When you fork out a wad of money for a new computer, you expect it to last for the long haul, right?
While some parts of the computer could last decades under the right conditions, many of the most essential computer parts aren’t designed for the long haul.
The average lifespan of a computer is about 3-5 years. But there are many variables that can reduce the lifespan though, such as how much you use it and how hard you push it, environmental heat and humidity, dust, and insects.
But let’s start with the basics. The type of computer you buy will affect its lifespan.
Macs seem to last longer than PCs but they cost more and new technology renders old hardware virtually useless.
People with older computers usually replace the parts to bring them up to date with faster speed, wireless or cable internet, and more hard drive space.
If you buy the cheapest computers, you’ll run into lifespan problems too.
Cheaper models are built with cheaper materials, so if you’re looking for a computer that will last three to five years or longer, invest in a laptop with quality hardware.
Buy strong and highly rated brands and you are less likely to be disappointed. Regular care will help your computer last longer.
Regularly clean it, blow the dust out of the fan, keep liquids away from it, keep the monitor clean. If it is a laptop, carry it in a sturdy laptop bag and use a laptop cooler.
Many people are fond of working from their beds. Yes, it feels nice and comfortable.
But the downside is that soft surfaces like your bed retain the computer heat, leading to overheating. Overheating will cause laptop performance to quickly deteriorate.
Be particularly careful with the cord that charges the computer; they can easily wear out when bent beside the laptop’s plug-in slot that could lead to an electrical problem.
Computers used for gaming wear out the hardware faster than those used for simple office work.
Try not to overwork the computer – the parts can burn out. Also make sure you do not leave it running constantly, and avoid running it from the battery to get a longer lifespan.
Always use a firewall and anti-virus protection. Be smart about downloads and emails.
If you’re not sure a download is from a verifiable source, or it looks suspicious, you’re better off playing it safe.
The lifespan of a computer is dependent on how well you protect it.
Often, we feel pressured to upgrade because we need the latest tech: faster ports, faster processors, bigger hard drives and monitor sizes.
Other times, we need to replace something because it is failing or has already failed. Smart users know that their automobiles and appliances need regular maintenance.
With computers, the number one priority isn’t if your computer is running, but rather the integrity of your data. If a computer dies it’s an inconvenience.
If your hard drive fails and you lose important business contracts, it has a significant toll not just on your wallet, but to your mental health.
Strange noises coming out of your computer could indicate that a fan is clogged or dying, or that a hard drive is about to give up.
Because they have moving parts, parts like fans and drives are the first ones to fail on many computers.
While keeping the insides of your computer clean can help fans to last for several years longer, there is really nothing you can do to extend the life of a drive.
There is simply no way to predict when a drive will fail, which is why frequent backups are an absolute necessity.
Other parts could last forever. Solid-state computer components like motherboards, RAM, video cards, sound cards, and more have far fewer vectors of failure.
Sam Wambugu is a monitoring and evaluation specialist. Samwambugu@gmail.com