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Poll: How often do you replace your home computer?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / December 2, 2011 7:14 AM PST
On average, how often do you replace your home computer?

-- Less than a year
-- 1 to 2 years (Why so frequently?)
-- 3 to 4 years
-- 5 to 6 years
-- 7 to 8 years (Why so infrequently?)
-- 9+ years (Does it still run?)
-- Only when it completely breaks down
-- I haven't yet; I continue to upgrade the components.
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whenever Microsoft releases a new operating system
by dmcc98 / December 2, 2011 9:24 AM PST

as they are so hard to upgrade; require more memory and cycles, easier to buy a new computer (with new hardware features) with the operating system installed

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have you ever tried upgrading?
by darrenforster99 / December 2, 2011 7:04 PM PST

They're not that hard to upgrade, hardest bit is upgrading the motherboard, but after that it all goes together like building Lego.

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as seldom as I have to
by VictoriaLK20 / December 2, 2011 9:42 AM PST

Not being very tech-savvy, it is a huge pain to try to figure out what I will need from a new system. As a result I will delay until the frustration level of dealing with my current computer will force me to "just do it". My laptop is 8 years old, the desktop 10, and I've *almost* decided on what to replace both of them with. A huge step for me! Happy

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(NT) I agree - as seldom as I have to
by swramsay / December 2, 2011 9:49 AM PST
In reply to: as seldom as I have to
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stretch as far as I can
by swramsay / December 2, 2011 9:53 AM PST

I am somewhat tech savvy and still avoid changing systems. As a matter of fact the current pc I use is over 5 years old. I reinstalled the old operating system a few weeks ago instead of dishing out money for a new one - as much as I would have loved a new one. Works fine especially with the software that I have which is also older but works for me. PC hardware and software can become such a money pit that I try to stretch it as far as it can go.

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Very Seldom.
by MadDog843 / December 2, 2011 10:19 AM PST

I have only ever bought two PC's new. One a laptop for college that I bought about four months ago, and a desktop that I bought about 4 years ago. Most of my PC's in various areas are between 7-10 years old. I find that anything running with DDR Ram, and a processor with a clock speed above about 1.8Ghz will still do what most people want for a day to day computer. I run two Dells with P4 2.4Ghz and 2.5GB Ram for Media computers, and a couple others with AMD Sempron Processors and about 1.5GB Ram. Though my Desktop is going on 4 years old, it is almost as fast as my laptop, and I have never had an issue. I have Windows 7 installed on both my Desktop and Laptop, and XP on everything else. They all work great, run well on the internet and play movies and music seamlessly. Unless hardware issues or need for more power arises, I see no need for most of my machines to be newer than within the past 8 years.

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PC replacement
by pgc3 / December 2, 2011 10:25 AM PST

I have generally thrown together my own systems about every 3 years, however I am seriously considering going Mac, though I will maintain at least one Windows/Linux system.

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Missing years in poll
by gls5000 / December 2, 2011 11:02 AM PST

Aren't there years missing in the poll? Where do I fit if I replace my computer every two and a half years?

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Performance is usually the issue
by jthelw / December 2, 2011 12:11 PM PST

It seems that around the five year mark,our computers began to slow down markedly. I've also had a laptop that quit after 3 years; it was a loaded model with a dedicated video card and it ran so hot that I think that contributed to it's demise.

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When ever something cool comes out
by ESUNintel / December 2, 2011 12:19 PM PST

I tend to get a computer every few months. I'm strange, in that I not only need a powerful computer for work, but also refuse to get anything that weighs much. This year I've had the ASUS ep121, but the SSD was to small and hard to upgrade, so I got an 11" MacBook Air (before the upgrade) but I hated the fact it had no backlit keyboard, so I moved back to Windows and got a Vaio S and decided it was poorly made and returned it to Sony Style, Sony released the redesigned Vaio Z so I had to try it, a few weeks later I decided I was bored with Windows and got the backlit keyboard 13" Air, I found out I had to run a SharePoint Virtual Machine and so got the 15" Quad Core MB Air with 16 GB RAM. I can't stand how bulky it is, and really miss OneNote, so I ordered an Alienware m11 r3 on Monday. The Alienware is just 11", has an SSD and 16GB RAM, so I'm sure it'll be super cool; yet it's not the perfect computer, I think it's fatter than it needs to be.

Many think I spend a fortune on computers, but I've decided to think of them as a " lease", and besides, Mac's and Vaio's have high resale values. I'm sure I won't be happy with any laptop until the perfect system gets released - that be a MacBook Air with a 6GB/s SSD, quad core processor, better graphics, anti glare screen, 16GB RAM, and a paint job by Colorware.

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My PC is like painting the golden gate bridge
by Justicegustine / December 2, 2011 2:01 PM PST

Get to one end then turn around and do it again. I like my homebuilt PC because it's a neverending project that gets better with every change.

Newest part is the RAM, maybe a month old, I've topped out the MB at 8g. Oldest part is the case, a CM Stacker since nearly anything will fit in it.

I'm usually application driven with upgrades - there was the Photoshop phase, the DOOM phase when, the mp3 phase, the Half Life phase, the video edit phase, the Windows XP phase and so on. There's been little in the way of software to make me upgrade lately so I ponder breaking something just to fix it.

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by RAH2012 / December 2, 2011 5:58 PM PST

It's about affordability! Being "retired" and on a "fixed" income does not allow me the luxury of purchasing a new computer every 2, 3 or 4 years. I'm pretty tech-savy and keep them running as long as possible. Also since I don't have a job that requires me to keep up with the latest software/hardware changes, my 8-to-10 year upgrade cycle works great. I currently have WIN 2000 on one PC (put together from broken discarded PCs) and WIN XP on the other (purchased). I thought about purchasing a WINDOWS 7 PC this year, but I hear WINDOWS 8 will be out next year. I think I'll wait to see if WINDOWS 8 comes out and how stable it is before buying a new PC.

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7-year itch
by gfoley1 / December 3, 2011 1:30 AM PST
I have a 7-year old, hand-built using a large Antec case (which I LOVE, it still draws air in from the filtered front and blows it out the back side) and it runs XP. It flys -- I use a 40-gig sata hard drive for my main drive, with an 80-gig back up drive for storing my files for emergency back up.

As far as replacing it, well here is what I have planned. I am waiting to buy a laptop. When I get it I will also set it up just the way I want it to be, with copied over files and the like -- until it almost replicates my desktop, then I will finally gut my Antec case and rebuild with all new everything. After I get the rebuild done (ah yes, Intel I7 processor with the best Video card I can find, sweet) then I will purchase imaging software and copy my laptop over to my new build. You see, what I am doing is picking out the best on my old desktop hardware (Antec) and funneling it over to my laptop. Then once I am happy with all the results, then, and only then, will I image the laptop data over to the new build... this way it's a smooth and frustration-free process of changing computers. Hence, I am not one for buying some brand name with all the junk on it only to call that "my new computer". Whenever you go that route you buy into the hands of advertisers which are only pawning off their wares onto you -- I call this computer molestation.

Do what I am suggesting and you will be a happy camper, guaranteed. And if you don't know how, ask questions and get a friend to help out.

Hope this helps!!!
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Always catching up
by Willy / December 3, 2011 1:40 AM PST

The only reason to upgrade is to keep up with the newest OS release or customers have switched to. Basically, I drag my feet as long as possible because more than anything it has to be a stable and reliable PC from day to day. Usually, the upgrade cycle is roughly 2-3yr. period. What I upgrade with is usually older parts and/or donated or tossed parts from customers or friends, maybe dumpster material. Dumpster??? You'll be surprised at what gets tossed. No, it may not be working but with the spares I always seem to have, it gets working in with little effort.

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The tech doesn't age as fast as the Software.
by deltoncbaker / December 3, 2011 1:46 AM PST

I keep my machines for 7 to 8 years, but I upgrade the Operating System (OS) Software every 3 to 4 years I am currently using a Intel T2250 1.73GHz laptop that I purchased 6 years ago . It came with XP Home and I quickly upgraded XP Pro as soon as I could. I skipped Windows Vista and am now using WIN 7 Pro. The only glitch I had was with the sound card and the laptop manufacture finally fixed it with a software update.
With a Windows Experience Level of 2.5, it has as much horse power as many AMD Dual Cores. My Laptop might last another 4 years now!

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Not a bad Win Exp Index score....
by SpeedracerXtreme / December 3, 2011 3:14 AM PST

.. especially with an older system.

I'm a gamer so I really need better numbers. My index is 5.9 based off the lowest component score which is the hard drive data transfer rate. All the other scores are 7.5 or higher so this rig does fine for gaming.

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I just upgrade components over time
by SpeedracerXtreme / December 3, 2011 3:02 AM PST

I haven't bought an off-the-shelf desktop in over 13 years. Since then I've just building my own since I primarily use them for gaming and it's the most cost-effective way of keeping pace with gaming evolution. With off-the-shelf systems you are limited in how much upgrading you can do and with the given pace of electronic obsolescence and waste I'd hate to be adding a computer to the landfill every 3 years or so.
Laptops are another matter as I can't custom build those. However, I usually keep a laptop for years (5 or more) as there's not a need to replace those that often as I don't use them for demanding tasks.

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Still running
by jenbray / December 3, 2011 6:35 AM PST

After 10 years the desktop computer is still working and it was passed on to the mother in law and she plays cards on it.

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Whenever something new is on the markey
by krrosst / December 3, 2011 5:48 PM PST

I am a tech enthusiast (though not qualified), I like trying new machines, particularly if they offer better service than what I already have. In that way, I replace my laptop every 2 years average.

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I've gone 5 years, but not 9
by sonherder / December 4, 2011 6:51 AM PST

My oldest got his laptop for college in 2006 and is still using it. I had a desktop I got in late 2003 that I replaced after 6 1/2 years when I outgrew it. I get disgusted with adapting to new operating systems that are so buggy. My "new" laptop I got 18 months ago has given me more heartburn (BSOD - video driver) than I ever had with a new computer. I'll keep it until it breaks, though.

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