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Good time to buy a computer?

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March 9, 2004 5:21:18 PM

I bought a computer last year, a relatively cheap one, and interestingly, the best one available was 3.4 gigahertz. This year, this still hasn't changed. It seems to me like computers are no longer getting outdated like crazy every month, and perhaps is a good time get a new one? I'm specifically thinking about an expensive notebook computer from dell.

What is the general trend/opinions on progress and advancement? Is it a good investment to buy one now? How about video cards, are there slated to be anything new or big thats coming out very soon that would make a new purchase obsolete?

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March 9, 2004 5:27:22 PM

Well, PCI express, DDR2, SATA2 and some other new technologies will be coming out pretty soon. If you want the newest and best, now probably isn't the best time to buy, maybe by the end of this year. But if you want a nice computer for cheap, it's a great time to buy. I bought my amd 2500+ a bit early, it's a lot cheaper now.

As far as notebooks go, the newer centrino dothan cpus will be coming out soon i believe, might want to wait for those.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by kevbo on 03/09/04 02:29 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 9, 2004 6:47:24 PM

i dont think sata2 will be along that soon.

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March 9, 2004 8:47:47 PM

Actually the P4 3.4GHz was just released Feb. 1, this year. Depending when you bought it last year, maybe the P4 3.06 was highest clocked desktop chip at the time. But I get your point anyway. But although MHz haven't increased greatly, motherboard features and performance have. The current P4 800 bus chips and Athlon 64's are far superior to the P4 3.06 533 bus chip. The i865pe, i875 mobos are far better than the 845 & 850's were. More performance and feature, etc.



The best time to buy basically seems to be when you need to upgrade. Prices are always going lower, better hardware is always coming out. Now of course there are generations of chipsets, cpu's, video cards, and likewise timing to consider. New video cards from bothe ATI and NVidia should be out between April-June. They are rumored to be amazingly fast compared to the current best cards. While that is exciting, so is the fact the the current mid and high end cards should then drop in price. So the basically, if you need a new card now, there are great deals and prices have never been better. $200 R9800 Pro's, $130 R9600 Pro, etc. But if you can get by just fine for now and it is future games that have you wanting an upgrade, wait until the games and new cards come out.
CPU's also. Athlon XP's are very cheap, P4 800 bus chips have come way down in price, a64 has been released and is fast. Basically as long as you aren't buying the Very best piece of hardware, but step down a notch, prices are very good.
Same thing for making a motherboard/processor decision. I am one who likes to purchase the mid range best values rather than top dollar top performance. Also, A64's are very fast, but better motherboards are on there way. So waiting now seems like a good idea. Maybe Socket 939. Video cards, PCIe, etc.

So again, good deals are out ther if you need to upgrade, but yes new hardware will soon be released if you can wait.

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
a b à CPUs
March 9, 2004 8:56:25 PM

Well, Laptops move allong at a slower clip, I'd say buy whenever it's convenient for you.

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March 10, 2004 12:00:14 AM

As far as notebooks go Dell are generally good quality/performance, however there aftersales warranty - I've read posts where they would not replace a faulty notebook even after multiple repares.
(Keep away from Dell desktop computers - difficult to upgrade and the OS is usually customised.)

Toshiba notebooks on the other hand have a excellent reputation - I had one, worked it to the max with games and never had any problems.

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March 10, 2004 2:52:18 AM

Oh my, I specifically missed the line about the expensive Dell notebook. :redface:


ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 10, 2004 3:50:25 AM

Another bump for Toshiba. Junior's 2000 Satellite has run like a top for three years. Slow by today's standards, but trustworthy!
March 10, 2004 9:14:39 AM

Wait for 939 pins CPU's and GDDR3 at least.I'm doing the same. I'm going to buy a PC sometime this autumn. All techs I'm waiting for will be on the market and newer models will appear so I'll be able to buy not the top notch, but a bit slower and much cheaper.
I'm thinking:
-Athlon 64 FX
-1 Gb CORSAIR DDR-2
-MSI or ASUS GeForceFX 5900 with GDDR3
-MSI ar ASUS Mobo
I'm undecided for the rest.
Would you recommend MSI or ASUS? Either both mobo and video Asus or both MSI.
Asus bring a bit better performance than MSI.
MSI supports quite a lot of ocing(I've heard of P4 2.4 @ 3.6 with a MSI mobo)
What should I get?
March 10, 2004 10:26:30 AM

What do you have now, what do you do with it ? If its fast enough, why even consider upgradeing ? if its not, why wait ?

>Is it a good investment to buy one now

computers are NEVER a good investment.

>How about video cards, are there slated to be anything new
>or big thats coming out very soon that would make a new
>purchase obsolete?

For laptops, almost anything you buy is already "obsolete" when it comes to videocards. unless you can find one with a radeon 9700 mobility, then it will only be obsolete in ~6 months if you're a gamer :)  If you're not into games much, you can't go terribly wrong with a Pentium-M based notebook if you like it small & light, or a A64 based notebook if you prefer horsepower over batterylife/weight.

For desktops, if you are looking for a new machine, I see little reason to wait. Sure, new things are on the horizon, but none of them promise huge performance increases with the exception perhaps of the next generation of graphic cards. Performance wise, S775 won't help much, neither will DDR2, PCI express, S939 (Athlon64) or SATA2. It is true however, if you buy a new MB today, you might have a hard time finding a highend AGP8x card a year from now, as they will most likely be PCI-E. If you are a gamer, PCI-X might be the one reason to wait, but not for its extra performance (I don't expect big changes), but to have a more futureproof board. If you're not a gamer, go ahead, and buy whatever suits you.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 10, 2004 6:04:06 PM

What rig do you have at this moment?

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March 10, 2004 9:09:36 PM

Depends on the usuage.

If you want a cheap computer for movies, mp3 and Internet then i have to say yes by all means they have never been so cheap before.

If your looking for a gaming computer and are ready to spend alot of cash then i have to say wait because of the new graphic cards and prehaps the AMD socket 939 motherboards and CPU's.

1. The best Graphic cards today cost alot of cash and you dont want to buy something thats going to be old in 3 months with (poor) performance. PCI Express wont improve your gaming performance over AGP ones but there is a big chance that the PCI Express cards will be higher clocked then the AGP ones and therefore a little bit faster but i dont think thats worth the wait if you want a new computer as fast as possible.

This is the deal-breaker wait for the new Graphic cards before you decide/buy.


2. New Athlon 64 processors and motherboards with socket 939
Performance will improve but probobly no way near the newer Graphic cards update. However since you will be waiting for the new graphic cards there is a big chance that you will be able to pickup one of these CPU's and Motherboards when its time.

3. There are other tech comming but i dont think its worth waiting for them. (example DDR2, BTX)
Want a fast Harddrive just go and buy a Western Digital Raptor 74 GB.


There is no easy answer to your question but im going with the text i wrote above.

GL.

/Nevyn
March 10, 2004 10:07:41 PM

"Would you recommend MSI or ASUS? Either both mobo and video Asus or both MSI.
Asus bring a bit better performance than MSI.
MSI supports quite a lot of ocing(I've heard of P4 2.4 @ 3.6 with a MSI mobo)
What should I get?"

Call miss Cleo,no one can make a good judgment until there're actual mobos;but I predict asus,msi,abit,gigabyte and maybe dfi will make great mobos for socket 939.I heard that socket 939 was just going to use dual channel ddr at a hyper transport rate of 1000 and that it would be intel using ddrII..am I behind the times?
March 10, 2004 10:30:58 PM

There will never, ever be a "good time" to buy a computer. As soon as all the PCI Express and SATA and all that [-peep-] is finally here, there's going to be some new technology on the horizon that will soon make it all obsolete.

Buy now, buy later, it doesn't matter. No matter when you buy it'll be worth one half of it's orignal value in six months.
March 12, 2004 1:00:05 PM

Motherboard recommendation: Personally the Athlon 64 motherboard im going to buy must have Cool and Quiet support.

At the moment i think MSI have it but im not sure if ASUS have it.


Also the old saying buying a new computer is never a good economic deal is true but you will be very sorry if you buy the latest Graphic card and then after two weeks the new generation graphic cards come along (which is faster ofcourse) at the same price you paid for your Graphic card that now have dropped over 150$. The same goes for processors. If your going to spend alot of cash buying a new high end computer for gaming my advice is to do it when new components arrive instead of buying components that will be pushed to down to mainstream in 2 weeks.

Its never a good economic deal but if your timing is bad you wont be so happy.

Another example people buying a MAC, lets say you buy a new MAC and cant return it for a refund even if you wanted. Now next morning when you visit www.apple.com it says a new model has arrived today.
(BAD purchase timing people do it all the time beacause most people dont research or have the time for the wait.)

Just my advice its by no mean the only way to go.

/Nevyn
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