I was without a computer for a whole year. A whole frigging year. And THIS is my reward:
- Core i3 6100 @ 3.7Ghz. Skylake.
- 8 GB Corsair vengeance DDR4 2133 RAM. Single stick
- Zotac GTX 950 Amp! edition. 2GB VRAM. Entry level graphics card.
- Adata 120 Gb SSD
- Gigabyte GA H110m motherboard. Micro ATX form factor
- Antec X1-T cabinet
- Cooler Master Storm Devastator gaming combo – backlit keyboard and mouse.
- BenQ G2255 21.5 inch monitor. 1920 x 1080.
- APC 600v UPS, an extension cord, a used office chair, a really cheap computer table.
And finally, a 60k (INR) hole in my wallet.
But I’m happy I have a computer and I’m happy that I could assemble it. Most of the parts were ordered from theitdepot.com with the monitor coming from Amazon.in.
Why I chose to assemble a desktop, as opposed to buying a laptop
I had to live without a computer for almost a year. Why? Because the Nvidia 610m GPU in my Asus k53SD laptop died. No, you can’t replace just the video card. You have to buy a whole new motherboard because mobile GPUs come soldered to the motherboard. But can’t you just unplug the video card and use the integrated GPU? No. It doesn’t make sense but apparently, that’s how mobile GPUs work. Did I say that I was asked to pay for a new processor as well? Yeah! Because k53 motherboards have the processor soldered to it. At least that’s the explanation the repair guy told me. So ordering a cheap motherboard without a graphics card from eBay won’t work because you can’t pull out the processor from the damaged board and put it in the new board.
Broken hearted, I agreed to pay the price for a new board and a processor – only to find out that it is difficult to source the motherboard because my 2 year old model is outdated.
If that was a desktop, I could have just pulled out the graphics card and everything would have run fine on the iGPU. Everything except the few games I play.
I promised myself that I would never ever buy a laptop as my primary computer again.
When I assembled my computer, there were very very few laptops with the latest skylake (6th gen) processors inside. This was in February end and almost 5 months after skylake was made available to consumers. Almost all the laptops listed at amazon and other e-commerce sites were running 4th generation processors. However, I did not see any price drops. An ivy bridge core i3 was listed at the same price as a haswell i3 which was listed slightly below the price of a broadwell laptop – and broadwells were rare. I suppose this happens only in India.
So what laptop will 45k Indian ruppees get you? A haswell mobile (mobile processors are always slower than their desktop counterparts) core i5 with 4 gb RAM and no dedicated GPU. If you are lucky you would get an 8GB SSD where windows would be preinstalled. Yes, 8GB. 720p Screen.
Guess how much my assempled pc would have cost sans the graphics card? 42K. And that’s including the chair and the table.
Hence proved that desktops are more bang for buck if you actually are concerned about performance (A.K.A gaming) and do not mind the lack of portability.