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View Poll Results: How Old Is Your Primary or Newest PC (or Mac)?
less than 3 years 24 23.76%
3 to 4 years 17 16.83%
4 to 5 years 22 21.78%
5 to 6 years 16 15.84%
6 to 7 years 12 11.88%
7 to 8 years 3 2.97%
8 to 9 years 2 1.98%
more than 9 years old 5 4.95%
Voters: 101. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-14-2011, 10:06 PM   #21
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Computers are my weakness, I admit it right now. It's bad. I should probably be in a 12-step program or something. I love transitioning to a new computer and playing with it, and I love and crave the experience of playing with new operating systems and anything else new. That's my idea of paradise. As for computers, I buy what I want, when I want, and LBYM be d***ed. Luckily, they are cheaper now than they once were.

Last July, I configured and ordered an absolute dream of a laptop from Dell. It was great. After a couple of months, the keyboard cratered. Because I hadn't bought extra support, and mostly because I wanted to do this as a gift, I gave it to F to replace an ancient XP machine. He has "man fingers" so he doesn't use laptop keyboards. Instead, he always uses an external keyboard and so he doesn't mind at all that the laptop keyboard doesn't work.

Then, I configured and ordered an even BETTER dream of a laptop from Dell. OMG, so fine, so fine. So far, so good. Two new laptops this year - - yes, it's been a good year....

My desktop computer (which serves me more or less as a spare), is another Dell, between 2 and 3 years old IIRC.
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Old 12-14-2011, 10:56 PM   #22
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I kept my last desktop PC (HP) about 4 years. During that time, I had to replace pretty much everything on it (power supply, fan, DVD drive, network card, video card, sound card, etc...). It was definitely built with cheap components. Earlier this year, I yearned for something new and more reliable so I binned it despite the fact that it was still running fine. I replaced it with an iMac. I hope I can keep this computer for a long time because I love it, love it, love it.

My laptop (HP) is 3.5 years old. The original hard drive fried 2 years ago and I had to replace it. But it is still running fine for what I do with it, and I have no plan to upgrade anytime soon.
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Old 12-14-2011, 11:06 PM   #23
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Reading all these stories of moribund 3 year old computers helps me to appreciate the quality in my 8 year old laptop, just as I appreciate the quality in my 17 year old car. I could replace them, and according to the calendar, it's time, but I might be sadly disappointed.

Guess I'll just keep on LBYMing......
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:42 AM   #24
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I'm still using the IBM ThinkPad bought in 2001, running XP home edition. I have replaced its LED backlight CFL driver unit once by myself, and plan to keep running it until it's uneconomically to be repaired or I can not find spare parts. It only has a 900MHz celeron CPU with about 1.5G RAM. I loaded it with mysql database, apache web server and my own personal checkbook expense tracking software. I also run Firefox on it to surf web. What more can I ask?
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:26 AM   #25
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I am encouraged to see many who keep PC's much longer than the 4-5 year cycle I've tended to follow for the past few decades. With everything moving to the Internet, hardware at home isn't nearly as important it seems to me (except for gamers, developers, big graphics users).

That may change again as PC and television, music movies and Internet converge into one device (my guess). Until then and only after well established, maybe I can just keep my 2008 Dell XPS. I use my iPad more than the desktop already anyway. Ain't technology grand...
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:34 AM   #26
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Midpack, I misunderstood your poll question. I saw how long did you keep.... And then did not see how old is your most recent.... For me, those are different questions.

My oldest Mac is very old, and the one I am typing on now is about 9 years old and is great. It's my primary. But, I just bought an ipad on Black Friday. And I bought it for one reason. I carry my computers around with me a lot in my work, and my shoulder kept saying "I hurt!" I am going with the smaller, lighter computer finally. My MacBook Pro will stay on the kitchen table.

My oldest Mac is 25 years old. The everyday Mac in the kitchen is about 9 years old. The ipad is still in the box, three weeks later.
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:44 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kat View Post
Midpack, I misunderstood your poll question. I saw how long did you keep.... And then did not see how old is your most recent.... For me, those are different.
My apologies, on retrospect the way I framed the poll was pretty clumsy. Fortunately I'm getting some very good feedback nonetheless. Thanks...
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Old 12-15-2011, 07:46 AM   #28
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I guess I'm an exception. I upgrade my Mac every 2 to 3 years. Reason: I do a lot of photograph editing and some graphic design and video editing. The software keeps coming up with huge improvements - like for creating panoramas or the new HD video and HDR photos - and you really need faster computers with more memory and larger drives if you don't want to wait all day for the processing. And the newer cameras keep taking bigger photos!

It's worth it though, because it's so much fun, and you can create such amazing images these days. Can't believe how hard it used to be to stitch a simple landscape panorama together. Now it's like magic!

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Old 12-15-2011, 08:12 AM   #29
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My Dell desktop is over 5 years old and is still going strong. I will keep it until it dies and then may go to an iMac. Laptops are a totally different matter and I would say you are lucky to get more than 4-5 years on a laptop.
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Old 12-15-2011, 08:57 AM   #30
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I've been using DD's discarded Dell laptop with XP since she cast it off in 2006 for an HP (which lasted less than three years). But the Dell has become frustratingly slow at times. I began to see my life ticking away while waiting forever for the thing to load. So I decided to buy a new computer. After about two days of surveying options I bought an iMac desktop, my first Apple computer. I was nudged in that direction because I like the iPhone. Turns out that the iMac is not nearly as intuitive operationally as the iPhone. Still, many things about it I like.

-21"screen (good for tired old eyes)
-communicates effortlessly with iPhone through iCloud (email,calendar,notes, pictures etc.)
-Some really cool applications to explore

I'll keep the Dell too on the desk. It's useful, when looking at investments and other things, to have two screens sometimes. I hope to keep the new one for a long time, like my vehicles.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:03 AM   #31
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Before this one (Dell XPS) we kept our locally-built tower box for about 10 years. At the time it was a high-end machine and originally came with Windows 3.1 installed. Over the years I upgraded memory, drive space, OS to Win 98 and pretty much left it there.

We bought a new desktop when we couldn't find tax software that would run with Win98 and figured it was time. Now with me doing much more with graphics and photography I doubt we'll keep this one for as long. For us the time to upgrade is when the old box won't run the software we want to run. That may happen when I eventually get the full version of Photoshop instead of Elements and Lightroom.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:04 AM   #32
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The main computer is an emachine (2 gig clock) that's lasted much longer than I expected. Though I've had to replace the DVD/CD drive twice, power supply once, upgraded memory twice, but it keeps on chugging. Bought it in Sep 2005. About 6 months ago my wife was complaining that the system seemed to be running slow. Got a freeware utility from the IT guy at my seasonal job (taxes). It cleaned up the registry but it became apparent that the problem was the system was paging applications onto the hard drive.........not enough memory. Doubled the memory and its a new machine.

The kids computer I got used, Dell desktop with 3Ghz Pentium probably 2004-5 vintage. So far........

But the Compaq laptop is only about 2 years (with that %$#^& Vista). But it's no one's regular machine. XP forever, but I'm hearing good things about Windows 7.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #33
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6.33 year mean time between replacement of main PC over the past 23 years-
1989- bought a used IBM Model 70
3 years later
1992- bought a Compaq Contura 430C laptop
7 years later
1999- bought a Compaq Prosignia
9 years later
2008- bought an HP Pavilion and, in 2011, an HP laptop for mobile usage.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:21 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justplainbll View Post
6.33 year mean time between replacement of main PC over the past 23 years-
1989- bought a used IBM Model 70
3 years later
1992- bought a Compaq Contura 430C laptop
7 years later
1999- bought a Compaq Prosignia
9 years later
2008- bought an HP Pavilion and, in 2011, an HP laptop for mobile usage.
The interval is getting longer, that's what I would expect too. Thanks...
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:34 AM   #35
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Hardware durability, new software compatibility with the installed operating system and operating system demands on hardware seem to be the principal factors that prompt a frugal user to replace their PC's.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:01 AM   #36
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For casual users, you should be able to get at least 6 years out of a new computer. CPU processing power and ram are so cheap these days, that even a low end $300-400 laptop or desktop bought today has as much power as a 3-4 year old high end computer.

I have computers from 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009. All dells. The newest 4 still run like champs and serve our families needs well. The 2004 and 2008 machines are desktop computers and are able to do pretty much anything we throw at it.

The biggest limitation I see now is HD video playback. Most machines you buy now can do a good job, but you can still buy some computers without a beefy enough HD video card or on board video chipset which prevents playback of some HD content (youtube, hulu, other web based video, for example). I imagine that not having HD playback capability would make you want to replace your machine sooner rather than later (if you care about watching HD video on your computer instead of SD). So if you want to get 6+ years out of your machine, make sure you have the bare minimum specs to play HD video (again, if you care about ever watching an HD video during your computer's lifetime).
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:05 AM   #37
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I upgrade when new computer performance with typical applications is 5 to 10 times faster than my existing machine. In the '80s that meant every 2 or 3 years. As the pace of performance increase has slowed, I've likewise moved to new computers more slowly.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:12 AM   #38
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I've had my little iBookG4 for 6 years now. I would like a new Mac laptop but from what I've read, my old Quicken software (Quicken2007) won't work on the newer Macs and there isn't any new software yet. I'm very confuuuused on what I want right now.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:25 AM   #39
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Answered 4-5. The desk PC tech changes are probably not coming as fast as laptops. Our current laptop will be fine until we really need lightness for airline travel. Haven't bought a smartphone or pad yet but probably will want one someday.
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Old 12-15-2011, 10:40 AM   #40
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No set time. When it starts feeling too slow and incapable for the applications I'm running, it's time for a new one. On average that's about every 4-6 years, give or take, since the late 1980s.

It does feel like Moore's Law is slowing down, so the "tech refreshes" may not occur as often in the future -- but we'll see about that when we get there.
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