I’m Canadian, so we pay for things in Timbits.
Let’s start with assumptions first – any piece that is listed as the same for PC and laptop, the laptop variant will have at least 15% less performance. HDD and RAM are the only 2 components that can be swapped on laptops – restricting upgrade paths. PC have much larger screen areas, and much better options. I used the canadian version of NewEgg as the price search tool, just for consistency’s sake.
Now understanding that this is not ever going to be apples to apples, at least conceptually it should be close. The requirements are then:
- i7 8700 (8th gen CPU)
- 16GB DDR4 3000 RAM
- 512 GB SSD HDD1
- 2 TB HDD2
- GTX 1070TI video card
Given the fact that I can’t build a gaming laptop, I will be paying a premium for the build.
- ROG Zephyrus M is $2500
- MSI GP series for $2100
- MSI GS series (thin) for $3600′
- Razer Blade 15 (GTX 1060) for $2100
A “regular” sized laptop with a 1070 and a 60mhz screen seems to be the best price point, just around $2100. It’s ~$500 more for a thin version, and another ~$500 for a 144mhz screen.
This is more complicated, since I need all the parts, and arguably there is 10x more selection. For the sake of simplicity, I will add baseline parts that are “middle of road”.
|MB||Asus PRIME Z390-P LGA1151||160|
|RAM||Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4 3000MHz||185|
|1HDD||Samsung 970 PRO NVME M.2 2280 512GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 SSD||220|
|2HDD||Western Digital Purple Surveillance 2TB 3.5″ SATA HDD||100|
|VIDEO||Asus GeForce GTX 1070 TI 8GB GDDR5||570|
|COOL||Corsair Hydro Series H60||90|
|SUPPLY||EVGA 750 B3 750W 80 PLUS Bronze Power Supply||100|
|CASE||Corsair Carbide SPEC-06 Tempered Glass Black Mid Tower Case||120|
Now, I could shop around for better price points, hopefully all from the same supplier. I still would need a new monitor. And again, this rig would be ~15% more powerful than the laptop, perhaps a bit more.
Getting a custom PC build with this setup is ~$600 in extra costs as a minimum. Some places had it closer to $1500.
One suggestion was to build a cheap box with my kid as a learning experience. A quick search on that comes to around $700, assuming I don’t want it to catch fire. Pretty much everything is 50% less cost, the video card is $0 (for onboard instead), and the CPU is around $100.
There is no viable conclusion on a blog, when cost comparing PC parts. That’s farcical. However, my gut telling me that I can pay near the same price between two products and get more for my money is quite attractive. Further understanding that the PC build will last longer since it’s parts are inherently replaceable is also motivating.
I guess religion, politics, and PC/Laptop are topics that have no easy answers!