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Jon Bach (President)

Drooling Over New Technology

Written on March 20, 2008 by Jon Bach

I don't drool often, but I have to say -- this is an exciting time to be in the technology field.  We work closely with both Intel and nVidia, and they both have new products out that are changing the way I look at high performance computers.

Intel has recently released their CPUs based on a 45nm process.  The two CPUs we're carrying today are the E8400 and the QX9650, but we'll have more in a few weeks, when we plan to phase over to an entirely 45nm CPU line.  These new CPUs are faster, run cooler, and are cheaper than their predecessors.   They also are easier to overclock.

From nVidia, we have a similar refresh, as they roll out their 9xxx series of video cards.  We've had their 9600GT for a few weeks, and they amaze me.  They're twice as fast at the 8600GT, and give the 8800GT a good run for the money.  If you know about the 8800GT, you'll know that video card was impressive in itself, giving the 8800 Ultra some good competition.  On the high end, we have the 9800GX2 released on Tuesday, breaking new records for performance.

Now, new technology is nothing new.  Every time something new comes out, we can all marvel at the performance.  What makes this different for me is the change in pricing from Intel and nVidia.  I'm seeing a definite shift to lower price points, and that is really exciting!  It was only a month ago that we were sending out machines for review that had three 8800 Ultras in triple-SLI, showcasing the absolute fastest computer we could build.  Those computers came with a crazy $10,000 price tag, but scored 26,0000 in 3DMark (a popular gaming benchmark).  Last week on our production bench, we built a computer with the new technology from Intel and nVidia, that scored 23,000 in 3DMark, but at a price point of $2,500.  That's amazing!   Now, in reality, when you run at higher resolutions or turn on more advanced features in games, you'll find that performance gap widening, but still -- I'm very impressed with how closely this new hardware compares, in a totally different price class.

This is one of the few times that I've thought about replacing my home machine.  Usually I wait for something to trickle down so I can get it cheap, as I don't really care that much about performance.  But to be able to drop a couple hundred dollars on a new CPU, and couple hundred dollars on a new video card, and get a level of performance that would have been absolutely out of my price range only a month ago -- that's exciting!

Tags: Intel, NVIDIA, E8400, QX9650, 9600GT, 9800GX2, 9800GTX

To "Kyle" who is posting comments to this post -- please use a valid email address. Our spam system is deleting your posts due to fabricated email addresses.

Posted on 2008-11-10 21:11:17
Kyle Murray

I posted this on friday:

"I was wondering why you are charging $1,250 for a used processor that retails for $999.99 elsewhere. the processor in question is the Intel Core 2 Extreme QX9650 Yorkfield 3.0GHz.
I am just curious as to why a used processor costs more than a new processor. Is this really a good business strategy, overpricing products?"

only to have my comment deleted. When i checked the price of the processor expecting it to be less than a new processor i was dumbfounded to find that it was only lowered to $1,083.15......I could have sworn that computer hardware depreciates over time and as it is used. O well i guess i was wrong. Now i can go dig up the rig that i built in 2003 and sell it for a profit!

Posted on 2008-11-10 23:34:33

Kyle -

Thanks for the feedback. Yep, we did post discounts across the board over the weekend -- see our news post at http://www.pugetsystems.com... .

The reason the QX9650 is a little high is because we've had it for a few months -- we base our pricing on our costs, and we paid quite a bit more than current cost for that CPU.

The point though is that we generally don't worry too much about pricing aggressively on our parts store for parts we actively sell in our computers. The intent is for the parts to be there for people when they have nowhere else to turn, but all things equal, we'd rather keep them for our system builds. We understand you can go to NewEgg, and we encourage it! They do what they do really well, and we aren't trying to compete with that.

Where we do want to make sure we're pricing aggressively is for our overstock -- parts we don't actively use in our systems. For those parts, I'm quite interested in making sure our pricing isn't beat -- we have a vested interest in getting that inventory outta here, even if it means selling at a loss!


Posted on 2008-11-11 02:50:17