your personal display budget?

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your personal display budget?

Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 2:59 pm

Sometimes people will ask me for recommendations on computers and home systems. I've always said that they should spend at least 50% of the total budget on the display, as display tech tends to last a lot longer than anything else and display quality/size is often the biggest determinant of user happiness (folders excluded).

Novice buyers are usually surprised by this advice, but I think it's been appropriate for most users. I wonder, though, with the advent of pretty good low-cost LCD's if I should revise this number downwards a bit.

Do you all have a rule of thumb about this sort of thing?
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Re: your personal display budget?

Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:08 pm

sluggo wrote:Sometimes people will ask me for recommendations on computers and home systems. I've always said that they should spend at least 50% of the total budget on the display, as display tech tends to last a lot longer than anything else and display quality/size is often the biggest determinant of user happiness (folders excluded).

Novice buyers are usually surprised by this advice, but I think it's been appropriate for most users. I wonder, though, with the advent of pretty good low-cost LCD's if I should revise this number downwards a bit.

Do you all have a rule of thumb about this sort of thing?


your recommendation should be tailored to the individual and what their needs are and their budget. given that fact, half the budget seems a bit high.
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:24 pm

I've got price brackets for components:

$200 max bracket:
CPU
MOBO
Video Card
RAM

$100 max bracket:
PSU
Hard Drive
Case

$40 max bracket:
Heatsink
Optical Drive

The monitor doesn't fall into a bracket. It's something that I buy the best I can afford to. 5 years ago I spent $400 on a 19" trinitron. The two LCDs on my desk cost me $200 each, which curiously enough adds up to $400 also.
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 3:48 pm

It depends on what size you want and how picky you are about IQ.
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:00 pm

I would say half is a bit on the high side but I build higher end systems usually so the display would end up costing a fortune. I have an old Dell 2001FP that cost a small fortune when I bought it. About the time it dies I will look at something in the 26 to 32 inch range. I am hoping that it is a long long time down the road though.

Max price CPU: 350
Max price video: 500 but I try to keep in under 400.
Max price motherboard: 150
Max price ram: the last system I built 2 gigs cost 300 bucks. With memory prices now though 150 is more inline with what I would spend.
Max price speakers: 500+
Max price sound card: 200
Max price mouse: 100
Max price keyboard: 100
Max price cd/dvd: 75
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:19 pm

To me a % is a little too limiting. I would like to have a total number to work with so that I can massage several parameters.

Or, just have a separate budget for displays and a different time table to take advantage of those Dell deals.
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 4:45 pm

All good comments, thanks =)

The 50% number seems inappropriate now to me as well. The death of the CRT has really dropped the relative cost of a good display. I still feel that a large display with good image quality is the highest priority and the best investment for most purpose setups, though. Comments?

Certainly I'm not going to recommend a 30" unit for joe six-pack. Although I'm a JSP and I sure wouldn't mind having one :)
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:02 pm

It all depends on the money I have on hand and what I want. I spend a large part of my day on the computer, so I might as well invest enough money to make my "user experience" enjoyable.

I thought almost $600 was insane for a monitor, but I bit the bullet and bought via ebay a Dell 2407WPF-HC for $585 including shipping.

It was probably the best decision I made. Going from a 19 inch CRT to a 24 inch LCD is incredible. Even though initially this was out of my budget, I wouldn't settle for anything less now.

My flexible budget right now:

CPU: 325
Motherboard: 175
Case: 130
Optical Drive: 40
Hard Drive: 150
RAM: 200 (4 gigs)
Power Supply: 75
Cpu Cooler: 70
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:22 pm

With the length of time that themattman has been riding his current computer I can understand his budgeting.

I like the incremental, cheap, relatively frequent upgrades.

I've got $400 in the piggy bank right now and there are so many ways I could spend it that it's easier not to spend it at all. I could get a cheap laptop ($800ish). I could get a nice P35 and a cheap Core 2. I could get a drop-in Phenom and a 3850. I could get a nicer display. I could just get a 3850 and a couple of games, have some left in the piggy bank and call it good for the next little while, and if I don't end up going back to finish school this January that's the likely course of action.

Maybe by summer the picture on Phenom will look a lot better. I'd be interested to see what experiences people have with using them on 690G mobos. Heck, by summer 2008 it's easily imaginable that I could get a Phenom for $150 or just say hell with it and get a $150 C2Q and $150 mobo if prices settle that low by then.
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 5:36 pm

no more than 500 a piece of any pc part
tv can be higher
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:03 pm

Monitors are like TV's you buy one and then it should last at least 10 to 15 years hopefully 20.

I bought a decent 17" CRT in 1997 and its still going strong. I keep it around for when I have a 2nd PC and for checking colours in Photoshop, etc. Its been used in 3 PC builds. In 2005 I picked up the 2x20" Dell LCDs, they better last 10 years. My TV is a standard SD PAL set from 2000, I spent $20 on getting it recalibrated last year to get rid of a coloured spot. I might switch it when analogue goes off the air but probably not.


Most people cheap out on inputs (keyboard and mouse). $1k on a PC and $30 on a keyboard and mouse. Stupid since its used all the time.
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Postposted on Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:40 pm

It costs what it costs.

Mine was just under $1200 when I got it.
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Postposted on Sun Nov 25, 2007 2:29 am

kinda depends on what the main usage is, everyone has different needs.

eg. an FPS gamer can get away comfortably with a 19" fast-response lcd for fairly cheap, whereas someone who does a lot of multitasking or watches a lot of media / needs more space may want a lot more. a console gamer may be better off with an HDTV which can serve as a media/games centre etc.
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