Elite Engineer

What are some of the causes of computer's to breakdown over time...say 5-6 years?

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I like to think this is more of a hardware issue, and more specifically a chemistry issue.

 

Do the busses in the motherboard just wear out over time due to constant current? CPU eventually warps over time?

 

I dont know much about computers, so sorry if my theories seem really fundamental.

 

~ee

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pavelcherepan    124

There are multiple things at work that can result in eventual breakdowns after a while. Here are a few:

 

1. Thermal stress on components

2. Poor maintenance (such as regularly replacing thermal compound and cleaning system of dust build-up)

3. Static accumulation (usually from dust)

4. Sodder failure

5. Inconsistent electrical supply causing jumps in current/voltage and no safety system

6. Short-circuits

7. Physical damage to components

8. Jerk manufacturers creating hardware in such a way that it fails not long after warranty expires

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Strange    2534

Do the busses in the motherboard just wear out over time due to constant current?

~ee

This is not a problem for motherboards but it does happen within chips. It is called electromigration and has to be considered in the design process.

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pzkpfw    172

Electrolytic capacitors are a component known to sometimes fail. The "fancier" motherboards will advertise "solid caps".

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StringJunky    1510

Besides any physical deterioration, at the past rates of technological progress, components are just functionally obsolete/underspecced after that time. I can't see any point in having PCs being able to run much passed that time period.

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Thorham    46

Besides any physical deterioration, at the past rates of technological progress, components are just functionally obsolete/underspecced after that time. I can't see any point in having PCs being able to run much passed that time period.

 

Except when you don't have much money and a machine has to last a while. Especially when performing only common tasks such as web browsing and some office applications it seems ridiculous to keep upgrading.

 

I have a PC with a 3400 APU and 6450 GPU. Bought five years ago.Very low end. Works fine for said tasks, and will likely continue to work fine for said tasks for several more years.

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StringJunky    1510

 

Except when you don't have much money and a machine has to last a while. Especially when performing only common tasks such as web browsing and some office applications it seems ridiculous to keep upgrading.

 

I have a PC with a 3400 APU and 6450 GPU. Bought five years ago.Very low end. Works fine for said tasks, and will likely continue to work fine for said tasks for several more years.

I appreciate that financial means can dictate what one can have but, after that time, as software keeps getting written for the newer, more powerful hardware it means you can't run that software after a certain iteration because it's under powered and/or new protocols have been written that makes the OS on the old machine incompatible, thus severely weakening security. .

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EdEarl    653

I've had more power supplies fail than any other.

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Sensei    615
Posted (edited)

I've had more power supplies fail than any other.

 

That's why you need to be careful when you start hearing noise from cooler fan, and replace it to new one in appropriate moment.

When fan inside of power supply will fail (stop making loud noise), electronics is overheated, and destroyed, and unexpected high voltage can damage the rest of electronics on the motherboard.

 

Replacement cooler fan cost $8 similar to f.e. this one

https://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-F12-PWM-PST-Controlled/dp/B002QVLBM2

 

Replacing cooler fan is much cheaper than buying new one power supply. It takes couple minutes:

Edited by Sensei

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Carrock    27

Besides any physical deterioration, at the past rates of technological progress, components are just functionally obsolete/underspecced after that time. I can't see any point in having PCs being able to run much passed that time period.

True for windows; running antivirus, rebooting fairly quickly after an update, windows processes etc require a state of the art computer for current windows OSs.

 

Linux is particularly good for older hardware (up to 10 years old or more) as there's been more time to develop drivers for hardware.

Unless you want to run some dodgy unapproved software, antivirus has been been run at the software sources.

A common complaint by new users is 'how can linux be more secure than windows when it comes without antivirus software?"

I reboot linux about once a month.

Sadly I don't get paid for this as linux is free.

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StringJunky    1510

True for windows; running antivirus, rebooting fairly quickly after an update, windows processes etc require a state of the art computer for current windows OSs.

 

Linux is particularly good for older hardware (up to 10 years old or more) as there's been more time to develop drivers for hardware.

Unless you want to run some dodgy unapproved software, antivirus has been been run at the software sources.

A common complaint by new users is 'how can linux be more secure than windows when it comes without antivirus software?"

I reboot linux about once a month.

Sadly I don't get paid for this as linux is free.

With Linux, one has to sign in as admin every time one wants to go under the bonnet, that's it's main strength isn't it? I'm a standard user that has to sign for admin privileges in my Windows setup. I'm not interested in have 'the most' secure system just for the sake of it I have sufficient nous to avoid anything serious and am backed up if it does happen..

 

As far as the two systems go, i prefer to just use the system with the most minimal learning curve and the widest user base, since if something goes wrong, someone's got the solution.

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Thorham    46

I appreciate that financial means can dictate what one can have but, after that time, as software keeps getting written for the newer, more powerful hardware it means you can't run that software after a certain iteration because it's under powered and/or new protocols have been written that makes the OS on the old machine incompatible, thus severely weakening security. .

 

That easily takes a decade, especially with current machines.

 

windows processes etc require a state of the art computer for current windows OSs.

I'm running Windows 10 on a five year old low end computer. Works perfectly fine.

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StringJunky    1510
Posted (edited)

 

That easily takes a decade, especially with current machines.

 

I'm running Windows 10 on a five year old low end computer. Works perfectly fine.

I was on on about the latest software working with old machines and security vulnerasbilities associated with being forced to use older, insecure versions.

Edited by StringJunky

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koti    140
Posted (edited)

What I do for the last 20 years is I buy a new PC every 5,6 years but I dont buy the chepest, I get s fairly strong maschine which lasts me those 5,6 years without problems. I'm currently at the end of the cycle with a 5 year old statiinary PC on a good Chieftec case with a good power supply, intel i5, 8GB ram, a top MSI motherboard, a 6790 video card, a 250 GB SSD for the OS and a buch of other HDD's. Im running win10 and all runs like a dream...I dont play games anymore though so I dont need anything fancy. What I will do this time again is keep my Chieftec case and my 27' Dell monitor and just buy new cpu, ram, drives, vid card, mo bo and power supply. I presume I will spend again around 1000 USD and it will last me another 5 or 6 years. It doesnt pay to buy the cheapest components, for me it makes sense to buy a decent 1000 USD setup and not worry for years to come.

Edited by koti

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Thorham    46
Posted (edited)

I was on on about the latest software working with old machines and security vulnerasbilities associated with being forced to use older, insecure versions.

 

And my point is that that isn't relevant anymore. Case in point: I use the latest Unity3d with Visual Studio 2017 on my five year old low end machine (bought new as low end), and it works just fine. The reason is that we're not seeing the massive increases in CPU core speed that we used to anymore.

 

Bottom line: Five years isn't enough to cause the problems you're talking about anymore.

 

It doesnt pay to buy the cheapest components

It does if you have very little money. I bought a low end machine for 310 Euros five years ago, and it still works great (yes, with Windows 10 which I recently installed, must admit that I doubled the RAM to 8GB). The exception is the PSU. Cheap ones are crap.

Edited by Thorham

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StringJunky    1510
Posted (edited)

 

And my point is that that isn't relevant anymore. Case in point: I use the latest Unity3d with Visual Studio 2017 on my five year old low end machine (bought new as low end), and it works just fine. The reason is that we're not seeing the massive increases in CPU core speed that we used to anymore.

 

Bottom line: Five years isn't enough to cause the problems you're talking about anymore.

 

It does if you have very little money. I bought a low end machine for 310 Euros five years ago, and it still works great (yes, with Windows 10 which I recently installed, must admit that I doubled the RAM to 8GB). The exception is the PSU. Cheap ones are crap.

They might last longer now but it's certainly been the case since mass computing started to date. Your doubling the RAM is a case in point: to cope with the increasing demands of modern software and internet.

Edited by StringJunky

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Thorham    46
Posted (edited)

They might last longer now but it's certainly been the case since mass computing started to date.

 

Absolutely, but unless there's a serious breakthrough, it's going to keep getting longer. There's also still the question of how much power an operating system and an office suite really need.

 

Your doubling the RAM is a case in point: to cope with the increasing demands of modern software and internet.

 

Kind of. 4GB was already a little on the small side five years ago (which is absurd for many things), Also, the fact that that 3400 APU still keeps up easily enough is quite telling.

Edited by Thorham

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StringJunky    1510
Posted (edited)

 

Absolutely, but unless there's a serious breakthrough, it's going to keep getting longer. There's also still the question of how much power an operating system and an office suite really need.

 

 

Kind of. 4GB was already a little on the small side five years ago (which is absurd for many things), Also, the fact that that 3400 APU still keeps up easily enough is quite telling.

Who knows? There might be 3D holographic projections which you touch or wave your arms about in utilities to do stuff and that may require power that's not available yet. We are probably good for 10 years.

Edited by StringJunky

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koti    140

Who knows? There might be 3D holographic projections which you touch or wave your arms about in utilities to do stuff and that may require power that's not available yet. We are probably good for 10 years.

I speculate that everything will be done in the cloud and the only state of the art piece of hardware in our computers/devices will be a super fast WiFi card.

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StringJunky    1510
Posted (edited)

I speculate that everything will be done in the cloud and the only state of the art piece of hardware in our computers/devices will be a super fast WiFi card.

I speculate that nothing of mine will be kept or done in the cloud but it will be a massive thing, yes. I'm wedded to the idea of possessing my information in my own containers. The cloud is a dream for a big brother state.. We are digressing, I've just realised. :)

 

One of the reasons for long term deterioration is repeated thermal fluctuations of the components being turned on and off.

Edited by StringJunky

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koti    140

I speculate that nothing of mine will be kept or done in the cloud but it will be a massive thing, yes. I'm wedded to the idea of possessing my information in my own containers. The cloud is a dream for a big brother state..

As much as I agree with you, I remember 10 years ago laughing at touch screen phones and saying that I will never convert from my keyboard Nokia. You can still use a nokia today but miss out on all the functionality - this will be exacty the case with cloud services in 10 years I think. It looks Stringy like youre on your way of being one of these old "nokia" guys in the future ;)

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StringJunky    1510
Posted (edited)

As much as I agree with you, I remember 10 years ago laughing at touch screen phones and saying that I will never convert from my keyboard Nokia. You can still use a nokia today but miss out on all the functionality - this will be exacty the case with cloud services in 10 years I think. It looks Stringy like youre on your way of being one of these old "nokia" guys in the future ;)

Aye. There'll come a point where I start fossilising into certain routines. In 15 years I'll be 70.

Edited by StringJunky

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