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The Almighty Buck Hardware

Building 2011's Sub-$200 Computer 394

adeelarshad82 links to PC Magazine's recent account (updating a similar quest detailed last year) "to see if a decent PC could put together for less than $200. Turns out that between some great deals, an AMD processor, and a Linux OS, it can actually be done." They actually come out with a decent-enough system for that money — but omitting an optical drive in a full-size desktop computer build seems something like cheating.
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Building 2011's Sub-$200 Computer

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  • Re: optical drive (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday September 02, 2011 @09:16PM (#37293268)

    My optical drive broke down about 3 years ago. I've never had to replace it. So I agree, for some, it might not be needed at all.

  • Re: optical drive (Score:4, Interesting)

    by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Saturday September 03, 2011 @12:48AM (#37294252)

    While you can't put usb sticks in a wallet, you CAN put sdcards in one. Specifically one made for trading cards.

    I would love to see sdcard media get sold in bulk packs like cdrs are. There is a slight problem with capacities not rounding evenly with optical formats... (640-700mb cdr : 1gb sdcard. 4.5gb dvd : 8gb sdcard. 9gb dvd : 12/16gb sdcard) but the form factor is much smaller, you can store waaay more data in a similar sized wallet, and they are less easily destroyed by frequent handling.

    Yes. I KNOW they are more expensive. I also remember when cdrs cost over a dollar a pop. These devices don't have to be blazing fast to replace optical media, and while I know it won't be a popular subject with the demographic here, it WOULD work quite well with software firms, because sdcards have to be able to support special hardware drm features to be spec compliant. (This means that your spiffy boxed 3d game you bought off the shelf can chug slowly on install, use your fast sata drive at runtime, and use the sdcard as a dongle to verify game purchase, all in the same package. I am surprised that no software house has tried it yet.

    The cards themselves don't need to be fast really, so cheap organic semiconductors, like those used in flexible displays that can exceed amorphous silicon speeds could be used to make the bulk pack cheapo ones.

    Like any product, as long as it remains a niche, specialty product it will be expensive, but when it becomes a widespread multi use product, economies of scale drive down the price. I can easily see flash going that way, especially for slow but cheap sdcards.

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton