freelancers replace their computers.

The freelancers I polled replaced their machines anywhere from every 2 years to every 10 years, with most falling in the five-to-eight year replacement range.

They also had clever and diverse ways to view this investment. Some saw frequent replacements as part of the cost of business and built it into their budget on a regular cycle. They might even use things like Apple’s business financing program with an equipment refresh offered every two years.

Or they would keep their laptop for just under the warranty term, sell it at half-price, and then buy a new one with all the bells and whistles.

Others who kept it until it died a slow and painful death would often replace pieces here and there to extend the life of the machine. This was seen more often with the PC fans who, as I mentioned above, had the tech know-how to keep an old PC “screaming.”

As one member said, the “time frame is not how long the computer lasts before it won’t turn on, but the measure of time in which you can be productive running software updates.” (cue Wirth’s law)

So I guess this begs the question – how often do you replace your computer? And are you a frequent buyer – or do you love that machine until it dies?

Kristen Dunn

Kristen Dunn is a graphic designer and illustrator. After seven years of brand and marketing work for a global energy company, she recently left the corporate communications world in order to serve freelance clients across a range of industries. With specialized training in medical illustration and biomedical communications, she particularly enjoys finding creative ways to combine science and art.
Kristen Dunn

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