A motherboard is one of the core components of a PC. It is the circuitry on which every other component is placed. This motherboard manages all those components and provides a means to let them communicate with each other to accomplish a particular task or calculation.
Without a motherboard, the PC can’t be built nor used and the other components like processor, RAM, etc are simply useless. It’s like the heart of a computer which is much needed to keep things going. However, like everything, motherboards also have a lifespan of their own. This means that motherboards die too and we will be taking a look at how much motherboards last in this article.
Factors that Affect the Lifespan of a Motherboard
Components or anything else does not die on their own, something happens which affects the working of the particular component and either leaves a negative impact or a positive one. Here are some of the factors that could affect the lifespan of a motherboard.
Quality of components
A motherboard is made by combining a lot of different kinds of components like capacitors, power phases, MOSFETs, ICs, chipsets, etc. Hence, if any of them is of low quality or poorly integrated, then the chances of the motherboard’s failure would be super high.
This is why manufacturers should use each component of higher quality so that it doesn’t die before the estimated lifespan. The most common reason for components failing is due to excessive load on the motherboard which these components can’t bear and ultimately end up frying themselves because of high-temperature levels on full load.
Manufacturer and brand
A product’s quality can also be assumed by its manufacturer. The brand concept is there to give assurance to the consumers that they’re getting the brand status as well as a higher quality product in return. The same is the case with motherboards and their manufacturer or to which brand it belongs. Motherboard tiers are also things that define the quality of a motherboard made by the same manufacturer.
Companies like MSI, ASUS, Gigabyte, and ASRock make both high and low-tier motherboards that tend to target different categories of consumers and budgets. Also, even most of their low-tier motherboards are good enough to last for a longer period of time when installed in a balanced budget build instead of with all the high-end top-tier stuff out there.
Environmental factors are next on the list, they also affect the longevity of your motherboard as well as the other components. These factors could be quite different like moisture, dust, voltage fluctuation, load shedding, or an earthquake. All of these factors are hazardous for your motherboard and whole PC and hence, should be taken care of. Otherwise, you might end up losing your rig or a few components like the motherboard at the very least, that too before its estimated lifespan.
Frequency of use
What does the frequency of use mean? Well, it means how frequently you use a certain product/component. The more you will utilize it, the shorter its life will get because everything has a limited life and could be either reduced or prolonged by how you keep and use your motherboard.
Maintenance and care
Maintenance and care are other factors that could help you in prolonging your motherboard’s life and vice versa. Routine maintenance and use with care can prolong your motherboard’s life by a significant margin. However, if you plan to go against it, then it can also be the reason for your motherboard’s death too early than you might expect.
Average Lifespan of a Motherboard
Since everything in this universe has a limited lifespan whether it’s the homo-sapiens or electronic products - everything has its own limited life which includes computer motherboards too. Motherboards can usually last for 10-20 years if they are used with care.
However, that’s just an estimate, you never know when anything would go wrong and make your motherboard go all black. It could take a few days to happen or it could take years to happen. Furthermore, technology gets better with each passing day so the one that you have right now would become obsolete at some point which could be 8 to 10 years roughly.
This means that even though the estimated life of the motherboard is around 1 to 2 decades, it will be replaced way too soon than its total life. Many factors come into play when it’s to the lifespan of a motherboard - make sure to get a motherboard that is made out of quality materials and not cheap crap.
Biostar is one such company that makes really low-quality B450 and other similar chipset motherboards with the cheapest quality materials possible. This resulted in a huge chunk of sold motherboards coming back for RMA.
Signs of a Failing Motherboard
Nothing can last forever and the same is the case with motherboards, like any other part of the computer, the motherboard is also a component in the end that could fail at any time due to multiple reasons and then you have to figure it out yourself.
Troubleshooting a failing motherboard can be really hard and a literal pain for many, however, not every error or problem means that your motherboard is dying. Motherboards are quite sensitive and can start failing anytime for no particular reason. So, let me tell you how you can see figure it all out yourself, either your motherboard is dying or it’s something else.
If your PC randomly restarts or shows a Blue Screen Of Death after using the computer for a while or simply after booting it up - then it indicates that something is going wrong with your motherboard and you should get checked ASAP. Moreover, if the ports or slots that are available on the motherboard start going dead then that also means the same thing - which is the motherboard is falling apart slowly.
BIOS failure or system crashes and freezes are yet another indications that your motherboard is dying. These are some of the common reasons that prevail when your motherboard is on the death bed.
How to Extend the Lifespan of a Motherboard
No one loves loss and wishes to keep themselves safe from such a situation. As for the motherboard, it is an essential component of the PC and costs quite a lot depending on the model and its tier. But no need to worry as there are some ways through which you can make your motherboard live much longer.
Here are a few:
Dusty environment or environment with humidity are two major and common factors that could affect the longevity of your motherboard. So, keep them in a clean room with no dust or humidity.
As I said, dust can affect the longevity of your motherboard and could be one of the reasons for its failure. This is why you should clean your PC every once in a while to keep components healthy.
BIOS is the basic OS with a barely usable UI and limited features and options just to perform a handful of important stuff. However, it is the backbone of a motherboard so it should be kept either as it is or up-to-date on a stable version because a wrong or faulty BIOS means a faulty motherboard.
So far we have covered a lot of great points on different topics like what does affect the life of a motherboard and what signs are there to recognize its failure and how to safely troubleshoot it. Not everyone is a pro and he does not need to be as nowadays it takes a few words to search on google and you’re seeing a plethora of different solutions and scenarios to help you out in your situation. We also went through how to increase the lifespan of the motherboard to keep ourselves away from unnecessary spending for replacement or upgrades.
We also discussed how many years a motherboard can survive or live and to further increase this estimated lifespan to a level where this becomes a retrospective thing and still would work like it has been turned on for the first time. The tips and overall guide would highly benefit those who want to keep their computers up and running for as long as that tech becomes obsolete because either they don’t want to spend extra on new parts every other day or simply want to make a penny spent on the system worth it. Lastly, all I can say is, don’t be careful and care about what you’ve got so it lasts as much as possible and become a burden out of nowhere on your wallet.