Useful life of a computer for someone in the tech industry is two to three years for developers, two to four years for everyone else.
Useful life of a computer for a business is until it dies, ceases to perform it's function.
For tax purposes for businesses, computers can be written off in the first year via Section 179 or depreciated over five years. Section 179 is cool (accountant in my former life).
For home buyers, I'm guessing in reality the useful life of a computer is five to seven years. It should be more like seven plus years but then we can also break this down into parts, e.g. 1 TB hard drive should last 10 years, network hub 10 years, monitor 7 years, actual computer 5 years. It really sucks that this is the case. Computers should last longer, at least 10 – 12 years.
Our current computer set-up
- Our home setup (Mac Mini still on Panther) was put into place on April 2006.
- Work setup (MacBook now w/ Leopard) was put in place on August 2006.
- Work setup (IBM X31 laptop, with Windows XP) was put in place on August 2004.
Next year will be when we do our hardware upgrade.