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How long have your homebuilt systems lasted?

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December 3, 2006 4:57:21 AM

Topic speaks for itself. I'm curious as to the longevity of most of the users' systems on this forum. I've had my Dell for 5 years and no parts have gone bad.

I'm going to try my own homebuilt as I desire more speed and a bigger hard drive. I'm just curious as to how long most of the public's homebuilt computers have lasted.
December 3, 2006 5:00:33 AM

Id like to say theyd last as long as any other "manufactured" build but i've got a funny feeling no ones put that to the test since we're always upgrading :) 

My last AMD 3500 system (of which ive just replaced mobo/ram/cpu today) was built in Jan 2005. Almost 2 years!
December 3, 2006 5:05:05 AM

Mine lasts about a month at a time, every time technology makes a leap forward i tear it down and rebuild with newer components...
gotta keep up with the jones'es
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December 3, 2006 5:20:15 AM

I have an old P4 system that I've only added a new video card (if you can call a 9800pro new) and some extra ram. I originally built the system 3-4 years ago and did the upgrade about 2 years ago. My current system has been running for just over a year. I have an older athlon system that is 5+ years old and it's still running but I don't know how well as my in-laws have had it for the last 2 years.
December 3, 2006 5:21:10 AM

Mine are generally on a 6 month cycle and that usually spins around what technology is available at the time that will show a visible performance improvment while under a certain dollar amount. (usually $200 or less for video cards and CPU's, I never spend more than $100 on a mobo)

The E6600 upgrade has been the most I've spent on a proc since the Pentium 100 rolled out. :)  (and I spent less on the E6600 than I did on the P100)

I'm holding off on a new video card until a sub $200 DX10 part is available. (Assuming 8600GT, but we'll see what NV does to their parts next year)
December 3, 2006 5:55:16 AM

I'll recall two old builds.

I was liberated... yes, liberated, from a 7 year old machine by going to college. AMD Athlon 700mHz, 128MB RAM, 40 GB HD. That thing used to run like a Cadillac back in 1999. Considering that it's slopped through Win98, Mistake Edition, and currently on XP, I'd say that's good longevity.

And here's the kicker: We gave my aunt a 13 year old machine that still runs strong. I figure that it's got a processor with a few Mhz, ram is maybe in mHz, and the hard drive is a very small MB number. That sucker still runs Windows 3.1, and DOS like it's nobody's business!! :D 
December 3, 2006 6:11:14 AM

The computer I'm typing this on right now is a P3-600 on a no-name BX-133 AT Motherboard. I built the system in Februrary 1999 and it still has the original Quantum 9 Gig boot drive. The memory has been increased since then. W2K was installed in 2000 and ran until 2005 with NO reinstall until I switched to XP last year. (And XP has already required a reinstall) The CPU (yes CPU!!) failed in 2001 and was replaced with an identical unit. Otherwise it has been running 24/7 for seven years with no failures. My oldest system that was running until 2004, when a motherboard controller chip failed, was a Dell 486-25 made in 1988 which was used full time for lighting control and Fax. So that makes 16 years it was running virtually non-stop.
December 3, 2006 6:15:22 AM

4.5 years and still going strong, but my new computer will be complete in 15days and then I'll most likely just use this one to host servers for ventrilo and counter-strike.
December 3, 2006 6:36:40 AM

Built an Athlon XP-2500 OC'd from 1.83Ghz to 2.4Ghz for 3 years. One of the best rigs I've ever had. Upgraded to an X2 rig, and passed it down the family & friends upgrade chain. My nephew has been gaming happily with it in a nice new case.
December 3, 2006 6:36:55 AM

I have built 2 for personal use and one has lasted for 6 years and one for now 3... Neither of which had major issues... I would have been able to say 3 but I had a computer take a lightning strike that pretty much owned it completely.
December 3, 2006 7:17:21 AM

My first build is still kicking, and is currently being used by my brother. I built it around 2000.
I used an Asus A7V, with 512 MB of PNY PC133 SDRAM, a 1GHz AMD Thunderbird, a Radeon All in Wonder w/ 32 MB memory, Creative Audigy (added a bit later), and a 30 GB Western digital HDD. The OS was Win ME. For me Win ME was really Windows Misery Edition. See Webster-Merriam's definition # 2 and 3 for Misery.
December 3, 2006 7:20:02 AM

At least 2-3 years, but sometimes sell after 18 months.

Have at least one still going that I sold (know it is still working fine) that was a Celeron 466/66 on an Abit ZM6 (i440ZX chipset) based mainboard.

With a decent PSU (they get less efficient over time, so get +50% more than you need in that area) a PC can last over 10 years easy.

Just keep the dust out, and test the RAM + HDD(s) every 12 months (give or take).
December 3, 2006 7:23:14 AM

Quote:
My oldest system that was running until 2004, when a motherboard controller chip failed, was a Dell 486-25 made in 1988 which was used full time for lighting control and Fax. So that makes 16 years it was running virtually non-stop.


Was Dell even a registered business, let alone selling units, in 1988 ?

I thought they took around around the Pentium 120 era, *after* the FPU issues in the original Pentium had all been sorted out. (no Pentium 120 or higher units had the FPU issue).
December 3, 2006 8:05:40 AM

I built an Ohio Scientific Superboard II in 1978, and it was still working in 1983 when I put it in storage. I had it up and running in 1996, and I can only assume it is still AOK.

As to modern machines - well, they expire obsolescence wise much faster than the components, so it's a bit of a moot point really. Anyone can get unlucky with a bad HDD, or a con-cleaned PSU in a smokey room can fail, but generally, a PC should last fasr longer than it needs to.

That's why people overclock, to use that extra life.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 3, 2006 8:23:38 AM

Quote:

I'm going to try my own homebuilt as I desire more speed and a bigger hard drive. I'm just curious as to how long most of the public's homebuilt computers have lasted.


I think there is something that stands out here. If you buy a computer, you have a certain "computer skill set". When the computer dies, you say "gee that was great, I'll get another." Whereas with all the people who build them have chimed in, when "the computer" dies, we simply swap out the bad part and keep running. (yes, some of us do this without needing a part to go bad.) My machines have been running ever since I first turned them on. They simply no longer have the same parts they started with. (the only constant in my case IS the case.) When the "computer" dies, I will simply buy the new part, and carry on. I say "computer" because the computer doesn't die, only a part of it does.
December 3, 2006 8:49:05 AM

I've been running my current system for almost 4 years now and its doing great! My current specs are as follows:

P4T533-C motherboard
1 gig rambus RAM
3.06 GHZ P4 w/ HT
ATI X850 PRO modded to an X850 XT PE
Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Platinum
DVD/CD burner
DVD ROM drive
120 GB HDD

The only changes made since my original build was an additional 512 megs ram, an upgraded video card (previously I had a functional Radeon 9600 all in wonder) and the sound card (before I had a Sound Blaster Live Platinum). The video card and ram were added last march and the sound card is a little over a year old. I did add the DVD burner and that is going on two years old now.

The only problem I am having so far is my DVD drive in that it only reads CDs very slowly. Of course, that particular DVD drive was carried over from my previous build.

Of anyone I know, I've probably had the best of luck with my computer when it comes to reliability. The only others that can match me are those who also built their own systems! Of course, whether you build your own system or go through a company like Dell, HP, etc. you alway run the risk of getting a bad part.
December 3, 2006 10:20:22 AM

6 years and still using : celeron 600 mhz ( oced to 750 ) , 192 megs of ram ( initial 64 megs ), geforce 4 mx440 64 megs (initial S3 8 megs of ram ), 10 gigs of hdd ( yes its the original hdd ), mobo with via chipset ( yak ), lg dvd writer, lg cdrom , 235 watts

and I think it might work for another 6 years ( I hope not ). :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 
December 3, 2006 12:20:28 PM

Quote:
My oldest system that was running until 2004, when a motherboard controller chip failed, was a Dell 486-25 made in 1988 which was used full time for lighting control and Fax. So that makes 16 years it was running virtually non-stop.


Was Dell even a registered business, let alone selling units, in 1988 ?

I thought they took around around the Pentium 120 era, *after* the FPU issues in the original Pentium had all been sorted out. (no Pentium 120 or higher units had the FPU issue).

I don't know when they started, but I've seen a lot of Dell 386's and 486's at Goodwill. They were quite proprietory in construction, well made, and frequently small form-factor. I used to pick them up to collect the memory and CPU. They were among the earliest units I've seen with Dimm modules (usually EDO.) My own Dell 486 was thrown out from the place I worked after they had used it non-stop for 8 years.
December 3, 2006 12:37:10 PM

Hi, i'm new here but i thik this topic is very interesting..

My actual pc is my first build, a ( 98? :oops:  99?) celeron mendocino 300a

(only the older and nostalgic ones remember it)oc-ed to 525 mhz with a

HUGE silver fan, that after various upgrades has come to have

384 mb ram pc133, the first radeon 7000 (not ddr) with agp2X,

a cd reader and a cd burner, 4GB HD, running perfectly with Win98!

I use it to play counterstrike, starcraft, MAME, surf internet..

Most of the people in this forum will disagree with me but in my opinion

such a sistem (except for the HD, obviously) can do everything i need,

watch movies, listen music, read the news, play a lot of online games...

I can't play with DooM3 on it, but i think gaming on pc has become too

expensive, if it wasn't for MMoRPG or other online games the decline

of the pc gaming would be completed. Now with a PS2 you can play

a LOT of games, with 100$! I don't need another pc right now.

Please let me know what you think of this
December 3, 2006 11:16:24 PM

Quote:
you dont ask for much do you?

get the goods and test them ,from burn in tests to gfx stress tests to prime 95 stress tests,put it through its paces non overclocked,soley via software stress.

if it doesnt fail in dedicated 24 hr stressing after a few days it could last a while.
point of the stress tests make it fail and rma it ,so it doesnt fail when you are needing to use it.


I thought this reply was interesting. I remember a segment on the old Screen Savers TV show that mentioned stress tests where "if the system is still going after 24 hours, it'll likely last a very long time". What do I need to do to actually perform these tests? I've never done any such testing.

I have a utility called SiSoftware Sandra 2003 and it seems to have some testing modules. I don't plan to test the Dell as it's fine. Is that one way to do these tests?
December 3, 2006 11:33:16 PM

Quote:
Was Dell even a registered business, let alone selling units, in 1988 ?


dell was founded in 1984, but under a different name.
December 4, 2006 12:08:20 AM

I believe that home built systems would last as long as a store bought system except that we home builders tend to update our parts every year or 2. I do.
December 4, 2006 12:52:59 AM

I ahve a functioning TANDY 1000 HX with a whopping 64k of ram and a floppy drive dont know what processor is in it but I can Guarantee its less then 4 mhz.
December 4, 2006 12:54:08 AM

first build amd 586 133 1995-2005
amd athlon 750 2000-present (i just robbed the p.s. so it needs one.)
amd athlon 1800+ end of 2001 first of 2002 -2004 (i f'd up the processor putting a new heatsink on)
amd athlon 2500+ 2003-present gave it too my brother(same system as before just replaced the processor)
athlon 64 3200 clawhammer 754 2004-present gave it too my mom
amd am2 3800 x2 2006-present (in sig)
December 4, 2006 1:23:40 AM

I have had no less than six complete systems in my foray into home computing all of which have been home made.

Every one of them I have had long enough for me to grow into hating them.
Which is usually two or three years.

After that I replace them. The only two troubles I have had have been buying cheap hard drives and cheap power supplies.

Otherwise I haven't really had any trouble.
December 4, 2006 1:26:49 AM

The machine with the greatest longevity so far has been a little over 5 years and is a P4 Skt 423 1.8GHz with 1GB of PC800 RDRAM on an ABIT TH7-RAID with the 850 chipset. Gave it to my brother after an upgrade a couple years ago and its still running strong.

Any other machine I've built normally doesn't last more than a 1 to 1-1/2 years because I'm swapping something out or upgrading.
December 4, 2006 2:04:56 AM

1st homebuilt is still going strong at my sisters house, been 7 years now (only thing was hard drive upgrade).

2nd my dads, 5 years still fine.

3rd my old one, 4 years still fine.

can't say for all the multiple ones i've built for other people as i dont keep in touch.
December 4, 2006 2:07:23 AM

My systems last as long as the next upgrade. I always keep parts from my original build like hdds and dvdroms...so technically my computer is 10 years old. Ive never had anything but an old 40gig hdd die on my from the mid 90's. All 5 of my computers have been self built and they last a very long time. I never buy pre built computer mostly because they put in crap you dont want, and sometimes dont use the highest grade hardware. When you build it yourself you know exactly what you're putting in.

Enjoi your first self built computer!
December 4, 2006 2:34:06 AM

I still got some P1 systems kicking around i use for legacy games.

Got an AMD K6 system running from back in 1997, TNT2 vid card, oh the memories.

Still have 2 AMD Athlon XP systems that have been running almost non-stop since i built them years ago. One had the MB replaced because i took out a component next to a ram slot with a screw driver by accident (don't ask). And the sound card died in one to.

Home built systems usually last very well, at least in my experience.
December 4, 2006 2:53:57 AM

Socket 939 rig I built over a year and a half ago.

Also a jury-rigged bastard P4 that is literally warming my feet as I write this in my dorm room. See, all that heat really IS good for something.
December 4, 2006 3:02:06 AM

First time poster, long time lurker...

Anyways, I've only ever had homebuilt systems, store-built rigs never seem to have the components I want at an acceptable price. I still have my P3 based system running, and it's been running for around 6 years now. Specs:

P3-866 (Coppermine), which has been OC'd to 1.0 Ghz for about 3 years now
ASUS CUSL2 mobo
512 Mb RAM at 133 mhz
15 gig hard drive (later upgraded to a 60)
Nvidia Geforce 2 mx (later upgraded to an FX5200, not much of an upgrade, really)
Soundblaster Audigy sound card
Generic 350W PSU

It's still quite a good system, I play Quake III on it, and internet browsing is still quite good.
December 4, 2006 3:18:35 AM

My system is 13 months old and the only thing that crapped out was the plextor dvd burner after 8 months. I sent it back to plextor on a friday and the new one arrived on wednesday. Since then I have burned around 10 cds and around 35 DVDs and it is still working fine. I will be adding a video card, 400W power supply, 250GB hard drive, upgrading the memory to 2gb, and after the bugs are worked out Windows Vista. This system is homebuilt.
December 4, 2006 3:28:34 AM

well technically i can't say mine has lasted that long b/c i keep selling my parts and upgrading let's see had my dq6 for 2 months now had my 7950gt for a month and a half but it's being shipped off in 2 days so i can get an 8800gtx cpu crappy 805d had for 8 months will soon be a qx6700 ram had for 1 month kingston hyper-x 675 selling b/c getting 2 gig of pc-8500 dominator so i can't really call mine a system just a constant upgrade
December 4, 2006 3:46:33 AM

Hehe, i think my computer takes the cake for the worst one!

Dell computer that I had since 2000 that used to have ME, but not XP pro
Pentium 4 @ 1.384 mhz
256 ram Rdram
radeon 7200 family 32mb
40 gb HDD ide
December 4, 2006 4:07:15 AM

I've got some systems running that I built in 98. My old 486 from 92 runs great still (linux test box). I even have an old 286 I built that still works though I hardly turn it on so I can't really say it's "ran" for that many years.
December 4, 2006 6:35:39 AM

Quote:
I ahve a functioning TANDY 1000 HX with a whopping 64k of ram and a floppy drive dont know what processor is in it but I can Guarantee its less then 4 mhz.


I also have a working Tandy 1000 Colour and a fully-equpped Vic20, but they aren't HOMEbuilt...
December 4, 2006 8:18:29 AM

Quote:

I don't know when they started, but I've seen a lot of Dell 386's and 486's at Goodwill. They were quite proprietory in construction, well made, and frequently small form-factor. I used to pick them up to collect the memory and CPU. They were among the earliest units I've seen with Dimm modules (usually EDO.) My own Dell 486 was thrown out from the place I worked after they had used it non-stop for 8 years.


Damn, Out in Australia here, I only noticed when all the UK PC Magazines started to mass advertise Dell around the Windows 95 / 98 era.

Well there you go.
December 4, 2006 9:32:03 AM

Oh, I forgot one.

My father built a custom 286 machine in the 80's. It was homebuilt and last until 1997 when it got in the way and we sold it. I wish I still had it :( 
December 4, 2006 9:42:51 AM

All I have ever done is homebuilt systems starting in the mid 90's and all of them are still running. They just get handed down to family members as I upgrade. Other than changing cases or dying case fans they are the same as the day I built them. Haven't even dumped a stick of ram yet.

Grandma's using the old AMD K5 to look at e-mail w/ dial-up and thinks its great LOL!

Dad got the original P4 from 2000 with the 4 original sticks of RAMBUS (640MB) and 14 GB hard drive. Installed a PCI SATA controller and is trying to do some photo-editing (I said trying). Still runs great what it was designed for. Not so much fun for new software, maybe we'll upgrade dad for X-mas.

Bro got my P4 3.4 MHz HT Intel room heater build and loves it.

I'm currently enjoying my Core2Duo build (3 months old).

All still going strong, all Intel chips on Intel boards. My only pre-built pc was one my parents got me when I went to college, a Pentium 3 with MMX from Tigerdirect. To date this is the only one on which major components failed. As long as you buy quality equipment (especially PS and mobo) your home-built should last and can be of better quality than a store-built.
December 4, 2006 11:02:53 AM

First build was a pentium 166 that lasted 6 years before I gave it to charity. on average for me they are on a 5 year cycle. i remeber having to buy RAM to run Photoshop 3.0. 8MB ran a whopping $860. A year later it was $100
December 4, 2006 11:56:39 AM

I upgrade about every 2 to 2.5 years, but I've never had hardware go bad on me. I've killed a videocard, but that was my fault entirely, nothing to do with the card's robustness.
December 4, 2006 2:57:16 PM

The longest lasting system I have is my now 10 year old Dell (1997-present). It has a P3 731mhz, 128mb RAMBUS RAM, Nvidia GeForce 256 32mb AGP 2x VGA, and a 20gb WD Caviar. There are only 2 components currently needing to be replaced in it, the PSU and the VGA (it still works fine but the VGA has lines in the desktop and need bigger PSU for new VGA).

On the homebuilt front, I've had a happy 4 months out of my current rig:

AMD 64 X2 3800+ OC'ed to 2.2 Ghz
BFG 7900 GTX 512 mb OC'ed
ASUS A8N-SLi Deluxe
2 Gb Kingston Value RAM CAS Latency 2.5-3-3-6
Creative Labs Sound Blaster Audigy 4
Westen Digital 74 Gb Ratop ADFD
2x Western Digital 250 Gb Caviar SE
3x Thermaltake Hardcano 14 HDD coolers
Thermaltake Blue Orb II CPU cooler
Zalman VF-Cu 900 Blue LED VGA cooler
Thermaltake Extreme Spirit Northbridge cooler
PC Power & Cooling 510w PSU

I'd say that if all goes well and it continues on just fine I could get another 10 yrs out of this puppy, but I'll probably rebuild in 2-3yrs time.

Hope this helps.
December 4, 2006 4:05:10 PM

The only Computer I've ever bought was a dell Dimension (forget the model number)

was something like:
P4 1.6ghz
20Gb HD
128mb DDR(pc2700 I think) RAM
Upgraded to a Radeon 9000 Pro 128Mb AGP 4x
15in CRT
CD Burner
stock everything else

Gave it to my parents to fund for my new Rig:
Coolermaster Ammo 533 Case
Abit AL8-V Mobo
P4 3.0 Ghz Cedar Mill
ThermalTake Big Typhoon CPU Cooler
1Gb (2x512) DDR2 667 Patriot Memory
Sapphire Radeon x1900xtx
Zalman VF900 GPU Cooler
250GB WD SataII 16MB
120GB SG IDE (from old comp)
80GB WD IDE
60GB (found it)
Lite-On DVD R/RW
Razer Diamondback Plasma Ed.
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Mag 19in LCD

Its a work in progress still :p 
December 4, 2006 4:19:21 PM

When speaking of the mainboard and cpu, mine tend to last a number of years, usually between 2-and-3. Over those years I'll upgrade various components (like the video card) and add memory. I try to milk the mainboard/cpu for all they are worth before doing a complete tear-out. And I like to bottom-feed on yester-year's components. I hate spending more than 100.00 on any single component. ;) 

And sometimes, I'll find myself digging through my junkpile to build a test-system out of my decomissioned stuff, so much of the useable stuff ends up being resurrected here-and-there on a temporary basis.

LA.
December 4, 2006 4:50:11 PM

My AMD Athlon XP 2400+ system is going on four years, but only because I passed it down to my wife. It can still run any game out there, just at the lowest settings.

I typically build a new system once every two years, because I am a PC Gamer.
December 4, 2006 4:53:06 PM

1995 amd k6 11 years (recently took apart and threw all away except cpu)
1998 p2 8 years (just upgraded a piece here and there untill it became a gaming machine)
1999 p3 7 years
December 4, 2006 7:47:14 PM

Quote:
My system is 13 months old and the only thing that crapped out was the plextor dvd burner after 8 months. I sent it back to plextor on a friday and the new one arrived on wednesday. Since then I have burned around 10 cds and around 35 DVDs and it is still working fine. I will be adding a video card, 400W power supply, 250GB hard drive, upgrading the memory to 2gb, and after the bugs are worked out Windows Vista. This system is homebuilt.


That's a little early for your plextor to check out. I've had a 16x plextor CD burner in my P3 system, onto which I spilled some juice about 2 years back. The open/close mechanism is completely sticky, it makes an absolutely horrible ratchet when I try to close it, but it still works well and even burns CD's fairly fast.
!