One of the great things about owning a PC is being able to update it without replacing the whole thing. Need more storage? Add a new hard drive. Graphics slowing down? Drop in a new video card. Last year I decided to replace my PC that went through several upgrade cycles with a gaming laptop. Whereas you can only really update the harddrive and RAM on an ASUS ROG laptop I felt it the upgraded cycles of my PC were complete and it was time to go with entirely new hardware. Plus a laptop is portable and the ASUS ROG is quite a speedy machine for the form factor and price. Plus if i'm being honest about the games I play on PC, I really don't play games that push the latest graphical edges and a gaming laptop that can play most games at medium settings is just fine.

But most PC gamers have a full blown gaming tower and for you, when is the right time to replace it?

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 05/06/2017 at 10:25pm

I used to build my own PCs and the time to upgrade came when I could afford to and whenever I felt the need. I stopped building my own PC when I bought this Alienware years ago. I had the money and needed a better computer. I got everything I wanted, for a hefty price, and I've loved it. Unfortunately, the GTX 690 I selected for its GPU is a dual GPU card and unfortunately not all games are able to harness the power of that setup. So, some games were only able to use half of the 690. It was Ark that made this issue apparent. I wanted to play Ark like it should be played and so I decided to upgrade the GPU to a GTX 980Ti Classified and I love it.

I think this PC is about 5 years old, I've had it for a few years at least. I still see no reason at all to replace it, it's going strong and I love it. Right now the only thing I'd like to change is the hard drive. I'd like to get an SSD, to help speed things up a bit.

That's what I love about having a "full blown gaming tower," because whenever there's a part I want to upgrade, I can do it quite easily.

Oh and I fully agree with graphic in this post, PC is the master race!

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 05/07/2017 at 04:09am

Yeah, your Alienware PC is capable of many more years if you update the video card. The SSD would be great too but would require you to reinstall Windows on the SSD as your primary and then you could use your normal HD to have your games on. All in all that would make things load WAY faster as on my laptop I have a boot drive SSD and then spinning drive for installing games and it's wicked fast to boot.

Travis   Admin wrote on 05/07/2017 at 05:18am

Honestly there's no reason to replace your PC until the CPU can't handle what you want anymore, or if you want more ram than your motherboard can handle.

That was my reasoning this last time-- the CPU couldn't cut it anymore.

But even then, if you focus on upgradeable hardware, you could even replace the mobo/cpu without replacing all the other parts and eventually get into a philosophical conundrum. If you've replaced all the parts of your PC over time, have you replaced the PC?

If you build a house, and then over the span of 20 years take a board out occasionally and replace it until there's nothing left of the original, is it the same house? What if you simultaneously use those replaced boards to build an identical house. Which house is the original?

Perhaps I should go to bed. :D

TL;DR: If you consider the motherboard to be THE PC then the only time you need to upgrade is when you need a new cpu generation that your motherboard can handle or more ram than your motherboard can handle. And something about houses.

Travis   Admin wrote on 05/07/2017 at 05:38am

Katie helpfully points out that there's already a famous thought experiment for this:

I probably read that at some point and was unknowingly channeling it in my previous comment.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 05/07/2017 at 06:10am

Jon, I thought the SSD would help games load faster, too. For me, Ark takes a few minutes to load, so I think putting it on an SSD would make it load much quicker. It doesn't take forever though. My PC runs fine, so I'm not in a hurry to upgrade, but right now an SSD upgrade is the only thing I can think of that I'd change. I have 16 gigs of RAM and that seems to be enough. I could look into upgrading my monitor, so I could get better resolutions, but again I still don't feel a strong need to do that.

Travis, interesting paradox! I wouldn't consider it a new PC unless all or most of the parts were different. Usually, I'd build one and over the course of a few years, I'd end up upgrading it. I've been through a few of them, in fact I think they're all still in my room. It's interesting to think about my PC history and how it evolved over time. But, the primary reason I buy or build tower PCs, because parts are more easily interchangeable.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 05/08/2017 at 03:46am

That is an interesting thought experiement Travis and because of it, I consider replacing the whole thing at intervals. I mean if you don't replace the case and motheboard then it's arguably the same PC but for those reasons I replace it every 5 years or so. Because at that point I have replaced many parts and I like having the old hardware around for historical reasons. For instance my last Desktop is dual booting between Linux and Windows and I use the Linux part as file storage and the Windows part if friends come over so I can play network games with them if they don't have a computer. Still a good machine but not my top notch go to PC anymore.

Travis   Admin wrote on 05/08/2017 at 03:28pm

Yeah, at the point of replacing the motherboard/cpu you might as well. Honestly at that point it isn't much more money to just upgrade it all, if you take out a beefy video card from the price. I tend to get the midrange current-gen video card so it's never the big $400 purchases.

Nicholas_Biondi wrote on 05/17/2017 at 03:18am

I always by ROG. Have my 4rth gen now

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 05/17/2017 at 11:23pm

My ASUS ROG is a great laptop. Lots of power and the price was fantastic.

My only quip about it is the size. I'd like something a bit less bulky and when I do it again I won't get a DVD drive. It opens at odd times and it's just not as nice as i'd have thought it would be to have one in a laptop anymore.

GregoPeck   Super Member wrote on 05/18/2017 at 12:16am

I actually have an ASUS motherboard to my left. I'm pretty sure it was the last motherboard I bought.

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