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My Rules For Tech Purchases: Computer Edition

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Have you looked at how much you’ve spent on your current computer? What about your previous computer? I’m willing to bet that everyone who has ever assembled their own computer felt the tinge of regret at least once or twice.

I hate that feeling of overpaying for something that will be replaced by a faster model at the same price point or worse: replaced by a faster & cheaper model.

Computer components have settled down to a predictable pricing structure over the past several years. You can still buy the $2000 computer, but that’s not the norm anymore. Nowadays, you can get a fairly kick ass gaming rig for much less. But even with a budget between $1000 and $1500, people can still overpay for what they get.

In order to avoid getting that feeling of remorse, I’ve come up with a set of rules for each of the major components.

 Limit
Processor$200
Motherboard$150
Memory$100
Storage$100
Video Card$200
Power Supply$100
Case$150

No matter what happens, I feel that by purchasing computer components with these guidelines, I won’t be feeling the sting of regret in two or five year’s time.

The one example, I like to bring up is with storage. When I purchased my 1TB Western Digital hard drive, 2TB drives were between $130 and $150. I bought my 1TB for $80. Now, I can purchase a 2TB drive for $80.

Paying an extra $50 doesn’t sound so bad, but when you look at solid state drives, that’s a different story. In three year’s time, when 256GB SSD drives are $100, I wouldn’t feel so bad spending $100 for 60GB. However, in three year’s time I’d feel pretty stupid paying $230 for a 120GB. If 60GB isn’t enough, I would be better off waiting for prices to come down to meet my requirements.

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