Motherboards are essential because, without them, your computer can’t work at all. Since they allow all the different computer components to communicate, when a motherboard stops working, the computer will not work whatsoever. So, how long do motherboards last?
Just like most other computer components, a motherboard can last a very long time – ten to twenty years, but it is common to see motherboards even older than that still working. But that does not mean that the motherboard and the platform it is intended for will be relevant for so long.
If by “How long do motherboards last?” you mean how long is the motherboard relevant in the world of rapidly advancing tech, then the answer is four or five years. But that again depends on your usage and what you expect from your computer.
So, let’s take a closer look at the topic and discuss the life expectancy of motherboards and how long they can stay useful.
How Long Do Motherboards Last?
If you use your computer as intended, motherboards can last a very long time. Of course, if you spill something onto your motherboard there is a huge possibility that it will not work anymore, but that is an unlikely scenario. What is more common is that a bad power supply or power surges kill the motherboard.
Also, the capacitors and other electrical components can’t last forever no matter how good your power supply is. When those components start failing, so will the motherboard.
An important factor behind motherboard longevity is air humidity. High humidity levels cause corrosion on metal parts of the motherboard which significantly impacts the lifespan of the motherboard. Also, the operating temperature can have a significant impact. The hotter the temperature inside your PC case, the worse it is for the sensitive electrical components on your motherboard.
High-quality motherboards will be more resistant to those environmental conditions, which is why we see motherboard marketing focusing on durability. A good example is Gigabyte with their “Ultra Durable” motherboard line.
So, modern motherboards can last a very long time, often up to 15 years or more. But the real question is whether you will be using a 15-year-old motherboard inside your system. Technology is advancing rapidly and computers are no exception. Only over the past five years or so, we have seen CPUs and GPUs get more than twice as powerful.
While motherboards are not significant for performance, i.e. they do not compute and do tasks, they are important for the platform that they are tied to. Your CPU choice will determine what motherboard you’re going to get, but the motherboard dictates what other components you can use because of certain limitations.
So, how long do motherboards last? Motherboards will last as long as you are happy with your current CPU, RAM, storage speed, and other components. When you want to upgrade your CPU, you can either buy the best CPU that you can afford which is compatible with your motherboard, or upgrade to something newer.
In almost all cases, it is worth stepping up to a newer and more recent generation by buying a CPU that was released in the past year and then get a motherboard and RAM to go with it. For most people, motherboards last five to seven years. Computer parts are expensive and it makes little sense to upgrade every year or two. The difference in performance won’t be that significant.
How long your motherboard will last really depends on you. If you prefer to stay on the bleeding edge of tech, you will have to buy a new motherboard, CPU, and other components every three to four years. Once you are ready for an upgrade, get a motherboard that suits your needs.
Motherboards can last a very long time and it is common to see them last over fifteen years. Several factors like air humidity and operating temperature affect its lifespan. If you can, make sure that your computer is never running too hot and that the air in your room is not humid.
Motherboards are usually replaced because they have outlived their usefulness. Technology is advancing fast and if you want to keep up, you want to change your motherboards every four to six years. But how long a motherboard and other components last you is ultimately yours to decide.