Money Saver India
‘I put together a powerful computer with just Rs25,000’

‘I put together a powerful computer with just Rs25,000’

Computer engineering student Karthik Shah assembled a desktop computer, including a good graphics card too, while spending much less than what many spend on their smartphones

Personal computers (PC) have taken a backseat to smartphones, tablets, phablets, ultrabooks, netbooks and what not, but we’re far from done with them. Not many of us need to work on the go and while a smartphone is capable, it’s no replacement for a computer. It’s also a value-for-money option. The cost of a low-end laptop would correspond to a fairly capable computer – that is, if you know how it’s done. It’s not rocket science, of course, but putting a desktop together involves some know-how, which often means just agreeing with whatever your technician recommends. But if you do it yourself, you’ll be cutting costs and may also be able to assemble a better machine. Karthik Shah, 22, did exactly this with just over Rs25,000. With his advice, you’ll be able to do this too.

Identify your needs
Don’t just go out and buy a PC. It’s much too easy to make a mistake. If you’re hasty, it’s quite possible you’ll either overspend or under-equip yourself. Instead, it is advisable to think about your requirements. It doesn’t take much time, according to Karthik, who says, ‘First of all you need to know what you want your computer to do. If you want a computer just for browsing, word processing and perhaps to listen to music every now and then, you don’t need a large monitor or high-end graphics. You may not even require a hard drive with much capacity. On the other hand, if you want to play games and prefer good quality when you’re watching a movie, your options are endless. That said, upgrading from a basic computer to a slightly advanced one would be worth the investment. A few extra thousands on a better processor and more RAM would make any experience, even if you’re just browsing, smoother.’

Laptops are expensive
If you could use the mobility, laptops are essential. However, they are also expensive. Karthik says, ‘The laptop version of a Rs25,000 desktop could cost maybe Rs70,000, taking into account all the desktop’s capabilities.’ Another problem with a desktop is that it is easier to maintain and repair. Parts are easily replaceable and since many of them are external, servicing it is no problem. Karthik says, ‘Getting a laptop repaired can be a hassle. Battery problems are also common. If your requirements are basic, however, it’s worth looking into, as these laptops are relatively cheap. Mobility, even within your own house, is a big advantage.’

Getting your desktop
For himself, Karthik says, a desktop was the only option. He says he wanted a graphics card and a big enough monitor for gaming, which a laptop would not provide. To find the right products, he looked both online and at Lamington Road in Mumbai, a hub for computer equipment in Mumbai. Karthik says, ‘On Lamington Road, you’ll find really good discounts if you’re good at bargaining, particularly if you’re buying more than one item. I got most of my computer here, at prices slightly lower than those mentioned below. I can’t tell you what I paid for individual items because it was a bulk discount, but my total bill here was Rs18,844. I spent a total of Rs24,200 on my computer. I spent the difference on a graphic card and cabinet, which I bought on Flipkart and IT Depot, respectively, because they didn’t have what I wanted in stock when I went to Lamington Road. Going back would have cost me another couple of hours and some travelling money, so ordering it online was convenient.’

Here’s exactly what Karthik bought and the cheapest prices we could find for it online, which adds up to slightly more than what Karthik paid for it because he received a discount on most of the products while shopping on Lamington Road, Mumbai.

Component Product Price
Processor Intel Pentium G2010 2.80GHz Dual-Core Rs3515
Motherboard MSI B75MA-P45 32GB DDR3 Intel Motherboard Rs4165
RAM Corsair DDR3 2 GB Rs1155
Hard Drive Seagate 1TB Sata Internal Hard Drive Rs2199
Power Supply Unit Corsair VS450 Rs2199
Graphic Card Nvidia GeForce GT210 1GB DDR3 Rs1736
Cabinet Mercury Graf Red-Black ATX Cabinet Rs1240
Monitor Viewsonic 16 inch LCD Monitor Rs4428
Optical Drive Samsung 24X DVD RW Sata Rs1030
Speakers Creative SBS A40 USB Stereo Speaker Rs600
Keyboard Logitech Classic Keyboard K100 Rs400
Mouse Belkin Compact Mouse M100 Rs325

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