How Long Does a Gaming PC Last?

Showing The Lifespan of a Gaming PC

A gaming PC can be very expensive and many people use them for years.

These types of computers are meant to be used every day for hours at a time, but eventually, as technology progresses and parts become old your gaming PC will eventually be on its final legs and it will be the end of its lifespan.

Therefore it is very important to know how long you will be using your gaming PC before it is unable to function.

So, how long does a gaming PC last?

The normal lifespan of a gaming PC is usually between 3-5 years. However, if you want to play the latest games at the best settings you will have to upgrade your PC every year in order to play those games at high settings. If you want your PC to last longer you will have to apply maintenance every once and a while for your PC to function properly.

Throughout this guide, I will explain how the lifespan of your PC is affected and how to extend its lifespan.

I will also go through the lifespan of all the different parts of your PC so you can get a better idea of the longevity of your gaming PC.

How Often Should You Upgrade The Parts In Your Gaming PC?

Every part of the PC has a different lifespan and can be used for a different amount of time before they become outdated.

There are a few factors you need to keep in mind when you think about upgrading the parts in your PC.

  1. The first thing you need to keep in mind is the lifespan of each computer component. Every component has a set lifespan before they break and become unusable.
  2. The compatibility of the PC components. You will find that very old PC parts still function perfectly normal. However, the way technology and gaming computers have evolved makes them unusable in modern times because they can’t keep up with the demand that modern video games throw at them.

With all of this being said if you want to have the best performance with each generation of games and hardware, then you will have to upgrade your PC every 2-3 years.

However, if you are fine with your hardware becoming outdated and are okay with lowering your game settings every year, then you won’t have to start upgrading your PC until around 5-7 years if you run regular maintenance and don’t damage any parts.

To get a better understanding of this you should learn about how long each individual PC part lasts which we will talk about now.

How Long Does a CPU Last?

A CPU usually lasts around 7-10 years. If taken care of properly your CPU can last for much longer. 

It is important to note that even though a CPU can last this long as technology becomes more advanced the CPU might be working fine, but it won’t always be able to keep up with the latest games and programs.

Therefore, you are probably going to want to upgrade to a newer CPU before its lifespan actually ends.

You start to see the CPUs performance fall off around 4-5 years after it was released this is normally when people upgrade their CPUs.

However, PC enthusiasts usually upgrade their CPUs after 1-2 years of use so that they can stay up to date with the latest performance and technology.

If you want to get more information about this here is an article that goes in-depth about How Long a CPU Lasts.

How Long Does a GPU Last?

A GPU can last around 7-8 years without any issues. After this, the GPU will require some maintenance to keep it going.

The first thing that usually dies out on a GPU is the fans that keep it cool.

When the fans die out this can be an issue if not dealt with properly because it can cause the GPU to overheat, and if this happens then it will cause your graphics card to become damaged.

If you want to keep up with technology and want the best performance possible for each generation of games then your GPU will need to be upgraded every 2-3 years in order to be able to play the latest games at the highest settings and max FPS.

If you don’t want to upgrade your GPU yearly, but still want the performance of the latest generations graphics cards, then you can try to overclock your graphics card. 

This will allow you to get extra performance out of your GPU without the need to upgrade.

If you want a more detailed and in-depth look at How Long Does a GPU Last, then I have another article that goes into more detail.

How Long Does RAM Last?

16GB of high performance RAM

RAM is one computer component that doesn’t tend to degrade over time.

You can use the same stick of RAM for years with no issues. However, just like any other PC part a set of RAM will last around 8-12 before becoming obsolete to the newer technology.

When a new generation of RAM comes out the previous generation gets left behind and is no longer compatible with newer technology making it hard to use for extended periods of time, unless the rest of your gaming PC is old and out of date as well.

Here is an article that goes more in-depth on How Long Does RAM Last?

How Long Do Computer Fans Last?

Computer Case Fan

Depending on the quality of the computer fan it can last around 10 years or longer.

If you are opting for a more cheaply made case fan those usually last around 5 years, but tend to get really noisy after only 1 or 2 years of use.

The computer fan’s lifespan strongly depends on the type of bearings the fan uses, how dirty the fan is, and how hard it works.

If the fan is really dirty then the dirt will clog the fan’s bearings which in turn will start to mess with the movement of the fan slowly destroying the case’s fan. 

You should apply regular cleaning to your computer fans and computer as a whole as this will extend the lifespan of your fan.

Another factor is how hard your case fan works. The faster and longer it spins the more worn out it will be. 

If you do overclocking or put your PC under a lot of stress, then the lifespan of the case fans will be shortened.

If you want to get more information about the fan bearing type and ways to extend its lifespan, here is an article I wrote about How Long Do Computer Fans Last.

How Long Does a Motherboard Last?

Motherboards can last around 10-20 years to keep a motherboard functioning this long you need to make sure that the motherboard BIOS is updated frequently and supports the latest BIOS versions.

Many motherboard companies tend to stop supporting older motherboards BIOS which can make them unusable.

This usually doesn’t happen until the motherboard is very old, but it is something to keep in mind when you purchase a motherboard.

The most common causes of motherboard failures are static shock and moisture buildup.

When moisture gets inside the motherboard board it can cause the electronics in your motherboard to start to erode, which can make them stop functioning and ultimately cause your motherboard to no longer work.

When building your computer you should make sure your motherboard isn’t in direct contact with static electricity. 

To avoid this you should stay away from carpets and dusty rooms and you should consider buying an anti-static mat or wrist strap when building your computer.

If your motherboard is on while it gets statically shocked it can send a high voltage of electricity throughout your PC which will not only fry the motherboard, but the other parts in your PC as well frying them.

If you want more information on this I would suggest checking out How Long Does a Motherboard Last.

How Long Does a CPU Cooler Last?

Wraith Stealth CPU cooler

The type of CPU cooler you use will determine its lifespan. If you are using an air cooler, they usually last around 5-10 before the fan stops working and you need to get it replaced.

If you are using a liquid cooler, then they typically last around 6-8 years before needing to be replaced.

With a liquid cooler if you keep it longer than this you risk leaking, which can damage the rest of your system.

If the liquid in the liquid cooler leaks it can cause water damage to the rest of your system, which is the worst way to damage your system because it is not much you can do to repair this issue.

To get more information about the different CPU cooler types, how long each of the last, and how to apply maintenance check out How Long Does a CPU Cooler Last.

How Long Does a Power Supply Last?

Corsair Power Supply

A power supply lasts around 5-10 years before seeing problems, but it is also one of the most important parts of the PC because it powers your whole system.

If the power supply gets damaged it can harm other parts of your PC.

This is why it is very important to purchase a reliable power supply from a reliable brand.

The main cause for power supply breaks is when the system uses more power than the power supply can handle.

You should figure out the wattage of your PC before you purchase a power supply so you know how much wattage the PSU needs to support.

To get more information on this check out How Long Does a Power Supply Last.

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