Is it a good time to buy or upgrade a pc?

A talk about current market trends, choice, and the feasibility of building, upgrading or buying a prebuilt computer.

Episode #8-26 released on February 18, 2018

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Building a computer was an easy process for a long time. For a while, Intel was the best choice for up to date hardware when it came to processors and mainboards. Even graphics cards were mostly the domain of Nvidia, but in the last couple of years that has been completely turned on its head, and now we again have a race between Intel and AMD, and of course, Nvidia and AMD. This makes things a little dicey and interesting when it comes to parts selection. However, part selection is not the only issue that can affect whether, or not, you should build a PC.

The prices of each individual part can greatly determine the kinds of builds people can expect to make with limited budgets. Obviously if you are exceptionally rich, this does not apply to you, but most people build computers based on a budget. And, that budget will be the determining factor of which route a person goes to acquiring a new computer.

Which leads us to an important set of points, part shortages. The crypto mining craze has meant that various parts, especially graphics cards, have not only been hard to come by, but also far more expensive than the MRSP due to demand and lack of inventory. It might be interesting to note, that while parts for custom builds, and upgrades may be hard to get, system builders are first in the food chain when it comes to parts delivered by manufactures. It may currently be easier and less expensive to get yourself a prebuilt system, than a custom build.

Now the question is, can a person make a gaming computer for a normal budget, yes or no? Let's presume the budget is approximately $1500 USD before tax. And, for the sake of cost savings, how about we presume you are willing to go back a generation, keep your current mouse, keyboard and computer monitor. Can we build a gaming computer for that price?

The answer according to builds I did just for you all on PC Part Picker, links in the show notes, is yes. Yes, you can.

With a total current price of $1396.94 for an Intel / Nvidia specification build, with mail-in rebates included, and shipping. The computer has an Intel core i5-7600k, 16GB of RAM, a Nvidia GTX 1060 with 6GB of VRAM, 500-watt power supply, 128gb SSD, and 1 TB of Hard drive space.

With a total current price of $1303.69 for a pure AMD build, with mail-in rebates included, and shipping. The computer has a AMD Ryzen 5, 16gb of ram, a RX 580 8GB graphics card, and 600-watt power supply due to the AMD system needing more power over the Intel machine.

Just to point a detail out, the same builds would have been a lot less expensive before the crypto mining craze and may get more expensive if crypto miners don't have a better cost-effective solution other than graphics cards. The again, only time will tell, and maybe the cryptocurrency bubble will simply pop.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Dot Net

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