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Custom PC Longevity

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September 14, 2012 3:53:13 PM

Hi Tom's Hardware warriors,

I am building a custom computer for a project at school (It's a BIG project), and was wondering if custom computers have longer life than prefabs?

I want to add it to my paper, but I have found nothing online that can confirm it.

Personally I think that it makes sense that a custom computer would live longer because of the custom parts, but I have to confirm it for my paper.

Thanks!

More about : custom longevity

a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 3:55:21 PM

Do you need sources? Theoretically a prefab has the same longevity as the components are all standardised and can be replaced on other machines.

I say theoretically as often Dell/HP/etc. motherboards will have the cheapest power stage they can get away with for a given chip and BIOS updates for newer chips are often non-existent.
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September 14, 2012 3:58:25 PM

Thanks!

It makes sense that they would be be relatively similar in life span.

And the more sources, the better!
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a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 4:04:05 PM

You can certainly make the upgradability argument ... custom builds are more friendly to upgrades.

You can also make the argument that with multiple brands competing for each part there is a higher market incentive for quality. The existence of sites like this one drive companies to establish reputations for quality -- all of the most successful brands are recommended by experts on this site. Buyers are actively discouraged from purchasing from vendors without quality reputations.

I think you are going to need to go with anecdotal evidence for your argument though - look for some experts in the field that you can interview. Maybe a community college tech professor or local business CIO?
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a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 4:31:10 PM

I would say custom PCs have better longevity.
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a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 5:08:27 PM

The consumer base for custom PC's may be a different group of people than the OEM market.

I never would have consisdered overclocking my old Emechines rig because I coudn't. I just turned the computer on and used it.

With fancy, high-end components, that I install myself, I now get to mess with many variables that could shorten the lifespan of my rig.


The life a custom rig leads may be tougher on average than the life of a prefab.
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a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 11:10:48 PM

It depends what parts you use in custom builds especially the power supply, you can put a cheap or underpowered power supply in a custom PC and it will only last a week.
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a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 11:32:18 PM

simon12 said:
It depends what parts you use in custom builds especially the power supply, you can put a cheap or underpowered power supply in a custom PC and it will only last a week.

You can put a cheap PSU and blow it up on first try.

I personally have been fairly lucky with my $15-20 PSUs. Aside from having had to change their output caps due to leaking which caused the PCs they were powering to start boot-looping, they have been performing flawlessly ever since. One of them has been powering my 1GHz P3 24/7 for most of the past 10 years and still counting.
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a b ) Power supply
September 14, 2012 11:39:24 PM

Hi :) 

You can quote me as a source....

I own a Computer company in the UK and have built and sold our own Custom pcs for well over 15 years...

They cost (nowdays) between £700 up to £5000 plus...

And yes they last a LOT longer than the cheap rubbish that the box shifters (Large chains) sell...

We had a lady in recently for a NEW custom machine from us...she bought the last one from us in 1998....thats 14 years....

All the best Brett :) 
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September 25, 2012 2:26:38 AM

Best answer selected by darthkp.
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