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Other What's the best value piece of hardware?(survey)

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by sonicgroove, 25 Oct 2023.

  1. sonicgroove

    sonicgroove Radical Atheist

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    What, in your opinion, is the absolute best value piece of hardware currently available to buy?

    I ask this because I was thinking about a CPU upgrade but I don't really need to yet, even though it's coming up to an incredible 13 years old!! (i7 2600k @ 4.7Ghz)

    Have any of you ever bought anything that's been => value, either to you personally or to the greater populace?
     
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  2. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    I think the biggest smack me in the face moment was switching from HDD to SSD.

    Beyond that I can't think of much currently available that's had the same impact.
     
  3. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

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    +1

    I mean, it was almost fifteen years ago, but I have NEVER seen more impact from an upgrade before or since.

    For what it's worth, that CPU is definitely holding back just about any modern GPU you pair it with.
     
  4. sonicgroove

    sonicgroove Radical Atheist

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    It handles both games that I play daily.... CM01/02 and Dune 2 :D
     
  5. Omnislip

    Omnislip Minimodder

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    After the SSD I would say the AW3423DW OLED screen that I bought a year or two ago. It's very expensive but between a great AMEX offer, quidco, and the odd Dell sale you can get it down to 600 or 700.

    There's no point in having a kick-ass rig if you don't have kick-ass AV equipment to get the most out of it. OLED is a game-changer for me and increasingly proper built-in HDR comes as standard with games (probably driven by consoles).

    It does help that 90% of the screen use is for gaming so a lot of the burn-in and lifespan concerns that people have don't really bother me.
     
  6. Byron C

    Byron C Multimodder

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    Honestly I think I'm going to have to go with the SSD in the number 1 spot as well.

    You're always going to get faster CPUs, faster GPUs, cheaper/more capacious RAM, etc... But I can't remember any other "seismic shift" that was quite as big as moving to an SSD.

    Second-place for me is probably monitors with a refresh rate over 60Hz being common. Although I remember the days of CRTs where refresh rates of 75Hz or 85Hz weren't uncommon; the more surprising thing for me at this point is the length of time it's taken us to get back to a point where some of the benefits of CRTs - vibrancy, brightness, higher refresh rates, etc - are starting to become "normal" again.
     
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  7. sonicgroove

    sonicgroove Radical Atheist

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    I agree that SSDs in general were a massive leap forward but I really meant longevity...an SSD from 13 years ago wouldn't be much use today, unless you bought a 500gb one and barely used it over that time, even then, it would have cost the price of a house of you could have got one. The CPU has maintained its usefulness throughout the whole time and still doesn't need changing for 90% of the population, which is remarkable when even peripherals would have been changed several times in that time.
     
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  8. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Not sure about that, every few years my mum wants me to find her a new laptop because her cpu can't handle it anymore.

    Edit: My 2009 M225 64Gb SSD still works and was about £100 at the time. It would still function as a boot drive tbh.
     
    Last edited: 28 Oct 2023
  9. Yaka

    Yaka Multimodder

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    keyboard , long as you avoid all the bling/gimicky ones and wise in your choice one will last you for many years
     
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  10. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    I mean true but I'm still trying to look for one that doesn't sound clacky or feel like I'm mushing peas so they have a finite period of use with me :happy:
     
  11. VictorianBloke

    VictorianBloke Man in a box

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    It depends how you frame value.

    As transformative on the whole experience, nothing beats that first jump to SSD.

    Lasting through upgrade cycles, motherboard. Every board I've owned has lasted through multiple incremental upgrades of every other component.

    For actual hours of usage, my monitors as they're also used for work.
     
  12. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    CPUs are the best value. Mostly because there is very active competition, and Intel have been slashing the prices on their older stock. I bought one 11400F first for £130. Amazing CPU for gaming. I then bought another for around £120 or so a few months later, and most recently a used 11700K for £130.

    Old stock Intel boards are also dirt cheap. Just over £100 for a Z590 Vision D ITX, £199 for a Z590 Tachyon (RRP over £600) and so on.

    If we are talking about the past? yes, SSD and before that cable broadband. I think the broadband was still the bigger wow for me, because yeah Windows booted so much faster on a SSD but I always ran RAID so once I was in Windows it wasn't bad. But broadband over dialup? sheesh.
     
  13. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

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    For me, it's power supplies - really solid ones with good fans, like BeQuiet Darkpower and the EVGA <any variant>. The EVGA White stood out as a PSU you could get for about £35 on sales and it'd power just about anything and last...well, at least a decade, we don't know yet for sure, but based on the weight of them, the test results and the overall reliability of modern PSUs, I wouldn't be surprised if most of them are still perfectly usable and relevant in 2030.

    For me the longest enduring component is my EVGA 1070, this is more down to the gaming complexity plateau than the card being exceptional. It was just the first affordable card over a certain threshold, and that threshold turned out to be pretty much where the whole industry decided to go "yeah, that'll do". All modern game development aimed for the 1660 Ti as a kind of low settings 1080p baseline and consequently the 1070 as a kind of good settings 1080p baseline, and I haven't needed to worry about performance since. VR is fine in it too. Again, not that the 1070 was a legend or anything, just that market forces and developer interests and consumer budgets aligned to put it in the sweet spot, and there it has stayed. EVGA's GPU coolers were also wonderful, I lit a candle when they exited the GPU market.

    I controversially would disagree with SSDs as a good value proposition. Relative to HDDs they seem amazing, but relative to a breadboard project made of wires and tin cans, a GT 1030 would seem like an amazing value GPU; relative is the key word. In and of themselves, compared to PC hardware generally, SSDs are emphatically not reliable devices at all, four years selling them left me with a huge stack of failed drives, their failure rates actually equalling those of HDDs across the same time period in my sales base. By contrast, I had almost no PSU or motherboard failures, few RAM failures and absolutely no CPU failures ever.

    In fact, modern CPUs are underappreciated in terms of the sheer complexity and engineering marvel of their innards juxtaposed with their cost and life expectancy. Good Core 2 Quad chips are still valuable and sought after on eBay. That's an unfathomable shelf life compared to much consumer hardware. Arguably, if you still have one, the Q8300-Q9650 range are the best value hardware ever sold, because just as the 980 Ti and 1070 cleared a magical hurdle in gaming performance that would sit fairly unchanged for years to come, so the Q8xxx-Q9xxx CPUs cleared a magical hurdle in desktop operating system demands which remained fairly static thereafter. A Q8300 still works fine for normal desktop use.
     
  14. Zinfandel

    Zinfandel Modder

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    Any suggestions? I don't especially like the clack of a mechanical one to be fair but I wouldn't mind a *good* keyboard.
     
  15. Zinfandel

    Zinfandel Modder

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    Haha I remember when the 2600k was *all* the rage.

    As with most everone else SSD was the single biggest performance upgrade I've ever seen in a PC although I recently switched from a 1050TI to an RX6600. I only have a 1920x1080 monitor and the difference is absolutely insane. I don't play many games anymore and most of them aren't remotely graphically demanding but MS Flight Simulator is like a different game. I bought it because I figured if I wanted to run Cities Skylines 2, which would have been the first new game I bought in a long time it would be required but ended up not buying it because of the reviews on Steam!
     
  16. Anfield

    Anfield Multimodder

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    In the last 2 -3 years the best value hardware has probably been in monitors with high refresh rate 4k monitors having dropped in price massively.
    Which is kind of ironic when you consider that monitor manufacturers have been pumping out one £2000 halo product after the other, but looking at the run of the mill 4k 144hz monitors there is amazing value to be had.
     
  17. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Multimodder

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    Can I be a fanboy and say Noctua Air Coolers?

    When it came time to go to AM4, one email to Noctua and they sent me the mounting kit for my NHD-14 for free. Can't remember how old it is now (must be pushing 10) but it continues to work drama free every day and the fans remain lovely and quiet. I certainly prefer it to an an AIO water cooler, which it was also cheaper than.
     
  18. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Oh good shout. Yeah many of my coolers have seen years of service across varying platforms.
     
  19. LennyRhys

    LennyRhys Fan Fan

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    I'm gonna have to say my Thermalright TS140P (True Spirit 140 Power - I did a comparative review here), which is the oldest part of my system right now. I got it almost ten years ago for £35 and it matched or exceeded the performance of all the other high-end coolers costing more than double the price. I've tried numerous other coolers, mostly for testing purposes, and decided to go back to the TS140P because it's simple and extremely quiet.

    Aside from that, I've had an amazing run with my X99 system, which was purchased as an upgrade from X58 back in early 2017, so it's served me for coming up 7 years without missing a beat and I have absolutely zero reason to change it any time soon. I can easily dump in a cheap Xtreme or Xeon processor to double my core count, but atm I really don't need to.
     
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  20. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Bit-Tech Cat. New Improved Version.

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    If the TS140p gets a bit overwhelmed by a new CPU, just fit it with one of your Delta fans...

    EDIT: That reminds me, these popped up on Club386, spin to 10,000rpm! https://www.club386.com/arctic-new-server-fans-are-designed-to-spin-endlessly/
     
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