Tuesday, January 06, 2009

How much for a nice SL computer, revisited

Out upon it! I have waited three whole months together...

Well, almost three months, and my apologies to Sir John Suckling. (Yes, I know I blew the scansion.) But still, it's a good time to look at the "nice SL computer" again.

It's January, and AMD has come out with the Phenom II CPUs, so older CPUs have probably gone down in price. Maybe other components have as well.

You'll recall that we wound up with a price (ignoring shipping charges) of about $514. I saved the wish list from last time... but a straight then vs. now price comparison was impossible, because they don't sell the motherboard or graphics card any more.

OTOH, the RAM is now $40 instead of $60, and let's say we bite the bullet and go with a Micro ATX case and power supply for $100 rather than the separate components that added up to $170. That gives us $90 to play with before we get back to the $514 price. Not shabby, eh?...

But wait! A Jetway JXBLUE-N78V motherboard gets a good review save for the positioning of a heatsink relative to the PCIe 1x slot, and it's $63 versus the $85 we were looking at before, so now the difference is $112.

So... we could move up to a 9800 GT graphics card, perhaps. The XFG PVT98GYDLU is $130 (ignoring a mail-in rebate) versus the $100 9600 GT we looked at before, but that leaves us $80 to decide what to do with... as it stands we're around $430 rather than $514, with better graphics.

(Reviews say it's a large card, so it might not work in a Micro ATX case. If this were a more serious exercise, we'd confirm the board length and compare with what the case can handle.)

You could go with a Phenom 8750 2.4 GHz triple-core CPU for $120... that eats most of the $80 difference ($60 of it), but the added core and added cache should do nicely--if nothing else, it will let you go do something else while you're on the grid.

Sigh. Too bad I can't justify a new computer after less than a year.

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