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When Should I Replace My Desktops, Laptops and Server?

In larger companies with full time IT departments and senior technology management this is called “lifecycle management”. Due to wear and tear, technology improvements available, performance requirements of new software, as well as typical lease terms and warranty coverage, systems should be replaced according to this schedule:

Desktops 3-4 years – Desktops, unless they are running advanced software (i.e. engineering applications, etc.) and have high performance requirements, can run successfully for 4 years, though often they require some enhancements in the 3rd or 4th year, such as increased RAM or a new hard drive to keep up with performance expectations.

Laptops 2-3 years – Laptops take the most physical wear and tear and the technology of miniaturization that goes into them changes the fastest. They are also the least expandable and so in order to improve performance, you really have few good options.

Servers 4-5 years – Servers do the most heavy lifting on the network but are also the most robust systems. Their internal technology doesn’t typically change radically each year and they are more expandable than desktops or laptops, so the ability to improve performance in years 3, 4, and 5 if needed is generally available. After the 4th or 5th year however, wear and tear makes it increasingly likely that a major component failure will occur, and since most warranties don’t cover beyond 4 or 5 years, this could be a painful and expensive failure to overcome. The best answer to keep your business up and running is to simply replace it.

Regardless your organization’s lifecycle management strategy, having regular maintenance performed is the surest and most cost-effective way to ensure you get the maximum life and performance out of your computer systems.


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When Should I Replace My Desktops, Laptops and Server?

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