Computers don't last forever. The computer's internal electronic parts are sensitive to a variety of conditions, and poor PC maintenance could lead to you needing to replace it earlier than you should. Some simple steps to take care of your business computers can provide you years of trouble-free use, and a greater likelihood that you'll need to replace the PC for reasons other than it breaking down.
The average lifespan of a computer is typically three to five years, and is gauged by a variety of factors including environmental conditions, usage patterns, and computing needs. Many computers will last far longer than this, and possibly a decade or more if properly maintained. If you have a 10-year-old computer, you're likely replacing because you need to upgrade rather than as a result of hardware failure.
Video of the Day
Where a computer is used may significantly reduce its usable life. Computers require a cool environment so that outside air can be drawn in to cool internal components. The computer will not cool correctly and cause excessive wear if hot air is drawn in. The fan can also suck in dust, which can clog up vents and prevent air from flowing freely through the chassis. For this reason, a computer should be placed in a room that is as cool and dust free as possible.
How a computer is used either extends or decreases lifespan. Desktop computers that are always on, and laptops frequently used without connection to external power require maintenance quickly. The fan may fail or the hard drive might require replacement on a desktop due to heavy use. Laptop batteries can only be charged so many times before they begin to fail: typically after a few hundred charge cycles the amount of battery power available begins to decrease significantly.
The most common end of a computer's life is that the computer's processing speed and/or memory becomes inadequate for modern software. The computer industry refers to this as "Moore's Law," where computing power is said to double every two years. Software capability increases generally in tandem with computing power which makes older computers obsolete over time. Many businesses attempt to address this issue proactively by adopting a "planned obsolescence" strategy, where computers are set for replacement every so many years.