1) Do you prefer to build your own PC’s or buy a branded system?
a) Prefer to build my own
b) Prefer to buy a branded system
My preference would be a) Prefer to build my own
, but the past several years I have been buying primarily branded systems (mostly Acer/eMachines/Gateway and one Dell) and have performed upgrades as needed for each (upgraded memory and processors on one each of Acer and eMachines laptops and an eMachines desktop, upgraded PSU/video on my Dell desktop) due to the low acquisition cost of the pre-built system and the ease of upgrading the components needed to get them to where they ought to be had I built them myself. Except for my wife's computer, she needs all the speed she can get, so I treat her to a custom build every time!
2) How often do you replace or upgrade your PC?
a) Every year
b) 12 – 18 months
c) 18 months – 2 years
d) 2 – 3 years
e) 3 years or longer
Definitely a) Every year
or MORE often. I am constantly looking for ways to improve performance when I see a good deal on something. My Dell desktop got a new PSU and HD5770 out of the box. I recently replaced the PSU again just because the old one was having trouble cold booting. My Acer laptop has seen two memory upgrades, change from a single core Celeron to a dual core T4300 CPU, and due to a recent hard drive failure is about to get an SSD. My wife's computer has been redone five times in the past three years, original whitebox build with i7-920, Foxconn board, 6GB RAM, HD4870, 700w PSU, Antec p182 case, then the first upgrade to an 850w PSU with HD4890, second upgrade with ASUS board, i7-950, HD6870, and 12GB RAM, third upgrade to add a 60GB solid state drive, fourth upgrade to swap into an Antec 300 case, and most recently, upgrading to a 120GB Intel SSD. I expect to upgrade it again in the next 6 months, with a new X79 board and i7-3930X processor, 16GB of RAM (if not 24 or 32) and an even larger SSD like the 240GB offered in this contest. I also have a second HD6870 I will install if the build and internal temps leave room for it.
a) Extremely important
3) How important do you feel an SSD is to system performance?
a) Extremely important
b) Pretty important
c) Not very important
d) No impact on performance at all
, because as fast as my wife's computer was with the i7-920 and i7-950 builds, the most impressive performance increase came with the 60GB SSD and later the 120GB SSD. They made the biggest difference in boot times, application loading, and working with large amounts of data. When she gets that next larger SSD I am so taking the 120GB to load into my Dell. I'm even going to mod the case so it can be mounted down low out of the way, just so I can see those sorts of speed boosts.
The timing of this contest is interesting, because the hard drive failure in my Acer laptop (it was a 5400rpm 160GB Seagate unit) has prompted me to search for either a 7200rpm 320GB or 500GB drive or consider spending a little more and get a 120/160/180GB solid state drive instead. I wasn't using but half of the old hard drive, about 83GB. I think I could deal with a $120 120GB SSD but being able to win a 240GB unit would mean no extra cost, no loss of storage space (a 50% increase), and I would have the speed of the SSD instead of a Spin drive. Very nice contest timing, NotebookForums, I may wait until the contest is over to pull the trigger on it and use my BB Playbook until I know who won!