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Why OEMs are not upgrade friendly?

18 minutes ago, InfinityVive said:

What is that optiplex's model and specs? And what is the upgrade you did?

Dell Optiplex 390. 2nd Gen i3 (don't remember the exact one), 8GB of RAM. Threw in a spare 500W PSU and an HD 7770.

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They are only "non-upgradeable" as the user is at DIY.

 

Behold, my proprietary HP Pro 6300 Microtower modded into oblivion.  The list of mods are extensive.  Re-wiring PSU cables, all kinds of stuff had to be done, but its all doable with enough research and gumption.

 

I wouldn't call it "non friendly" just more of a understanding of computers needed other than "SLOT FITS SLOT BRO"

 

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If you want an upgradable PC, build it yourself.  The majority of OEM machines are sold to the corporate market.  When I was still working everyone had the exact same Dell mini PC.  I don't remember what the model was but they were purchased around 2005.  The policy was to upgrade PCs every five years and the old ones were offered to employees if they wanted them for a very low price.  I retired in mid-2010 and the next PC upgrade was scheduled for that fall.  99% of what we did as employees centered around MSFT Office programs.  I was responsible for department budgeting and did a lot of Excel work but I would say most employees only used their work station for email and Web stuff.  Maybe 50% did Word processing as a main part of their work day and probably only 10%, Power Point.  this is pretty much the reality and simple OEM PC are just fine for this purpose.  The in house IT staff were mainly network administration people and hardware problems were solved by just plopping a new/reconditioned PC on the users desk.

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52 minutes ago, TetraSky said:

Because they use cheaper parts, in smaller cases, to force their customers to buy their higher end, more expensive models if they want to upgrade anything themselves in the future. That way they get more money from you, since after all, the less you can upgrade a computer from parts bought elsewhere, the more likely you'll be to buy a new computer from them.

In most cases, you'll still be able to upgrade the RAM and Storage without any issues, just like how you would with a regular laptop. But if you want to start switching the GPU, add a better CPU cooler, etc... You'll need to either 
a) Buy a pre-built with that in mind from the get go, meaning a big case and not one of those slim half height ones that you can do anything with.

b) Transfer the parts to a different case yourself and hope the mounting holes are ATX compatible.

 

Overall, it's still better than what Apple is doing, which is to put their own Apple specific firmware on nearly every pieces of hardware in their computers, so you have no choice but to go through them or their partners if you want to upgrade something and pay a "premium" for what is essentially the same piece of garbage hardware sold nearby for half the price but it's special because it is Apple certified, not to mention custom parts... which they may or may not even sell to you in the first place.

Uhm okay, But what grabbed my attention is you are using an r5 3600 with Radeon HD7970, Did you just upgrade the CPU and let the GPU stand on your CPU's neck?

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On 7/22/2019 at 12:06 PM, InfinityVive said:

Uhm okay, But what grabbed my attention is you are using an r5 3600 with Radeon HD7970, Did you just upgrade the CPU and let the GPU stand on your CPU's neck?

I've recently upgraded my PC from an i7 875k (like literally 3 days ago on the 19th of July).

I don't have a new GPU yet for three reasons;

a) most of everything I do these days is CPU bound anyway so it wasn't a priority to me.

b) GPU prices right now are still a bit volatile and I'm waiting for custom cards to be released.

c) I'm cheap and if I don't need something, I can live without it until a time comes that I need it. By then prices and new cards will have come out though.

 

At least I can play WiiU games on my PC now(cpu bound).

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1 hour ago, InfinityVive said:

Why OEM PCs like pre-built Dells or HPs that come with good CPU but with 4 GB RAM and no GPU, Why that sort of PCs is often not upgrade friendly and sometimes buying them is a total loss, Because they most likely have a tiny space for a small  GPU, no 24 Pin connector motherboard, Special dimensions Power supplies etc... Like everything that doesn't allow you to upgrade the PC, So why are OEMs made like that? Why they just don't make them upgrade friendly?

 

This is not super-accurate. Only Apple, Dell, and HP actually use strange PSU wiring assignments, and in some cases they're just more efficient designs, and since they have the scale to do so, they do it. That's why if you look closely at a dell PCB you'll see either an 8pin power connector or an ATX-style connector, but the pin-outs don't align with what you'd expect.

 

In the case of Dell, the PSU and Motherboard aren't really that alien. HP(Compaq) systems were just standard ATX systems. Because they were designed to be efficient, the PSU's were "just enough" to use with typical expansion cards if there was an expansion card (eg a GPU without power connections, or a Wireless network card.)  If you wanted to put a high end GPU, you should have bought a high end system to begin with.

 

This does turn into an issue if you are scrapping or recycling an Apple/Dell/HP product though. Since Apple seemingly can't decide what should be soldered to the PCB, the more that is soldered to the PCB, the more is sent to the landfill/incinerated unless Apple is going to recycle everything themselves. Dell is a bit more consistent, even though the MB may have some Dell-specific connectors and heat spreader/heatsinks, you can usually just pull the SDD, RAM, CPU and expansion cards out and use them in a non-Dell chassis/MB/PSU since they don't make those parts themselves.

 

But people forget that the goal of an OEM is to sell the most, not the best, systems, because it makes their numbers look better for shareholders. If an OEM could sell systems that people hold onto for 10 years (which is what Apple essentially does with their desktops) then that's 9 years they're not getting recurrent spending by that user. Because Apple's iMac and MacBook designs are disposable designs, if you want the latest thing, you're expected to throw them away every 3 years, like enterprise customers do with Dell.

 

So it comes back to "why overbuild?", you don't sell what the customer doesn't use, and it saves them money. High end systems are a drop in the bucket when you can sell a million $600-1200 systems with just-enough RAM and CPU performance.

 

Of course the problem is, Intel dictates what that performance should be. If Intel quit making all the rubbish-tier parts and only sold i7/i9 parts, and AMD bought into the same minimum performance metric's and only sold the Ryzen 7 and 9 parts, then all the computers being sold would easily cost $2000, and be far more profitable, but let's be honest.

 

Microsoft Office, and your average web browser doesn't use the GPU in any significant manner, and a game console IS a fixed performance target, so there's no point in an OEM selling a system with less performance than one, because it wouldn't be profitable.

 

 

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@InfinityVive

 

Just think about the people that actually buy OEM PCs (excluding businesses). People buy pre-built PCs from HP, Dell, etc. because they don't know anything about computer hardware or they think it's too much of a hassle to their own PC.

 

Most people in the market looking to get a PC are not going to build it themselves and they end up buying pre-builts. And since most people buying pre-built PCs don't know anything about computer hardware, they're not gonna upgrade any of the components.

 

So why would OEMs like HP and Dell put together systems with upgradability in mind (PSU wattage, motherboard expansion, RAM slots, cooling, form factor, etc.) when very few people that buy their systems (excluding businesses) are going upgrade the hardware?

 

And while upgradability is not a priority for a lot of OEMs, their systems are still upgradable to some degree. Many people (including myself) have bought a used Dell Optiplex with a decent CPU, swapped out the PSU, and put in a dedicated video card and an SSD. Form factor is usually the only problem I have when upgrading OEM systems, however I usually find a way around it.

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8 hours ago, InfinityVive said:

Why OEM PCs like pre-built Dells or HPs that come with good CPU but with 4 GB RAM and no GPU, Why that sort of PCs is often not upgrade friendly and sometimes buying them is a total loss, Because they most likely have a tiny space for a small  GPU, no 24 Pin connector motherboard, Special dimensions Power supplies etc... Like everything that doesn't allow you to upgrade the PC, So why are OEMs made like that? Why they just don't make them upgrade friendly?

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The simple reason is it's cheaper for them to have MOBO manufacturers provide a barebones MOBO and sell you that because they know that most people who buy their computer will not even know how to open them up, let alone want to. They target their products at "normies" who will just buy a new computer when their old one breaks or gets too slow

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9 hours ago, InfinityVive said:

Why OEM PCs like pre-built Dells or HPs that come with good CPU but with 4 GB RAM and no GPU, Why that sort of PCs is often not upgrade friendly and sometimes buying them is a total loss, Because they most likely have a tiny space for a small  GPU, no 24 Pin connector motherboard, Special dimensions Power supplies etc... Like everything that doesn't allow you to upgrade the PC, So why are OEMs made like that? Why they just don't make them upgrade friendly?

Technically you can upgrade them most of the time.

 

Maybe not to whatever you want to upgrade them to.

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And don't forget that when you buy an OEM and the computer case is not opened (for upgrade) by a customer service person then you have invalidated (lost) your warranty on your product.

Once you buy an OEM they want you to go through them (and so pay for customer service, and parts, and... and...) with anything regarding the computer.

 

Plus, as it's been stated previously, the main target for OEM computer are the totally computer "stuff" illeterate customers.

 

You buy the "box", you plug it and it works.

It's called marketing, it's called capitalism (as a way of thinking and forcing the renewal of materials in order to have the revenue flow continuously coming in, etc.).

Don't forget that electronic "stuff" are on the top of the "programmed obsolescence" of materials.

And at the top of that system you have Apple with their iPhones which are "obsolete" after one year, and you can't change the battery on your own of this things for a very good reason.

It has been proved, they are sued in the US for that very reason and I think it's still process.
For that very reason iFixIt had many problems with Apple.

 

It's the very same reasoning you can find behind the "change" in the ownership plans from Adobe and Microsoft. Before you could buy the install  CD of Adobe and the software was yours to install as many time as you wanted. Now you have to "rent" it and pay a monthly or a yearly fee.

 

 

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A for profit business only exists to make money. Yes there may be love and passion for what they do but money is what makes their world go round. That applies to all for profits whether it be a solo investor, a small stand on the corner that sells sunglasses, all the way to the biggest of the big. Even a company like Linus tech tips who obviously loves what they do has to make money. 

 

People complain about proprietary things but the reasons companies do that is so obvious its not funny. They need to make money. 

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13 minutes ago, Cora_Lie said:

And don't forget that when you buy an OEM and the computer case is not opened (for upgrade) by a customer service person then you have invalidated (lost) your warranty on your product.

I've yet to see this, at least on the OEM laptops and desktop's I've looked at. One time I had a Dell XPS 15z  that I had to manhandle one of the retention tabs to put in an SSD. The screen failed unrelated to the upgrade, but they still honored the warranty.

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4 minutes ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

I've yet to see this, at least on the OEM laptops and desktop's I've looked at. One time I had a Dell XPS 15z  that I had to manhandle one of the retention tabs to put in an SSD. The screen failed but they still honored the warranty.

Because they chose to honor it, but if you read the big fat warranty disclaimer, and the stickers which are usually on the computer case, it very clearly states that if the sticker is ripped then it invalidates the warranty.

Depending of the problem of the computer, they can choose/decide to not honor the warranty because the customer opened the case himself.

 

Regarding the screen problem, maybe you remember that a decade ago you could buy an extra-warranty for the screens of laptop (usually between 50 to 100 dollars/euros/etc.) and id "something " happened to your screen you could replace it sometimes for free, sometimes for a small amount of money

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8 minutes ago, Cora_Lie said:

Because they chose to honor it, but if you read the big fat warranty disclaimer, and the stickers which are usually on the computer case, it very clearly states that if the sticker is ripped then it invalidates the warranty.

Depending of the problem of the computer, they can choose/decide to not honor the warranty because the customer opened the case himself.

They can choose not to honor warranties for any bogus reason. The question is whether or not you want to fight it.

 

However opening up your computer does not automatically mean you forfeit your warranty. Also those stickers are illegal anyway: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ftc-warranty-stickers-illegal/

 

EDIT: I recall at one point, both Intel and AMD said in the processor warranty that if you don't use the included cooler, the warranty was invalid. Or at least the wording suggested such.

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20 minutes ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

They can choose not to honor warranties for any bogus reason. The question is whether or not you want to fight it.

 

However opening up your computer does not automatically mean you forfeit your warranty. Also those stickers are illegal anyway: https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/ftc-warranty-stickers-illegal/

First, that is illegal in the US, the world is large ^o^

Most of the time, lambda people don't know that and won't fight it. As for example we fought for almost 2 decades in Europe at the european commission for have it recognized that you can't link tie the OS and the hardware, the retailer "programmers" (Microsoft) and the Builders (Dell, Acer, Lenovo, etc.) can't force the customer to buy the OS and the hardware at the same time, as in Europe it is "Product tying" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tying_(commerce) ) and thus illegal.

Even when it was ruled as such, the companies still went on doing it because most of the customer didn't know.

 

But well, the subject it complex and very spread-through horizontally and vertically (not sure to express myself clearly here). We can continue discussing it, or not ?

 

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2 minutes ago, Mira Yurizaki said:

I thought we were arguing your assertion that simply opening the case of a system builder computer automatically voided the warranty. 

To make it simple : in the US that is illegal (the sticker on the computer to void the warranty).

Here in Europe, it wasn't until 2006 or 2007 I think (don't really remember exactly). But even if it is illegal, the companies are still doing it (you will still find such stickers on computers, laptops, TVs, etc.) and you will still find the same disclaimers in the big fat warranty contracts that no one ever reads, even though the law says the contrary.

 

Most of their customer don't know their rights, they will read that (the sticker, the warranty) and they will comply. And if they try to fight it, most of the time they will stop fighting against the company after some time, because it's too complicated, too much of a hassle, of money and time spent.

And THAT is a strategy, knowingly put in place by the companies.

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Well technically OEM's can be upgrade friendly, it just depends on what you buy.

You get a standard size PC such as a HP or Dell more then likely its just using HP/Dell branded standard parts.

Its the small form factor and laptop market where things suck bigtime, dont get me wrong these machines do have a reason to exist (heck i use a 5 old dell SFF PC as a HTPC) and can be great machines but they sure as heck are annoyances if you want something you can update.

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Why OEMs are not upgrade friendly?

because most of them are not supposed to be. if you get a prebuilt that you plan to upgrade, get a proper prebuilt, not an OEM machine, or do a whole bunch of research first to confirm it can be upgraded in a simple manner

Judge the product by its own merits, not by the Company that created it.

 

Don't dilute <good thing> by always trying to focus on, and drag conversation back to, <bad thing>.

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11 hours ago, InfinityVive said:

But upgrading OEM PCs is possible, But it will be hard af, Right?

this varies on the prebuilt itself. the minitower optiplexes aren't that hard to upgrade, you at least get a full size pci slot so you can fit a regular mini GPU and a regular ATX psu works just fine. the drive cage blocks off quite a bit of GPU length but a 1080ti mini can still fit.

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Ok i want to clarify here a thing or two.

 

First of its not to stop you from upgrading and making more money by selling new PCs. The return rate by end consumers would be to low to justfy that.

It is also not to sell new PCs to business customers because they simply never upgrade old hardware (for many many many reasons).

 

THe real Reason behind this is Multidimensional.

-Service an OEM dont want any 3rd Party to Service the Devices. The Real Money in Business PCs is in the Service Part.

-Production & Design - OEMS are often designed for exactly the target Pupose, not wasitng anything, also buying form the shelf would be much to expensive.

Producing on your own on the other hand would be more expensive if it should fit the bill for a standard part, and you dont need it.

Its simply often easier to custom make your own parts to your own specifications without worring about compatibility

 

-Serparation from the competition, as an OEM you dont wanna put a regular midi tower in your customers office, instead you put in the smallest most optimized form factor that is possible for the particular use case. except of workstations and towers msot business pcs are better of in a very small form factor

 

but this makes ist much harder to assemble with standard parts (which also applies to the production part). there is simply only very limited of the shelf compatible options for small form factors and none of them are really easy and therefore costeffective to assemble.

you cant afford hours and hours of assemble time. noone would be willing to pay the price for such an pc.

so custom design that is easy to produce it the only way there.

 

Also upgraders are not Target Markets, theres plenty of offerings for those. It simply makes no sense to make your own production for the self builder customers as most wont buy from you anyway.

 

as for apple, this is not so much different but much more extreme. function has to follow design.

they even custom chip their firmware to run hotter just to spare better cooling to stay within the design.

they also dont want anyone to repair or service devices at all. even invented a new chip to prevent all sort of repairs for good.

they are really in the market to sell you a new pc because apple customers have no chocie then to buy from apple (contrary to any other oem ever)

at least they think

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oh and btw, its not nessesarly to MAKE money but to make the SELL.

specially in business the prices drop really badly low. the competition is fierce for bigger business contracts,

it goes so far that theres an automatic system in place to even quote small to mid sizes business requests via the main distri.

 

on bigger contracts the company itself makes the offering. a workstation that cost the consumer 700 bucks can drop to 500 or even lower. with special deals to clear the warehouse before a new launch, free shipping and a lot of trown in support, free pro windows software... you hardly make any money.

every screw counts, 5 or 10$ difference can make the difference for a sell. those are often quantities of 2-5k at once...

you cant afford large return rates on warranty, so you need quality control that works, you need to be as cheap as possible yet maintain good enough quality to fulfill your contract...

 

all easier with custom machines where you designed everything

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