TechSpot

How often do you replace your computer?

By Shawn Knight
Jun 24, 2016
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  1. I’ve struggled with the decision of whether or not to replace my computer for the better part of a year now. The Core i5-2500K powering my main rig is roughly four and a half years old at this point and despite bumping up to 16GB of RAM a few months back, it may soon be time to retire the faithful system.

    This is without a doubt the longest I’ve gone between major updates. I could probably squeeze another couple of years out of my setup – maybe longer with some overclocking – but the performance I’d gain from a sixth-gen Core i7 sure is tempting.

    With this week’s open forum, we’re curious to know, how long does a typical PC last you? Do you like to ride a platform into the sunset or do you prefer to keep pace with technology on a fairly regular basis? Let us know in the comments section below!

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  2. Brock Kane

    Brock Kane TS Booster Posts: 57   +21

    Usually for me it's 5 years. I try to push 6 maybe 7 as long as I can still upgrade CPU, GPU, memory ect...

    But when I've pretty much maxed out my MoBo, that's a good sign I need to rebuild a new system.

    I've just built a new system this past may, so I'm good till about 2021, I hope! Or until the next generation VR's hit!
     
    DaveBG and bmw95 like this.
  3. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,173   +577

    Whenever I find a good deal on a part that's better than mine. Got my 5820k + ASRock extreme4 x99 for $350 together a year ago.
     
  4. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Addict Posts: 103   +51

    Same for me. I find if I build about a $2000 pc, in about 6 years it's time to do a core component refresh.
     
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,631   +432

    My systems are never officially finished, so I've never replaced an entire build. I'll just upgrade a part or two and sell the old ones as I go. I'm also still on the 2500K, but hope to bite the bullet when Cannonlake comes around.
     
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,663   +774

    Only when it comes to the point that it can no longer be upgraded or the upgrade costs 60% of a new one ....
     
  7. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,315   +133

    Define "computer."

    If you replace a board on a boat, it's still the same boat right? If you replace the motor on the boat, it's still the same boat right?

    By that philosophy I've had the same PC for maybe 10 - 12 years.

    Consider the computer the CPU/Mobo combo the computer. (technically, derp) Then I'd say, I havent replaced my PC since 2009 when the i7-950 came out. So roughly 6 - 7 years, I dont think I bought it right when it was released, not sure. Since then I have gone through several parts including the PC case, hard drives, memory, video cards, operating systems, cooling apparatuses, power supplies... that's probably about it.

    The big point I guess, I went from the first gen i7, to the 6th gen i7. When there are several benefits to upgrading the CPU/MOBO combo. So yea, I went from a SATA 2, PCIe 2.0, USB 2, DDR3, to a system that supports SATA3, PCIe 3.0, USB 3.1, and DDR4, and M.2 SSDs.
     
    DJMIKE25 likes this.
  8. Trillionsin

    Trillionsin TS Evangelist Posts: 1,315   +133

    I've replaced GPUs more than anything else, I believe.
     
  9. DJMIKE25

    DJMIKE25 TS Addict Posts: 154   +50

    I usually do major upgrades every 2-4 years. Just finished a new build with a 6600k and 1070.
     
  10. Dennyy

    Dennyy TS Rookie

    If I upgrade a component now, in max two years their will be something far superior and therefore I have wasted money.

    So my solution is to never upgrade a component :D
    Unless it becomes super obsolete, such as a very old graphics card or hard drive, better off waiting as long a period of time as possible to get maximum value.
     
  11. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,897   +940

    About every 4 years I do a full rebuild. My old rig then because a box I experiment with. Game server hosting, Linux box, network storage and occasionally a second gaming rig for when friends come over.

    I'm looking forward to replacing my secondary rig here soon. That 720be and gtx 470 is really starting to show it's age, Linux or not....

    Going to try to get an i5/mobo combo for cheap to replace My 720. I don't see the point in upgrading my 3770k yet. I'm not even overclocking my 3770k yet. Going to pick up a 1080 here soon and drop my 680 in my second rig.
     
  12. Potatops

    Potatops TS Rookie

    I've been doing the thinking of upgrading my PC for best part of a year now but did wait around for the 1080/1070, after reading this thread I decided to check when I even purchased my PC and it was in 2012, July, my setup is not impressive but its last a long time for under 800 euro budget but I am always an over thinker with purchasing things, this year was waiting for 1080, now its waiting for the 1080 to reach reasonable prices without the mark ups..I would say my biggest problem is I cheaped out on the monitor at only 125 euro (S22B150) , I was pretty competitive in games,(SMFC), I'm on my third headset now, and second mouse.

    Specs:
    Year 2016
    cpu: i5 2500 @ €205
    GPU: gtx560TI twin Frozr @ €219
    MB: ASRock INT S1155 H77m @ €82.95
    Ram:Corsair Vegeance 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3/1600mhz C9 @€57.95 (this seems very cheap for its time)
    PSU: Corsair GS600 80+ @ € 79.95

    In all honesty I couldnt be happier with the amount of time I got out of my computer but I have had GPU driver crashes since almost 1 week of having it which was most likely due to PSU but since ordered it online RMA was messy as 10-13 weeks without a spare PSU.
     
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,173   +577

    You might want to try a g3258 or wait for zen. g3258 has excellent IPC and overclocks very very well. Not to mention you can get a used one for $45.
     
  14. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Evangelist Posts: 3,543   +2,339

    5 to 8 years due to this being the age where optimal OS & software requirements begin to outstrip the capabilities of the components in the computer.
     
  15. RobStow

    RobStow TS Enthusiast Posts: 29

    Right now I've got a regular desktop and an all-in-one - plus a laptop, of course. All three are 4 or 5 years old and I'm looking to replace the desktop this summer. That will definitely be the longest - by far - I've gone since buying or building a new system. Performance-wise I'm not too terribly unhappy with the desktop ... but I'm scared its going to die in the middle of something. The on-board SATA controllers are already dead so I'm using a PCI-E card that gives me four ports ... meaning I have no place to connect my optical drive without disconnecting a hard drives. I'd also like to find out how more - and faster - RAM might improve video editting and encoding ... but this system uses DDR3 and maxes out at 16 GB.

    I want to replace/upgrade so many things in that desktop that I might as well either buy a whole new system or build a new system that reuses nothing except the case, psu, and hard drives. I'll price out the components I'd be replacing and if buying a new system from, perhaps, Dell is cheaper then I'll just buy a new system.
     
  16. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,558   +598

    GPU once every 2-3 years, the whole shebang about once every 3-5 years depending on what technology is out.
     
  17. mcborge

    mcborge TS Maniac Posts: 204   +118

    I've often replaced so many parts in the space of a few years that I end up with enough spare parts to rebuild the previous system. I have done that 3 or 4 times but now my daughters rig tends to get what is removed from my rig.
     
  18. Tgard

    Tgard TS Enthusiast Posts: 59   +12

    3 years religiously - until now with my current rig. I also am running the i5-2500k and it's coming up on 5 years since I did a major overhaul. I have replaced the power supply and the video card(recently) in that time. Also went to an SSD for the boot drive. Now I am in the process of replacing the hard drives with more TBs. This computer still runs my Steam games and other games just fine, encodes my media just fine, but I can tell it is about time. Not sure what I will build next just yet but I figure it will happen within the next 6 months. Cannot believe I got 5 years out of a system but it has been a workhorse. I usually replace a system when it no longer runs well what I need to run or every 3 years, but this system has surprised me.
     
    SirChocula likes this.
  19. CortyDK

    CortyDK TS Booster Posts: 74   +36

    I use my everyday laptop as long as performance is on par with my needs. As I use my laptop for mainly office work, the core i5-4210u and IGP is plenty power. Upon purchase in fall 2014 I replaced the HDD for an SSD, and this march I managed to find a stick of the exact same RAM that already is in the compiter, so it now has 8 Gb of RAM (instead of 4). With Windows 10 and my low power demands, I will replace it only if it suddenly dies one way or another.

    My desktop PC, well I built one in 2008 with a Core2Quad Q9550 and 8 Gigs of RAM. Only upgraded a harddrive 1 time and the graphics card 2 times until computer died on me in spring 2015. So 7 years of service.

    In march this year I built my mITX Skylake Core i7-6700, 16Gb DDR4, Gigabyte GF GTX750Ti Windforce, SSD, HDD and Bluray/DVD combo with Noctua Case and CPU fans/coolers. Fractal Design Core 500 case. It would be nice if this rig would last +7 years without rebuilds. I suspect minor replacements such as new optical drive, possibly a bigger SSD, but that's about it.
     
  20. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,333   +267

    That was pretty much the conundrum I had until I finally pulled the trigger myself, coming from pretty much the similar computer components to the similar components you are considering.
     
  21. delluel

    delluel TS Enthusiast Posts: 27   +6

    Great question. I tend to go solid mid range processr. Decent memory 16g or more. Solid motherboard that will Un a long time. Then spend the next couple of years trying to keep up with nvidia. I'm a graphics junkie though. So IL go through 2 or 3 cards before I go looking at other components.
     
  22. milostuvic

    milostuvic TS Rookie

    Its the same for me usually every 4 - 5 years. We had a pc at home as long as I can remember. (I am 28 now). I started with a single core 2 ghz amd procesor and 512 mb of ram back in about 2004, than in 2008 I got myself a laptop for college (Asus core 2 duo @2ghz + radeon hd 3470). That laptop still works, but back in 2013 I bought a pc that I still use (i3 2120 + amd hd 7770 and 8 gb ram)
     
  23. bazz2004

    bazz2004 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,232   +201

    Apart from my Pacific Pll 350 W98 desktop which cost a fortune I have all the successors I bought. One regret is that I ever upgraded the Pacific to XP because the hardware I replaced to make it compatible with an upgrade to XP was not backwards compatible. If I'd mothballed it instead of upgrading the hardware and recycling I could have used it to run a lot of excellent classic games. The only "newish" computer I have is an Acer desktop which came with Vista and a free upgrade to W7. It's now running W10 as is a Vista era Vaio F38M that was bought as an immaculate piece of junk but has had a replacement nVidia 8400 graphics chip. I'm not planning on buying a new computer yet. The latest laptops look tempting but not at those prices.
     
  24. I normally just replace the parts I want to upgrade,if I have the money.
    A couple years ago I spent the most I ever have on a new CPU,MoBo and extra 8gb ram all at once.
    At the end of this month I'm going to spend more than I ever have on 1 component.
     
  25. gcarter

    gcarter TS Enthusiast Posts: 61   +17

    Meh, kinda of a yawn fest discussion when you use laptops instead of desktops
    The only pc's I have left in the house are x2 dell zinc hd's which are running Kodi and plugged into the house tv's

    If the hard disk goes pop, in goes an SSD etc
    Not a gamer myself which is probably why I switched to laptops as my main computing devices

    Let the gaming nerdz continue the discussion ;)
     

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