ITS generally recommends a lifetime of 3-5 years for any RIT-owned computer. Computers older than this become less suitable for current application software, which may affect compatibility with RIT systems.
During the useable lifetime of the computer, you may wish to consider upgrades that improve the performance of the computer. Additional memory (RAM) and hard disk space are some of the most common upgrades that keep your computer useful longer. Depending on whether you are using classic Mac OS or Mac OS X, different upgrades may help your existing computer keep pace with today's software.
Some upgrades add new capabilities or expand on existing ones. For example, your desktop Mac may have slots to accept PCI cards. PCI cards can add new kinds of ports -- such as FireWire or USB connectors -- to your existing computer. Many Apple computers, including most of their laptops, have the ability to add a wireless network card.
At some point, you will need to replace your computer with a newer model. We can help advise you on the timing of that replacement, and how to Purchase a Macintosh that will meet your needs for the foreseeable future.