The motherboard is arguably the most important component of any computer. They may not be the most important factor in your rig’s performance, but a motherboard is the skeleton of your build.
The motherboard is the hardest part to replace on a computer because it requires unplugging everything else. No one wants to take everything out and put it all back in constantly, so it’s important to know how long a motherboard lasts and which ones last the longest.
How Long Does A Motherboard Last?
A motherboards should last over 15 years and sometimes even 20 years or more. After about 10 years, the motherboard will likely lose compatibility with modern GPU and CPUs, which is when most people upgrade.
There are no moving parts on a motherboard which is why they tend to last so long. There are some cheaply built motherboards that will start breaking down immediately after the warranty period ends. However, motherboards from reputable manufacturers do not break down very often, and most people end up replacing them long before they stop working.
How Long Do Gaming Motherboards Last?
Gaming motherboards typically last over 15 years. It is rare for a motherboard to break down, but many gamers choose to replace their motherboard more frequently in order to maintain compatibility with current GPUs and CPUs.
Gaming motherboards are built to be compatible with state-of-the-art components, but it’s very hard to predict the future. So, after 5-10 years, it’s very likely that there will be new GPUs, CPUs, etc. that no longer work with your gaming motherboard.
Ignoring compatibility issues, gaming motherboards are built just as tough (if not tougher) than regular motherboards and can last over 15 years if treated well.
How Long Does A Laptop Motherboard Last?
A high quality laptop motherboard should last 5-7 years. Compared to desktop components, a laptop’s components are not as durable and break more easily due to constant heat exposure.
Most components on a laptop are not built to last. The fans will generally break down, which in turn will lead to other components overheating. The motherboard can fall victim to this overheating, but the CPU and GPU are much more vulnerable and will probably give out before the motherboard does.
Unfortunately, with most laptops, once one component gives out, the whole laptop will need to be replaced. So even if the motherboard is fine, there will be no way to salvage it or even reuse it in a different build.
How To Make Your Motherboard Last Longer?
Keeping the motherboard clean and cool is the best way to extend its lifetime. Dusting your PC twice per month, using quality fans, and monitoring temperatures will all go a long way to keeping your motherboard safe. Turning the PC off during storms can also help manage the electricity running through the board.
Generally, proper PC maintenance will go a long way towards keeping your motherboard healthy. If it gets too hot, components on the motherboard can melt, which is why quality fans and dust management will help the board last longer.
Another thing to keep in mind with motherboard safety is the electricity that runs through it. You want to prevent shorts at all cost, which is why keeping it off during a thunderstorm and using a surge protector is important.
However, it’s pretty rare for modern PCs to get damaged during an average storm. So I only turn my PC off if a storm is particularly brutal and I’m worried about a power outage.
How Often Should You Replace Your Motherboard?
You only need to replace your motherboard if you want to upgrade something else in your system (CPU, GPU, etc.) and your current motherboard is too old to be compatible. This generally occurs once your motherboard is 10 years old.
Depending on which games you play or how you use your PC, you may be able to get by with a 15 year old motherboard. You can always purchase older CPUs and GPUs that are compatible with the board, just don’t expect to be able to play new AAA games.
Even if you’re upgrading everything in your PC, if your motherboard is only 3 – 5 years old, it can probably handle every new component you put in there. If you find that you want a component that your motherboard doesn’t support, then that is the perfect time to upgrade. Otherwise, you might as well leave it alone.
Is It Worth It To Replace Your Motherboard?
It is only worth it to replace your motherboard if it is so old that it is no longer compatible with new CPUs, GPUs, and other components. It may also be necessary to replace your motherboard if you need extra SATA ports for extra storage space or something similar. Otherwise, you should keep your board.
Pretty much, if your motherboard has everything you need as far as compatibility, then there’s no reason to replace it. Replacing your motherboard will not give you a substantial boost in performance like a GPU, CPU, or even RAM upgrade will.
Replacing a motherboard is also pretty time consuming. You need to unplug everything from it and unscrew it from the case. This can be a headache, depending on your PC’s cable setup.
On top of this, you’ll also need to plug everything back into the new one and fit everything back into the case. This could lead to a giant mess, especially if you’re inexperienced with cable management. So most of the time it’s better just to keep the motherboard as long as possible.
Do Motherboards Slow Down Over Time?
Motherboards do not usually slow down over time. They’re not prone to typical wear and tear like other components that have many moving parts. If start and load times have increased significantly, there is usually a culprit that is not the motherboard, such as the CPU or even a faulty hard drive.
Motherboards will usually just stop working and prevent normal booting if they start to fail. Motherboards will not bottleneck performance, like a CPU might. Instead, they’ll just prevent you from upgrading your PC due to compatibility issues.
How Long Does A Motherboard Battery Last?
Motherboard batteries, or CMOS Batteries last about 5 – 7 years, but the exact lifespan is extremely broad, as there are many variables involved. It all depends on the battery’s capacity, how long the computer is on everyday, and how much voltage the computer uses during standby.
It’s not unheard of to see life in a 10+ year old motherboard battery, but it’s definitely not the norm. These batteries usually last about 5 years or so before the voltage coming from them drastically drops.
Most of the time, once that voltage hits about 1.5 Volts, it won’t be able to power up the computer anymore. So the motherboard battery doesn’t necessarily have to die completely for the computer to die because of it.
How To Know When Your Motherboard Is Going Bad?
The best way to tell if your motherboard is going bad is if things in your computer, like your fans and PSU, stop working. Most motherboards have LED lights and beeps that fire off to let you know which components aren’t working. If these lights and beeps still work, your motherboard is probably fine.
In short, you’ll know if your motherboard is going bad if your computer isn’t working. It’s really that simple. If you suspect something is wrong with your motherboard, then you may want to check for physical damage.
Before you check anything inside of your computer, make sure to turn off your power supply (or simply unplug it from the outlet), and get rid of any static electricity in your fingers (touch something metal). Then, you check your motherboard for:
- Physical damage, including chips, corrosion, bent pins, etc.
- Any kind of burning smell
If your motherboard has either of these, then it is probably done for good and you will need to get a replacement. If you see no physical damage, and your motherboard still beeps, boops, and lights up like normal, then your issues probably lie elsewhere.
Which Motherboards Last The Longest?
LGA and MSI both build very durable motherboards and have models for AMD and Intel CPUs. Most motherboards will last a very long time, so the brand is not very important. Some lower-end motherboards may give out after 6 or 7 years, so most of the time the extra few bucks is worth the higher quality.
No matter what kind of motherboard you get, if you keep it cool and try not to run it during heavy storms, then it will probably last to the 10 year mark. Most motherboards long outlive their usefulness, especially when it comes to gaming.
How To Make Your Motherboard Last Longer?
To make your motherboard last as long as possible, you should install proper cooling in your PC case and use a surge protector. Dusting out your computer once every couple of months is another great way to keep your motherboard clean and safe from static electricity and overheating.
There are two main causes of deaths for motherboards and PCs: overheating and power surges. Use a surge protector and keep an eye on your power supply to prevent any bad currents from being sent through your motherboard.To keep your motherboard cool, just keep an eye on your fans, and keep dust out as of your case as much as possible.
Interested In Gaming? Check Out My Recommendations!
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