How I Saved $1400 By Being Patient (For Once)

by FI Fighter on August 17, 2013

in Ways to Save Money

Computer Last week, my computer decided to throw in the towel and stop working altogether. It would periodically freeze (no blue screen, though), and force me to restart the system. I figured I had some malware, so was in the process of reformatting, when finally, the system wouldn’t turn on altogether.

I Need a PC!

Just my luck, I thought. I tried for a few days, but the system refused to POST into the bios. After trying to get by with just my ipad for a day, I eventually gave up, knowing that the ipad alone would be an inadequate computing solution for my needs. It’s just too difficult trying to write a blog post, or do spreadsheets without a laptop/PC. Worst, I am heavily reliant on my M-Audio soundcard and monitors (speakers) for playing music. I couldn’t go back to integrated audio…

Shopping List

As a kid, I used to LOVE building new computers. Looking back, I have no idea how I even came up with the money to fund a full build since it isn’t cheap! These days, I’m kind of lazy and would prefer to have a working solution just magically fall into my lap. So, I seriously entertained the idea of just making a quick run to Costco or Fry’s Electronics and buying a pre-built PC (Dell, HP, etc.). I browsed a few systems, but each one left a lot to be desired. I don’t like spending money, but when I do, I like to buy quality merchandise. Pre-built PC’s usually come stocked with crappy motherboards (lack of expansion slots), slow hard drives, and weak GPU’s. It was back to square one.

I had the day off on Friday and spent a good chunk of the morning putting together my shopping list for a new PC. Here’s what I came up with:

PC_New Full Specs:

3.4 GHz Intel i5 4670k Processor (Haswell)
Gigabtye Z87 (GA-Z87X-UD3H) LGA 1150 Motherboard
16 GB DDR 3 (1600) G Skill Ripjaws X Series Memory
EVGA GeForce GTX760 2 GB Graphics Card
500 GB Western Digital VelociRaptor (10,000 RPM) SATA III Hard Drive
600 W Corsair CX (80 Plus) Power Supply
NZXT Phantom Full Tower ATX Case
Pioneer 15x SATA Blu-Ray Burner
Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit OEM

Total Cost: $1378.08 (After Tax)

Almost Pulled the Trigger!

I’m frugal. But also a hypocrite in some ways. I detest spending money, but when I do, I only want to buy high quality. I just don’t see the point in saving a few bucks to buy inferior products. My last computer build was in 2007, so the system served me well for over 6 years. Only recently did it start feeling like it was getting a little long in the tooth. With the shopping list finalized, I was just about ready to proceed with completing the order. I made it to the final transaction screen, and all I had to do was hit the “Submit” button. I really don’t know what stopped me, but instead of finishing the order, a voice overcame me and said, “let’s do it after lunch.” Let’s be PATIENT for once. I held off on purchasing.

After Lunch

I had some errands to run, and didn’t get home until after 3:00 PM. When I got home, for whatever reason, I decided to give the failed PC one last go. I disassembled all the components, cleaned the system (dusted), and only put back the required components needed to get the system to POST. I put back the processor, motherboard, memory, power supply, and reconnected only a single hard drive.

It Works!

As fate would have it, the system POSTED this time!

Not wanting to miss this fortunate window, I restarted, put in the Windows XP disc and reformatted the Windows partition before anything else could go wrong. I wiped out the drive (hoping to clear out any malware), and re-installed the OS. It’s been a day now, and the 6 year old PC is working like new again! Hopefully, things keep on ticking along smoothly.

Sweet Victory

By being just a little patient yesterday, I was able to save myself close to $1400! What a great start to the weekend… although the kid in me kind of wished I went ahead and upgraded to the new system! I could have gotten a chance to play with (and overclock) the new Haswell processor, and try out some new videogames running at full resolution with all settings maxed out. The 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor is also supposed to be a blazing fast hard drive.

But I digress… The grown up in me realizes that I now have an additional $1400 to contribute to investing! 🙂

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dividend investing MartinNo Gravatar August 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm

I don’t think you would be able to push this for longer period of time. I’ve been doing the same thing for about three years and at the end decided to buy a new machine anyway.

Reply

2 FI FighterNo Gravatar August 25, 2013 at 9:28 pm

Martin,

I’m going to try and milk this thing for another 2-3 years… hopefully 😉

Reply

3 FI PilgrimNo Gravatar August 23, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Very nice! Fellow IT guy here, and I’ve built (and still build) quite a few computers for myself and others. One suggestion for you is to think about slapping an SSD hard drive in your current computer as a “partial” upgrade. The computer will become MUCH faster (if you don’t have one already) and the SSD could be moved to a new build in another year or two. I’ve been doing that with several 4-year-old laptops at my company and it’s AMAZING what a difference it makes.

Have fun!

Reply

4 FI FighterNo Gravatar August 25, 2013 at 9:27 pm

FI Pilgrim,

Nice, another techie! That’s a great idea, and coincidentally, I just had a conversation with a good buddy about getting a SSD. He works with hard drives for a living, so he has access to a lot of goodies. Good to know that such a simple upgrade can have such a huge impact. Since I saved so much by not having to build another system, I’m going to go for that upgrade instead!

Cheers!

Reply

5 Betsy @ ConsumerFu.comNo Gravatar November 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Love this story. Even if your PC craps out on you again, you’ve bought some time and you’ve been through the shopping process. You’re better prepared for the inevitable and I know I’ve always made better decisions when I’m not in an urgent situation.

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