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What Is The Average Life Cycle?

Discussion in 'Dell Latitude, Vostro, and Precision' started by Dellienware, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Dellienware

    Dellienware Workstations & Ultrabooks

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    I am wondering what the life cycle is for laptops of members on this forum. I'm looking to see for Core2 Duo and above. My i7 quad is starting to throttle too often, a few glitches and slow downs even with new SSD and mobo... Starting to wonder if it is time for an upgrade.

    My understanding though is that general computing did not become harder to compute since Win 7 first came out. So if it was fast back then, it still should be as fast today and probably few years down the road, right?
     
  2. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell? Super Moderator

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    For basic computing needs anything C2D and greater is probably fine... there are still four E6400s kicking in my family: the only upgrades we've done are SSDs and 4GB RAM on two of 'em.

    I end up "upgrading" about every other year... though not at all for performance but for features (ie we are finally getting some decent 12" 1080p displays, so I will probably buy something this year).
     
  3. Krane

    Krane Notebook Prophet

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    You'll need to upgrade to keep up with technology. Sure, it will do today what it did yesterday but your computing needs won't stay static.

    Think about it, were all the videos on youtube HD five years ago? Sure you can still watch them, but only in DV (360p) while the rest of us will be viewing in HD (1080P) and beyond. I won't even begin to talk about the advancements in games over the past few years.

    Right now I have 40 web pages open. Can your C2D do that?
     
  4. thomasw333

    thomasw333 Notebook Evangelist

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    I upgrade yearly, but I have never been satisfied with my laptops, until this year (Acer Aspire V7, 14 inch with the 1080P IPS panel, core I7, and Nvidia GT750M), so I am hoping I can keep this one three years. My GF has had here mac over three years now, but it is having heat issues, she will be getting a new one when the Pros get Haswell.

    I always hated the screens on my laptops, I have not really had a need for a faster computer the last three years, but I love the screen on my current laptop, and the GT750M is really nice. Hopefully I have no issues for the next three years.
     
  5. Aaron44126

    Aaron44126 Precision Enthusiast

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    I stick on a long 4-year upgrade cycle, but I always buy something expensive, a cut above the "average machine" (and upgrade components in between as possible).

    Every time so far the cycle has been the same.
    New machine --- awesome
    One year in --- still pretty awesome
    Two years in --- eh, "average" machines are starting to catch up but it still holds its own quite well
    Three years in --- starting to feel it
    Four years in --- yeah, time for a new one

    Before the M6700, I had a machine with C2D and 6 GB of RAM from 2008. It really worked fine for most stuff, where I got hung up was modern games and running multiple VMs. (No problem with 1080p YouTube or 40 website tabs.)

    Since things are slowing down a little now I'm wondering if the M6700 will last more than four years. I think with a GPU upgrade (two or three generations in) and continued storage expansion, it'll last me a good long while. However, if high-DPI starts showing up in larger displays, that might be a reason to upgrade sooner.
     
  6. Krane

    Krane Notebook Prophet

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    Well screens should follow the movement towards 4k. So if your computer is capable of supporting that, you should be well equipped for the foreseeable future.
     
  7. Dellienware

    Dellienware Workstations & Ultrabooks

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    Nice feedback. I used to game and so I packed some Alienwares (hence my ID name...) and Precision workstations (Desktops), as soon as I dropped all my gaming and content editing, I feel like any machine out there can do everything I need.

    I guess it really comes down the "snappy" aspect.
     
  8. Krane

    Krane Notebook Prophet

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    Well in that case, we've got to get you back into gaming. The economy has got to move forward you know.
     
  9. Dellienware

    Dellienware Workstations & Ultrabooks

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    Haha funny you say it that way. I used to own like M15x, M17x R2, M18x, couple of M6600 in just a few yr time span. Now that I gave up on them, just using old old machines. Maybe this is why Dell's revenues are so low haha.. Very nice specs on your Covet... Very jealous!

    I just went ahead and.. pulled the trigger on a E6420 XFR. Apparently that is a lot more rugged than the E6400 version. Hopefully I will just put in the quad i7 couple years down the road!
     
  10. TWY

    TWY Notebook Consultant

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    Still on my E6400 which I use daily. :D
     
  11. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    Thanks to the SSD =P

    I rarely use my E6500 (the HDD is extremely slow so the computer is very slow). I used it yesterday because I left my MacBook Air at work but I still like it. I might get a small SSD for it. SSDs always speed things up. :D

    As for the average life cycle, I'd say two years. For me, I'm a mess. It's like every few months for me. M14X>M15X>M18X R2>MacBook Air>now looking at a M4800 or M3800. All that within not even a year.
     
  12. Krane

    Krane Notebook Prophet

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    You just like new things. I'd still be on my HDX right now if it wasn't for the heavy GPU software I run.

    Other than that, it does everything I need it to do including play gorgeous blu-ray movies without a hiccup. It it were possible to swap out the graphics card, I'd still be on it. Of course, I'd have to upgrade to SSDs.
     
  13. ssj92

    ssj92 Notebook Evangelist

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    I do Bad habit.

    However, my desktop is one thing I haven't replaced in awhile and still plan to keep for another year. It does everything I need. I've had it since 2010 but have upgraded some component every year.

    I think for most people three-four years would be a lifecycle for their computers. Unless of course you're one that needs the latest and greatest and upgrade everytime something newer is out. I do know people who have had their computers for six+ years.
     
  14. ygohome

    ygohome Notebook Evangelist

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    Our m6500 (1st gen i7-920xm) and a 17" macbook pro (circa 2009 C2D 2.93Ghz) are still alive and kicking. It will be nearly 4 yrs for the Dell and over 4 yrs on the Mac. No reliability issues from either really. The backlighting on the Macs keyboard quit working about a year ago and the m6500 will occasional blue screen on rebooting, but it doesn't happen very often. Could be a memory module on the Dell or something dealing with a IRQ conflict... but, all in all, both machines are very reliable still.

    I have funds set aside for it when I do upgrade, but I just don't really need to yet. If I were to buy today, I'd likely get another mobile precision and use it with a nice external monitor. I'd probably go with the m4800 with QHD+. I kindof like the idea of going with a smaller form factor than the 17" notebooks I've been using the last 4 yrs. I don't travel much anymore and when I do I usually don't like to bring out the laptop anyway. But I would still like to have a slightly less bulky notebook.

    * to answer the question about life cycle... I'd say about 4 - 5 yrs for me. Looking back though, was about 3 - 4 yrs when retiring a laptop. The machines I have in my sig are holding out much better than notebooks I had in the late 90s and 2000s. They've been much more reliable and not starving on horsepower, even as they are getting older. But yeah, I'm keeping my eye on the precisions because when I do upgrade I will likely be upgrading to one of them.
     
  15. allfiredup

    allfiredup Notebook Virtuoso

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    I bought my E6400 in November 2008 and I finally retired it a few months ago (July 2013). I upgraded to Windows 7 and a Samsung SSD in late 2011. Then I had to replace the WXGA+ LED display in mid-2012, when it was more than 3.5 years old.

    All of this despite a 2010 car accident with my E6400 inside my messenger bag in the front passenger seat! It bounced off the airbag like a ping-pong ball and flew all the way back window (shattering the rear window upon impact)! Other than a few deep scratches in the lid, it was fine...even the HDD survived intact.

    It also took a fall from a height of about 8-9 feet, landing on a concrete floor on it's left-front corner. It put a dent in the corner and cracked the base assembly (just the right of the latch release). When I picked it up off the floor, the palm rest above the crack was slightly bowed upward but I was amazed that the display was undamaged. Once again, it fired right up and I eventually managed to flatten out the palm rest again and the crack wasn't even noticeable. I actually swapped out the HDD with another I had hanging around out of an abundance of caution.

    So for all Latitude and Precision models that come with a standard 3-year Warranty, I think it's safe to say they'll last the full warranty period (and then some).

    The motherboard finally went bad on my E6400 and even I couldn't rationalize replacing it on a system that old. I replaced it with a Latitude 6430u (the world's most durable Ultrabook, according to Dell's advertising). I'm actually very pleased with it and foresee another 3-4years of reliability and durability.
     
  16. ijozic

    ijozic Notebook Evangelist

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    Throttling? That sounds more like a clogged ventilation system, rather than a computer in dire need of a change, especially if you're not running anything demanding (not sure if your chipset supports SATA2 or TRIM for the SSDs, though, which might be relevant). I wouldn't expect the difference to be that noticeable in everyday use, although IMHO those early i7 chips were somewhat constrained with their lower clocks making them not that much faster than higher clocked Core 2 Quads (except in single threaded applications with their turbo boost). The Sandy Bridge CPUs and latter bring a much more noticeable performance bump (in tests, at least).

    A more important reason to upgrade IMHO would be improved battery life, weight or screen resolution/quality if you need those.

    I still have my 4+ years old M6400 which works well enough, but have switched to M6700 as I needed a stronger GPU (with an upgradeable MXM slot). Hmm, come to think of it, maybe some of the promising new M4800 GPUs would work on the M6400 (MXM 3.0A)?
     
  17. ijozic

    ijozic Notebook Evangelist

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    Removed double post.
     
  18. booboo12

    booboo12 Notebook Prophet

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    I'm still (still!) on the D630 I bought in 07. Only upgrade I did hardware wise was RAM (from 2 to 4 GB) a few years ago. While I had a E6420 in there for a while, going back to the D630 wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

    Would I like a new machine? Of course, but it's not a pressing concern and I'll be able to wait longer until what I want comes out. I've got 29 tabs open in chrome, Spotify, Skype and Yahoo messenger running and things feel ok.

    I think that a lot of it is the fact that a lot of what I do is online...there's not much serious number crunching going on. The biggest reason why I want to eventually upgrade is for features like a backlit keyboard and dedicated graphics (or at least good integrated graphics) for gaming..a webcam is of less import since I bought a LifeCam HD for the D630...I'd likely use that over a integrated model.
     
  19. mr_handy

    mr_handy Notebook Consultant

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    Even a D620 (with T7xxx C2D; the first were Core Duo, and pretty painful) is pretty usable these days. Going up to 4gb (well, 3.5 usable on the oldies!) is obligatory... and SSD is very nice to have.

    For most sorts of general use, a decent 1st-generation laptop i5 (eg an E6410 w/ i5-520m) is going to feel as fast as any newer machine, and SSD and amount of RAM make a bigger difference than the 2 more cores or bump to Sandy/Ivy Bridge or Haswell.

    For CPU-heavy development work, getting a quad core Sandy Bridge chip was truly game changer (either compared to the prior dual cores, or the very early low-clocked quads), and the E6420 was in its way the best work laptop I've ever had. The speed-up on Ivy Bridge was nice, but not a big deal, and it looks like Haswell is similar.

    Gaming is another matter; for work stuff, I'd still be on my E6420 but the GPU upgrade was worth it to the E6430 and will probably be worth it to a Precision M3800 (or some sort of XPS) later this year. Before that, I had my D630 for two and a half years and my D620 for two years before that, and an Inspiron 4150 for three years before that.
     
  20. d0m0

    d0m0 Notebook Guru

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    Me too. I believe that for my regular day to day work, it has more than enough power and speed. I have put in a SSD in it, which really is a real speed booster.
     

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