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Old 09-05-2009, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

I have been following some of the computer builds that guys have been doing lately.Lots of great help here.

How much time do you give today's build before it's performance would make it obsolete.In other words,if you did a $1000 build today,how long before the specs would be surpassed by stuff costing half the money or when performance would be considered not adequate?

And what do you guys do with your builds down the line when you are not satisfied? Do you sell them whole and start a brand new build?Or do you replace components as time goes on?

Which components seem to be obsoleted performance-wise in a short time? The CPU? thanks.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

Well, it depends.

If you get a quad core, i.e like I did around 3 years ago now, that won't become obselete for quite some time yet, and I'd say my computer is still rather top of the line performance wise.

The component to age the fastest will be the graphics card, and it's something I'd probably think of upgrading when the next wave of games come, but may still last a year before I think of really upgrading it, as it'll most likely still play games fine.

I'd say if you buy top of the range parts, as long as there isn't 8 cores coming out soon, etc, and programs start using it straight away, that your computer build could last a good 5-6 years. I know new components come out that are slightly faster, but they do not make your computer obselete in the slightest, as long as the main core components stay the same.

If you bought a quad now, it may not last you as long, because they probably will release an octo core soon, etc, but would that make your other build obselete? No, not really.

The processor becomes a problem though if a new SSE instruction set comes out that a program may use, like for example, when I had an Athlon Thunderbird. I couldn't run SSE 3 instruction sets, and couldn't get a video editor to run.

The graphics card on the other hand becomes obsolete I'd say in around 1-2-3 years, but will play games for a good 3-5 years before you have to change it.

It really depends wheather you want to run games at the highest settings, at top resolutions all of the time.
Mine can't run Crysis at 1680x1050 at all high settings, at more than 20 odd fps, but it can run games using the Unreal 3 engine perfectly fine at well above 30fps.

But for me, I'll have this setup for at least another 3 years. Maybe more. So that'd be around 6 years of computer usage.
The graphics card, as long as they don't move from PCI-E anytime soon, I'll have to change in about a year to keep up.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

For basic computing I would say about 10-15 years mine is 9yrs old, but when you enter the gaming and high-end stuff I would agree with Kage;
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

You'd be lucky if a computer will last six years now. They just don't build parts the way they used too. Typically, everything but the proc (in some cases) is out of date and obsolete in about three years. Everything is still usable for about five though.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

I don't buy into the whole quad core thing. Most games aren't even that optimized for dual cores, yet alone quads. I've yet to see anything really go much faster on a quad, and it's because of the program. Quad's will be useless until developers start really utilizing them, and that time has not come yet, nor do I see it coming any time soon.
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

But for that reason alone, a Quad is still rather future proofed.

Many programs do take use of my processor though, including any 3D graphics rendering I perform, any video encoding, any VSTi's I'm using in audio software, etc.

For me, paying so much was worth the effort, since I know for sure my computer at least for what I'm using it for, won't be obsolete for a long while.
So its really dependant on what you use it for, and wheather you are happy with the performance of it now, because that will not change over time, except for programs that push the hardware further than it is capable (pretty distant into the future).
It can always be faster over time from new processors, but not any less useful.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: How long does a Computer Build last before it is obsolete?

This computer I'm on is 10 years old, and I consider it at this point "obsolete",

My laptop of 2 years old is still at the top of its game (or would've been if I didn't fry the mobo)

My desktop I am currently building will be at the top of its game for at least 3 years I expect, and probably gaming strong for 5-6 years, given GPU improvements over time.

I generally upgrade parts as they become obsolete, until it gets to the point that its more cost efficient to build entirely new (which isn't for like 10 years).

However, technology increases exponentially over time, so its hard to tell.
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