The Reasons For The Unnecessary Size Of Traditional Desktop PCs and Towers

It's kind of the general feel that the traditional size of a desktop pc is wasteful and has been for some time, but many people still think they have to have the full size box. There actually is no good reason the size of the home PC hasn't shrunk since everything else has (laptops, tablets, phones etc.). The advantages with the old style desktop was;

1. The larger 3.5" which traditional drive desktops can fit is cheap and readily available
2. The processor can be upgraded
3. The motherboard can be changed out
4. A full CD/DVD, Blue Ray Player can be installed in a larger case

And below are the points about each;

1. The 2.5" drive has been used in laptops for over 10 years and meets or even exceeds the sizes for traditional 3.5" drives. As a comparison we sell a 1TB 2.5" drive for $99 and a 1TB 3.5" drive is the same price or in some cases more online. A spinning drive is completely on the way out anyway, the moving parts, heat and failure rate is too high. Solid State Drives (SSD's) have been approaching the price/GB and larger sizes of traditional spinning hard drives in the last 2 years and well worth the investment and speed increase.

2. The processor is the most oversold specification in a computer. There is no discernible difference from an i3 to an i5 to the end user in general usage. The most common reasons computers are slow is due to a failing or slow spindle speed drive. Or because of software/driver issues, not the processor, so a processor upgrade is nearly never going to help an old slow computer, new processors change socket types so it's very rare to put a "new" processor in an "old" motherboard.

3. A motherboard replacement seldom ever happens. Most computers are replaced before a motherboard or processor is ever upgraded. The renewal cycle on hardware now is so quick (three years or less) the advancements you give up by not moving to a new form factor or hardware type keeps you tied to pouring more money into an older computer, rather than seeing the desktop as a complete computing unit (commodity) of Intel processor, RAM and hard drive which are all consumable items, using up most of their value in that amount of time. So it's only useful to completely replace the computer with a modern version after that time, the labor and cost factor are just not there for component level replacement. (Example, it's $100 for a new hard drive, I don't know about anyone else, but I charge $40 to clone it and install, at $140, you're half way to a new computer if the $100 flat screen and everything else is still good.

4. While this computer does not have a CD/DVD Drive or Blue-Ray, when is the last time you bought software on CD-ROM? All major software vendors supply a downloadable version and if you still have access to a computer any DVD can be copied to a 6GB USB Flash drive which are often given away free now or are less than $15. With the push to cloud based services like DropBox, storing and buying music in iTunes and saving in iCloud and though other online services, such as streaming music from Pandora, Spotify, etc., the need for a CD/DVD drive is nonexistant, Macbook Air's and most vendors have stopped installing them. The computers I setup are cloned and/or reinstalled from a USB Flash Drive, the read time is quicker and they never scratch. If you really need a CD/DVD drive if you price them they are about $79 or less online, the same as it would cost to buy a full internal drive for a tower.

Google: USB CD/DVD Drive

There has also been a shift in how people see their computer, it's more of an entertainment device, so when you download a movie on Netflix, or stream audio, people are more and more placing the computer in the entertainment center and using the wireless mouse and keyboard to control is from a desk or comfortable spot. By just switching the input on your remote, you can change the HDMI input from your Blue Ray player, to the computer since it's native HDMI. Having HDMI out only can be a downside if you're wanting to hookup an older non DVI compliant or VGA screen. It's less than $10 for an adapter, but they are hard to find sometimes;

Google: HDMI to DVI

This computer also comes with a remote and receiver, so if you want to take it out of sleep mode and run a long cable under your house or through a wall back to your tv, you can still change inputs that way as well. 50 foot HDMI cables are relatively cheap now;

Google: 50 Foot HDMI

With most PC users moving toward a mobile platform, the people that want a desktop really only want the experience the Desktop provides, a full keyboard, full size screen and a lot of USB ports. This chassis has 4 USB ports which could be a little low depending upon how many things you want to plug in, 2 are USB 3.0 the new standard, and 2 are USB 2.0 for compatibility. You can get hubs (or port duplicators) now that will expand any port to four. I carry a 4 port hub that I get from Best Buy for $15, Big Lots even carries a decent 4 Port adapter for about $5 now, giving you 7 or more ports total.