Purchasing PC parts is for the most part a straightforward process. However, there are a few manufacturer pricing tricks and retailer pricing schemes that effect the price of PC components. In today’s post, we will review some essential tips for buying PC computer parts, which may help you save a few dollars and also help you to learn more about computers.
1. Purchasing Hard Drives
Purchasing hard drives is a rather straightforward process, but different manufacturers, different pricing schemes and other miscellaneous hard drive specs can make for a somewhat confusing market. Sometimes it’s a better deal to purchase an external hard drive, even if you’re needing an internal hard drive. The different pricing schemes can sometimes make the external hard drive the better deal.
Using the above screenshots from the popular website Buy.com as an example, if you were looking to purchase a 1.5TB internal hard drive for your desktop PC, you should definitely purchase the Western Digital Elements External Hard Drive rather than the Western Digital Caviar Green Hard Drive. This would not only save you a bit over $10.00 USD on the spot, but you will also be getting the exact same drive, no matter which item you decide to purchase. Should you purchase the Elements drive, you can simply remove the case and use the Caviar Green Drive that’s inside for your desktop PC.
2. Purchasing Solid State Drives (SSD)
In the solid state drive market, there is a big difference between a quality SSD and a poor SSD; at least, that’s what the consumer ratings tell you. However, you should also consider that SSD manufacturers often times use the same drives and just rebrand them for their companies.
Using the above screenshots as an example, the Micron RealSSD C400 256GB SSD and the Crucial M4 256GB SSD are actually the same drive. The casing might be a slightly different color and the manufacturer’s sticker on the drives are obviously different, but as far as technology and components, these two drives are very similar. However, because Crucial is a more known brand, their drives sell for more.
3. RAM Memory
RAM memory is one of the easier PC components to understand. A basic RAM module consists of a basic circuit board with flash memory chips attached to it. RAM chips can have different specs, features and speeds which can make for very random prices. In addition, the availability of components affects the price. Sometimes RAM for older machines can cost way more than newer RAM.
However, no matter what manufacturer or brand of RAM, no matter what speed the RAM is set to, etc… the process of actually manufacturing RAM memory is similar. See this YouTube video on how RAM is made.
When purchasing RAM memory, you will have a variety of manufacturers to choose from, all with different features and prices.
Here we have two different options for RAM memory, both sold by the same manufacturer. The Enhanced Blackline RAM (priced at $39.99) and the Enhanced Redline RAM (priced at $84.99) are both the same RAM types, DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800). Thus, they will work with the same PCs and same motherboards.
However, the Redline brand is priced at more than double the price of the Blackline RAM due to the timing and CAS latency. This does make the Redline brand only slightly faster and more optimized for speed than the Blackline brand. However, this speed is so minimal and unnoticeable that I wouldn’t encourage anyone to spend nearly $100 on RAM.
Another common price booster for RAM is heat spreaders.
RAM with heat spreaders:
RAM without heat spreaders:
Heat spreaders work by acting as a conductor, helping to dissipate heat from the RAM’s flash chips over the heat spreader. However, RAM with heat spreaders come at a slightly higher price. In the above screenshot, we have the same DDR, same GB, same timing, same CAS latency and even same manufacturer. These might even be the exact same RAM modules, with the more expensive version having heat spreaders.
While heat spreaders do help to dissipate heat, they are not a necessity. The higher priced RAM, in this case, will not perform any better than the lower priced RAM. It may help the RAM last longer, but it’s hard to say.
4. Processors (CPUs)
CPU processors are for the most part legit. You normally get what you pay for. However, you should note that when purchasing a CPU, you are paying a lot of additional money for a little bit of extra speed.
The above two Intel Core-i7 CPUs both utilize very similar technology. They’re both 3.9GHz Turbo, both the same chipset, both the same wattage, both quad core, both have Intel HD Graphics 4000. However, the i7-3770K, priced $30.00 USD higher, has a 0.1GHz higher clock speed. A 0.1GHz clock speed difference will not be noticeable in actual usage, unless you are running multiple, high resource programs, where it may be only slightly faster. When you’re spending that much money on a processor, it’s only $30.00. However, you could very likely overclock the cheaper CPU to be just as fast as the higher priced CPU, very easily using some BIOS settings.
Each example demonstrated how you can save a bit of money for that particular computer part. Now, let’s say that we were doing a PC build and were considering purchasing all of the components listed in this article for our build. By purchasing the better deal for each component, we would save around $118.50 USD total.
Those are just a few tips and notes regarding purchasing PC components and getting the better deal, without using coupons! Thank you for stopping by the site for today’s post.