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Need vs want on upgrading HW
#1
Hi Guys

During my last move i cleaned house (no phun intended) on cleaning out the many (semi)old machines, laptops, desktops, servers etc. Only holding on to my private primary laptop for the only thing i would keep for the interim, and promising myself that i would get a new system once move was completed.
Here is the thing, i don't game or do video encoding. Just casual usage and some small VM's from time to time to test out things. Being forces to only use that one machine Thinkpad T440p, sporting a 4th gen i5-4300M (2C/4T), with 16 GB, it actually handles all i need pretty well, with little noise and taking up almost no space (I have it in a dock connected to a large monitor). It even has an integrated HD4600, that can actually handle light gaming, not high FPS games but casual stuff to pass the time.
For server I have a WD NAS, and a seperate IntelNUC for running my Docker stuff for home-automation.
Now i find myself in a situation where i have the cash for a total new build Ryzen 3900X, 32GB and all that would include, but i find my self asking - Why should i?  Yes I have as much gear lust as the next man/girl/geek - but it seems like a total waste as i would not really be putting it to good use.
I'm running Linux only, and have done so for the last many years, so the requirement on HW have never really been an issue for my use-case. 
What are you thinking, have you guys had similar thoughts, or do you just say F* it, I have the cash and i want new shiny ?
Sorry if this is a weird topic - but it has been brewing in my head for a loooong time, and i would like some more perspectives from other people on this as well.
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#2
(09-06-2020, 09:58 AM)rhode Wrote: What are you thinking, have you guys had similar thoughts, or do you just say F* it, I have the cash and i want new shiny ?

If you're asking yourself "Do I need it or just want it?" the answer is no, you don't really need it.

It sounds like your current hardware is handling everything you normally do, and presumably runs fast enough to keep you happy, So the prudent thing to do is put that new machine on your wish list till next September.

By then either it's price will have come down because of newer faster computers being introduced, or a faster hairier computer will have become available for just a few dollars more. Either way you win.
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#3
I guess the thing I would ask is:
1. do you have the money to get a new system most of the time, if so wait till you need more.
2.are you able to get a new computer for a limited time and want to hedge for the future, if so get it now.
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#4
Currently my main laptop is a thinkpad x200. The device is ancient, yet for most things I do when not at home (email, text editing, programming, listening to music) it is perfectly fine. The only issues making me want something newer is the laptops poor battery life, its loud fan and no hardware acceleration for video playback. However it is probably impossible to find a modern laptop that comes close in build quality while having a decent keyboard and good Linux support, so I will likely keep using it for the next few years.
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#5
(09-08-2020, 04:22 PM)leon.p Wrote: Currently my main laptop is a thinkpad x200. The device is ancient, yet for most things I do when not at home (email, text editing, programming, listening to music) it is perfectly fine. The only issues making me want something newer is the laptops poor battery life, its loud fan and no hardware acceleration for video playback. However it is probably impossible to find a modern laptop that comes close in build quality while having a decent keyboard and good Linux support, so I will likely keep using it for the next few years.

Yeah - im also heavily leaning towards just keeping what I have. It actually contains 3x disks and plenty of RAM for my use - so being honest there is no real need.
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#6
(09-09-2020, 12:56 PM)rhode Wrote: Yeah - im also heavily leaning towards just keeping what I have. It actually contains 3x disks and plenty of RAM for my use - so being honest there is no real need.

Another way to look at it is to ask "How much is this money really worth to me right now?"

By that I mean things like:
  • Do you have an investment account that gives you a good safe return on your money?
  • Do you have any debt that you would benefit by paying down or paying off?
  • Do you have enough liquid assets to live 6-9 months without a job? (There's no such thing as job security in the current economic environment.)
  • Is there some other way this money could be put to more productive or more beneficial use instead of buying a new computer?
When making any purchase, people often overlook the cost/benefit ratio of doing "Option A" instead of something else. But often weighing different potential uses is the most effective way to make good spending decision.

{Here endeth Economics 101. Shy }
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