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How Long Do Gaming PCs Last? [Full Guide]

Read on to learn about the lifespan of individual components.

How long do gaming PCs last? This is a straightforward query that anyone can ask. You must be aware as a computer operator that the age of your gaming computer depends entirely on the mechanism’s quality. Naturally, the lifespan of a gaming computer is 2 to 3 years. However, your computer can last for eight years if you utilize it carefully. 

Key Takeaways

  • Low-end gaming pcs can last for 2 to 3 years, mid-end can survive for 5 years, and high-end gaming PCs can last for more than 7 years.
  • The lifespan of each component is different from the others, as a GPU might last for 5 to 7 years, while motherboards can last for up to 20 years if taken care of.
  • There are various factors that affect the lifespan of the components, such as dust, excessive moisture, and overheating

Related: How long does it take to build a PC?

How Long Do Gaming PCs Last?

A Gaming PC
A gaming PC – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers).

This question lacks a definite response till now. For instance, some people would want a PC upgrade every year or perhaps more frequently, but others might go five years without one. You’ve probably heard people say that gaming PCs depreciate with time, but you’ve never seen any concrete evidence to support this claim. 

Here is the outcome of the research to understand the precise figures:

A gaming PC that cost $2,226 ten years ago is now only worth about $438, a 400% decrease. Not all parts, though, lost value at the same pace. Because some components, like cases, will keep their worth better than others, the rate of depreciation varies.

On the other hand, CPUs are continually being updated, and Moore’s Law predicts that a CPU that is ten years old will be considerably slower than the most recent CPU. It’s better to know how much each component depreciated over the course of ten years in addition to the overall depreciation of the PC throughout that time. 

As you can see, when compared to the other components, the GPU, CPU, and RAM all significantly decreased in value. Given that they receive the most updates and have the most effects on gaming performance, the value loss is to be expected.

According to research, you should probably upgrade your GPU and CPU before upgrading your RAM when it’s time for an upgrade. Unexpectedly, these components appeared to depreciate more than the motherboard or hard drive. Last but not least, according to research, your PSU will retain its worth the best.

Here, we mostly discuss the longevity of four popular gaming PC categories. 

  • Low-end Gaming PCs: Gaming computers of this type have a 2 to 3-year lifespan. Then you have to upgrade them. Although they are the least expensive, they have the lowest specifications. You can play lower-end games on a simple gaming PC. You may play these devices’ most recent video games at modest resolutions and graphics settings. However, when playing, you could experience lags occasionally. 
  • Mid-end Gaming PCs: They endure for 3 to 5 years. Then, in order to support the newest games, you must upgrade them. Mid-end gaming PCs have stronger specifications than basic gaming devices. Thankfully, they are still reasonably priced. You can perform more tasks and can play more difficult games with them.
  • High-end gaming PCs: They last 7 to 10 years on average. To play the most recent games after this time, you must upgrade some components. Although they are the most expensive, they feature the best specifications. High-end gaming PCs can give you the best possible gaming experience. 
  • Pre-built Gaming PCs: Pre-built gaming computers typically survive 4 to 5 years. The precise figure varies based on your PC’s specifications and the games you play. Pre-built gaming computers often cost less than custom-built computers. Even yet, it can be challenging to locate a pre-built PC that offers the same performance for the same cost as a custom-built PC.

Gaming PC Parts Lifespan

We discussed how long gaming PCs last above, but now we are going to discuss the lifespan of each component in detail. 

Graphics Cards

The life of a GPU might end up in 5 years if you use it to an extreme level, but if you use it moderately, it might even work 7 years or more. Gaming with a high level of demand will wear a card more than regular computing. The actual worrisome point is that in 3 to 5 years, a GPU might become an inferior and out-of-date technology. 

Why, then, 5 years? Will your GPU simply send you a message saying, “Sorry buddy, but I’ve had enough!”? Not quite, but some indications begin to appear when your system is about to fail.  A GPU’s gradual aging and obsolescence is oftentimes a more serious issue than its abrupt failure.

In the IT sector, particularly in the gaming industry, and in the evolution of technology, 5 years is a long time. Think about the visual differences between Red Dead Redemption (2018) and Dragon Age: Inquisition (2014) to get an idea of how wide that gap may be. Dragon Age: Inquisition is a stunning game with some spectacular graphics in action, but the characters have a bit of a wooden appearance, their facial features are a little flat, and their general movement and animations look very “video game” like.

Graphics Card
A Typical Dual Fan Graphics Card – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

A game like Red Dead Redemption 2 features characters that are occasionally impossible to tell apart from actual people of real life. They genuinely behave like people, moving, speaking, and walking. Given the stark visual contrasts between these two example games, you would be surprised that a GPU could even manage that jump.

After considering this straightforward comparison and the GPU that was used to run them, it should be evident that GPUs frequently reach their limit sooner rather than later. We also recommended you check out how to lower GPU temperature, as high temps can affect its lifespan. 


The CPU is one of a computer’s most dependable components. The CPU won’t often malfunction unless one of its important parts, such as the hard drive, power supply for the system, or CPU fan, does. Usage and heat have an impact on a CPU’s lifespan. It ought to survive at least seven to ten years, if not more. 

Although video games and other rendering and processing applications need greater horsepower daily, most processors are deemed outdated after 10 years. Also, CPUs are becoming so quick and effective that you might only need to replace your processor after three or four years.

Computer Processor – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Mismanaged thermals are essentially the only factor that is regularly observed to shorten the lifespan of processors. Not just your CPU but every component in your computer can be slowly worn out by excessive heat. The performance of graphics cards, power supplies, and even solid-state storage drives improves with cooling. 

By making sure that you have adequate cooling and lots of airflow, you can easily extend the lifespan of all of your components, including processors. Less heat build-up leads to less wear and tear. You should also read about how to lower CPU temperature as that can help you greatly. In case you’re doing overclocking, keep in mind that it can reduce the CPU’s lifespan

CPU Coolers

CPU Cooler
CPU Cooler – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

CPU Coolers have two major kinds:

  1. Air Coolers with heatsink and a fan or 2x fans.
  2. AIO Liquid Cooler with radiator and fans.

Lifespan Of A Liquid Cooler

Liquid cooling is the preferred option for PC enthusiasts who like to tweak their computers and make them seem very beautiful. When it comes to aesthetics and temperature, liquid coolers are the best kind of CPU cooler. 

A liquid CPU cooler looks terrific and performs a great job of keeping your CPU cool. There are two different sorts of liquid coolers to watch out for when discussing liquid cooling. Keep in mind, there are various AIO Sizes, including 480mm, 360mm, 280mm, 240mm, & 120mm.

AIO liquid cooling is first. All-in-one liquid cooling is known as AIO. Although they are more expensive than the majority of air CPU coolers, these coolers are relatively simple to install and reasonably priced for a conventional liquid cooler. Before requiring any significant maintenance or replacement, an AIO cooler should last for about 5 to 6 years. This is due to the fact that these coolers are already built to endure a lot and are entirely sealed, eliminating the need to replace the liquid coolant. 

Then there are your personalized liquid coolers. These CPU coolers look considerably cooler and can cool your PC down to very low temperatures, but they require a little more maintenance than an AIO cooler. These coolers will require maintenance every one to three years, but they shouldn’t require complete replacement for another four to five years. 

Many individuals still like these coolers despite the fact that they require far more maintenance. Also, make sure to read our guide on AIO vs Air Cooler if you’re confused between the two. We also have a comparison of AIO vs Custom Loop Liquid cooling

Lifespan Of An Air Cooler

Air coolers last forever until or unless the base plate does not catch rust. Since a CPU cooler’s heatsink is merely a piece of metal that doesn’t need to process anything, it should endure for hundreds of years. It won’t wear out unless you attempt to do something to it.


A motherboard often has a lengthy lifespan. A motherboard can live for up to 20 years or even longer if it is taken care of properly and maintained clean. The motherboard itself should continue to function flawlessly even when the hardware connected to it becomes outdated, necessitating an upgrade to the newest gear. 

Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Elite AX motherboard
Gigabyte Z790 Aorus Elite AX motherboard. Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Similar to a pet, how you care for your motherboard will determine how long it lasts. Typically, you can anticipate your board working for 7 to 10 years. You might get less if you don’t properly care for it. Your motherboard can live a lot longer if you don’t put too much strain on it and don’t have high expectations. Some of them still function perfectly fine even though they are in their 30s. 

Of course, you must also consider that not every motherboard will fail in the same manner. Some will just stop working, but the majority of individuals will have moved on by then. Oftentimes, the performance will start to deteriorate, or the board will become outdated in terms of technology, making you want a new one. You should also consider reading our guides on the orange light on the motherboard and the red light on the motherboard, as these issues should be fixed asap to improve the lifespan. 


RAM – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

To put it hypothetically, if you were to design a PC right now and use the best RAM available, its performance should last for more than a decade. Although there is a slight decrease in RAM speed, you will hardly ever notice it with time. The issue is that you might require more RAM after 6-7 years, and these components might already be phased out. 

The new RAM sticks you use to upgrade your RAM must operate at the same RAM speed and CAS latency as your old RAM. This only applies, of course, if you want to use your old RAM as well. Therefore, if you have no intention of upgrading gradually in the future, purchasing a 32GB model is preferable.

If you’re using 32GB memory and you want the option to upgrade, you must have 32GB “Dual,” which requires two 16GB RAM modules. For a total of 16GB of memory, a 16GB “Dual” will already occupy 2 DIMM (RAM) slots on your motherboard. Also, make sure to read our guide on how to change the color of Corsair RAM in case you are having trouble doing that. 

Storage (M.2, HDD, SSD)

Unlike HDDs, which feature tiny moving parts like spinning platters and arms that are readily damaged, SSDs don’t have these components. SSDs may be moved around while still protecting your sensitive data and files. They provide extra shock and vibration resistance for travel-tested durability if you are gaming on a laptop. They are made to store your data for years reliably. 

If you aren’t simultaneously installing and uninstalling a lot of games, an HDD can last 5 to 8 years. Fortunately, HDD units can store a lot of software, including games (20GB to 180GB on average), and they can even handle graphics. However, they take longer to load games than SDDs. SDD devices have a minimum ten-year lifespan. However, it is advised to utilize an HDD if you download a lot of stuff daily, or remember that an SSD can endure you for 6 or 7 years. 

Processors Outliving Motherboards

Although motherboards can last a long time if maintained well, it’s common to hear that many people you know have experienced issues with their motherboards getting damaged in their electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets, and desktop computers.

This is because your motherboard gives life to all of your components, and a malfunction in any one of those components can cause your motherboard to be irreparably damaged. Other than this, many external factors like “dirty power” from your PSU and your dielectric drying out or even a simple capacitor breaking off can instantly lay waste to your motherboard.

In contrast, CPUs tend to be more dependable for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they usually do not have many fragile components, except for the pins on some AMD processors. You won’t find any capacitors protruding from the CPU, no dielectric drying up, and you can’t even touch the circuitry without disassembling the entire unit.

Motherboard – Image Credits [Tech4Gamers]
However, it’s important to note that CPUs can still fail due to user errors such as improperly inserting the processor into the socket or accidentally dropping it, turning your CPU into nothing more than a useless piece of silicon. Unfortunately, these types of problems can affect any component, as hard as manufacturers may try to prevent them, they cannot completely eliminate the possibility of user errors. Because of these reasons, CPUs usually outlive the motherboards they are designed to live on. 

As the number of motherboards compatible with a specific platform decrease and the processors powering the platform remains relatively the same, the simple rule of supply and demand cause the price of motherboards to be hiked up to a ridiculous amount. All of these factors emphasize knowing when to let your systems go and realizing hen the platform cost of

keeping your old computer exceeds the comfortable limit you have in your budget to spend on your computer. Instead of spending your hard-earned dollars on overpriced motherboards, you should know that your computer has reached the end of its life cycle and get yourself a hard-earned upgrade.

This doesn’t mean that your computer is completely useless, though. Provided that your computer is not terribly old, you should be able to salvage some components from your older system to make use of in your new system, like RAM, CPU coolers, and potentially even your power supply. Just make sure that the parts you use in your new system are fault free before slotting them into it.

Factors Affecting The Life Of Gaming PCs

Computers are not cheap, and gaming PCs, in particular, may cost quite a bit when all the bells and whistles are included. Naturally, you want to get the biggest return on your investment for as long as possible. You should be aware of a few factors that can shorten the lifespan of your gaming PC if you’re looking forward to increasing its lifespan. The answer to the question ‘how long do gaming PCs last’ is going to be different for everyone, as some of you might not face any issues with these factors.


Dust is one of the most frequent issues that shorten a computer’s lifespan. The operation of the various components might be hampered by dust, which also accelerates wear and tear over time. To clean out all of the components, you should try to open up your computer’s tower once or twice a year and more frequently if there is a lot of dust around you. 

This may be the reason why tower versions that let you see the interior parts are growing in popularity. Sure, they allow you to display your PC’s hardware, but knowing that someone is looking is much more motivational to keep it tidy. We have detailed guides on how to clean PC fans and how to clean PC without compressed air. You should check them out as they can help you clean everything without messing anything up. 

Excessive Moisture 

Moisture and electronics simply don’t mix, and while waterproof phones are more popular than ever, we don’t see this occurring for PCs any time soon. This can be a concern if you reside in a region with high humidity levels.

And basements are especially infamous for having high humidity levels. It isn’t much else you can do to deal with excessive humidity besides utilizing a dehumidifier. A dry climate will benefit your PC by extending its longevity.

Gaming Laptop Batteries 

The most important thing to remember when playing games on a laptop is to take good care of the battery. Batteries need some maintenance, but there are a lot of myths that claim to explain how their health may be impacted.

For instance, contrary to popular belief, overcharging batteries is not harmful to their health. If the battery is completely charged, your computer will most likely use the operating power supply rather than overcharge. The health of your battery will suffer if you frequently let it run out, though. 

A battery might suffer a casualty due to high temperatures, which also affects how much charge it can store over time. Accessories for rapid charging that you see will also shorten their lifespan. Even though they aren’t strictly the entire computer, batteries have a high cost and should be mentioned nonetheless. You can read our guide on how long laptops last to learn more about this. 


Regardless of the platform you’re using, either a PC, PS4 or Xbox One, ventilation is crucial. Many individuals don’t bother about ventilation as long as they regularly clean their PC because ventilation is typically looked at as a technique of preventing dust. While regularly cleaning your PC is a fantastic habit to develop, it doesn’t necessarily suggest that you are dealing with any overheating problems.


Even though gaming PCs use a lot of technology to keep temperatures down, they still become hotter than other PCs. Therefore, ventilation shouldn’t be sacrificed.

Your components will suffer from excessive heating, which will eventually result in wear and tear. It’s not a bad idea to have a moving fan pointed toward your computer to minimize heat, but doing so could make the gadget dustier. 

A Fragmented Hard Drive 

When your computer first starts saving files, it spreads them out over various locations in miscellaneous spaces. With time, this may lengthen the time it takes for your PC to access those files, which may lower performance depending on the file.

Your hard disc may be easily defragmented, which gathers saved data and maintains them close together to minimize the space between them. As a result, your PC performs better because it doesn’t have to work as hard to access those files.

It’s probably past due for you to defragment your hard disc if you’ve had your PC for a few years and haven’t yet. Computers are similar to pets as they require some tender loving care, but as long as you show them the proper respect, they will return the favor. Don’t be hesitant to ask for assistance from family or friends if you’re not a great computer nerd.

There are a tonne of tutorials on YouTube, and your user manual may offer instructions if you’re unclear about how to open your PC to clean it. Enjoy your gaming, and make use of a PC that will provide you with value for your money. 

Pre-Built Vs Custom Gaming PCs Lifespan

Pre-built Vs. Custom Gaming PCs
Pre-built Vs. Custom Gaming PCs

The lifespan of Pre-built vs Custom Gaming PCs. Due to its prebuilt nature, a prebuilt PC won’t necessarily last more or less time than a custom-built PC. 

You can’t say if the prebuilt PCs altogether are better or worse because the only difference between pre-built and custom-built computers is that prebuilt computers have been made by someone else. However, since you are paying for their labor and the prebuilt PC manufacturer also needs to make a profit, prebuilt PCs often cost more.

Having said that, it would be challenging to locate a prebuilt PC with comparable performance for the same price as a custom-built PC. Due to the difference in performance, a $500 prebuilt PC will likely require upgrading more frequently than a $500 custom-built PC because the prebuilt is likely to contain slower parts from the start. 

How To Increase The Lifespan Of Gaming PC Components?  

Every computer ultimately reaches a point when an upgrade is required. However, there are several things you can do to extend the life of your gaming computer.

Upgrade Your RAM

When your RAM becomes outdated, you should upgrade it. If you are aware of the release of a new game, you should also update it. This update procedure is simple as well as affordable. Consult the PC maker for information on the details of your system if you’re unclear about the size of RAM you should purchase. Furthermore, keep in mind that the amount of RAM you will need for gaming is different from the amount of RAM you need for video editing

Sabrent Rocket DDR5
Sabrent Rocket DDR5 RAM – Image Credits (Tech4Gamers)

Purchase A Solid-state Drive (SSD)

An SSD will be your best choice if you want to speed up your computer while simultaneously having additional storage space. It will take up less space in your computer and is another economical way to enhance the functionality of your setup.

Regularly Disinfect Your System

Cleaning your system regularly could seem excessive. But it’s essential if you want to keep your computer working properly for years to come. It’s also very simple. All you need to do is download an antivirus application for your gaming PC onto a USB stick, insert it into the system’s USB port, and wait for it to start up. 

Avoid Malware

Also, remember to consider software-based prevention. Although viruses and malware don’t usually harm your system physically, fixing the damage they bring to your personal or system files can be quite expensive.

Some even completely encrypt your system and won’t let go until you pay a huge ransom or wipe your hard drive clean and start again. In short, to prevent viruses, malware, and intrusions, make sure you’re using a solid security package.

Guard Against Power Outages

Your computer may have issues such as the corruption of files or drives or the loss of unsaved documents as a result of an abrupt power outage. You’ll require what they refer to as an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to guard against this loss. In essence, it’s a surge protector with an integrated battery that will act immediately if your house or workplace loses power, whether it’s only a flicker or a complete outage. Moreover, since laptops and mobile gadgets already have batteries, this is not a problem for them.

The battery life of the UPS and the wattage needed to run your specific equipment will determine how long it will keep your computer powered. Even the smallest capacities ought to provide you with enough power for at least a few minutes so that you may save documents and properly shut down the computer. Many also have software that you may install to monitor the UPS and start an automatic shutdown if you’re not there to react.

Guard Against Power Surges

Because they include so many delicate circuits and components, computers are extremely sensitive to power fluctuations. Any size of surges or spikes can strain your computer and, in extreme situations, could harm the power supply and other components.

You think you can solve the issue by plugging the PC into any old surge protector, right? However, in reality, it is not quite that straightforward. 

With just one strong power surge or spike, surge protectors can stop functioning as a protection mechanism but still keep powering your gadgets, giving you a false sense of security. Your PC’s life may depend on how well your surge protector is functioning. Therefore make sure to keep a check on your surge protector’s status every now and then. 

The good news is that modern versions of Windows now automatically defragment your drive, leaving you only with Windows XP and earlier to manually run the defragment software, which you really shouldn’t be using in the first place.

Prevent Hard Disk Problems

As a result of improper shutdowns, crashes, and other issues, hard drives can become corrupt with faulty sectors and file system errors. This corruption can corrupt files, cause system instability, and blue screens, and even harm files, and when things get severe, it can also stop Windows from launching. Running the Check Disk tool with Windows will typically detect and automatically fix the issue. 

Therefore, these are more of a concern if you’re using Windows 7 or an earlier version. Windows 8’s enhancements to error handling enable more file and drive problems to be resolved automatically.

Provide Your PC With Some Space To Breathe

When it comes to heat, ventilation is a crucial concern. The case’s heatsinks and fans can assist, but if the air around the PC is congested, they may have trouble keeping it cool. Ensure that your computer has proper access to cold air. For example, don’t hide the tower within a cupboard on your computer desk. Furthermore, keep the PC away from any heater vents or space heaters.

Keep It Clean

If you give a PC enough time, it will eventually become covered with dust, grime, hairballs, and other debris, unless you work in a completely clean environment. If the filth is allowed to remain for an extended period, it can smother the computer system, producing greater heat and stressing the parts. This may result in decreased performance or possibly the premature death of a component. 


In this article, we answered the question of ‘how long gaming PCs last’, and discussed the lifespan of different hardware components inside your PC. A gaming PC should typically last between 5 and 6 years with moderate use. Undoubtedly, this figure will change based on the games you play and the specifications of your gaming PC. Every two to three years, gamers should upgrade their computers. 


Can a PC have a lifespan of ten years?

Generally speaking, if a computer is properly maintained and cared for, its lifespan can be extended to 10 years or even longer. A laptop is not the same as a desktop computer, so the life expectancy varies depending on the model.

Do gaming PCs outlast consoles in durability?

Typically, a PC can run games for a very long period before they become unplayable at low or even medium settings. Because every game is often optimized for a console’s specifications and because every console owner has the same specifications, consoles are pretty durable.

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Abde Manaf
Abde Manaf
Abdemanaf has been a creative writer since 2011. He first dwelled in the tech world in early 2015 and has since compared many product offerings by different companies. Abdemanaf started working for Tech4Gamers in February 2022 as a blog and comparison writer.


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