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How do you know when to buy?

  1. Jun 23, 2004 #1
    Here is a question. How do you know when to buy technology? Everything gets outdated so fast. Here are a few examples:

    My parents started building a house four years ago, and they have it wired completely with ethernet cable, and have a big security system all installed and wired in the house. Now, they could acheive the same exact effect with 802.11g wireless routers, access points, and wireless surveilence cameras; and this wireless method would have cost a very small fraction of the price.

    My parents also had a home theater installed, and now Sony has some new thing where it displays on black screens instead of white screens, supposidly giving perfect picture in bright light.

    How long should you let technology settle before buying? Another example, how long until plasma/LCD screens are under a grand for a big one?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 23, 2004 #2
    You will always pay more for the latest thing. Whatever you buy will be obsolete almost immediately; the cheaper it is the faster it will be obsolete. Get comfortable with both of those ideas, and then choose.

    You can go cheap and replace often, or go expensive and replace less often. You have about the same average technology level, but wider fluctuations with longer upgrade cycles. Recognize that technology purchases are like computers rather than appliances - you replace technology that still works rather than wait until the device breaks and can't be fixed. I think this is tougher for the older generation who may have more of a "don't toss it if it still works" mentality.

    Waiting because something new will come out and replace what you have means you never buy anything. Bite the bullet and go get what you want or can afford, depending on your attitude and income.
  4. Jun 23, 2004 #3
    Price is a very big factor in my buying habits (I'm very cheap about my technology, not by choice, but by necessity). So I usually wait until the technology has been around awhile.

    My dad is the opposite, he always gets cutting edge stuff. For instance, he just spent about $3000.00 on a monster computer system, a 3.2 P4 800 FSB HT 1 Gig DDR 400 RAM, 8x AGP 128MB video card, 160 Gig HD, DVD Burner, etc.

    I, on the other hand, spent about $300.00 (after rebates :wink:) building a 2.7 Ghz Celeron on a 400/533 FSB HT capable motherboard, with 64mb 8x AGP video, and 256 mb 266 DDR and 80 gig HD. A few years from now, I'll change the CPU to a 3.0 P4 with a 533 FSB and HT and increase the RAM and I still won't spend $3000.00 (it'll never match my dad's computer in performance, but it will also never reach 1/2 the price).
  5. Jun 24, 2004 #4
    I agree with swansont's
    For example, when I wanted to convince my parents that I needed to upgrade my 800mhz computer I bought 2 years ago they were very reluctant. They kept saying that if you buy a new one now it will just become obsolete like your current computer. I've finally convinced them and I think they now realize that they must accept the fact that the technology they buy now will eventually become obsolete (in fact, very quickly).

    Another important point is to shop around. This is pretty important in any purchase, but almost especially in technology. Technology is cheap these days so it really pays off to shop around. I recommend these websites to help you:

    Also, it is possible to get new technology for a moderate price (if you shop around). For example just today I ordered my upgraded PC from Dell (at least read the specs before you mock me for buying a Dell :wink: ). Here:

    -Dimension 8400 Pentium 4 Processor 530 with HT Technology (3.00GHz,
    800 FSB, 1MB)
    -512MB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 533MHz (2x256M)
    -128MB PCI Express x16 (DVI/VGA/TV-out) ATI Radeon X300 SE
    -40GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)
    -Integrated Gigabit Ethernet
    -48x CD-ROM Drive + FREE 48x CD-RW Drive

    I'm getting that for approx $700 bucks and, as you can see, it has stuff like DDR2 and PCI express, etc. (in my opinion Artman's dad paid way too much). In fact, that deal was on slickdeals.net today.

    Also, I'm not sure if I agree with Artman's upgrade-fest philosophy. My take on it is that if I buy a good to bleeding edge computer now it will be longer before I have to upgrade and once I have to start upgrading I will be able to continue upgrading for longer (for example, artman will never be able to upgrade his processor past 533 FSB without a new mobo). Anyway, I don't think my logic is faulty there, but it is 1:00 AM :wink: .
  6. Jun 24, 2004 #5
    I agree with most of what you said. The funny thing is that my dad bought a Dell also. I tried to tell him that I could find him a better deal on the same stuff (slickdeals.com is great). He had my stepmom's nephew order it for him (he's an IT technician) He did get a lot of software and a new monitor which can add a lot to the cost, but it still sounded high to me.

    As for my own selections, I got the Mobo, CPU, RAM, Fan, and video card for $149.00 (decent stuff too, not junk) the other 150 was for Win xp and a new HD. I figure at that rate I can buy a new Mobo when the cost of the CPU that can take advantage of it comes down. Like I said, I'm cheap where tech equip is concerned, and this way I get to modify my computer more frequently (something I enjoy doing).

    I had found some Dell deals that almost made me buy one (like I said, slickdeals.com is great). It would have been almost as inexpensive (about $500.00) and faster with a 800 FSB 2.8 P-4HT , but I really wanted to build my own.
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