Your motherboard in some way is the main component of the PC build, this is because the motherboard connects all the components together. Having a motherboard die on you can be a tedious task and relatively expensive, so it makes sense why you’d want to know the lifespan of the motherboard, and how to increase it.
In this post, we’re going to go over whether motherboards die in the first place, the symptoms of a dying motherboard, how exactly motherboards break, and how to increase the lifespan of a motherboard. By the end of the post, you’ll learn proper PC maintenance techniques which can increase the health and lifespan of most components in your PC case.
Answer: The motherboard has a lifespan of 10years+ with good care taken of it. The motherboard is responsible for connecting all the components together and allowing them to communicate with each other. It allows the CPU to communicate with the RAM, it allows the power supply to send power to each and every component, as well as monitor and control the flow of power, so a dying or faulty motherboard can cause many problems.
Motherboard Failure Cause
All components that make up a computer wear out in some way, and even though there are no moving parts such as fans, the motherboard can still degrade overtime, this is usually do to heat exposure. Components such as capacitors will wear out over time, sometimes resulting in a pop or mini explosion, it’s important for capacitors to be of high quality.
Low quality capacitors will leak overtime, if you look on the motherboard, you may find a colored residue near the capacitor. This residue is the capacitors electrolytes which dries out overtime. Also, capacitors have a maximum voltage, and exceeding this maximum voltage can result in the capacitor dying, causing motherboard failure
Although all of this does sound daunting, motherboards have been improving overtime, and through testing, the motherboard failure rate is around 2.1% or one motherboard for every 49. This number is relatively low, but what makes this better for the consumer is that all these failures were caught before they were shipped out for consumers. So for the consumers, the motherboard failure rate is around 0.2%.
Dying Motherboard Symptoms
Computer symptoms are inherently vague, this is because many components can be the cause of a type of problem, But if you’re experiencing computer issues, it’s important to know what the likely culprit is to reduce time wasted when performing trial and error. A really good sign that your motherboard is failing usually is the motherboard not recognizing hardware connected to it.
Blue Screen Of Death is a problem which can be caused by software and hardware issue depending on the error message displayed. The BSOD error message displayed may be generic saying it may be a faulty driver, but sometimes the motherboard can trigger these types of errors to occur. Thankfully, motherboard induced blue screen of death errors are uncommon, and you should always check other components before.
Burning Smells can be a sign that you’ve fried your motherboard, if you smell something burning, switch off the computer to prevent further damage to the motherboard and other components. If your motherboard is producing a burning smell, this can be caused by a short circuit, and poorly seated components and debris is usually the cause. When building a PC, make sure everything is seated properly which is the RAM, and PCI-E components.
What Is The Lifespan Of The Motherboard
In general, motherboards have pretty long lifespans if treated with care, and as long as you’re not inducing physical damage, motherboards should last 10 years+. All that is recommended is to clean it occasionally, have decent cooling, and having a high quality power supply. Ensure to inspect your motherboard for swollen capacitors because this is usually a sign of a failing motherboard.
10 years is a pretty long time in terms of computers because things are constantly upgrading such as new CPUs and the sockets to go along with them. Your motherboard will be pretty redundant in 10 years as many superior models will be out accepting better processors and RAM. You should upgrade your motherboard when a new CPU model comes out that doesn’t support your current motherboard.
It’s worth noting, you usually get what you pay for when purchasing PC parts, so if you picked up a really cheap motherboard, it’s likely it wont last as long compared to a mid-top tier motherboard. Motherboards will typically come with cheap components such as cheap capacitors which typically don’t last long. Brands such as Gigabyte use high quality Japanese capacitors which have a great reputation.
How To Increase Motherboard Lifespan
Keeping the motherboard clean is the easiest way to increase the lifespan of your motherboard, but not everyone is willing to do it. Removing debris, and dust is the best way to prevent sudden motherboard failure usually caused by short circuits. If your motherboard and PC case is stuffed with dust and debris it can also increase the general temperature of your computer which isn’t healthy.
Having appropriate cooling throughout your computer case is the best way to lengthen the amount of time your motherboard lasts. Heat is the main culprit when it comes to failing components, and heat can cause capacitors to swell and eventually pop. Your setup should have an appropriate setup where the airflow is exhausting all the hot air, also the vents and fans should be clear from dust which can inhibit airflow.
Having an appropriate power supply is always recommended and you should never cheap out on a power supply. There are many crappy power supplies which lack the proper safety mechanisms which protect your PSU, Components and the people around it. A bad power supply can cause a motherboard to fail by sending electrical anomalies such as high voltages, and high voltages cause capacitors to fail.
In conclusion the lifespan of the motherboard depends on how well kept it is, but if you’re maintaining it correctly which includes removing any dust, debris and proving it with great cooling it should last 10years+. But not many people keep their motherboards for that long, and usually upgrade earlier.
Increasing the motherboard lifespan usually involves typical PC maintenance which is keeping the motherboard clean and free of dust & debris, keeping the motherboard cool, and having a decent power supply. If you apply these PC maintenance recommendations, not only will your motherboard last long, but other components will too.