Do Computers Have an Expiration Date?

Clients ask us why computers fail.  Their first computer lasted a decade and now computers are lasting 3-5 years.  What gives?


This video has a great explanation of why this happens.   The main reasons are

  • Heat
  • Electromigration (video explains what that is!)
  • Wear and tear
  • General user error

There is that theory of “planned obsolescence”  whereby companies set computers to fail.  I think that gives them too much credit!  I think it’s more about lack of testing on older systems.  They don’t have an incentive to make sure newer software and hardware works on a three-year-old laptop, so they don’t.  You do some software update to your anti-virus and then your computer screams to a halt.
We can usually help you backtrack updates to get your computer running faster, but physics is always in the way.  Moving parts, heat and that fancy word electromigration, all mean your computer won’t last for more than a few years.

Photo by Judith E. Bell

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