UberPC - An investigation into PC Component Prices

Discussion in 'Technology' started by Lenny, Apr 19, 2008.

  1.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    A Tech forum, a tech forum, my colander for a tech forum!

    Yes, anyway... quite a snappy title, don'tcha think?

    Basically, this is as the title suggests - an investigation into how the prices of computer components fall over time. My hypothesis is that after six months, the price of a [new] component more or less halves. And to test it, I've put together a PC... well, two PCs. One is the UberPC in the title (a computer that is stupidly expensive and up-to-date), and a RealisticUberPC, which I hope to build in September with all my lovely monies from my Summer job.

    Right, specs (with screenshots of the shopping basket to show the prices - the difference in prices are always from the original price)!

    UberPC

    Mobo: Asus Striker II Extreme NF790i
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9770 3.2ghz (Yorkfield, 45nm)
    RAM: 8gb Corsair TwinX XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600mhz)
    Graphics Card: 2x 1gb Asus 9800GX2
    HDD: 4x Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB
    PSU: 1500W Xigmatex

    Monitor: HyundaiIT W241D 24" Widescreen
    Drives: 2x LG Blu-ray Combo

    Case: Coolermaster Stacker 830 Evolution 'nVidia' Special Edition

    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

    UberPC - 02/04/08 = £5,023.82
    UberPC - 11/04/08 = £5,033.17 +£9.35
    UberPC - 19/04/08 = £4,928.69 -£95.13

    RealisticUberPC

    It's much the same, except more... realistic.

    Mobo: Asus Striker II Extreme NF790i
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Extreme QX9770 3.2ghz (Yorkfield, 45nm)
    RAM: 8gb Corsair TwinX XMS3 DDR3 PC3-12800 (1600mhz)
    Graphics Card: 1gb Asus 9800GX2
    HDD: Hitachi Ultrastar 1TB, 3x Seagate Barracuda 160gb
    PSU: 1500W Xigmatex

    Monitor: HyundaiIT W241D 24" Widescreen
    Drives: 2x Asus DVD thing

    Case: Coolermaster Stacker 830 Evolution 'nVidia' Special Edition

    OS: Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit

    RealisticUberPC - 11/04/08 = £3,602.55
    RealisticUberPC - 19/04/08 = £3,546.78 -£55.77

    ---

    The investigation started on the 2nd April for the UberPC, and the 11th for the RealisticUberPC, and from today will be a weekly thing.

    Before it gets truly underway, and I get quite a way in, anyone got any suggestions/comments on the build, and what could be better?
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2008
  2.  
    Happy Joe

    Happy Joe New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    A couple of questions;

    What would be the PCs intended purpose? Gaming, benchies, overclocking, extreme over clocking, induction of drool on keyboards etc.

    What cooling? Air, water, tec, LN2, phase change...

    In terms of price decline I believe that your 6 months seems about right for an aproximate 30% price decrease (ignoring VAT) (more would be possible if all parts were brand new releases).

    Enjoy!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2008
  3.  
    The Ace

    The Ace Aye fur Alba

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2006
    Messages:
    4,156
    Why 8Gb of memory when windows can only find 3 ?

    Why 2 Graphics cards ?
  4.  
    Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,413
    64bit can do more than 32 Ace - though all the way to 8GB I don't know.....
    As for 2 graphics cards -- well when one is simply not enough ;)
    and I hate you lenny - I really hate you now! I WANT THAT COMPUTER!
  5.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    Well, partly for the bragging rights (come on, why else does one buy really expensive technology? :rolleyes: :p), partly for a machine that doesn't look at me with a bemused expression when I open my eightieth video whilst the other 79 still play in the background, and mostly because I'm really into graphics and 3D Modelling, which need a lot of power. I've already worked out the limit of this thing (2.6ghz Dual Core, 3gb RAM, 880GTS 640mb GPU), and I want to be able to do a lot more.

    OK, maybe a gross overexaggeration with the videos, but you get the point.I'l be able to chug along quite happily for years with 8gb of RAM and a 3.2ghz Quad core. Which is another reason for everything - after that build, I won't be building a new one until I'm out of Uni and have a job, which could end up being four, five, six years from now. I'll need something that will last at least three years.

    Still thinking. I'd like to give Water Cooling a try, but I think I'll stick with fans - the case, for example, quite literally has a wall of fans on one side. Something like 4 slots for 120mm fans, and 3 for 80mm fans.

    ---

    As OR says, 64-bit Windows (XP and Vista at least) can take a lot more. I think the limit of 64-bit Vista Ultimate is 128gb (yes, 128 gigabytes of RAM). The motherboard only takes 8gb (I'd kill for a board that takes 32gb :p), but it is DDR3 1666mhz RAM, which makes up for it.

    Two graphics cards = more power for graphics, meaning the RAM and processor need to do less in that department and instead concentrate on their mathsy things.

    And you know what I've just realised? I can actually wave goodbye to two cards in SLi, because the mobo can actually take three in SLi!! Oh gods, if the price of things drops enough...

    ---

    Get yourself a Summer job or something, OR, and I'll race you in building it! :p
  6.  
    Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,413
    hehe it would be a usless race this year - my money is heading for lenses this time around - I only upgraded last year (for considerably less than that machine) and my computer does enough for me now - the only thing that will make me upgrade is if starcraft 2 suddenly needs crisis like specs ;)
  7.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    Lenses! :):):)

    Lenny, if you build it (I will come? No, Manchester's too far) I will be in awe. I could never hope to afford anything like that.

    And... and... 8GB RAM? :eek: *faints*

    Blimey.

    That's all I have to say. Blimey.
  8.  
    Commonmind

    Commonmind Registered Lurker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,303
    I think the kitty says it all...
  9.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    Hello, CM. Long time no see. :)

    I hope your story's going well.
  10.  
    Commonmind

    Commonmind Registered Lurker

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2006
    Messages:
    1,303
    It is, thanks for asking. I hit a little speed bump while giving up smoking, but eventually I reprogrammed myself not to associate reading and writing with lighting up. My lungs have thanked me :)

    (and yours?)
  11.  
    Happy Joe

    Happy Joe New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2007
    Messages:
    504
  12.  
    Leisha

    Leisha Tennis-ball Robin

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    3,211
    My lungs are fine, thanks for asking. :p

    As for my novel :)D), it's slowed a lot since posting here.... so I've decided I need a break. I'm now posting less, however much I hate it, so I can finally get some good editing done. I hired someone to assess my manuscript and he said some really good things about it. So I know I'm doing something right! :)

    And I'm glad to hear you've stopped smoking. Your mind will no doubt be clearer, too. :D
  13.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    Right, a week later, and how have the prices changed? Quite a lot, actually.

    UberPC

    Original Price - £5,023.82
    26/04 - £4,660.20 -£363.62

    [​IMG]

    From last week:

    Motherboard - down £15.87
    CPU - down £31.72
    RAM - down £23.50 (2 x £11.75)
    HDD - down £115.15 (4 x £28.79)
    BR Drives - down £82.25 (2 x £41.13)

    Total for the week = down £268.49

    RealisticUberPC

    Original Price - £3,602.55
    26/04 - £3,446.91 [size=1[I]]-£155.64[/I][/size]

    [​IMG]

    From last week:

    Motherboard - down £15.87
    CPU - down £31.72
    RAM - down £23.50 (2 x £11.75)
    HDD - down £28.79

    Total for the week = down £99.88
  14.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    Another week has passed, and the prices have dropped once more, but nowhere near as spectacularly:

    UberPC

    Original Price - £5,023.82
    03/05 - £4,574.83 -£448.99

    [​IMG]

    From last week:

    RAM - down £61.40 (2 x £30.70)
    1TB HDD - down £5.17 (4 x £1.29)
    BR Drives - down £18.80 (2 x £9.40)

    Total for the week = down £85.37

    RealisticUberPC

    Original Price - £3,602.55
    26/04 - £3,384.21 -£218.34

    [​IMG]

    From last week:

    RAM - down £61.40 (2 x £30.70)
    1TB HDD - down £1.29

    Total for the week = down £62.70

    -----

    So, a month has passed for the UberPC, and it's gone down £448.99 in total.

    In six months, I expect the price to drop by a half, which will be around £2511.91, which per month is £418.65 (£2511.91 / 6). A drop of £448.99 is greater than my predicted monthly drop, but not by enough to make my need to change my hypothesis. Which leads me to say that, one month in, my hypothesis of a halving in price of [new] components every six months is TRUE.

    The month point for RealisticUberPC is coming up next week, so I'll do the same for that thee.
  15.  
    Armadillo-002

    Armadillo-002 Gaia's Rave

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Messages:
    106
    It has always been like that lenny, ICT is THE fastest thing, keeping up with it just gave my a headache after a while, though the spec for some these machines are something else, then again another bunch of spec will probably out do these in the next couple of months. For eg the DVD Drive was released way back in 1997, expensive piece of equipment at the time, fastfoward to 2004 it became cheaper, established it self in 2005 and now is almost obsolete because of blu-ray technology (see where am going with this). The single CPU speed last time I saw it stopped at 3.8GHz, now it has gone on to the duel/triple/quad processor and is about 2.1GHz so it kind of taken a step back, but at the same time has gone foward, as for RAM/Memory that will still climb upwards. Graphics will always demand more speed and memory.
  16.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    I meant to post the latest prices yesterday, but I forgot. Anyway, here they are.

    ---

    UberPC

    Original Price - £5,023.82

    10/05 - £4,517.28 -£506.54

    [​IMG]

    From last week:

    RAM - down £32.88 (2x £16.44)
    1TB HDD - down £42.30 (4 x £10.58)
    Case - up £17.63

    Total for the week = down £57.55

    RealisticUberPC

    Original Price - £3,602.55
    10/05 - £3,384.21 -£218.34

    [​IMG]

    From last week:

    RAM - down £32.88 (2x £16.44)
    1TB HDD - down £10.58
    DVD Drives - down £0.80 (2x £0.40)
    Case - up £17.63

    Total for the week = down £26.63

    ---

    I think the shock this week is that the case has gone up in price by nearly £20.

    ---

    I did it with the UberPC last week, and I shall do it with the RealisticUberPC this week, as it's been a month since I worked out the build.

    The original price was £3,602.55. Now, seeing as there are some components which aren't new, I'm going to take those out (160gb HDD, DVD Drives), to give me a price of £3,532.44. Over six months, this price should halve (£1,766.22), with a monthly drop of £294.37.

    And has it?

    Nope.

    It's dropped a total of £243.57 (note - this is without the 160gb HDD and the DVD drives) - £50 pounds off the predicted drop. Although close, the Realistic PC is not meeting the hypothesis that the price of new components halves every six months.
  17.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    A week later, and it's a disaster!! Prices have gone up, rather than down. Personally I blame Alistair Darling, the incompetent fool he is. But, alas, that's the way things go.

    I'll just post links to the pictures today.

    ---

    UberPC

    Original Price - £5,023.82
    17/05 - £4,530.91 -£492.91

    UberPC - 17/05/08

    From last week:

    CPU - up £11.75
    1TB HDD - up £6.58 (4x £1.65)
    Blu-ray Drives - down £4.70 (2x £2.35)

    Total for the week = up £13.63

    RealisticUberPC

    Original Price - £3,602.55
    17/05 - £3,370.98 -£231.57

    RealisticUberPC - 17/05/08

    From last week:

    CPU - up £11.75
    1TB HDD - up £1.65

    Total for the week = up £13.40

    ---

    I wonder if it is down to Mr. Darling, our dearly beloved Chancellor? Fuel prices are still going up, which could have an adverse effect on the price of Computer components from Scan, because they've got to be driven out to the Scan warehouse? The shipping companies would charge more, and thus Scan will.

    EDIT: Gah! Looking back at previous posts, I've made a number of mistakes - most of them are bouts of forgetting to update figures, and instead using the previous weeks. Ooops.
  18.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    Terrible, terrible, terrible. Prices have continued to go up (even the carriage... which is no surprise, really), although the overall price of both has dropped slightly. I wonder if one is able to sue the Chancellor?

    In fact, I'm going to add a Carriage column to both my spreadsheet and this, to show the difference.

    ---

    UberPC

    Original Price - £5,023.82
    24/05 - £4,527.22 -£496.60

    UberPC - 24/05/08

    From last week:

    Motherboard - up £5.88
    Graphics Card - up £4.46 (2x £2.23)
    CPU - down £7.05
    1TB HDD - down £8.46 (4x £2.12)

    Total for the week = down £5.17

    Carriage = up £1.26 (from £17.55 to £18.81)

    RealisticUberPC

    Original Price - £3,602.55
    17/05 - £3,370.13 -£232.42

    RealisticUberPC - 24/05/08


    From last week:

    Motherboard - up £5.88
    Graphics Card - up £2.23
    CPU - down £7.05
    1TB HDD - down £2.12
    160gb HDD - down £0.94

    Total for the week = down £1.06

    Carriage = up £0.98 (from £13.73 to £14.71)

    ---

    Not looking good, is it?

    I swear that something else is going on with my figures, too - they just don't seem to add up properly on my spreadsheet. Meh, I'll get it sorted for next week.
  19.  
    Overread

    Overread Direwolf of the chrons

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,413
    its the maths revision (or whatever sciency mathy subject you are doing)
    its killing your mind!
  20.  
    Lenny

    Lenny Edit Ninja In Training

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Messages:
    3,741
    Ah, but I'm not the one working out the figures - it's MS Excel.

    Then again, I suppose it is a Microsoft product, so... :rolleyes:

Share This Page