Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Maximum PC's 2008 Dream Machine- 5 months later

Maximum Pc 2008 Dream Machine

I was taking a look at some of Maximum Pc's yearly Dream Machine builds, and got to thinking; if someone actually bought one of these, would they be happy half a year later? Would someone be able to build a computer that outperforms it for far cheaper in only 6 months?

I started looking up the prices for all of the 2008 Dream Machine components. How much of a premium will you pay if you bought all new technologies vs. waiting a few months and using mainstream parts?

The total build price for Dream Machine when it was conceived was $17,285, or $11,285 if you discount the silly things like nickel plating and an extravagant case. I just focused on the main components of the system. In order for someone to obtain the 2008 Dream Machine today, they would pay about $2,000 less than 5 months ago, about $8,918- 27% more expensive.

Here is the breakdown on the parts cost today vs 2008.

2008 Dream Machine Costs in today's market

The most amazing price drops here are the hard drives. Storage is really becoming dirt cheap. Maximum PC paid over triple today's cost for their terabyte hard drives in August of 2008 than they cost today.

But is any of this even relevant? Would these parts be a smart buy today just because they are cheaper? The answer in short is a resounding NO. Purchasing the Dream Machine months, or even weeks after the article was written would leave you with expensive parts that could be bested by cheaper mainstream parts.

For example, at only $499, a single GTX 295 from Nvidia would give you better video performance than the 5 month old double 4870x2 Crossfire configuration that is $1,000 today.

In conclusion, Maximum PC's Dream Machine's is probably not your Dream Machine. My Dream Machine is not a gimmick computer like what Maximum PC puts together, where they try to waste as much money as possible just to eke out a few points on the benchmarks. If you are looking for a price:performance ratio that gives you a nice beefy rig at a decent price, then use the immense amount of money you will be saving by purchasing mainstream parts to upgrade a few months down the road.

1 comment:

Mike Howard said...

Great article I agree with you completely on your price/performance ratio. I built a computer this summer that cost $800 and it is already feeling out of date.