How outdated is my computer?

by on May 7, 2009

Q: How outdated is my computer and how can I figure out how much hard drive space I have?

It is a Dell Optiplex 170L with Windows XP professional. It has a 2.40ghz Celeron(r) CPU and 512MB of RAM.

2 Responses to “How outdated is my computer?”

    Here are some directions for how to see how much space you have left:

    You’re computer isn’t really ‘outdated’ until your own needs outpace the computer’s capabilities. If things are running slower than you remember, you can try doing some spring cleaning:


    Based on my research, your computer is about 5 years old.

    While it is true that a computer is outdated only when it no longer meets your needs, I have noticed that the average lifespan of desktop computers is about 5-6 years (laptops even less). After that, hardware failure rates begin to rise exponentially. In other words, it certainly doesn’t make sense to for you to spend money upgrading a computer as old as your Dell.

    A little known fact about computers — especially those running Microsoft Windows — is that the operating system and software need to be reinstalled from time-to-time in order to regain maximum performance. I reinstall on my computers at least once per year.

    Another secret about Windows-based computers like your Dell is that you should run monthly maintenance in order to keep your system running smoothly. This is less drastic that reinstalling everything. I prefer the free maintenance programs that are located at the and websites.

    PS: Mark is correct about remaining hard drive space. Typically, anything below 5 GB or 10% free space (whichever comes first) will cause your computer to slow substantially.

    Does this help?