how long do they last [Explained]

Building a gaming PC is a dream for many gamers and enthusiasts. But not everyone ends up building one. As much as they wish to build one, many consumers are afraid of buying parts that won’t last long. For this reason, it is important to know the average gaming PC lifespan before attempting to build one.

In fact, if you’re on a reasonable budget, you don’t have to worry about faulty parts. However, on lower budgets you may have to sacrifice some features, sometimes even quality. But when you know which PC part can last a certain amount of time, it becomes easier to plan the build.

Either way, knowing the lifespan of a gaming PC can help you plan for future builds. For example, you build a budget PC, save two years, and then decide on your dream setup. If the scenario sounds familiar, many consumers plan their builds this way. So you can buy a few parts that can live longer.

Likewise, you could opt for a specific theme in your build. Maybe build a white PC. You never know. As such, we always advise consumers to plan their builds around their future ideals. While you’re here, also check out how long gaming PCs last.


The central theses

  • Building a PC for gaming can be challenging. It would be best if you were sure that the parts you are using are compatible and will work well over time.
  • The IT business is an inexhaustible source of innovation. There will always be plenty of upcoming PC parts upgrades, which means even the latest gear you buy can be outdated in a matter of months. Therefore, it is better to keep up to date with the latest technological developments.
  • Knowing how long your gaming PC will last can help you make sensible decisions about which parts to upgrade. Deciding whether you should completely change the build of your PC or update some parts is a big process that requires a lot of research.
  • If you don’t know how long your PC will last, you risk buying a product towards the end of its lifespan. It would be best if you didn’t rely on running the latest and greatest revolutionary software or AAA games when they come out. In addition, your PC can be completely useless if your job requires high-end hardware.

Lifespan of Gaming PC Parts

In general, a PC has the following components: GPU, CPU, power supply, memory, RAM, case, motherboard and CPU cooler. If you are planning a build, there are some components you can buy that can last longer. In particular, a PSU can last a decade, depending on the build. Here’s how you can buy a high-end power supply for your budget and keep it for the future.

For that reason, this article looks at several PC parts and their lifespans. In addition, we examine several factors that affect the lifespan of the gaming PC. With that said, let’s look at the lifespans of several PC components.

graphics cards

First, let’s take a look at the graphics cards. To understand the lifespan of a graphics card, we need to understand what it does. To explain, a GPU renders each 2D and 3D image on a monitor. Graphics cards are becoming increasingly important for gamers as games require many frames every second.

With this in mind, the lifespan of a GPU can vary between two and five years. Additionally, this lifetime estimate isn’t just about how long a component will last before it goes bad. It also applies to how long a component will work before it becomes obsolete.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070 – photo from our hands-on test.

With that in mind, an RTX 3070 has the potential to last three to four years before getting old. You get a lot of performance for the current price. So this is the kind of ballpark you should build yourself. Check out our hands-on review of the RTX 3070 here!

processors

Second, let’s take a look at the processors. After all, processors are one of the most important components of a PC. If the graphics card provides us with a video, the processor is responsible for placing this order. As a result, consumers are looking for processors for productive tasks rather than gaming. However, that doesn’t mean games don’t require a good processor.

Be that as it may, the lifespan of a processor varies between three and four years. After all, a processor is one of the most important components of a computer. Despite this, there is a lot of competition in the market due to aggressive marketing from Intel and AMD. However, if you are looking for a processor that will last longer, you are better off with Intel.

i5 12600K processor for the lifespan of gaming PCs.
The Intel i5 12600K has a gaming PC lifespan of over four years. Photo credit/Amazon.

A processor with a long service life and good performance is the Intel i5 12600K. To put it bluntly, you get more cores, enough power to support your creative needs, and the ability to game easily. Finally, when choosing a processor, make sure that its performance is strong.

CPU cooler

Third, we have CPU coolers. Before we talk about a CPU cooler, let’s talk about an AIO. When it comes to CPU coolers, you often hear the name “AIO”. So what is it and how does it relate to a CPU cooler? An all-in-one cooler is a liquid cooler for the processor and a radiator for the PC.

Therefore, an AIO is a better version of a CPU cooler. However, their lifespan is not great. Because of this, we recommend you to use a better CPU cooler if you are trying to build a durable PC. As your temperatures get hotter, the lifespan of your gaming PC will increase significantly. As a rule, a CPU cooler lasts five to seven years, an AIO two to three years.

A good CPU cooler for extending the lifespan of gaming PCs.
A good CPU cooler to extend the life of the gaming PC is the Noctua NH-D15S. Photo from our hands-on test.

If you follow the build, we’ll feature it in this article. You will want to buy the Noctua NH-D15S. Not only can you pack lots of processors, but you can also keep your CPU cool. Finally, the Noctua NH-D15S is built to last, so it will last until your next build.

motherboards

Next we talk about motherboards, they are the backbone of your computer. In a word, a motherboard connects all other components in a PC. Therefore, it is important to buy good motherboards that can stand the test of time.

While consumers spend less on motherboards, a good motherboard ensures power is delivered through better VRMs. However, if your priority is to ensure your gaming PC’s lifespan remains as high as possible, we do not recommend overclocking. Also, a motherboard can last ten years, so we recommend buying one that’s good for your next build.

MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk motherboard.
A good motherboard can help extend the life of your gaming PC – Photo/Amazon

Since in our case we are using an Intel i5-12600K, it is enough to use a B660 motherboard. For our build we use the MSI MAG B660 Tomahawk. In addition, it is important to know which motherboard chipset you should buy. Otherwise, you might be able to spend more on a motherboard.

Also read Z690 Vs H670 vs B660.

R.A.M.

Next, let’s talk about RAM. It must be remembered that RAM is essential to a PC build and the most prone to dying. To explain, the main function of RAM is to store important data for read/write purposes. Also, the data can come from system programs and even games.

Because of this, millions of bytes of data move in and out of RAM every day. Hence the potentially lower memory lifespan. Additionally, RAM typically lasts three to four years before it goes bad. So you should buy RAM that is fast and can handle a lot of data transfers.

Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM built for the life of gaming PCs.
Corsair Vengeance LPX RAM is one of the best DDR4 RAM for its price. Photo/Amazon.

Consumers can easily pay more than they have to for their use case scenario in terms of RAM. However, many sticks of RAM work great for any form of build. Such as the Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB variant. With a low cost, the quality of these RAM sticks cannot be questioned. Finally, if you are buying RAM for a long time, make sure it has proper cooling pads.

storage

Speaking of storage, there are usually three types of storage: NVMe M.2, SSD, and HDD. SSDs and M.2 drives are becoming popular, as are HDDs. In addition, all three of these memory types have different lifetimes. So let’s look at what affects their lifespan and how long each type of drive can run.

NVMe M.2

First, consider the smallest drive, the NVMe M.2 storage drive. Finally, NVMe M.2 drives are possibly the fastest of the three. But they are the most expensive of all and tend to die out fairly quickly. Typically, an NVMe M.2 storage will look for a replacement after three to four years.

A Samsung NVMe M.2 SSD.
A Samsung 970 EVO NVMe M.2 SSD – Photo/ Amazon.

Without a doubt, NVMe M.2 are among the fastest storage solutions out there, but they are expensive. So keeping prices in mind, let’s use the Samsung 970 EVO as an example. While the price will be higher than the average SSD, its speeds make up for the price.

SSD

Second, we have SSDs for storage drives. Generally, consumers use an NVMe M.2 or SSD to store their windows. To clarify, these expensive drives are only for essential software to improve their boot times. In contrast, an SSD will last longer than an NVMe M.2 drive. We say about four to five years under optimal conditions.

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