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Top end hardware, are they ever worth the premium price?

BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member

I have bought best bang for buck parts many times with hopes to upgrade down the road.  Two times, the tech has completely changed rendering my upgrade plans obsolete.

For instance, I have a motherboard that has ddr2 ram which, from my limited understanding, is twice as slow as ddr3.

I think, when you get right down to it, the cost of buying premium parts is the same as buying best bang for buck.  As premium parts should keep you in the game for twice as long.

What do you guys think?

Comments

  • OziiusOziius Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,388Member Uncommon

    Depends on the part. You have to know where to spend your money and where to get thrifty. For example, I never cheap out on the motherboard, but I may buy a lower end cpu, as long as I know there are better available on the roadmap before they change the arch. As far as graphic cards, I always buy mid range. That's an item that you will typically swap out one a year or so, as such, I don't like spending over about $300. Power supply, go premium. Always. You get the idea though.

  • AoriAori Carbondale, ILPosts: 1,886Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Praetalus

    Depends on the part. You have to know where to spend your money and where to get thrifty. For example, I never cheap out on the motherboard, but I may buy a lower end cpu, as long as I know there are better available on the roadmap before they change the arch. As far as graphic cards, I always buy mid range. That's an item that you will typically swap out one a year or so, as such, I don't like spending over about $300. Power supply, go premium. Always. You get the idea though.

     Exactly what this fella said.

    Though it really depends on your definition of top end premium.. also depends on what you're trying to accomplish. A $250 CPU can be just as effective as a $1000 CPU for the average user for the same amount of time.

  • Cod_EyeCod_Eye jarrowPosts: 1,016Member

    There is one deciding factor for most people on whether they want to buy the latest piece of hardware, and that is money. Whether its worth the money to buy the latest gpu or cpu doesnt come into the eqaution for those that do buy it, for pc geeks its more of a status symbol to show off to their mates.  Not saying that everyone is like that but I reckon it is for pc building geeks, hardcore hobbiests.

    When buying the latest hardware for the likes of maybe you and I, then money becomes a hurdle, we have also got to take into account will my pc be able to take advantage of the latest piece of hardware? is it going to choke my other components? (very unlikely), will my system choke the new gpu? (more than likely) What more expense will I need to outlay for a $600 gpu/Cpu?

    Me personally regardless if I could afford the latest piece of kit or not, I would buy an alternative if I need to update that particular hardware and wait till a later date to get the one thats just been released at a later date.  Hardware becomes so last year so quickly, it just doesnt make sense to fork out all that money, not to the average user anyway.

    If your talking about brand named items then yes it is worth that bit extra.  Cheap items are built with cheap components and wont last anywhere near as long as a well built branded item.  One of the most common replacements are PSU's a cheap £35 psu is really a bad investment, spend that bit extra and expect to pay double the amount at least for a better quality product.

  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member

    A gtx 680 currently sells for $600 from my favorite online retailer.  Would it be better to buy that card in the hopes that it lasts twice as long as the $300 alternative? (Let's not even get into SLI)

     

    Also, I could buy an: 









     







    Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail

    for $239 right now or an I7 is for $380.  Is $140 worth the price difference...in the long run?

  • TrionicusTrionicus Fort Lauderdale, FLPosts: 497Member Uncommon

    On my most recent build I decided to cheap out on everything. UPS had decided to destroy about 3 and 1/2 of my machines so I wanted to just throw something together.

    Went with some cheap $60 Gigabyte mini ATX board, some DD3 3 @ 1333 an i5 2400 that was on a nice rebate, a used 6770 for less than $100 and some other not too fancy parts, totalled around $450-500.

    The machine runs 720p on  max, I havent tried it on the 1080p or 1080i screens of 42+ but on the 22's it seems just fine. Actually I should mention I recycled a few parts like the PSU and 1 of my HDD's from a working machine.

    Compare this new machine to one of the "Premium" 2008 machines it replaced that had a E8400. This new PC destroys it in every category. However, the E8400 has served me well for 4 years, awesome-ish right?

    When I think of real "Premium" parts I usually think of Core 2 Extremes or cpu's similar to that price range $900+ and of course mobo's that are in the $240+ price range. Since I'm not a competing pro gamer or very rich I can't really justify spending 50% - 100% more on parts. So I just keep my eye on percentages spent comapred to "Premium" and usually the best bang for buck is half the cost of premium parts with less than a %50 difference in performance.

    Presently I think it's a radical difference compared to even 4 years ago. Now you can get a cheap machine and it will run everything you want, where as in an E4400 will suck balls vs an E8400 even back then.

    Anyway to try and answer, I think buying a cheaper more banging for your bucking machine every 2 years might be superior to buying a more expensive premium machine every 4 years.

  • jdnewelljdnewell Spring Hill, TNPosts: 2,150Member Uncommon

    I usually buy the mid range GPU's. My last one was a Sapphire 5850 ( which was a beast) I kept it for almost 2 years, just got an Asus 7870-2gb version which I will keep for at least 2 1/2 year or so.

    CPU I usually buy the previous generation- Currently have an I5 2500k, which I will keep for the next 2 1/2-3 years ( if not more )simply due to the fact that in 2+ years I can crank up the OC to get more performance out of it.

    Motherboard I go mid range - Usually around the $150 range roughly, simply due to I dont use SLI or crossfire but want some overclocking tools available.

    PSU- always get a good power supply, may go cheap on anything else but that, well worth the cost.

    RAM- So cheap its not even a factor

    HDD- I always buy a good HDD, even if its just for bulk storage. The 7200 rpm western digital I have re used in my wifes computer is goin on 6 years old now, just cant kill the thing. In my latest build I bought an SSD, and honestly will probably never go back to a platter drive as my main drive. That speed and performance spoils you for sure.

    Case- I go for a decent case, nothing over the top. Mid tower usually and less that $100 bucks.

    CPU cooler I always buy a decent one, usually spend around $50 bucks. I have a Zalman air cooler that I have reused in several older systems ( from parts unused when I upgrade ) and Its going on 5 years old and still runs like a champ.

    So to finally answer the question- To me its not worth top end hardware just for the prices. I run an I5 system, 16gb DDR3, 120g SSD, 7870-2gb, Corsair PSU,  NZXT case, Corsair H60 cpu cooler, Mid range MSI mobo, 2 x 1.5 tb WD 7200 HDD. Total cost me a bit less than $1000. I can run crysis 2 DX 11 maxxed out at 45-60 fps easy.

    unless you just have the money to blow why spend more? to run at 80+ fps? My experience is just as good at 60fps and I probably spent at least $500-$1k less than these Uber builds.

  • AoriAori Carbondale, ILPosts: 1,886Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    A gtx 680 currently sells for $600 from my favorite online retailer.  Would it be better to buy that card in the hopes that it lasts twice as long as the $300 alternative? (Let's not even get into SLI)

     For $600 no, for $500 sure if Nvidia is your thing.

    Also what're you trying to do it really depends on what you're wanting out of the card to determine how long it'll last. In the meantime you can look this over aswell.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102982 Comes with 3 free games aswell.. however if you don't like AMD and are not patient with excessive money to burn then sure get the 680.

    As for your CPU question, it again depends on what you want to do. If you're just gaming or any lesser tasks than the 3570K is more than enough.

  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member

    Originally posted by Aori

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    A gtx 680 currently sells for $600 from my favorite online retailer.  Would it be better to buy that card in the hopes that it lasts twice as long as the $300 alternative? (Let's not even get into SLI)

     For $600 no, for $500 sure if Nvidia is your thing.

    Also what're you trying to do it really depends on what you're wanting out of the card to determine how long it'll last. In the meantime you can look this over aswell.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102982 Comes with 3 free games aswell.. however if you don't like AMD and are not patient with excessive money to burn then sure get the 680.

    As for your CPU question, it again depends on what you want to do. If you're just gaming or any lesser tasks than the 3570K is more than enough.

    I guess my point is it more than enough in the long run?  Consensus seems to be that hardware is not worth the premium.

     

    PS:  I have to laugh.  I once bought the 6800 Ultra for big bucks.  Had something like 3.5 million transistors.  The gtx 680 has like 3.5 billion transistors.

  • TerrorizorTerrorizor Red Beer, ABPosts: 326Member

    high end stuff never pays for itself unless you are actually earning money from it. 

     

    Having a little foresight can go a long way. I built my last PC using a Quadcore Q6600 cpu, and a good motherboard that was going to last.  At the time, people were talking about how the quad cores like the Q6600 were not as good for gaming because of the 2.4Ghz clock speed, while there were 3ghz dual cores for slightly less. Games just didn't utilize quad cores, but I knew they would eventually.  So now, after 4 years my q6600 is still a decent performer and functions as a very capable gaming system, or a great household PC. A 3Ghz dual core is substantially weaker  by todays standards.

  • AoriAori Carbondale, ILPosts: 1,886Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    Originally posted by Aori

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    A gtx 680 currently sells for $600 from my favorite online retailer.  Would it be better to buy that card in the hopes that it lasts twice as long as the $300 alternative? (Let's not even get into SLI)

     For $600 no, for $500 sure if Nvidia is your thing.

    Also what're you trying to do it really depends on what you're wanting out of the card to determine how long it'll last. In the meantime you can look this over aswell.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102982 Comes with 3 free games aswell.. however if you don't like AMD and are not patient with excessive money to burn then sure get the 680.

    As for your CPU question, it again depends on what you want to do. If you're just gaming or any lesser tasks than the 3570K is more than enough.

    I guess my point is it more than enough in the long run?  Consensus seems to be that hardware is not worth the premium.

     It depends on what you're trying to do with it.. for the average user no it isn't worth the premium. However if you're running higher than 1920x1080 resolutions then yes it can be worth it for the GPU.

  • dronfwardronfwar Shitty, DEPosts: 316Member

    wait for the 670!

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    A lot depends on what you mean by top end hardware.  Is it worth paying over $1000 for a Core i7-3960X?  Not for gaming purposes.  You could get something just as effective for gaming purposes for $250 today, and then replace the motherboard and processor with another $250 one two years from now that will be substantially better than what $1000 gets you today.

    Or to take an even more extreme example, it this worth the money?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820227771

    For consumer use, no.  But if you have some reason why you genuinely need the sort of performance that that card can push, it might well be worth it to you.  CCP spent a fortune to move the EVE database from hard drives to SSDs, and without even knowing what they spent, EVE players can tell you it was worth it.

    You don't want to get a computer that is barely enough today, as that might mean having to replace it in six months.  You want a computer that will last you a few years.  Is it worth spending 50% more to get a computer that will last you twice as long?  Of course.  Is it worth spending 3 times as much?  No.  And no matter how much you spent today, it's still going to go obsolete eventually.

  • HurvartHurvart ystadPosts: 565Member

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    A gtx 680 currently sells for $600 from my favorite online retailer.  Would it be better to buy that card in the hopes that it lasts twice as long as the $300 alternative? (Let's not even get into SLI)

     

    Also, I could buy an: 









     







    Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail

    for $239 right now or an I7 is for $380.  Is $140 worth the price difference...in the long run?

    Personally I would buy a GTX 680 if i needed a new gfx card. It will probably be good enough for most games the next 2 years. And later you can buy one more for SLI. If you need more performance. I mean find one on ebay and buy it cheap when you start to feel one GTX 680 is not enough.

    I will probably order one myself next week. Its a very good card. Compared to the best cards previous generations this year we have something really special. Efficient and great performance!

    The I7, however, would be a waste. Get the 3570K.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    A gtx 680 currently sells for $600 from my favorite online retailer.  Would it be better to buy that card in the hopes that it lasts twice as long as the $300 alternative? (Let's not even get into SLI)

     

    Also, I could buy an: 









     







    Intel Core i5 3570K Unlocked Quad Core Processor LGA1155 3.4GHZ Ivy Bridge 6MB Retail

    for $239 right now or an I7 is for $380.  Is $140 worth the price difference...in the long run?

    For gaming purposes, a Core i5-3570K is essentially as good as a Core i7-3770K.  The only important difference between them is the price tag.  By the time hyperthreading matters in games, the 3770K will probably be old enough that it needs to be replaced, too.

    As for a GeForce GTX 680, no, not for $600.  If it were $500, then sure if it fits your budget.  But you can get maybe 90%-95% of the performance from a Radeon HD 7970 for $480 with a very nice cooler, free shipping, and three free games:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814102982

    If you overclock both cards, that narrows the performance difference between a 7970 and a GTX 680 substantially--and the 7970 also has PowerTune to make overclocking safer than it is on a GTX 680.

  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member

    So Quiz, what do you think of this build?  How long would this build be relevant? 

     









































































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    I currently have a E8400 wolfdale 3 ghrz, 4 gig ram (ddr2) with a GTX 460 se vid card.  My power supply should be good, Corsair 650w professional.

  • RidelynnRidelynn Fresno, CAPosts: 4,179Member Uncommon

    A lot of it also depends on your threshold for pain with regard to graphics options.

    A top-end (assuming a smart build) computer doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, and will perform very well. They typically will last about 5-6 years as-is with no upgrades, so long as you don't mind starting to turn down options in 3-4 years, and by the 5th-6th year your probably more or less running games on "Medium" to lower settings, before your finally forced into obsolescence by lack of driver upgrades and API updates more so than because the hardware isn't fast enough.

    So if you factor that cost in versus the price of buying Medium now, and continuing to upgrade back to Medium every time your computer stops performing (which would be every year or two) - buying top end makes a lot of sense.

    The key though, is your personal standard for graphics. If you are one of those people who absolutely has to play MAX MAX on every game, then your just going to end up spending a lot of money no matter what.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Should be fine for that part of the build.  You also need a number of other things, and I'd like to know exactly what parts you're planning on keeping to make sure it makes sense to reuse them.

    For what it's worth, PowerColor's non-reference cards tend not to be that good.  I'd sooner save some money and get this:

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=69073&vpn=900491&manufacture=VISIONTEK&promoid=1018

    VisionTek isn't that good of a board partner, either, but it's a reference card, so it will be fine.

     

  • ThorbrandThorbrand West Palm Beach, FLPosts: 1,198Member

    I just upgrade my computer and you don't need the best hardware to game. You have to research the reviews.

    I myself upgraded to i5 2500K because that is the best bang your your dollar and you need nothing better than that to game.

    I did change my HDD to SATA II.

    Also, upgraded my RAM to 16G DDR3.

    But I kept my GTX285 video card. Again because you don't need anything better. Do I want to buy the GTX690 sure but it isn't needed.

    I ran GW2 BWE on high and had none of the lag issues that other had even on better systems.

  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Should be fine for that part of the build.  You also need a number of other things, and I'd like to know exactly what parts you're planning on keeping to make sure it makes sense to reuse them.

    For what it's worth, PowerColor's non-reference cards tend not to be that good.  I'd sooner save some money and get this:

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=69073&vpn=900491&manufacture=VISIONTEK&promoid=1018

    VisionTek isn't that good of a board partner, either, but it's a reference card, so it will be fine.

     

    Well, to be quite frank, I'm not in a rush to buy as the system I have seems to run my next game of choice (GW2) fine on balanced settings.  I may want to upgrade now so that I can play on max settings, or should I wait to see what Trinity has to offer with A10?  I just bought a 1 TB 7200 rpm HD and have also been thinking of getting an 120 gig SSD.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Badaboom

    Originally posted by Quizzical

    Should be fine for that part of the build.  You also need a number of other things, and I'd like to know exactly what parts you're planning on keeping to make sure it makes sense to reuse them.

    For what it's worth, PowerColor's non-reference cards tend not to be that good.  I'd sooner save some money and get this:

    http://ncix.com/products/?sku=69073&vpn=900491&manufacture=VISIONTEK&promoid=1018

    VisionTek isn't that good of a board partner, either, but it's a reference card, so it will be fine.

     

    Well, to be quite frank, I'm not in a rush to buy as the system I have seems to run my next game of choice (GW2) fine on balanced settings.  I may want to upgrade now so that I can play on max settings, or should I wait to see what Trinity has to offer with A10?  I just bought a 1 TB 7200 rpm HD and have also been thinking of getting an 120 gig SSD.

    If you're in no hurry to replace old hardware, then you can wait if you like.  I don't think any upcoming hardware in the near future will be able to make you wish you waited, though.

    If you're going to play Guild Wars 2, then it will probably be really nice to have an SSD.  It sure was for GW1.

    It's unlikely that Trinity will be as good as Ivy Bridge on the processor side, whether in a desktop or a laptop.  Trinity desktop processors may largely be a way to get rid of dies that can't go in a laptop because they take take too much power.  Llano desktop processors sure were.  Trinity might also be a good budget alternative to Ivy Bridge, since not everyone can afford a $230 processor.  But if you're thinking about spending $500 on a video card, then you've got a big enough budget that you should get Ivy Bridge unless you're going to wait a few months for Vishera (which probably won't be better than Ivy Bridge for gaming) or a year or so for Haswell.

    Even in a laptop, the point of Trinity will be really nice integrated graphics (meaning, really nice for integrated graphics, and merely somewhat decent on an absolute scale) paired with a good enough processor.  In a laptop, I expect the choice between Trinity and Ivy Bridge to largely depend on what video card you get.  For integrated graphics only, you want Trinity (even if you're not a gamer!).  For a GeForce video card, you want Ivy Bridge.  For a Cape Verde (Radeon HD 7700M or 7800M series) card, you probably want Trinity unless it's much worse than I'm expecting.  For a Pitcairn (Radeon HD 7900M series) card, it will depend on how good Trinity is and some on personal preferences.

  • FrostWyrmFrostWyrm Tempe, AZPosts: 1,036Member

    My last upgrade was about 4 years ago. I went lower-high-end because I actually had money to throw around at the time.

    Wallet is much tighter now, so I cant afford an upgrade, but my system still runs most games perfecly fine on medium settings even 4 years later. The best of the best is definitely not worth the extra money, especially when such a small increase in performance can cost hundreds of extra dollars or pounds or whatever currency lines your piggybank.

  • BadaboomBadaboom Moose Jaw, SKPosts: 2,380Member

    Well, in my case, this conversation was premature.  The Missus has told me that the living room needs a leather sectional upgrade first.

  • Ice-QueenIce-Queen USA, GAPosts: 2,451Member Uncommon

    For me, I would never cheap out on CPU, Power Supply, Motherboard, no matter how much I am going to spend on a gaming computer.

    image

    What happens when you log off your characters????.....
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFQhfhnjYMk
    Dark Age of Camelot

  • KabaalKabaal Edinburgh, ScotlandPosts: 3,012Member Uncommon

    SSD is one luxury worth the premium price to me, it was the biggest general performance increase i've ever had on a PC. Soon they won't be so much a luxury but rather will be standard though as prices finally seem to be coming down on them.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,784Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Kabaal

    SSD is one luxury worth the premium price to me, it was the biggest general performance increase i've ever had on a PC. Soon they won't be so much a luxury but rather will be standard though as prices finally seem to be coming down on them.

    In enthusiast machines, they already are standard.  I guess there's a budget price threshold above which an SSD makes sense.  But I'm already trying to squeeze them into some sub-$1000 builds for people on this forum, and that's going to keep dropping.  Once you can get a ~240 GB SSD for $100 in 2-3 years or so, I'll probably try to convince people looking for a budget gaming rig that they don't actually need a hard drive.

    It will probably take a long, long time to filter into the sort of computers people buy at Wal-Mart, because a decade from now, if it's a 1 TB SSD or a 10 TB hard drive for the same price, it's easier to convince people who are clueless about hardware to buy the hard drive because it's 10 TB.

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