Chapter 3. Building a Mainstream PC


A mainstream PC is one that seeks balance at a reasonable price point. A mainstream PC uses top quality (but midrange performance) components throughout, because that is where you find the best value for your dollar. What differentiates a mainstream PC from a budget PC is that the former makes fewer compromises. Whereas price is always a very high priority for a budget PC, it is less important for a mainstream PC. If spending more money yields better performance or reliability, or adds desirable features, a mainstream PC gets those extra dollars, whereas a budget PC probably doesna't.

Relative to the budget PC, that means the mainstream PC gets more expensive components, particularly where they pay off in additional performance, convenience, or data safety; more memory; a fast dual-core processor; redundant disk storage; better peripherals; and additional features. Considered individually, the incremental cost of better components is typically quite small. But taken collectively, the difference adds up fast. Depending on which components you choose, a mainstream system may cost 50% to 100% more than a budget system. That extra money buys you higher performance now and down the road, and extends the period between upgrades. If a budget PC will meet your needs for 12 to 18 months without upgrades, a mainstream PC may suffice for 24 to 36 months or longer, depending on the demands you put on it.

In this chapter, we'll design and build the perfect mainstream PC.




Building the Perfect PC
Building the Perfect PC, Second Edition
ISBN: 0596526865
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 84

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