Lifespan of current high quality pro-sumer interfaces?

redking

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What do you all think is the lifespan of today's higher quality interfaces, such as a UA Apollo? Assuming the unit stays functional, how long should one expect to be able to keep using such a unit before it becomes impossible as computers get faster and faster?
 

cmjohnson

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It's generally accepted that consumer computer equipment has a lifespan of five to eight years. I've gotten much more out of some computers (two desktops ago, that one lasted 15 year, and the one after it lasted 11..both Dells) but I'd say that you definitely should be looking at replacement before it reaches 10. Components age and eventually the device will become unreliable.
 

efstop

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CPU clock speeds haven't increased much in the last ten years. The speed wars were over before that. What has changed is the size of the interconnecting circuits, they get smaller but that's approaching a limit as well. Smaller circuits, less power is needed. RAM doesn't update all that often, either.
As mentioned, I would use it until it doesn't work. You will likely find something you'd rather have in less than ten years :laugh2: PC power isn't much of a concern because sound production is not as power intensive as video. More RAM, more effects and tracks.
 

CB91710

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Biggest issue is software compatibility. Will the next generation firmware run on it, and if not, will the current firmware support what you will need in 5 years.
Fully self-contained unit with no plug-ins... just an interface... the enemy is temperature and dust.
Keep it clean, keep it cool, and it'll last.
 

Rds

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I agree software compatibility can come into play. Mackie has had some issues with that. I run two blackbirds on a win7 machine with i5 chip I built several years ago dedicated to recording, no internet connection. Still works great. Will run all the tracks I want loaded with plug ins if I need it. My interfaces have held up fine. That pc is old enough that I had to change the motherboard battery :rofl:
 

cmjohnson

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I've found that if hardware problems start, it's going to be in USB before anything else. Generally, the longer USB connections from motherboard to USB port are the first to go. And after that, the electrolytics on the motherboard start to swell up and leak. It's definitely time for a new computer when that happens. Yes, the board could be recapped, but at that point, it's so far out of date, there's little point in doing so.
 

redking

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My Apollo 8 is getting to be 4 or 5 years old now, so I'm at the point where I'm considering upgrading to the latest version (which is crazy expensive now) or just let it go as long as I can, and kick the can down the road, or even sell mine now while the re-sale value is still good, and get a lesser expensive interface (which all seem to be really good now) and rely on the quality of my 500 Series BAE preamps overall.
 

Thunder Dump

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I'm still using a MOTU 828mkII, purchased new in 2005, as my main interface and it's going strong. It's getting harder to find a FireWire expansion card for a modern PC but it can be done. No reason why a modern interface can't go 15+ years. Sound quality improvements at this point are now incremental instead of exponential in the market, so absent a new type of interface that becomes the industry standard, you should be fine.
 
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