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Full Version: Buying parts over time, best strategy?
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Say that I'd like to build a pretty good gaming system, but didn't feel like spending a bunch of money on parts in one sweep but rather pace it out over a period of 6 months or lets say even a year..

Indeed- a strategy would be to save up the money over time and then get all the parts .

However, lets say you were to get a few parts at a time, perhaps zeroing in on deals that shows up throughout this time..

What would be the best strategy when it comes to what order to get the parts.
I have a few thoughst on my own but I'm certain that there may be different thoughts on this and I'd love to hear your opinion. Trends, price increase/decrease, upgraded tech etc.

Thanks for your time
I would only pre-buy items that are stable in price. I did this over about 3-4 months and probably saved $200. ( $1000 vs $1200) so it was worth it. A year is pretty long window of time to hold onto parts, especially if you don't have a good way to test them.

PSU/Case/DVDRW or Blu-Ray/ keyboard/mouse seem reasonable to buy in advance.

Mobo/CPU/Memory, I would wait and buy these all at once in case something changes you aren't stuck with parts that won't work together or if one of the parts is defective you'll be able to RMA it more easily.

When I saw the Seasonic X-650 go on sale for $80 after rebate I bought it.
I picked up a DVDRW for $10 after rebate. I like having one in my main desktop.
Once you choose the case watch for deals and jump when the price is right.

You could also defer buying a high-end graphics card until it goes on sale.

I got lucky because in the short time I wanted to buy, everything except the CPU cooler was either on sale or had a decent rebate. Everything I bought was at or near blackfriday prices, except for the SDD where prices keep falling.
Given the rate that new generations are released, and prices fall, it's almost always better to just save up until you can buy everything at once. That said, Dan-H brings up some good points. If you're looking to build something use-able right now, and upgrade as you go, that's still not ideal, but here's some things to keep in mind:

Start with the best CPU/Mobo combo you can afford. If you get a combo that can display the graphics built into the CPU, that can get you by, while you save up for a nice Graphics Card. Just don't expect to crank up your game settings or get 60FPS on the latest AAA releases.

For the last few years, CPUs haven't been advancing in terms of gaming performance, which is why you don't have to worry as much about buying one now, and having a killer one come out the next day. It's usually 5-10% speed gains a year. The purchase should be more about which features you need, and what stuff you'll be plugging in.

GPU's, on the other hand, have been advancing at a very rapid pace, to keep up with 4k, game streaking, Virtual Reality, you might as well wait until the last minute to pull the trigger on one.

You can add more RAM, a new (or better) Solid State Drive, and other things down the road. Just keep in mind it's usually better to have a matching set of dual-channel RAM now, than to try and mix and match later.
Thank you for all your advice, and it's making a lot of sense.
The info on the small increase in CPU "power" with the new generation was new to me and one less "worry", should I decide to get it in stages.

That was my thought as well- we're standing in the very beginning of VR and I figure you'd have to have near the top of the line-GPU to be able to play around with that stuff.

Good stuff
some good points and ideas made. i will add that cpu cycles are about every 4 years. amd is releasing Zen (14nm), designed by jim keller, later this year and we should see a new 10nm chip from intel maybe at th end of the year. after that it will probably be another 4 years because of the new transistor materials it will take to go below 10nm.

on the gpu news, RTG(formerly amd) has released a new demo of their new gpu set to release mid year. nvidia is also scheduled a new release this year.

so in my opinion, if i didnt need to build a new system before the end of the year then id probably wait as this should be a good year for new tech and hopefully some good price wars.

if not no worries, the current processors and gpu's are more than capable to play just about any game on most budgets.

good luck