Long lived systems and value for money

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Mr Incredible, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
    Distinguished Member

    Dec 2, 2003
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    The Fylde Coast
    With the ability to upgrade a PC, the useful life of a PC can be extended significantly to get the best VFM in your investment. Much depends on the spec of the PC in the first place and whether it is amenable to upgrades.

    I thought I'd share with you the changes in my Dell PC which has enabled me to use it regularly and for the most part, successfully.

    Dell XPS R450
    Purchased October 1998
    Price £1800
    PII 450 Mhz Slot 1 CPU
    256Mb memory
    Windows 98
    Nvidia first generation AGP card, TNT
    2 x USB 1.0
    16Gb Hard Drive
    1 x DVD reader
    1 x Seagate Travan 20Gb Tape drive
    Diva Pro ISDN Card
    Turtle Beach Montego sound card
    LAN Card
    1 spare PCI
    1 spare ISA
    350W power supply
    19" Dell CRT

    Powerleap 1.3GHz Tualatin CPU slot 1 adapter upgrade £130
    Bios upgrade to allow 768 MB memory (3 x 256MB) £56
    AGP x4 GeForce Ti 4200 (runs Q2 1024x 768 with all effects at 170FPS) £90

    Removed tape drive
    Removed Soundcard
    Removed ISDN card
    Removed Hard Drive
    Removed DVD player

    PCI IDE RAid card £15
    2 x 76Gb in Raid0 £40
    1 x 160Gb SATA (operating in IDE with adapter) £65
    1 x 80Gb £45
    1 x 40Gb (from Sky+ upgrade!)
    (yes 5 HD's in my original case!)
    1 x CD/DVD writer £25
    1 x PCI USB 2 Card £10
    1 x External USB2 Toshiba sound and multimedia center £35
    1x ISA modem £10
    1 x TV analogue tuner. £5
    1 x HP LCD (dual monitor with original Dell 19") £90

    All PCI and ISA used.

    Installed and Removed:
    PCI SATA (not compatible with 2.1 PCI mobo but worked under OS!) £15
    PCI IDE controller (to utilise ATA66 drive, Mobo only 33ATA!) £20
    Win 2K

    Granted, my rig won't run most of the latest games, but it can run Need For Speed Most Wanted at more than an acceptable rate. As Q2 online gaming is something i had done a lot of, 176FPS was more than adequate. Although I don't game a lot, I may do if my PC was up to it!

    Office apps run fine, but I am finding that the likes of Firefox and using over 100Mb of memory on occasions can slow me down a little. Even with 5 HDD and the system set up to optimise the swap file location(s), the system is slow to open some of the more recent software I've *cough* tried.

    Be that as it may, for 9 years of sterling use, and with the original case now being maxed out in terms of slot and bay usage, I reckon the Dell has proved to be good value over the years. It may have been £1800 at the time but it was THE top model then with things like Diva Pro ISDN card.

    So if I look at the per year cost over 9 years, I reckon the Dell has cost me about £270 per year.

    For those of you who like to stay ahead of the game and upgrade more frequently, how much does your PC cost on average per year over its life?
  2. Vandiesel

    Active Member

    Jun 6, 2006
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    I tend to buy parts that I can carry over, and feed the other parts down the line to my media/crunchers pc's. I upgrade when I feel it is worth it, bang for buck, or when I just cant hold out anymore on new hardware.

    Carried over

    Akasa Eclispe

    NEC 3540
    Philips DVDR1660P1 @ BenQ 1650-Lite-On
    Seagate 7200.10 320GB
    Thermalright HR-05-SLI
    Creative Audigy 2 ZS
    Tuniq Tower HSF
    Corsair hx620(although this had just replaced my trusty antec neo 480w)
    Carried graphics over x1800xt-7900gt until I went for 8800gts

    Going from 146 opteron/x2 toledo to e4300 4 months ago, when the ram prices had fallen, which was holding me back, meant only cpu£62 mobo £62, had to love google check out at the time as well.

    My epox/x2 toledo went into my media pc, and next upgrade will mean either cpu or motherboard/cpu, the above will carry over for the next few builds

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