How Can I Tell the Age of My Computer?

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Because consumer electronics are constantly improving, and software is updated with the latest hardware in mind, it can be helpful to keep tabs on how old your computer is. Though it can be difficult to get an exact date of manufacture, whether you're checking the validity of a warranty, thinking about whether you should get a new machine, or just curious to know how old your hardware is, a variety of options are available to determine the age of a computer.

Computers Get Old

While there's nothing wrong with using an older computer, so long as it serves your needs, the mechanics of modern computer systems require you to keep in mind the rough age of your machine. Particularly if your computer is used for high-intensity work like video editing, gaming or data calculation, there is the risk of power banks, hard drives and cooling systems wearing out. At the same time, newer software may not be compatible with older hardware – making it all the more important to keep the rough age of your system in mind.

Desktop and Laptop Manufacture Date

When trying to determine the age of a computer purchased through a normal retailer, there are a number of easy options available. The fastest method is to use the serial number associated with your laptop or desktop. On desktop PCs, this can be found either on the top or back of the desktop casing – while laptops will generally list this information on the underside of the computer or behind the removable battery. On any Mac machine, this can be found by clicking the Apple logo in the top right corner of the screen, then selecting "About This Mac." Entering this serial number into the manufacturer website will provide you with a rough estimate of the desktop or laptop manufacture date. If for some reason you are unable to find your serial number on a PC, there are alternative methods you can try.

Advanced Computer Dating

If your computer's serial number cannot be found, or if you have a custom built computer (rather than a stock model purchased from a retailer), you can still determine the rough age of your machine. To determine the age of a computer in this situation, one of the easiest ways to estimate is by checking the date of your BIOS installation. To find this on a Windows computer, open the Start menu, then type "sysinfo" into the search bar. Select the "System Information" application, and scroll down to the BIOS Version/Date entry in the window that appears. The date listed can be used to estimate the age of the computer. It should be noted, however, that this won't be entirely accurate if you've updated the BIOS. If this is the case, you can also estimate age by looking up your hardware details in the "Settings" menu, or by using a program like Speccy. Once you have a list of the parts in your machine, you can Google those parts to estimate the age of the components – and your machine. Again, particularly on Windows desktops where upgrading hardware is relatively easy, this may only give you a general idea of the machine's age.