New PCs are more reliable, just…

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If you are trying to coax a dead or dying PC back to life then it’s probably not much comfort to learn that according to Gartner Research computers are becoming more reliable. The Annual Failure Rates (AFRs) reported by leading manufacturers have fallen by 25 percent in the last two years, and believe it or not, laptops are almost twice as unreliable as desktop PCs.

The crunched and condensed figures actually make quite interesting reading, for example the failure rate drops dramatically after the 60 to 90 day ‘shakeout’ period. In the first year of use around 7 percent of desktop PCs bought in 2002/3 popped their clogs and this has fallen to 5 percent on 2005/6 models. By year 4 15 percent of 2002/3 vintage machines can be expected to fail, whilst only 12 percent of new machines will suffer the same fate. For laptops the year 1 failure rates are a miserable 20 percent and 15 percent for 2002/3 and 2005/6 models respectively, rising to 28 and 22 percent after 4 years.

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