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How often do you replace company's computers?

By tech06 ·
We have about 70 computers on the LAN where some are as old as 7 years old (yes, it's that sad..). Since money is tight, we only replace the computers that are no longer working. The drawback of this is that some of those that are still "dreading" are creating problems such as locking up. Due to this I'm hoping to learn what is the norm of replacing/upgrading computers at other work place. I've heard 3 year's the average time frame. What do you do with those machines that have reached that age but are still in fairly good condition? Do you replace them anyway or give it to light users?

Any input is greatly appreciated.


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by JamesRL In reply to How often do you replace ...

My current employers run some demanding apps, so desktops and laptops are cycled every three years. Sometimes they will extend that by 6 months to put the expense into one later year.

Previous employers -I've seen 9 year old computers acting as terminals.

I have given them to light users, as long as they can run the current OS.


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by fvrba In reply to How often do you replace ...

In our facilities that we contract with, we generally tell people to plan on replacing their pc's every 5 years. I know of some who try to do theirs in 3 or 4 years. Whenever we can, we reuse the computers elsewhere within the facility. When we can't, we try to determine if they would work for places such as nursing homes or other places/people that only need something for e-mailing or very light games (such as solitare or little kids' games). I also noticed your comment about money being tight. You might want to check into a company called DakTech for computers. They make only workstation grade computers, and they provide a 7 year hardware and 3 year labor warranty (also fully transferable) on every computer they sell (except laptops). They've been around since 19**, and this might help your company save some money. Their workstations are comparable in price to most other companies, when you compare similar specs.

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by TonytheTiger In reply to How often do you replace ...

replace every three years, and get 3 year gold support so we don't have to pay for any repairs.

When we get new ones the first thing we do is create a factory disk image. When we get the next new ones the old ones are wiped, the factory disk image installed, and donated to schools, libraries, or other public interests.

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36 Month Refresh Cycle

by BFilmFan In reply to How often do you replace ...

Enterprise-level technology cannot support most application demands after 36 months.

Also the failure rate begins to increase on older equipment to an unacceptable level.

If management can live with the risk of 7 year old equipment and not scream when it fails, you need to buy those guys a drink for being so reasonable.

If they do scream and yell, remind them that 7 year old-anything is bound to fail.

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Some Govt entities are 36 months

by CG IT In reply to 36 Month Refresh Cycle

my sister works for JPL on the West Costs. She said they get new computers every 3years [36 months]. Since JPL is part of California Institute of Technology [Education]funded by NASA I'll assume that a lot of the high tech research and development institutions are the same.

Most private business don't upgrade that often. I was in UBS Financial the other day and they are still running Dell 260's on Windows 2000 [and wanted those upgraded to XP].

I'm sure that virtually all mfgs have done MTBF studies on their equipment. We use MTBF to determine HDD swap outs. Even if they run ok, we swap out at the MTBF.

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Every three years....

by faradhi In reply to How often do you replace ...

is what I understand to be the norm. Where I am working now, I am trying to get them to begin tiering their replacements by buying 1/3 of the users new computers every year. That way they do not feel the hit as much and make it more palatable to the PTB.

The downside to this is that the children may begin to whine that the person in the cube next to them has a brand new one and they don't. OR the PTB may want the new ones every year and want to trickle down the computers.

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You are absolutely right

by Old Guy In reply to Every three years....

about the children whining, and sometimes even throwing a tempertantrum because the person next to them got a new (whatever). I have some here that when I've had to replace a mouse on one, which happened to be a wireless mouse and keyboard it was hilarious to watch the envy shoot up. I couldn't prove it beyond a shadow but I do think I had one that sabotaged something on theirs to get a new one. If I could have only proved it...

Really good point about the 1/3 swap at a time if you can get past the whines. Of course you could just offer them some cheese with their whine.

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Every 4 years

by thefrown In reply to How often do you replace ...

Is our policy at the moment. Seems to be working OK; we're now getting into year 4 and everything we have on the floor is holding up fine to our apps.

By the way, we replace 150 a year ...

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We do every 4 years too

by thefrown In reply to Every 4 years

And I have found that provided you give the end user a nice flat screen they are happy ... seriously, looks are everything in userland!!

We also hold a stock of spares and tend to redeploy machines when people move ... we don't guarantee that a user will get the same PC when they move office or desk (this actually cuts down on unnecessary moves; people get attached to their PCs)

Naturally, where a user requires a high-spec PC due to their job, then we try and keep them up to date. However, many of our users only require basic office functionality and access to web-based applications, and we have found that 3-4 year old PCs are more than adequate for their needs.

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3 years for Clients...

by TechieTim In reply to How often do you replace ...

funny because we tell our clients to replace every 3 years as per industry standard but in house we tend to suffer greatly. I have one machine that is 700mhz. By todays standards that is a dinosour, however I remember when that was awsome some 5 yrs ago. By the way, the only reasone its still there is because the user of it does not complain about it. Strangely enough. I like most in IT work on a "the squeaky wheel gets the grease."
Anyway, yea, 3 yrs and your due for an upgrade. Hardware is cheap. If you cant afford it the just shut up shop, whats the point if 500 bucks for a computer is going to break you.

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