Study Shows Computer Owners Experience A Four-Year Itch

According to a recent study commissioned by, consumers frequently replace their personal computers after four and a half years of use. Although replacing a PC as often as three years may be common, 58% of survey respondents thought their computer should last much longer than three years. Despite wanting to use their PCs for longer, computer users often find themselves unhappy with their current machine. In fact, 47% of respondents said they disliked something about their computer. Slow speed was among the top complaints users had against their computers.

With this study, Crucial hopes to show users how a simple memory upgrade could help increase performance and give an older system new life. Roddy McLean, marketing director at says, “For example, a $92 USD, 2GB Crucial memory upgrade for the popular Dell Dimension 2400 desktop computer with stock 128MB of RAM, can increase performance by 70-90% for everyday tasks like rebooting, resuming, and starting programs.” Research Reveals Computer Owners Experience a “Four-Year Itch”

On average, US computer owners replace their machines every 4.5 years, citing slow speed as top dislike

Key Messages:

  • Most survey respondents (58%) believe their computers should last “much longer” than the typical three years
  • Nearly half (47%) of respondents dislike something about their computer, with “slow speed” topping the list of dislikes (21%)
  • Three quarters (78%) of the survey respondents believe they would benefit from upgrading their computer’s memory
  • More than twice as many respondents fear tinkering with the insides of their computer (35%) than handling a spider (13%)
  • Survey was commissioned by, a leading online computer memory upgrade destination

Boise, ID, 11 May, 2011 – A recent survey commissioned by, a leading online computer memory upgrade destination, revealed that computer owners reportedly replace their personal computer after an average of only 4.5 years of use. Even with the abundance of newer models, the survey revealed a strong reluctance to replace computers too often, with only two per cent of respondents saying they were willing to replace their computer “every two or so years”. For detailed survey statistics, related content, and sweepstakes details, visit

Despite strong loyalty, computer owners still struggle to find complete contentment with their current machine: nearly half (47%) dislike something about their computer, and approximately one in two (49%) are likely to have a disagreement with their computer for being “too slow to keep up.”

The survey, conducted by Consumer Analysis Group, polled more than 1,000 computer owners in the US, aged 16-70. It found that the most commonly-owned computer type in the US today is an “old desktop computer”, as identified by 29% of survey respondents.

Growing Interest in Memory Upgrades, But Fear Factor Remains

When confronted with a sluggish machine, most computer owners said they turn to simple self-help methods, such as running the anti-virus checker (59%), compressing files (56%), or rebooting their machine (54%). However, more than three quarters of those surveyed (78%) also believed they would benefit from a memory upgrade.

However, handling the insides of a computer, as with a “DIY” computer memory upgrade, filled more people with fear (35%) than sweeping up and discarding a spider (13%). A likely contributing factor is the widespread lack of knowledge about computer memory. Nearly half (45%) of people surveyed didn’t know how much internal memory (RAM) is installed in their computer.

“A lot of people regard their computers as more than mere machines, so it’s no surprise that the research unearthed strong emotions from computer owners, such as the disagreements they have with their systems due to slow speed,” said Roddy McLean, marketing director at “A computer is a big investment that comes with high expectations, and it is clear from the survey that most people aren’t treating them like disposable assets.”

“Many people may not realize that there are some easy and extremely cost-effective remedies to the four-year itch, or simply tolerating a slow machine,” continued McLean. “For example, a $92 USD, 2GB Crucial memory upgrade for the popular Dell Dimension 2400 desktop computer with stock 128MB of RAM, can increase performance by 70-90% for everyday tasks like rebooting, resuming, and starting programs.* And a memory upgrade is breathtakingly simple to install, even for complete novices.” is an online destination offering computer users an easy way to find the right memory upgrade for most desktop and laptop systems and step-by-step instructions on how to install it yourself. is part of Micron Technology, one of the world's leading providers of advanced semiconductor solutions.

*The Dell Dimension 2400 system tested included an Intel® Pentium® 4 2.53GHz processor on an Intel 845GV based board, CD ROM drive, 40GB IDE HDD. The motherboard was on BIOS revision 1.10 A05 and was running Microsoft Windows® XP operating system with the latest service pack per Windows update.