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Old 12-06-2012, 07:49 PM   #46
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I suppose "harder" is ambiguous in this context, but building a system is *lot* more work than buying a prebuilt system. Are you actually claiming it isn't?
It probably depends upon the context. It is certainly more difficult to build a run of the mill system than clicking boxes on a website then unpacking a box when it arrives.

On the other hand, it is usually easier to build if you know what you're willing to pay for and which corners you are willing to cut. You just create a list of what you want, order the components, and put it together. (If you don't want to spend an hour putting it together and a couple of hours installing software, the vendor will usually do it for you.) In the case of pre-built systems, you are stuck with the vendor's offerings and expensive build-to-order options. Couple that with vendors providing incomplete specifications on their systems, and the research quickly becomes arduous.
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Old 12-06-2012, 08:16 PM   #47
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If you don't want to spend an hour putting it together and a couple of hours installing software, the vendor will usually do it for you.
Or, sweet talk your neighborhood teenage geek. I'm sure they would do it for $20! Or free, if they are like my son! He outgrew Lego's, now putting together computers takes the place.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:59 AM   #48
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I'm a "build it myself" guy, have never bought a prebuilt PC over 20-odd years. But I agree with Andrew H. in that you are rolling the dice every time you do it in hoping the pieces you bought do work together and are not faulty. There is *always* that fingers crossed moment the very first time you switch it on. When it works, brilliant. If it doesn't - any satisfaction you may have gained goes south very quickly in the painful hours of diagnostics, scouring forums, returning parts, waiting for replacements, retrying hoping that fixes it, yada, yada, yada. As a "one-off" exercise which most of us do it as it is very much a false economy for anyone kidding themselves about saving money.

As for that "kid down the block" - well I used to build for friends and family but vowed never again many years ago. It means you become their "free" lifetime support guy, a novelty which wears off pretty darned quickly when you ain't getting paid or have other things to do with your time. I always direct them to buy retail now.

Getting back on topic - I think some people are over-reacting to this Intel rumour/speculation (which is all it is from what I saw). As others have said we don't *know* anything for sure or how widespread across the product range if it is even true. Personally it really wouldn't bother me to not have CPU upgrade capability, as in 20 odd years of building PCs I have not once chosen to do a CPU upgrade alone. I always want the latest and greatest, and thanks to Intel changing the sockets every frigging time that means a new motherboard anyway. Or other stuff forces desire for a motherboard change - like USB 2.0->3.0, AGP->PCI-Express, memory chips, UEFI bios, form factor size changes and so on.

Storm in a teacup I say.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:52 AM   #49
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You know. I could see a resurgence of slot style CPUs. Solder the processor onto a daughter board, and pop in and out.
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Old 12-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by kiwidude View Post
Personally it really wouldn't bother me to not have CPU upgrade capability, as in 20 odd years of building PCs I have not once chosen to do a CPU upgrade alone. I always want the latest and greatest, and thanks to Intel changing the sockets every frigging time that means a new motherboard anyway.
I have. Often i couldn't afford the CPU i wanted at the time, so i would buy what i could afford, so that i didn't have to cheap out on other components that i would less likely replace.
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Old 12-07-2012, 10:14 AM   #51
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Personally it really wouldn't bother me to not have CPU upgrade capability, as in 20 odd years of building PCs I have not once chosen to do a CPU upgrade alone. I always want the latest and greatest, and thanks to Intel changing the sockets every frigging time that means a new motherboard anyway. Or other stuff forces desire for a motherboard change - like USB 2.0->3.0, AGP->PCI-Express, memory chips, UEFI bios, form factor size changes and so on.
The upgrade bit is probably true for most people, even people who build their own systems. On the other hand, choosing a separate mainboard and processor at the time of purchase is important to at least some of us. Different mainboards have different configurations for memory, expansion slots, ports and so forth. Compatibility with alternative operating systems and the firmware is also an issue for some builders.

Chipsets can also be important just to have current spec hardware. My last laptop purchase was a bugger because a lot of laptops on the market still have older onboard video, are limited to USB 2, and so forth. None of that was an issue while building my last desktop. It was a matter of deciding what I wanted and buying it. Now if desktop mainboards become more like laptop mainboards (simply because it is too expensive to offer a broad range of configurations), that option ceases to exist.
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Old 12-07-2012, 02:23 PM   #52
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The upgrade bit is probably true for most people, even people who build their own systems. On the other hand, choosing a separate mainboard and processor at the time of purchase is important to at least some of us. Different mainboards have different configurations for memory, expansion slots, ports and so forth. Compatibility with alternative operating systems and the firmware is also an issue for some builders.
Bear in mind I have been part playing devils advocate - having "some" choice available has been important to me too, so don't think by my post that I am advocating that the market get reduced to only one CPU being available per motherboard/manufacturer combination

However the point I didn't add above is that just how "important" it is to have that CPU choice is debatable for 99.99% of users and continues to diminish. Our bottlenecks stopped being the CPU for just about every application many years ago. If you want a fast PC, your money is far better spent on the likes of SSDs, graphics cards, faster internet connections etc. In fact as a consumer it can frequently be a case of paralysis by analysis and having "too much" choice is not a good thing. I don't buy into the "upgrade your CPU a year later" argument being one that many people would really get any real world benefit out of, particularly given that "real" jumps in CPU performance or power usage have usually resulted from die shrinks, new architectures and hence new motherboard sockets. If thats the way someone chooses to upgrade their PCs then good luck to them, we all have our own opinions but I just don't believe it is more than a teeny minority who will do that.

It is getting more and more effort every 3 years I upgrade to go through the days of research, reviews, forums, magazines etc to "get up to speed" with choosing components. Manufacturers of PC components have frankly gone over the top in my opinion with their product ranges being so large which makes it utterly confusing and intimidating for the consumer. It is absolutely no wonder the vast majority want the simplicity of a "it comes in a box" solution. So even if this does all come to pass for which I have yet to see anything definitive that it will, then as a hobbyist PC builder it really isn't that big a deal to me. I'm certainly not attempting to say that every custom builder falls into the same category as me, but I am willing to bet the vast majority either do or would not be significantly disadvantaged if forced down this path.

But then again I am getting older/more jaded every time I go through this upgrade cycle, and the willingness to spend those hours choosing and building a PC versus spending them on other things reduces. I'm still not quite yet at the point of trusting a PC manufacturer to make "all" those decisions for me with an off the shelf PC, but maybe I will be in another three years time...
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Old 12-07-2012, 08:24 PM   #53
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Apparently it was all just rumors...

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/new...ed_sockets2012
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:21 AM   #54
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Seems like it won't hardly matter. As more and more pieces that were on MBs are moved into tightly-integrated processor packages, and as distances need to be shortened for speed, heat and power reasons, it won't be long before only the most low-end system would stand for a socketed CPU on a mother board, with it's long centimeters of bus path, and it's weakly-integrated external components...

Last edited by ApK; 12-28-2012 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #55
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...at least until we have quantum computers with entanglement-based component connectivity....
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:33 PM   #56
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it won't be long before only the most low-end system would stand for a socketed CPU on a mother board,
Actually, the most low-end system I know is The Raspberry Pi, at $35 with 512MB memory, USB and Ethernet. It uses a soldered Ball Grid Array CPU with the memory stacked and soldered on top of it. Only the Ethernet/USB hub is on a separate chip. The whole thing is the size of a credit card, except for connectors sticking out here and there.
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