Building a system

I was at Fry's tonight returning a KVM I really didn't want in the first place, when I noticed how cheap RAM and hard drives have gotten. $100 for 4G of RAM (2x2G). $100 for 500G of disk (SATA, 7200RPM, 16M cache). I mean, whoah. Even a quad core Intel Q6600 CPU was only $300. DVD writers are dirt cheap ($20).

Things are so cheap, you really start to wonder about product differentiation in computers, and how long that will last.

The interesting thing for a small-scale system builder is how overpriced all the other stuff is. Cases, power supplies, CPU coolers, cables - these are the things that will kill ya. Seems to me that motherboards are a bit overpriced too - you have to spend over $100 for a good one. Frankly, I think good mobos should be in the sub $100 range.

I think the right way to buy a box these days is to get a bare bones special from Dell (or whoever), don't upgrade anything except maybe the CPU, and then pop in more RAM and disk. Pop in burners and video cards as needed. That way you don't have to buy all those over priced doo-dads that make building your own box expensive. (Plus, I like the Dell cases a lot!) This is kind of like going to a burger joint, getting the $.99 burger, and then NOT getting a $2 soda. You go home and wash down that burger with the $.12 can of Coke you got at Costco.

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