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Builds getting cheaper?


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#1 Onion

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:17 AM

Is it just me, or is it getting cheaper to get a good build going? I was thinking of building another desktop and I was looking at prices and it seems you get more bang for your buck than you did on the early quad core era. I shelled out somewhere around 2000 for mine back in the day. The water cooling loop drove costs way up, since it was basically required to push a quad, and now people are hitting 5 ghz on air. I'm also seeing deals for $100 quads, motherboards with free ram, ssd prices dropping, 3 tb drives for like 90 bucks...

So... Is a good system getting cheaper to build?

Edited by l33t p1mp, 29 November 2012 - 05:18 AM.

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#2 Waco

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:48 AM

Prices have been dropping consistently for decades now (even adjusted for inflation). So yeah, it's definitely cheaper to build a "fast" system today than it was even a few years ago.

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#3 ComputerEd

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 05:53 AM

I think that has been true for a few years now. I mean every year the ability of the sub $300 video card to push detail level has raised. We have seen CPU performance kind of plateau over the last couple of years with the current crop offering only a minor performance boost over the previous generation.

I mean look at the difference between the low end and high end right now. Intel side an i5 3450 compares favorably with an i7 in almost every metric, that s $140 if you have a Microcenter close. The AMD FX 4000 series is a solid choice that delivers a great gaming experience and it is near the $110 price range. The same with video cards, unless you push multi-monitor displays the HD 7850 or GTX 600 can run with the HD 7950 and GTX 670 for gaming experience at the 1080 resolution range.

Mainstream and budget DIYers are in a golden age right now.

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#4 d6bmg

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:56 AM

Mainstream and budget DIYers are in a golden age right now.


In short, this one line explains it all.
In next few years we don't know where AMD will go and now Intel will fare in the absence of competition from AMD.
And yes, those parts you have mentioned, i.e. 3TB for 90 bucks, free RAM with motherboard are just part of deal. Although technology is improving day by day and price of existing products always decreases which are eventually replaced by newer technology product.

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#5 ohldboy

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

There are speed bumps cost wise (wanting more) but a lot of changes.
Case quality and features is a big oneEfficiencycy driving down power requirements and cooling solutions looking better than ever.
Ram costs are scary low.
Still feel HDDs, at least my favorites, have a way to go down. Will preflood pricing ever return?
HDD pricing though I think, made SSDs popular before their time.
Video cards, well, it still takes $150-300.
CPUs are outright GREAT as the Tiger say.
Still challenges picking components.
All things considered, just maybe, a very good chance of parts being good.

#6 Guest_Jim_*

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:53 PM

Plus it is also possible that the power of the hardware is increasing faster than we can take advantage of it. As new hardware becomes more powerful, the older crop gets price drops, but can still keep up if you're not doing something ridiculous like a multi-monitor setup. Although, for graphics cards I could see that changing in the next two years or so because of consoles. With a new generation of those game developers will have better hardware and engine support to work with, so they may start pushing into territory that really needs the $500 GPUs. Maybe that's also part of the reason you can make do with the older hardware now, because the current generation of console are so old at this point.
Then of course there is the fact that these are businesses we're talking about. If they can find a way to make a product cheaper, they will, so there is a natural tendency for prices to drop. So long as the innovation of fabrication outpaces the innovation of capability, prices will drop because that capability can be produced for less. (So if the innovation of capability increased faster than than the innovation of fabrication then prices would rise, according to this simplistic model.)
In case what I said in the first paragraph wasn't clear due to my tired brain, I was suggesting that this 'innovation of capability' has been held back because the consoles cannot be improved, so developers are not reaching as far as they might. With new consoles, they may start reaching to where we need the expensive stuff.

Actually this whole post may not make sense because I'm tired, and not just the first paragraph. If there's a good point above, feel free to discuss it. If not, feel free to mock it. Chances are when I wake up, I'll laugh at it too.

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#7 bilcliff

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 11:01 PM

Plus it is also possible that the power of the hardware is increasing faster than we can take advantage of it. As new hardware becomes more powerful, the older crop gets price drops, but can still keep up if you're not doing something ridiculous like a multi-monitor setup. Although, for graphics cards I could see that changing in the next two years or so because of consoles. With a new generation of those game developers will have better hardware and engine support to work with, so they may start pushing into territory that really needs the $500 GPUs. Maybe that's also part of the reason you can make do with the older hardware now, because the current generation of console are so old at this point.
Then of course there is the fact that these are businesses we're talking about. If they can find a way to make a product cheaper, they will, so there is a natural tendency for prices to drop. So long as the innovation of fabrication outpaces the innovation of capability, prices will drop because that capability can be produced for less. (So if the innovation of capability increased faster than than the innovation of fabrication then prices would rise, according to this simplistic model.)
In case what I said in the first paragraph wasn't clear due to my tired brain, I was suggesting that this 'innovation of capability' has been held back because the consoles cannot be improved, so developers are not reaching as far as they might. With new consoles, they may start reaching to where we need the expensive stuff.

Actually this whole post may not make sense because I'm tired, and not just the first paragraph. If there's a good point above, feel free to discuss it. If not, feel free to mock it. Chances are when I wake up, I'll laugh at it too.

had to read it all twice but it all made sense to me. if you think about what can be done with the current consoles with some games and that's using a gpus that are 6+ years old. Now imagine if the next gen consoles get a decent dx11 chip like a 7770 or a 650TI with the benefits of optimisation we may all be buying SLI 670s & CF 7950s to keep up (slight exaggeration now but it could be possible)

and your first sentence seems to ring true with AMD their trinity (piledriver). i could be wrong, but i think if more benchmarks / software was developed for the trinity APU architecture rather than the existing we'd see different results. just like how it took a while for the performance difference between dual & quad core setups to become noticable in games etc. thesedays you wouldn't dream of making a high end gaming rig with a dual core unless it was multithreaded and heavily OC'd.

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#8 ComputerEd

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 05:12 AM

Personally I hope we do not see a new push in the software, well at least not like we used to see. For years we had everything backwards with software being used to show off technology. The truth is the technology is there to support the software. This might seem like word play but think about it. We had so many games come out that basically existed just to show off some technology boost. A good game is not dependent on the technology.

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#9 makarov

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:03 AM

Plus it is also possible that the power of the hardware is increasing faster than we can take advantage of it. As new hardware becomes more powerful, the older crop gets price drops, but can still keep up if you're not doing something ridiculous like a multi-monitor setup. Although, for graphics cards I could see that changing in the next two years or so because of consoles. With a new generation of those game developers will have better hardware and engine support to work with, so they may start pushing into territory that really needs the $500 GPUs. Maybe that's also part of the reason you can make do with the older hardware now, because the current generation of console are so old at this point.
Then of course there is the fact that these are businesses we're talking about. If they can find a way to make a product cheaper, they will, so there is a natural tendency for prices to drop. So long as the innovation of fabrication outpaces the innovation of capability, prices will drop because that capability can be produced for less. (So if the innovation of capability increased faster than than the innovation of fabrication then prices would rise, according to this simplistic model.)
In case what I said in the first paragraph wasn't clear due to my tired brain, I was suggesting that this 'innovation of capability' has been held back because the consoles cannot be improved, so developers are not reaching as far as they might. With new consoles, they may start reaching to where we need the expensive stuff.

Actually this whole post may not make sense because I'm tired, and not just the first paragraph. If there's a good point above, feel free to discuss it. If not, feel free to mock it. Chances are when I wake up, I'll laugh at it too.


That second paragraph is like a whole year 9 bussiness studies coarse in 50 words :/

#10 makarov

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 03:23 AM

Dug this quote up from maximumpc in there 2011 dream machine artical.

Winston Churchill once said, “Never in the field of computing was so much power given so cheaply.” OK, we’re making that up, but if Churchill had access to Intel’s Core i7-2600K part, such a proclamation would be inevitable.

You could in one way say this price drop was inevitable, a lot of hardware hasn't improved much over the last year to year and a half.
Ivy bridge was evolutionary rather then revolutionary. SSD's are still at maxing out at about 500mbs and hdd's are just the same as they were. Sure ram can run on super high speeds on z77 but who buys 2500mhz ram anyway. the
One exception would be the gtx 600 series which offers great proformance at a agressive price.

Edited by makarov, 01 December 2012 - 03:24 AM.


#11 AkakmanH

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Posted 01 December 2012 - 04:47 AM

This is going waaayyy back - my first IBM AT had 2 CDC 30mb drives that cost me $3000 each.
Remember when 1TB hard drives were selling for $2000 or more.
How about some of the first thumb drives? We're talking $500-$1000 for 32gb.
The first touch screen monitors were around $3500.
The first really big screen LCD TV's and monitors were upwards of $10,000.

Yes, parts to build your own are a hell of a lot cheaper today.
And, I expect prices will fall some more.
But, economics being what they are - there will be a plateau.
Just don't know what that will be.

Edited by AkakmanH, 01 December 2012 - 04:49 AM.