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Table Of Contents  How to Build Your Own PC - Save A Buck And Learn A Lot
 9  Chapter 1: Purchasing Components
      9  Be Cheap

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Save Money by Knowing Your PC Needs
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Selecting Your CPU
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Knowing When to Upgrade

As a rule, I probably wouldn’t build a new PC or upgrade an older one unless I’m getting at least a factor of three or four more in performance at a reasonable cost. So, for example, a 600 MHz system wouldn’t be changed until reasonably-priced systems could be made or purchased that ran at 1.8 GHz to 2.4 GHz or faster. A 2 GHz system wouldn’t be replaced until a reasonably-priced system could be purchased that runs at 6 GHz or higher. Remember, the longer you can put off upgrading, the more you’ll get for your money when you finally do upgrade!

I always shake my head when someone upgrades from a 1.7 GHz system to a 2 GHz system. Why do it? (The honest truth is they just love toying around with new PCs!)

The only exception is when software you want to run demands a better system. Maybe, you want to play a video-intensive shoot-em-up game, and your system just won’t cut it. Or, maybe, you decide you want to study database development and you install Oracle 9i on your computer, but find you need a faster PC. Possibly, you decide to produce music videos on your PC, and you find that the best video editing software runs much better on a faster system. But, unless the software you desire to run demands a faster, better system, you’ll probably do well to postpone an upgrade or building a new system until you can get a factor of three in better overall performance.

For editing the photos in this book, Adobe Photoshop was used on the 2000+ Athlon we built. The ultimate level of power your computer needs is determined by what you want to do


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How to Build Your Own PC (http://www.PCGuide.com/byop/) on PCGuide.com
Version 1.0 - Version Date: May 4, 2005

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