How Long Should a Computer Last?

Computers, with proper maintenance, are reliable machines capable of lasting long into the years. Computers should last at least a decade or so. By seeing the way technology is headed, consumer technology at least, we can note that change is constant and quick. Everything we already see in the store is outdated even before we buy it, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it produces a lot of unnecessary want and need.

For example people now feel as if they needed four or more gigs of ram just to browse facebook properly. But this isn’t the case at all, because a computer from 2.6 with a modest Pentium 4 Processor & 1 Gig of ram should do the job just fine. But the biggest mystery is that how my Dell from 2004 is still working but my HP Desktop of 2010 is already laying in the landfill just outside of town? One of the biggest reasons is the type of metal they are using inside the computers.

Have you ever heard of the term, “lead-free”, it is the term we give to products or electronics which does not have any lead in them at all? While this sounds great for you as a consumer, the idea of getting an even safer product sounds fantastic and I’m sure it will be received with open arms, but it is highly deceptive as well. The biggest reason is how weak a lead free metal is in comparison to an all lead material. The melting point of lead free is considerably much lower than pure lead itself. And this is where we as consumers realize we’ve been served an exceptional product with a limited lifespan. It truly is planned obsolescence at its finest.

The biggest problem of a computer nowadays is heat, particularly with laptops. Laptops tend to be placed on beds, clothes, rags, or anywhere else the user tends to be. And if the user has pets these problems would only present it much more quickly. When the ventilation of a laptop becomes covered, the computer starts to overheat with the fans whirring as if it were gasping for air. When the computer realizes that it is being suffocated it might turn itself off in time before the immense heat build-up damages the motherboard. And on the motherboard there is a chip that is highly susceptible to heat, and it is the VGA chip. Unlike any other chip on the board, this chip is held in places by dozens of small metallic balls which serve a dual purpose. These balls are meant to hold the video chip in place, and also transmit the signals and instructions that the video chip produces throughout the whole board.

When the heat inside the computer becomes too intense, the balls tend to develop cracks which cause the video chip to malfunction and cease to function. With this malfunction, whenever you attempt to turn on the computer you will be met by a solid black screen or some other visual oddity that proceeds to lock up your entire computer system. This is my biggest concern, because the lead free in the VGA is the root cause of the majority of computers going bad. And it’s also the reason why laptops from 2005 are still being used well into today. Hopefully something will change, but it seems as if the future is moving towards tablets.

People don’t like the idea of having this huge workstation in your house occupying a quarter of a room. Rather a small tablet will be highly effective in providing a small solution to a big problem. Will laptops remain popular? I think so, because of the biggest flaw of a tablet, you are restricted to doing what the tablet allows you to do. That is if you have an IPAD… but that’s a story for another day.

 

One thought on “How Long Should a Computer Last?

  1. hey Arthur…..
    nice…..man you covered mostly all topics which really helps us.
    thanks…..