The fan on my computer’s video card is dying loudly. DH says my options are a $90 video card or a new computer for $1-2K. My current computer is from 2012, but I have a more recent laptop. There are some other problems with the desktop, which is still running the old version of windows. Dropbox no longer plays with it, for example.
We often have the choice to repair an appliance or replace it entirely. Long-time readers have seen plenty of discussions about whether or not I should just give up on repairs and buy a new car. DH has also used his mad engineering skills and youtube videos to fix our clothes washer to replace the dishwasher and freezer motors.
I also recently got around to mending my pile of slightly torn clothing, mainly because I was running out of pants to wear. Before doing this I (uncharacteristically) impulse bought a pair of pants online from Nordstrom. Magenta. Because… the magenta versions were on sale for $35 and the black pants were $60… and I did kind of need another pair of pants if I wasn’t going to mend. (It turns out they’re polyester. 1940s style pants in a 1970s fabric. So when I wear them, whenever I look down I get this disconcerting feeling that I’m attached to my grandma’s torso and legs. I’m pretty sure she had a pair of pants in this exact color and fabric. They’re very comfortable though! So far I’ve worn them to work twice but only when I know the more fashion conscious of my colleagues will be out of town.) Now that I’ve mended a couple of hems I no longer need to wonder whether to wear jeans or bright pink pants or dig out the least dirty pair of nice pants out of the laundry every couple of weeks, give or take.
Generally when we try to decide whether or not to repair or replace, we do a cost benefit analysis. How much will it cost to repair? How much will it cost to replace? How guilty will we feel about the environment? How difficult is it to figure out how to get rid of the broken thing? How long will it take to figure out how to do the repair vs. how long will it take to actually pick out a replacement?
Generally in this household it’s that last item that is the deciding factor. I hate shopping. DH takes FOREVER when he picks something out (see: slow kitchen renovation process). If I need something sooner rather than later, ironically it generally takes less time to repair it than it does to get a new one.
So I decided to go for the video card option because picking a computer could take months and I need that noise to stop now. (And DH satisficed and picked a video card without spending forever, but then the one he picked had a loud fan even when it wasn’t broken, so he sent it back (yay Newegg) and got one without a fan and now my computer is quiet and he wishes he’d made this switch ages ago.) I’m thinking if we’d decided to pick out a new desktop he’d still be on the computer comparison shopping and my video card would be cachunking along if it hadn’t yet given up the ghost.
How do you decide to repair vs. replace? Which are you more likely to choose?