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What is your refresh cycle?

Many firms don’t have a predefined refresh cycle. This can lead to many issues such as cost of downtime, loss of data and PC repair costs, particularly when a PC is out of warranty. When a PC is under warranty there should be no cost associated with PC repairs and generally it is unlikely there will be unexpected downtime or data loss. When a company has no refresh cycle or a refresh cycle of more than 3 years this will lead to higher costs in the long run.

In a resent WIPRO study “Using Total Cost of Ownership to Determine Optimal PC Refresh Lifecycles” (available on the Intel web site), based on WIPRO analysis they found the average yearly cost for laptops and desktops. The cost includes capital cost, support cost and repair cost.


Yearly TCO for 3 year refresh is $1266

Yearly TCO for 5 year refresh is $1430

That is a saving of $164 a year per laptop.


Yearly TCO for 3 year refresh is $740

Yearly TCO for 5 year refresh is $802

That is a saving of $62 a year per desktop.

It should be noted that WIPRO found that the yearly support cost per PC was twice as much in year 5 vs year 1.

One of the interesting notes within the study was “Wipro’s survey data shows that a firm with 30,800 PCs can reduce power consumption costs by $214,000 a year once they optimize on a three year refresh cycle…” because “Newer PCs use significantly less power because of improved processor efficiency”.

WIPRO concluded that a three life cycle for replacing desktops and laptops was the most cost effective. They also concluded that putting off PC purchases only shifted the burden and ultimately increased the Total Cost of Ownership.

What I found interesting was there was not discussion on how to determine when a PC was out of warranty. It is great to say that all PCs that are 3 years old get replaced but how do you know that a PC is out of warranty? Using their example of 30 000 PCs how do you find the 10 000 PCs that need to be replaced?

This is where Warranty Information Reporting in conjunction with System Center Configuration Manager can be used to determine this information thereby reducing your support cost even further.