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 two to three years. Your computer can last for eight years if you utilize it carefully. 

A gaming computer is a specific kind of personal computer built for playing video games. Computer engineers have created a “gaming pc” as a remedy for this situation because video games often require a lot of space to run. 

The latest gaming computer is not like a typical computer. With the addition of quality-focused components like high-core CPUs and video cards, one can turn a normal pc into a gaming pc. 

Most gaming computers were built with extreme computing powers when overlaps were present. A gaming computer that is ideal for playing video games is essentially a more advanced version of a standard computer. 

Sometimes gaming computers need to be upgraded. Its essential components determine how long it will last. People do choose a high-quality PC over a laptop for gaming because of the latter’s disadvantage of durability. 

A computer is more resistant to accidental situations than a laptop. Also, you may rapidly and affordably repair a damaged or broken PC component. A gaming PC can last longer than you might imagine in this way.

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

How Long Do Gaming PCs Last?

A Gaming PC
Here is how a Gaming PC Looks – Image from our DeepCool CK560 Article.

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

Gaming PC Parts Lifespan
Gaming PC Parts Lifespan

Now, we will take a look at all individual parts of PC, and how long they last. 

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 from our GTX 1050 Ti Article.

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. 

Processors

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.

Processor
Computer Processor – Image from Our i7 10700k article.

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.

CPU Coolers

CPU Cooler
How a Typical CPU Cooler looks like. Image: Raijentek Scylla 

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 

Life Span of 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.

The Life Span of 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.

Motherboards

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. 

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. 

RAM

RAM
RAM, Photo: From Our Review.

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. 

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. 

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.

Dust 

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 tears 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 recommend checking out Cleaning PC without Compressed Air Guide & Tempered Glass Cleaning article. 

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 overcharging. 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. 

Overheating 

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 towards 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. 

Also read: Upgrading Prebuilt PC

How Can Gaming PC Parts Be Made To Last Longer? 

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.

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.

Purchase a New CPU

Everyone eventually needs a new CPU as computers become older because processors don’t live forever, either. A new processor every few years or so is not overly expensive and can significantly speed up how quickly your PC operates.

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. 

How Often Should You Change the Components in Gaming PCs?

PC Build
A PC Build With All Components. Image: DeepCool CK560 Article.

To keep your gaming PC up to date with the most recent CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, and motherboard, which can handle and run the new and forthcoming, highly demanding graphic games smoothly, you need to upgrade it every four years. 

How well you maintain your gaming computer will determine how long it lasts. You should always upgrade when a new generation comes out because it can provide more power, faster speeds, and larger storage spaces.

Older systems may not be able to keep up with these advancements, so they are upgradeable, but this isn’t always possible because they are out of date or the manufacturer is no longer supporting them.

The majority of individuals don’t consider their gaming PC as a means of future upgrades. This should worry you because the parts of your system will probably no longer be supported in three to five years and might not be able to meet standards for the next level for another five to ten years. 

If you want to keep playing your favourite games, you must get a new gaming PC. We advise selecting the most recent components, such as CPUs and GPUs, which will endure for 5–10 years and allow for simple upgrades when necessary without incurring significant costs or problems. 

Most other types of computers are less expensive to buy and maintain than gaming PCs. The following factors should be taken into account to determine how frequently you should replace your gaming PC because they will help you determine your needs. 

CPU/Processor

The most frequent query we receive is how long a gaming processor will endure. You should be aware that the lifespan varies depending on your cooling system and your overall level of skill with it, but in general, if you’re using an air-cooled configuration, you may anticipate a replacement after about 5 years. 

GPU/Graphics Card/Video Memory

Numerous variables affect how long your gaming GPU or graphics card will last. For instance, their overall durability will depend on their type, model, and amount of use. However, keep in mind that it’s best to avoid letting any damaged parts come into prolonged contact with one another. Every two to three years, it’s critical to upgrade your graphics card. 

Memory Card or RAM 

Gaming RAM/Memory Cards are less robust and typically only last 3 to 5 years. Two things affect how long your gaming RAM or memory card will last. Your gaming duration is the first consideration, followed by the type of games being played and the platforms. 

Motherboard

PC Motherboard
A PC Motherboard Picture – Image from Our Z490 Article.

A gaming motherboard typically has a lifespan of four to five years. A typical computer may last two to three years under moderate use, but gamers who demand top performance need something more durable so their systems can withstand intense games without failing too frequently, such as high-end motherboards, which typically offer great longevity even before adding upgrades like faster CPUs and GPUs. 

Liquid Cooling

Liquid Cooling
How Liquid Cooling Works

AIO liquid cooler replacement should be attempted at least every five years. As long as you keep replacing the liquid every 12 months, how frequently you replace a DIY tube liquid cooler is up to you. 

Hard Drive

All of our important data and information are stored on hard drives. They live for roughly seven to eight years. It’s better if you never let the hard drive run for so long without having a backup of all your data on a different hard drive.

Every four to five years, it is advised to replace your hard drive. You ought to always have a backup during those years, which you replace concurrently.

No doubt that sounds pretty pricey, but you must consider how much you value the data, which includes documents, records, statements, and much more. 

Final Reflections 

In this article, we answered the question of how long do gaming PCs last, and discussed the lifespan of different hardware components inside your PC.  

Numerous computer systems have been developed up to this point in computer science. This article mentions two different laptops and computer types (gaming CPU, average CPU, gaming laptop, and average laptop). These computers can all last for at least five years. It is entirely dependent on quality and maintenance. Each system has a cooling fan to keep it cool and make working easier. 

How long do gaming computers last, then? 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. 

You don’t want to have to upgrade your PC every few years because PC gaming may be expensive. Hardcore gamers know that a PC designed for gaming offers the greatest gaming experience. It can be challenging to decide which hardware components to use and even more challenging to predict how long they will endure, given the variety of possibilities available. 

To extend the lifespan of your PC, you should purchase high-quality components. 

The setting in which you use your computer also has an impact on how long it lasts. Your computer will age more quickly if you keep it in a dusty or warm environment. 

FAQs

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 optimised for a console’s specifications and because every console owner has the same specifications, consoles are pretty durable. 

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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.