Buying a new computer when a new Windows operating system is on the horizon can be problematic. You don’t want to spend $100 or more on an operating system today only to be left behind in a few months when the next version comes out.

So what can an average PC user do to future-proof a PC? Today, we’re going to help you decide if you should buy a new computer today or wait until Windows 8 is released later this fall.

Waiting for a good deal?

Right after Windows 8 is released, prices on Windows 7 computers and tablets should suddenly drop. If you’re a budget-minded consumer who doesn’t mind using slightly outdated software, this is a great time to buy. In that case, I recommend waiting until this fall before upgrading to a fast PC.

If the performance of your old computer is giving you serious headaches, then consider running a scan with PC Cleaner Pro. It can extend the life of any old PC, and it will almost certainly give you enough of a performance boost to last the final 4 months until the Windows 8 release.

Interested in PC gaming and high-performance?

When Windows 8 comes out, it might not be optimized for the high-performance crowd. Video card drivers might be buggy and unreliable, and popular PC gaming platforms like Steam might not work at all.

If you use your PC for fast performance gaming, then buying a new desktop or laptop PC certainly couldn’t hurt. In many cases, it’s best to wait a few months into the release of an operating system before making an upgrade. This gives the developers enough time to iron out bugs.

Of course, once Windows 8 is fully stable and supports today’s newest PC games, it will be the fastest operating system on the market by far. Windows 8 has surprisingly low system requirements (see below for more info), and making the switch from Windows 7 to 8 might actually increase gaming frame rates. Who woulda thought?

It’s only a $15 upgrade

We’re close enough to the Windows 8 release date that Microsoft is offering an ‘almost-free’ upgrade to their new operating system. If you buy a Windows 7 laptop or desktop PC today, you can upgrade to Windows 8 later this fall for just $15.

In the past, this upgrade was free, but it looks like Microsoft doesn’t want to extend the same courtesy this year. Regardless, $15 for a brand new operating system is a fair price to pay. And, rumor has it that users upgrading from Windows 7 will receive the ‘Pro’ version of Windows 8.

Can your computer handle it?

No matter what you choose to do, Windows 8 should be a popular operating system for those who like fast PCs. Since Windows 8 is optimized for mobile devices – like tablets and smartphones – it has surprisingly low system requirements (the 64-bit version only requires 2GB of RAM and a 1GHz CPU).

With low technical requirements, HD resolutions, and a colorful new interface, Windows 8 is set to impress later this fall. Since it should work on PCs that are up to five years old (and many that are even older), upgrading to Windows 8 certainly can’t hurt your computer.

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