Buying PC is not really as simple as one might think. To get a good bargain of PC with affordable price as possible, some factors need to be taken into accounts. The most important factors that I always consider are prices, places to buy, PC usage and performance, the warranty period, and either to buy a new set or second hand PC.
So, lets go into each of the factor with more detail.
Price vs Distance
Money is a very important aspect in buying PC especially for a average person. Some people like to buy PC parts or completed PC at Lowyat (near Imbi Plaza, KL) since they can get the best price for PC parts there. For some people, they like to buy PC parts online whether from auction websites or forums because they can get PC parts at cheaper prices compare to retail one.
Thinking too much about money, most of them forgot to think about later issue that might arise. Lets say that the PC that was bought got into problems. Lucky because you still have the warranty card but unfortunately you still need to go to the place that you bought the PC. Maybe you saved RM50 for the PC, but you still need to pay RM50 to cover for ticket bus or gas. That isn’t included the time that you need to drive your car to go there.
For me time is money, I rather spend extra dollars by buying PC parts or laptop at local retail store so that it easier for me to handle if something goes wrong.
Weight of the components is something that you need to take into account too. Although you can get a good bargain by buying online, don’t forget to consider the extra price that you need to pay for the postage or courier cost.
New or Second Hand PC Parts
Sometimes, you may find a second hand PC parts are a lot cheaper compare to the new one. You can easily find people sell their second hand PC parts at Lelong, Mudah, Lowyat.net or other forums. You may have a hard time to think whether to grab the second hand PC parts or just buy a new one.
For me, it depends on the PC parts that you want. If the PC part is tough and can withstand a long period of time, second is okay. However, if the PC part is fragile and can easily damaged I recommend a new one.
Examples of tough PC parts are ram (memory), processor, power supply, monitor, and casing. While PC parts that tends to make us headache are printer, motherboard, graphic card and hard disk. If you buy these fragile PC parts at second hand, usually only a few month of warranty left. Some of them already out of warranty. So what can you do if the item damage after the warranty period? Just find a trash can and keep it there. Or you can take PHD in electronic engineering and repair it by yourself.
So, the key point is warranty period. I had bought a second Compaq laptop for my sis before. I managed to save RM500 by buying second hand and I don’t think second hand is an issue because the warranty for the laptop is covered for 2 years and at the time I bought it, there are still 1 year and 2 months left.
PC usage is very important factor in buying a PC. You are wasting your money if your PC usage is average but you buy a damn powerful computer that of course is pricey.
So, how to know your PC usage?
PC usage actually depends on how you work with your computer. If you like to open a few software at the same time, you like to works with high end graphic like 3D or video editing, you like to play high end game, of course you need a large memory and fast processor. However, if you just do average PC activity and only play Pokemon, a pentium 4 processor and 2GB memory is more than enough.
And make sure you take all of the people that use the PC into account. If you buy an average PC but your brother need it to do video editing or 3D, than for sure he will get mental stress. This just reminds me of how much I endure while designing T-Shirt at a Pentium 4 – 2.6GHz pc.
To check your PC activity, you can go to Task Manager and choose CPU Usage. You can see the graph of CPU Usage that show how much CPU is in use.