When Should I Replace My Computers?

Here's one that comes up all the time. The question is…

When should I replace my computers?

Here's the answer in case you're busy today and don't have time to read the full post.

  • 3-5 years for desktop computers and servers
  • 18 months for laptops


Whew! Now that we got that out-of-the-way here's a little more data for you.

There are industry benchmarks on how long a system should last (see links below).  My rule of thumb is as follows.

Desktop Computers - Option A
Buy a computer with 5 years of warranty maintenance.  When maintenance ends.  Replace it.

Desktop Computers - Option B
Buy a computer with 3 years of warranty maintenance.  When maintenance ends keep the computer up to the 5 year mark.  If it breaks in year 4 or 5 replace it.

Laptop/Notebook Computers
Buy a computer with 3 years of warranty maintenance.  When maintenance ends.  Replace it.  If you have a very active mobile workforce.  Then replace computers every 18 months.

Servers
Buy a server with 5 years of warranty maintenance.  When maintenance ends. Replace it.
 

Remember to budget computing.

A big takeaway in all this is that it's important to budget your computing expenses and track lifetime.  If you're budgeting with the life cycle in mind then each year you will know how much to spend on replacing computers.  

When you factor replacement costs into the cost of running your business it helps to avoid unplanned expenses.  You will minimize and avoid interruptions and lost work.  Above and beyond that you will keep your employees enabled, empowered, productive and happy.  

So there you have it.  Those are the numbers.

And last but not least.  In case you missed it above… Always. Always buy spare computers.


Reference Links

http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/white-papers/enterprise-mobility-pc-upgrade-strategy-guide.pdf

https://www.statista.com/statistics/267465/average-desktop-pc-lifespan/