Motherboard and component life expectancy



  • What is a reasonable life estimate for this hardware? I plan to replace it in a couple of years when AES-NI becomes a pfSense requirement. I will probably replace it with another Supermicro motherboard and new other components unless it's believed the existing ones will last for a very long time:

    All components are about 3 years old now. Nothing runs very hot.

    Supermicro j1900 mini itx motherboard (to be replaced with a fanless i3 level board, most likely)

    suitable power supply and power brick from Amazon

    SSD, Crucial 120 GB

    It's my thinking that Supermicro is industrial strength and built to last.It cost a little more but not that much more.

    Thanks, much.



  • 5 to 8 years



  • A lot depends on the component quality, and it's really hard to tell that as a consumer. I have low power server-grade stuff that's running fine after 10 or 15 years. I have had other server components just stop working suddenly. I've had some consumer stuff run until it wasn't worth running anymore, and more than a few that have died due to failing capacitors. If it's a critical function, have a backup and a failover plan. If it isn't critical, just replace it when it dies. There's nothing that's fail-proof, and as a consumer with exactly one of a board you don't really care if a failure was a one in a million event because there isn't much you can do with that information.



  • +1 to VAMike. It's kind of a crapshoot.

    I've had great luck with all my electronics. I buy used a lot, and it's only ever bitten me on a thinkpad T420, but it didn't really bite me because the repair cost still gives me a great quality laptop for less than the price of a chromebook.

    for home use, reusing old stuff is great. like Mike said, just replace it when it goes. If you're handy you can replace mobo capacitors over a cup of coffee.

    i'm using an old toshiba nb305 as a ubiquiti controller and mini-ELK stack  :o, a gateway gt5656 as an HTPC (really the only original piece is the case, but still - j3355B, pico PSU and an old SSD with reused laptop RAM), and an i5-2400 workstation for pfSense.

    The only stuff I have that I bought new is my normal desktop computer, and when it comes time to upgrade I'll probbaly be going for used parts.

    My 55" modern Samsung TV is used, cost me $250.
    My cars and trucks are always used, when I resell them I come close (6% loss) to breaking even even after years and years of use and abuse.
    Same with furniture.

    Buy used smart (buy quality products) and you will save huge amounts of cash, if you don't do oyur research though you can end up losing money.

    Sorry, i kind of went off on a tangent there - motherboards last a long time sometimes and not long at all other times!  ;D



  • Thanks all of you for the replies.

    The answers you sent were about what I imagined. I have a spare router for just in case. It's good enough to do the job. I've even experimented with pfSense on a spare laptop with one usb3 - lan adapter. It worked fine although I wouldn't trust it for long as it seems so uncommon.

    belt9, I agree about the value of used equipment. Most of my tablets and laptops are used and/or refurbs. The used off lease laptops are A-stock 3rd gen i5 models and each cost about 80% off list. All were upgraded to Win10 (free) and have SSD and AC wireless now. This is a big savings. One is a 24/7 media server now. If usb3 lan adapters were reportedly more reliable, one would be my next pfSense router.

    I've thought about swapping out pfSense when AES-NI is required but decided against it. I have too much time invested in learning pfSense and none of the others work as well or are as flexible in the areas I consider important.