Originally Posted by Layman
So can anyone explain why it seems to be the same price whether I buy a prebuilt system or the individual parts?
Depends on what company is building the PC. They may be using refurbished parts which may be more likely to fail sooner or they could be charging less for there low end prebuilt systems and offset that with high end prices.
VII. I need to upgrade my internet bandwidth in order to play games online. This modestly-priced broadband is nice, but I'd like a lower ping.
A. While ping and bandwidth are two factors of internet speed, they are unrelated to each other. Upgrading your bandwidth should not have an impact on your ping. Bandwidth is the maximum amount of data that can be transmitted or received at any given time. Ping determines how long it takes for the data to reach there after a request is sent. Online gaming typically won't be bottlenecked by your bandwidth if you have a broadband connection. I need help wording this better.
I'll give it a shot.
Bandwidth is a measurement of how much data at one time your internet connection is capable of piping into your home. Higher bandwidth means faster download times on large data files.
Latency is a measurement of how quickly in milliseconds it takes a data packet to make a round trip to a server. Online games uses these data packets to update the server and your personal computer with information to display in the game. Typically these data packets are very small (several bytes to a kilobyte normally) and run no risk of being slowed by your bandwidth, even low end DSL is generally ok.
Latency is primarily determined by your distance to the server and the network path through your ISP to get to that server. As a general rule, a server that is far away or requires a long distance path to reach will yield a higher latency. Consider for a moment a satellite internet connection. This can offer several times faster bandwidth than DSL may. However it has a much higher latency because the signal of the connection must run to a satellite in orbit, and then back to earth before it even begins it's trip to the server. This adds an unavoidable latency that is not dependent on the bandwidth of the connection.
Typical low end broadband, such as DSL, can run as cheap as $15 a month and higher end bandwidth connections (such as cable) can be as cheap as $40.