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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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Poll: How Long Do You Keep a PC/Mac These Days?
Old 12-14-2011, 04:35 PM   #1
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Poll: How Long Do You Keep a PC/Mac These Days?

I used to trade up every 4-5 years. But with everything going online, having CPU speed and HD space to keep up with ever more sophisticated software isn't really necessary anymore (sorry Microsoft). My PC is about 3, but I can't imagine why I need a new one in the foreseeable future. I have deliberately skewed the "bins" in the poll as the question is about PC life span these days. Just wondering...
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Old 12-14-2011, 04:53 PM   #2
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I usually get a dell, and usually pay for a next-business-day onsite warranty for three years - so I usually upgrade right before it expires. To be honest, my last machine didn't run that slow before I replaced it (so I didn't feel I needed a better machine), but was having a re-occuring problem booting after I shut it down (power supply problems), so I went ahead and got a new one with a new NBD warranty - this time for 4 years.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:00 PM   #3
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I will probably upgrade my 3.5 year old Dell next year once the diskless hard drive falls in price.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:06 PM   #4
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I replace mine about every 6-7 years. When I do, however, I usually get one of the more high-end machines with greater storage and speed. Though I may rethink this strategy on my next purchase which won't be for another 5-6 years unless my current machine has a drastic problem before then.

Mine to is a Dell laptop.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:14 PM   #5
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The 'new' computer is vintage 2007, with several older machines going back to 1989 for the NeXT Cube. The oldest regularly used system is from 2003. (Note that I'm not counting the iPad or phones as computers here, as they are mostly media consumption devices or front ends to services actually on a home computer.)

The computer acts as both a media server and a big screen for running programs where I want lots of information up, such as my spreadsheets or financial software. Storage, or disk space, is not a big deal, as I have about 4 TBytes of network storage. That cost me maybe $300, back in the good old days when a two terabyte drive sold for maybe a hundred bucks at Fry's. Realistically, if I needed to replace the computer itself, I could just drop in a Mac Mini and have plenty of horsepower for what I need. (I'm not building multi-thousand file projects any more, or running complex test and simulation suites. Listening to music, editing a few photos, and balancing my checkbook are about all I demand these days.)
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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I don't have a set time. My rule of thumb is usually, when it's too much of a pain (low performance, for example), then that's when I'll consider a change.

I'm not exactly sure old my current desktop is. I built it several years back, but the PC still meets my needs. It's a Win XP machine, with an AMD XP Anthlon 3000+ processor. The processor is not new by any means, but still gets the job done for what I need. I am tempted sometimes though, to upgrade (either buy new or build again) a Quad Core computer.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:23 PM   #7
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I tend to keep PCs about 4 years and replace. I often put Linux on the old ones. I have about an 8 year old PC running Linux as my home file and print server. I don't have it accessible to the Internet so I haven't updated it in ages.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:29 PM   #8
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Mine is 10 years old (a free replacement for a lemon I had brought in 2000) but it had XP loaded on it, as it was among the first to get that "new" OS. I replaced the hard drive last year and the power supply will need replacement very soon. Both were last replaced under warranty in 2003.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
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I am in 4 year range. Although If I didn't have new games to play it would be more like 6 or 7. Never bothered with putting Linux on maybe I will with this one.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:58 PM   #10
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My used/rebuilt Dell laptop is almost 4 years old. I will keep it until it's no longer functional whether that's 5 years or 15 years. My last computer was a Sony desktop and lasted 7 years.
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Old 12-14-2011, 07:26 PM   #11
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When I had PC's it was about every 3 years as they would malfunction and be out of warranty. I got my current MacBook from my daughter about 3 years ago as she upgraded and it was surplus. I have not had a problem yet so I will keep it as long as I can. It is working just as well as the day I got it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:03 PM   #12
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Laptops every four or five years . Our desktop is eight years old and soon to be replaced .
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:10 PM   #13
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My current is very new (a month or so). But it replaced a 5 year old laptop. I don;t have any set number of years, just when the speed, or really the lack thereof, becomes unbearable.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:22 PM   #14
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PC, custom built locally in 4/2008, VISTA 64 bit OS duo-core.

I replaced my prior PC because it was 8 years old, OS was Win 98 SE and I was using Netzero dial up connecting at 42kbps. 7 months into retirement and not being able to use fast PC at work anymore I realized that I was spending way more time than was reasonable to do what I used to do in work much much faster. It was frustratingly slow and I was paying $10/month for Netzero. So the frustration of a very slow connection speed coupled with an old PC led me to get a new PC and DSL for $10/month for 12 months. It made no sense to have a new high powered sports car and be driving on a dirt road!

I'll keep this PC for at least another few years as it is fine for what I do but eventually it will be old and slow, it is all relative.
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Old 12-14-2011, 08:44 PM   #15
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Since I no longer do anything involving intensive computation, there's no reason to upgrade. A computer doesn't have to be fast to check email, surf the Internet, etc.

The Luddite bass player in my band told me than when he turns off his computer, the clock resets. I explained that his clock battery no longer held a charge. "How old is your computer?" I asked. The answer: 12 years!
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:01 PM   #16
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About slow connection speed, even more than 10 years ago, I read an article where the writer said surfing the Web with a modem was like "riding a kid's tricycle on the information superhighway".

His writing made me conjure that funny image in my mind (how fast does one pedal to keep from getting run over?) that I remember it till this day.
"Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities Can Make You Commit Atrocities" - Voltaire (1694-1778)
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:13 PM   #17
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A couple of months ago, I had a new computer built at that time. I do play Games and I like bells and whistles so I do notice when a computer starts getting slow.

I priced high end already made gaming computers and the costs were astronomical. I toyed with building one myself (or rather DH and I building one for me). I was nervous about doing that. We ended up talking to the local computer store and I picked out all my parts (I could advice from a gaming forum) and ordered them all from Newegg. I then had the computer store put it together for $150. This ended up saving me roughly half of the cost of, say, getting an Alienware (which I had before and was nice, but just too expensive). I have an SSD drive for my main program drive which I really like a lot.

I will probably replace that computer in about 3 years.

My personal notebook is almost 6 years old (I do have an office notebook that I use even though I work very part time now). I am thinking of getting a new one within the next year.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:34 PM   #18
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I am on my second Toshiba laptop. Laptop #1: 1999-2003. Laptop #2: 2003-present. The hard drive crashed just before the 3 year warranty expired and was replaced at no cost to me. Otherwise it's been an outstanding computer and still fulfils all my business needs. I attended a presentation about how the iPad can be configured to support my organization's work (secure and approved by IT) so now I have a perfectly justifiable reason to buy one for business purposes. But the laptop will still be necessary as there is a lot of spreadsheet and other MS Office work.

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Old 12-14-2011, 09:41 PM   #19
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I play video games...

I build a decent system ($1200 range), then I usually upgrade the video card ($300) after 1.5 to 2 years. Then after another 1 to 1.5 years, it's usually time for a new build.

When I build new, I try to re-use as many parts as I can (case, power supply, sound card, storage drives, etc).

Edit to add: I format my computer at least once per year.
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Old 12-14-2011, 09:50 PM   #20
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Normally about every 4 years between new computers. My laptop is approaching that age and I have no complaints yet, so maybe a little longer now.
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