How Long Should a Computer last?

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Frimbleglim
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How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Frimbleglim » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:35 pm

I have an HP Pavilion dv6000 series laptop. It is more than 8 years old now. The wifi card is behaving oddly (suddenly stops working and won't work until I restart) and I think the computer may be coming to the end of its life. It's specs are something like this:

intel centrino core 2 duo T5750
3 GB RAM
Nvidia Ge-force 8400M GS Graphics
250 GB hard drive.

I also have an old desktop computer. This is 4 years old. It's specification is something like this:

Intel i5 2500k
4 GB RAM
Nvida Ge-force 560 graphics
1 TB hard drive.

I AM HAPPY WITH THE SPECIFICATIONS OF BOTH COMPUTORS

I now have a choice. Either I:

1) replace the laptop with something really cheap say under £200. keep using the desktop when I am at home.
2) replace both with a laptop for about £600. This would have as good if not better specification than the desktop so I would, all being well not need to replace that when it gives up.

What do Linux Mint users Recommend? I intend to run Linux Mint on whatever device I purchase.

To give an idea on my use I do web development on the laptop and use it for general use. I use the desktop for more serious coding and games.

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Pjotr
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Pjotr » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:56 pm

Please generate an overview of your system like this:
- Launch a terminal window (this is how to launch a terminal window);
- make the terminal window full screen, to avoid chopped lines;
- copy/paste this command into the terminal:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
(if you type: the letter F is a capital letter)

Press Enter.

Copy/paste the output in your next message.
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Frimbleglim
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Frimbleglim » Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:19 pm

This is for the laptop. I'm in another city to the desktop right now.

System: Host: huw-Pavilion Kernel: 4.4.0-38-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 5.4.0)
Desktop: Cinnamon 3.0.7 (Gtk 3.18.9-1ubuntu3.1)
Distro: Linux Mint 18 Sarah
Machine: System: Hewlett-Packard (portable) product: HP Pavilion dv6700 Notebook PC v: Rev 1
Mobo: Quanta model: 30D2 v: 79.2E
Bios: Hewlett-Packard v: F.58 date: 06/16/2008
CPU: Dual core Intel Core2 Duo T5750 (-MCP-) cache: 2048 KB
flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 ssse3) bmips: 7981
clock speeds: max: 2000 MHz 1: 1000 MHz 2: 1333 MHz
Graphics: Card: NVIDIA G86M [GeForce 8400M GS] bus-ID: 01:00.0
Display Server: X.Org 1.18.3 drivers: nvidia (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
Resolution: 1280x800@59.98hz
GLX Renderer: GeForce 8400M GS/PCIe/SSE2
GLX Version: 3.3.0 NVIDIA 340.96 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio: Card Intel 82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller
driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-38-generic
Network: Card-1: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG [Golan] Network Connection
driver: iwl3945 v: in-tree:s bus-ID: 02:00.0
IF: wlp2s0 state: up mac: <filter>
Card-2: Realtek RTL8101/2/6E PCI Express Fast/Gigabit Ethernet controller
driver: r8169 v: 2.3LK-NAPI port: c000 bus-ID: 08:00.0
IF: enp8s0 state: down mac: <filter>
Drives: HDD Total Size: 250.1GB (21.5% used)
ID-1: /dev/sda model: Hitachi_HTS54322 size: 250.1GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 224G used: 45G (22%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
ID-2: swap-1 size: 6.06GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda5
RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 48.0C mobo: N/A gpu: 0.0:55C
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info: Processes: 190 Uptime: 2:57 Memory: 724.8/3007.2MB
Init: systemd runlevel: 5 Gcc sys: 5.4.0
Client: Shell (bash 4.3.421) inxi: 2.2.35

AlbertP
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by AlbertP » Sun Oct 02, 2016 4:11 pm

I'm currently running Mint on a 2006 laptop, and have helped some other users run Mint on such a laptop as well. Works fine, actually. I don't really see the point in replacing your hardware if you are happy with the specifications. If your laptop is treated well - having the cooler cleaned if it is very dusty, for instance, then you should be able to continue using it for some more years.

Only once I've seen a Vista-era laptop die after Mint was put on it. That laptop looked like it had been quite abused by some previous owner: the plastic bottom cover and the lid were torn, there were scratches all over the laptop and the keyboard was missing a key. This laptop, a Toshiba Satellite A110, finally died with a failure in the power circuitry. I hope yours is in a better state.

It looks like your laptop is the same one as my previous laptop. The wifi card in that laptop can be replaced; it is behind the middle cover on the bottom and can be easily unscrewed. But, the laptop only accepts a few specific HP model numbers, so your best bet when replacing it is probably a card with the same model number from Ebay.
My current laptop also has a 3945ABG card, experiencing random issues as well about once a month, so this looks like a common old age problem for those cards.

It should be noted however, this laptop contains a manufacturing defect to the NVIDIA chip. If the graphics card becomes hot very often, it may at some point come loose. I haven't had this myself, but a friend of mine with the same laptop had weird colours all over his screen. It's this issue: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GeForce_8_series#Problems
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Mute Ant
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Mute Ant » Sun Oct 02, 2016 5:03 pm

"How Long Should A Computer Last?" Surprisingly similar to having a family cat...

16 years old --- Quiet retirement (obsolete).
8 years --- Needs special care. Might not work tomorrow (obsolescent).
4 years --- Brush off the fluff and it's fine (amortised).
2 years --- Worth repairing. Spare parts available. Where's that warranty?
1 year --- Badly designed or badly built or both.

Weak points

o Components that do move or might move --- Spinning-disk drives, keyboard, connectors.
o Components that get hot enough to need heat sinks in normal operation.
o Components that use fluids or reactive materials --- Aluminium capacitors, rechargeable cells.
Right at the bottom, all alone in the centre of the bright cold floor, was a lemon drop.

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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Tomgin5 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:18 pm

Most laptops built with multicore processors can run for up to 20 years if they are properly and carefully designed and maintained. This without a soldering iron. The HDD may need to be replaced in 4-6 years with an SSD. The unit should be torn down very carefully when the HDD is replaced, including removing the Heatpipe (heatsink/fan) and cleaning out the fins with a check of the fan for current draw and function. Replace the thermal compound and reassemble with the screws in the same holes they came out of. the latter is not too difficult when working with 2 people. One person to place the screws on a photo of the laptop screw locations and the other one to remove and replace the parts.
Be very careful of the routing and placement of the few cables.
There are several videos available to show the disassembly of most laptops.
In many laptops with the bottom removed, it is possible to locate power voltage checkpoints to insure that nothing is being run at near to the high edge of specifications for the CPU, HDD, and the RAM.
Visual check for any puffy capacitors (electrolytics). If they are puffy, they won't last long.
If the battery is no good, it should be replaced as it will overtax the charging system.
Just my 2 cents.

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Moem
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Moem » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:23 pm

Mute Ant wrote:"How Long Should A Computer Last?" Surprisingly similar to having a family cat...

16 years old --- Quiet retirement (obsolete).
8 years --- Needs special care. Might not work tomorrow (obsolescent).
4 years --- Brush off the fluff and it's fine (amortised).
2 years --- Worth repairing. Spare parts available. Where's that warranty?
1 year --- Badly designed or badly built or both.
24 years ... If still purring along happily, it's now getting rare enough to be considered very special!
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trytip
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by trytip » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:37 pm

why waste your money on a cheap laptop unless you want to use it as a disposable laptop which you will throw away in one year. if your laptop costs less than a year's internet service it's not worth investing
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Acewiza
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Acewiza » Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:50 am

Frimbleglim wrote:How Long Should a Computer last?
It really just depends on your tolerance for degraded performance. Each generation of hardware and software bring new resources (speed and capacity) and resource requirements to the party. The longer you keep loading new software on old hardware, the slower they seem to run.

Frimbleglim
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Frimbleglim » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:49 pm

trytip wrote:why waste your money on a cheap laptop unless you want to use it as a disposable laptop which you will throw away in one year. if your laptop costs less than a year's internet service it's not worth investing
https://www.asus.com/uk/Notebooks/ASUS_Chromebook_C300/

Could you clarify this please? My mum has one of these. Really Cheap c£210. But no moving parts. And working as well a year and a half later as it did new. How is this bad value for money?
Acewiza wrote:
Frimbleglim wrote:How Long Should a Computer last?
It really just depends on your tolerance for degraded performance. Each generation of hardware and software bring new resources (speed and capacity) and resource requirements to the party. The longer you keep loading new software on old hardware, the slower they seem to run.
To some extent yes. But that is why I am posting on a Linux Mint Forum. The people here will be familiar with most of the software I use.

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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by FreedomTruth » Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:28 pm

Frimbleglim wrote:I have an HP Pavilion dv6000 series laptop. It is more than 8 years old now. The wifi card is behaving oddly (suddenly stops working and won't work until I restart) and I think the computer may be coming to the end of its life.
If you're happy with your system and this is the only problem, I would consider purchasing a USB wifi card. I got a "Rosewill RNX-N1" in 2010, it's still working well in Linux and Windows.
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Acewiza
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Acewiza » Wed Oct 05, 2016 4:16 pm

Frimbleglim wrote:To some extent yes. But that is why I am posting on a Linux Mint Forum. The people here will be familiar with most of the software I use.
It doesn't matter what software you use when the system is running a new kernel on an obsolete processor with an inadequate amount of RAM.

Frimbleglim
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Frimbleglim » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:36 pm

Acewiza wrote:
Frimbleglim wrote:To some extent yes. But that is why I am posting on a Linux Mint Forum. The people here will be familiar with most of the software I use.
It doesn't matter what software you use when the system is running a new kernel on an obsolete processor with an inadequate amount of RAM.
http://www.tinycorelinux.net/intro.html

No, this just isn't right. This distribution will run the latest linux kernel using just 48MB. I have 3GB on the laptop and 4GB on the desktop. Think about it. Linux will run on a raspberry pi. It's the software you run in linux that makes the difference.

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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by DeMus » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:12 pm

Eight years ago I bought a new computer fro my wife, the old one was crashing over and over and it was not software related.
The new one, a Dell tower which came with Vista. :oops: Soon I installed 7 on it and this has worked until last year when she told me the computer was so slow. I then upgraded it to Mint 17.x and since then she is happy. And a happy wife is ......
The hardware runs as new, I sometimes open the box and clean it to take out all the dirt. Fans run as quietly as they did when the computer was new. So, 8 years and still as new. It will probably run another x years.
They mostly last longer than you think. You do have to treat them well, though.

Mute Ant
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Re: How Long Should a Computer last?

Post by Mute Ant » Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:19 pm

"You do have to treat them well, though." Just like people then?

“Whether we are based on carbon or on silicon makes no fundamental difference; we should each be treated with appropriate respect.”
― Arthur C. Clarke, 2010: Odyssey Two
Right at the bottom, all alone in the centre of the bright cold floor, was a lemon drop.

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