How To Save Money (& The Environment) With Your Next Computer Purchase

Computer SavingsDid you know the current upgrade cycle for a personal computer is about three years? An ‘upgrade cycle’ is the length of time someone typically owns a computer before buying a new one. With the unending changes in technology, it is inevitable that you will have to upgrade at some point in time if you still want a usable computer. In addition to the actual monetary cost of an upgrade, there’s also an environmental cost. Many charities will no longer accept computers as donations due to software piracy. Also, most areas do not have the capability to recycle computer components, even though they all contain trace amounts of gold, silver, and copper. As a result, your old compu

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10 Responses to How To Save Money (& The Environment) With Your Next Computer Purchase

  1. shrazy says:

    Upgrade is a good alternative until you have to buy a big components that makes you change everything: Motherboard.
    Sockets are most common to change which makes your current CPU & Memory incapable.

    Waiting for the top gadget of today’s will be priced low next year. So you should try if your a gamer/multimedia user to upgrade your PC every year swapping for better RAM, CPU, VIDEO CARD.

  2. themagic says:

    Is it only the processor you have to worry about for energy use or doe certain brands of computers use more energy than others?

  3. greenday says:

    I always purchase my computers right when the new models come out. That seems to be when they discount them the most.

  4. Tina Parcell says:

    The Magic:

    The processor is the number one culprit for power consumption in most home computers, usually followed by the monitor. While certain brands of processors may use less than others (i.e. AMDs tend to have lower power consumption than Intels), these two types of processors are used in almost all major brands of computers.

    No matter what brand of computer or even processor you have, all processors use the most energy a) during start-up and b) when the processor is working at maximum capacity (aka when the CPU is running at 100% usage and the computer is doing all it can possibly do). If you run several programs at the same time on your computer, you are increasing the CPU usage. This is where having a dual core processor can be beneficial, as the processor itself is able to more effeciently handle the work-load.

  5. shrazy says:

    power supply is also the key to energy

  6. Steve says:

    AMD is no longer the most power efficient processor. It was for the past two to three years. Nowadays, Intel performs better with lower power.

  7. Him says:

    Steve is right – with the introduction of intel’s new core 2 dual core processors, the margins of AMD’s efficiency is narrowing.

    Also, photoshop users and other graphic design programs (Quark, Adobe InDesign, AutoCAD) don’t really need a powerful graphics card – it’s all about the RAM.

  8. Tina Parcell says:

    I completely agree regarding the graphics card: nine times out of ten more memory will benefit a user more so than a higher end card. That is where ensuring your system is upgradeable down the road really comes into play.

    As for the debate regarding energy usage and processors, one of the articles I researched was http://www.hardware.info/en-US/articles/amdnY2pvZGOa/Research_actual_power_usage_modern_PCs/3
    which reviewed a few different processors from both Intel and AMD. For dual-cores there really wasn’t much of a difference but for some of the lower end single core processors AMD still seemed to out-perform Intel energy wise under both idle and max CPU tests.

    At this point, the question becomes one of the user’s needs. A dual-core processor of any kind will be less likely to hit max CPU usage than it’s single core counter part, so for someone that is a heavy and constant computer user that is likely the best bet. For someone checking email 2 times a day, a budget single core processor with it’s lower over-all watt usage is probably a better bet, and chances are the budget AMD processor will use just a bit less energy than it’s Intel counterpart.

  9. Kirin says:

    please tell me why you reference low-end single-core cpu power consumption data when recommending AMD for CPUs but then suggest people purchase midrange dual core processors (for which you state that there is no power consumption difference between Intel and AMD). kind of contradictory, isn’t it? it just seems your cpu recommendation is baseless (or just based on your preference for AMD). it is quite irresponsible blogging to state these “facts” without quoting your references, even if they aren’t reputable sources.

  10. Jr. says:

    Well, Kirin, are u willing to pay the large amounts of money for the intel core 2 duo processors? If you don’t even need the dual core processor, then don’t waste money buying it, and just stick with the traditional power-saving AMD processor. Also, AMD has always given more bang for the buck, especially if you’re a gamer.

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