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Old 09-22-2011, 11:29 AM   #1
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Default Lifespan of (unused) computer parts

I have decided to start collecting computer parts for a backup for my PC, so that one day, when it starts getting old, I can immediately replace any parts to it. And yes, I know that by doing this, my computer will be an out-of-date dinosaur, but I am fine with how it is now, and all the programs I already have on it.

What I was wondering though, was how long will computer parts last, if I just leave them sitting there, unused?

I am sure it will very greatly from one peace of hardware to the next, but how about, for starters, the more "fragile" parts, like monitors, and probably hard drives.

How long will these things last, usually, if never used? And what are some other parts that probably won't be worth storing?

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Old 09-22-2011, 11:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Lifespan of (unused) computer parts

As long as they're kept away from sources of static and dust, they'll be fine for many years I would say. I mean, I've had some of the parts i've built other PCs from in the shed for multiple years unused. Things like static, dust and moisture can destroy components, but in an environment free from those things, it will be a fair old while. Most computer components are made from alloys, metals or plastic with silicon chips. By their very nature, these don't corrode on their own, and don't deteriorate on their own.

If you store them in a low moisture area in anti-static packaging, i'd say they'll be fine for a few years at least.

Onto the other part of the question... I wouldn't say it's entirely worth storing up spares; considering that technology moves on so fast, you'll probably end up with a bunch of obsolete parts you'll never use. You can almost guarantee at some point you'll want to run a new program or new device in a few years and your PC won't be up to it. More to the point, I can't see much changing in terms of hard drive technologies, So I wouldn't bother stashing up those, just buy news ones if you need one. Other than that, if you want to make sure you have compatible products handy, memory cpus, gpus and so on would be fine to store.

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Old 09-22-2011, 04:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Lifespan of (unused) computer parts

Ditto to this ^

I have several components in a safe place, and several parts are many years old (a few come to mind, an old Voodoo 5 5500 AGP, and even an ISA video card, with a whopping 512KB of RAM on it)

I also have hard drives I hang on to that aren't really worth using due to their sizes, but still have data on them that I want (but I have also backed up to CD/DVD just in case) and they still power on and work when I use them.

You have to decide at what point do you start pitching/selling stuff to offset obscurity.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Lifespan of (unused) computer parts

I have some computers in my collection that are 30 years old that still run with their original parts. One component though that doesn't age well is capacitors as they have a tendency to dry out or leak after a period of time.
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