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Thoughts from those who've been in the game a while.

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February 20, 2009 2:05:35 AM

I'm currently building an i7 rigamapoo thanks to all of you crazy baboons, but if there's one thing I've learned from this forum, it's that "future proof system" is quite the misnomer.

See, I've been thinking (that's dangerous btw). While my realizations fall far short of brilliance, I've been wondering WHEN the best time to build a rig is. I've read the laws for computer technology. I've read articles detailing just how quickly things advance, but I've never read anything in regards to how that all translates to SAVINGS for the consumer. I could do some research on this, but with all you fine fine folks on this forum I thought I might indulge on a wonderful feast of experience.

New things come out, prices drop. I get it. However, is the i7 rig I'm planning on building for 1200-1600 dollars (haven't finalized specs nor when I'm going to buy, hence this post) going to cost roughly half of that in a few months? Are price drops a predictable trend after announcement of new technology, roadmaps, and the like?

To wait or not to wait. That is the torturous question for an impatient guy like me.

Thoughts please.

Brian

More about : thoughts game

February 20, 2009 2:11:55 AM

Might be different where you are but here theres a tend for a good gaming pc , or good office PC to remain around the same price over time
BUT
the good gaming PC's performance is rising in line with Moores Law

and the office PC is relatively more powerful too
[ just pointlessly since most offices would run fine on a ten year old PC any way ]

That says prices are market driven , not technology driven

but the desire for new technology is the only selling point manufacturers have
February 20, 2009 2:16:27 AM

I live in Kansas.

Yes we have cars. No we don't trade hay for money.

Thanks for the response.
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February 20, 2009 2:21:14 AM

Prices for your new pc would probably drop by $100 or so a couple months later, but not by half. My build was about $1600, now its would be around $1500 and its around a month and a half old. Since then however the GTX 285/295 was released as well as PII, which is the reason the price dropped so fast, it usually isnt that fast.
February 20, 2009 2:22:02 AM

Prices for your new pc would probably drop by $100 or so a couple months later, but not by half. My build was about $1600, now its would be around $1500 and its around a month and a half old. Since then however the GTX 285/295 was released as well as PII, which is the reason the price dropped so fast, it usually isnt that fast.
February 20, 2009 2:25:38 AM

Thank you, senior thekid. That's what I was wanting to hear.
February 20, 2009 2:30:13 AM

TheGuitarist said:
I live in Kansas.

Yes we have cars. No we don't trade hay for money.

Thanks for the response.


I live in New Zealand

whats a car?
February 20, 2009 2:33:06 AM

Lol.

I'll play games on Xbox Live every once in a while. I swear everyone on there is from California, so when I state where I'm from, everyone asks me if we know what cars are and if horses are still the popular form of transportation.

Smartasses.:D 
February 20, 2009 3:52:31 AM

My $0.02

If you're not adverse to building and rebuilding every once in a while, separate your build parts into different categories. There are the things that need to move quickly (such as video cards if you're a hardcore gamer), and then there are things that can "last a long time" (such as hard drives, PSUs, cases).

So if you want to "future proof", then buy extra on the long term items (e.g. a bigger PSU than you need, expecting it to last over 6-7 years). Buy with flexibility in mind (e.g. buy a Crossfire mobo even if you're only running 1 card now).

Try to buy parts that are a good long-term value for the money--by this, I mean good quality and lots of future flexibility. IMO, the Asus P6T Deluxe V2 in Feb. 2009 is one such example, others would be the red PCP&C Silencer 750 and the Caviar Black 640.

You buy when you need a rig. However, you make incremental changes over time to keep up with the advancing envelope. That's how I think that one maximizes their PC dollar. And that's why we stretch our brains so much coming up with good upgrade paths on these forums!
February 20, 2009 4:06:04 AM

Excellent post Akebono. That's along the lines of what I've been thinking, so it's good to hear that from someone more experienced.
February 20, 2009 12:04:11 PM

There is always something bigger, faster, better just around the corner.
If you wait to build, you will always be waiting. Unless there is a certain piece of hardware due to be released soon that you really want, the best time to build is when you have the money, and when you have the need. And do as Akebono 98 says, buy better base parts.

By the way.....lived in Oxford Kansas from about '81 to '88. Thriving metropolis there I tell you, but I liked living there for some odd reason. Really nice people.
I am trying to remember, but I don't think they had cars then, but everyone had at least 4 tractors, a combine, and a riding lawn mower to ride into town. :) 
February 20, 2009 12:30:16 PM

1901404,11,65686 said:
There is always something bigger, faster, better just around the corner.
If you wait to build, you will always be waiting. Unless there is a certain piece of hardware due to be released soon that you really want, the best time to build is when you have the money, and when you have the need. And do as Akebono 98 says, buy better base parts.
said:


True. Especially at the upper end of performance. But expecting "base" parts to last more than 3 - 5 years is highly optimistic. I would never put a 7 year old PSU, no matter how good into a new build.
February 20, 2009 2:35:16 PM

Jit- That's kind of what I was getting at in my first post, but it's good to hear that. This has nothing to do with resale value, and everything to do with wanting to get the best for my money. So thank you. Oh, and the smaller towns are still like that.

Jsc-I knew that a PSU that old would be kind of a no-no, but I figured he was just driving home a point more than anything.

Thanks for the replies.
February 20, 2009 9:40:21 PM

Here's another miscellaneous thought for getting the most out of your money.

As your gaming / top-end rig shows its age, then you can always shift that one down to become your "Internet rig" (or other lower power use) and buy a newer cutting edge gaming rig. Or, you could just shift down selected parts only and rebuild.

Looking at all of your household's computers as a portfolio and developing an upgrade strategy around that gives you many more options to play with.

Just another brick on the road of PC building...
February 21, 2009 1:11:24 AM

Peter’s law (my own) states that the price of computer hardware will depreciate at the rate of 30% per year.
February 21, 2009 1:25:02 AM

I agree with most of this. The one thing that has always foiled me is the motherboard, though. No matter how much you intend to upgrade that CPU, chances are very strong you'll be buying a new motherboard when you finally get around to it.

Socket 939 anyone? I paid a lot for it 3 years ago, and it was top of the line. When I finally needed to upgrade my CPU, I had to either pay through the nose on ebay or, for about the same cost, buy a board/CPU/RAM.
February 21, 2009 2:39:33 AM

Well, I just received my Antec 900 today.

Yeah, yeah. Everyone gets it, but obviously for a reason. I also bought it because I plan to rebuild and get as much milage out of the case as I can. Here's hoping to not having a constant shift in motherboard sizes.

Actually that raises another question for all of you experienced ones. Have motherboard sizes (mAtx, Atx) stayed the same? Obviously they have many sizes, but these sizes have been the industry standard for some time, no?
February 21, 2009 2:54:24 AM

Ok here is my 0.2

Dont buy a PC now. Two reasons: 1) There isnt a CPU around that makes you go "wow", 2) Prices are ridiculous at the moment. The i7 prices will drop quickly just wait till the summer.

Wait for the wave. Catch it when you see it. Let me give you some examples of waves...


2000 - Pentium 3 -> Pentium 4 Willamette, crazy performance difference
2003 - Pentium 4 -> Athlon 64, another total smack down
2006 - Athlon 64 -> Core 2 Duo/Quad, still on fire!
2009 - Core 2 -> ????

See the trend? Every 3yrs we get a good performance increase. The year is 2009, and i7 is not the answer. People forget that the i7 is on a completely new platform (chipset, ddr3 etc..) it may seem like a good speed increase, but its not. The i7 is overpriced bullcrap. And its all AMD's fault. Yes AMD. Intel can get away selling crap and strangling chipset makers because there is no competition.

The Phenom suck balls and Intel knows it.

Future proof is possible, but its always expensive to begin with.

Wait for the wave. Its worth it.
February 21, 2009 3:09:59 AM

I read somewhere, and it was one of the insiders, that said AMD actually held back on Deneb because they did not want to get into a frequency war with Intel. it makes a kind of sense... much like a bicycle race. Make a big move or stay back and draft.
February 22, 2009 1:57:43 AM

Game theory in a duopoly... nice.

Now if only Intel would give us the H2 2009 page of this presentation: link.
!