I charge out at $180/Hour + GST as of May 2022. This is my first rate increase since April 2019. With the prices of transport and many other things going up dramatically, I have held off updating my rate for as long as I can. This is also my callout rate. I also give free quotes. I will charge for the first hour and then in 1/2 hour increments. Overtime or Weekend rates are charged at 1.5x normal rate.
If long travel distances are required, I also charge for my travel time and Toll fees.
Need a New Computer (April 2022 Prices)
If you feel that you have outgrown your current computer and want to upgrade it, check if it is worth doing. Many times the cost of upgrading an old computer is close to the cost of a new computer. Older parts are more expensive. Example, RAM or Memory: Current computers primarily use DDR4 ram and this is readily available. The previous RAM, DDR3 is still available but less commonly used. Earlier RAM would have to be suppled by specialist RAM stockists. Related to this would be the Motherboard which is the heart and soul of the computer. I you build a new computer, the motherboard would probably support DDR4 and possible the newer DDR5.
Here are some of the speeds associated with DDR5 RAM
- DDR5 4800MHz
- DDR5 5200MHz
- DDR5 5600MHz
- DDR5 6000MHz
- DDR5 6200MHz
- DDR5 6400MHz
DDR4 Speeds RAM shown below.
- DDR4 2133MHz
- DDR4 2400MHz
- DDR4 2666MHz
- DDR4 3000MHz
- DDR4 3200MHz
- DDR4 3333MHz
- DDR4 3600MHz
- DDR4 3733MHz
- DDR4 4000MHz
- DDR4 4200MHz
- DDR4 4266MHz
- DDR4 4400MHz
- DDR4 4600MHz
- DDR3 1333MHz
- DDR3 1600MHz
As can be seen, each time a new RAM family is released, the speeds increase. You would therefore need a motherboard which support the RAM you want to use. Then we come to the CPU or the brains of the computer.
The current CPU technology is now to build computers using the new Intel or AMD.
Here with each, you have to consider the model of the CPU and it’s generation.
- Core i3
- Core i5
- Core i7
- Core i9
- Core i9 X-Series
- Core i9 Extreme Edition
Generation – Approximately once a year a generation of released.
- 9th Gen
- 10th Gen
- 11th Gen
- 12th Gen
An i5 9th Generation CPU could cost $220 where a Intel Core i9 12900KS 16 Core LGA 1700 CPU Processor would cost $1200 It should be noted what LGA ( Land Grid Array) it is as this will match up to the motherboard LGA type. If the motherboard is a LGA 1700, then the CPU must be a LGA 1700.
Examples of motherboard selection criteria
Chipset : It’s the traffic controller between the CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, and peripherals. Experts have referred to it as the “glue” of the motherboard. The chipset is basically the electronics on the motherboard that communicate with all the connected components.
Form Factor : In computing, the motherboard form factor is the specification of a motherboard – the dimensions, power supply type, location of mounting holes, number of ports on the back panel, etc
Socket : A CPU socket uses a series of pins to connect a CPU’s processor to the PC’s motherboard. If a CPU is connected via a CPU socket, it is not soldered and can therefore be replaced. CPU sockets are more common with desktop gaming PCs than they are on laptops.
Also important is to know how many RAM or DDR slots the motherboard has and what type of RAM it support including the RAM speed it supports. The motherboard can typically have 2 slot but can go up to in some cases 12 slots for high end motherboards
An example of a LGA 1200 MB could be as follows.
Example : ASRock H510M-HVS LGA 1200 Micro-ATX Motherboard $99
- Chipset: Intel H510 – Socket: LGA 1200 –
- Memory: 2x DDR4 DIMM Slots (3200 Max) –
- Expansion Slot: 1x PCIe 4.0 x16, 1x PCIe 3.0 x1 –
- Storage Support: 4x SATA 3 Connectors –
- Rear I/O: 2x USB 3.2 Gen1, 4x USB 2.0, 1x PS/2 Keyboard, 1x PS/2 Mouse, 1x D-Sub, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ-45 LAN, HD Audio Jacks –
- Network: Realtek RTL8111H Gigabit LAN –
- Audio: 7.1 CH HD Audio (Realtek ALC897 Audio Codec) –
- H510M-HVS – 3 Years Limited Warranty
At the other end of the LGA 1200 motherboard range
Example : MSI MEG Z590 ACE LGA 1200 ATX Motherboard $670
- LGA 1200 Socket – Intel Z590 Chipset –
- DIMM Slot Support: 4x DDR4 (Max 128GB) –
- 2x PCIe 4.0 x16 slots, 1x PCIe 3.0 x16 slot- Storage Support: 4x M.2 Slots & 6x SATA Connectors – 2x Thunderbolt USB-C – Total USB Ports: 3x USB 3.2 Gen 2.0 (1x USB-C), 6x USB 3.2 Gen 1 & 6x USB 2.0
- Network: Intel I225-V 2.5G LAN & Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210,
- Bluetooth 5.2 –
- 8-Channel (7.1) HD Audio with Audio Boost 5 HD –
- 3 Years Limited Warranty
Then we need to choose a matching Motherboard, RAM, Case, DVD Drive, Hard Drive, Graphics Card (Assuming Onboard Graphics are insufficient). Some CPU’s do not support onboard graphics built into motherboard and would need a dedicated graphics card.
Graphics card can cost as much or more than a whole computer in some cases.
- GeForce RTX 3090 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3090
- GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3080
- GeForce RTX 3070 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3070
- GeForce RTX 3060 Ti
- GeForce RTX 3060
- GeForce RTX 3050
- GeForce RTX 2080 Super
- GeForce RTX 2060 Super
- GeForce RTX 2060
- GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1660 Super
- GeForce GTX 1660
- GeForce GTX 1650
- GeForce GTX 1050 Ti
- GeForce GTX 1050
- GeForce GT 1030
- GeForce GT 730
- GeForce GT 710
Then there is Memory Type, Cores, Outputs (HDMI, DVI, VGA, DISPLAYPORT)
Lots of decisions to be made. If you plan to runs something like a Flight Simulator, make sure your have the minimum requirements.
Microsoft Flight Simulator minimum specs
CPU: Ryzen 3 1200 / Intel i5-4460
GPU: Radeon RX 570 / NVIDIA GTX 770
Bandwidth: 5 Mbps
Microsoft Flight Simulator ideal specs
CPU: Ryzen 7 Pro 2700X / Intel i7-9800X
GPU: Radeon VII / Nvidia RTX 2080
HDD: 150GB (SSD recommended)
Bandwidth: 50 Mbps
I know of two people running the simulator. One is running with a GTX 2 series graphics card and it is maxed out but works. The other has a new gaming desktop with a 3 series GPU and a 4K screen and the simulation is much smoother.
For the top end graphics RTX 3090 Ti starts at $3200
GALAX GeForce RTX 3090 Ti EX Gamer ST 24GB Video Card – CUDA Cores 10752 – Boost Clock (MHz) 1860 – 1-Click OC Clock (MHz) 1875 – Memory Speed 21 Gbps – Memory: 24GB, GDDR6X – PCI-E 4.0 – Ports: 3x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1x HDMI 2.1 – Minimum Recommended PSU: 850W – OpenGL 4.6 – 39IXM5MD6HEG – 3 Years Limited Warranty
This series tops out at around $3650
ASUS GeForce RTX 3090 Ti ROG Strix LC OC 24GB Video Card – Core Clock: 1980 MHz (OC), 1950 MHz (Gaming) – CUDA Cores: 10752 – Power Connector: 1x 16-Pin – Memory Clock: 21000 MHz – Memory Size: 24GB, GDDR6X – Memory Bus: 384-Bit – Ports: 2x HDMI 2.1, 3x DisplayPort 1.4a – DirectX 12 – OpenGL 4.6 – PCI Express 4.0 x16 – Recommended PSU: 1000W or Greater – ROG-STRIX-LC-RTX3090TI-O24G-GAMING – 3 Years Limited Warranty
The Geforce RTX 3050 series starts with
GALAX GeForce RTX 3050 8GB EX 1-Click OC Video Card – – Graphics Processing: GeForce RTX 3050 – Boost Clock: 1822 MHz – 1-Clock OC Clock: 1837 MHz – CUDA Cores: 2560 – Memory Clock: 14000 MHz – Memory Size: 8GB, GDDR6 – Card Bus: PCI-E 4.0 – Recommended PSU: 550W – DirectX 12 Ultimate – OpenGL 4.6 – Output: 3x DisplayPort 1.4a, 1x HDMI 2.1 – 35NSL8MD6YEX – 3 Years Limited Warranty $400
and goes to
ASUS GeForce RTX 3050 ROG Strix OC 8GB Video Card – Graphics Processing: GeForce RTX 3050 – OC Mode: 1890 MHz – Gaming Mode: 1860 MHz – CUDA Cores: 2560 – Memory Clock: 14000 MHz – Memory Size: 8GB, GDDR6 – Card Bus: PCI-E 4.0 – Recommended PSU: 550W – DirectX 12 Ultimate – OpenGL 4.6 – Output: 3x DisplayPort 1.4a, 2x HDMI 2.1 – ROG Strix GeForce RTX 3050 OC Edition 8GB – 3 Years Limited Warranty $600
What windows do you want to run? Windows 7 (Harder to get), Windows 10, now at the 21H2 Edition or the latest Windows 11. Bear in mind, there are certain criteria which have to be met to allow the computer to run Windows 11.
Running out of Disk Space?
We can copy/clone your old drive onto a new larger drive and retain all your existing settings.
Are you worried about your data? Need to keep it secure? We offer the multiple options to ensure your families data is backed up regularly and securely. Backup costs are primarily dependent on the volume of data you need backed up. More data takes more time and a backup is only a good backup if it is verified that it is working.
Backup Drives costs can start at around $70 for a simple small data backup drive (2TB size).
- Backup to external Hard Drive. If your data exceeds the volume that a single CD or DVD can handle, then an external drive might be a better option. These drives would need to be large enough to store all your data and perhaps, multiple versions of your data. Drive options vary depending on the make, style and size of the drive.
- Backup to CD or DVD (Assuming your computer has a burner).. If your computer does not have a burner, the one can be installed if requested. DVD Burner can cost under $50 and can be installed and tested in around an hour assuming your computer supports an internal optical drive installation. You can also get a portable USB connected DVD burner. Media is relatively cheap. A 50 pack of DVD’s X16 Speed might cost in the region of $30. 4.7GIG storage capacity. Dual Layer DVD 8.5gig capacity would cost for 25 disks, around $71
There are over 1,000,000,000,000 computer viruses in existence as of 2008
- A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without the permission or knowledge of the owner.
- Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to collect information about a user, their computer or browsing habits without the user’s informed consent
- Adware or advertising-supported software is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware and can be classified as privacy-invasive software.
- Bitcoin Miners In simple terms, if you get a miner running on your computer, it will run possibly without being detected as a virus but it uses your computers processing power and electricity usage while the computer is on to produce data for the person who has planted this miner program. They then get the Bitcoin value sent to them by this program. It is cheaper to use other peoples/companies computers to generate this data then to build and maintain a BITCOIN generating computer.
- Ransomware : This is the current scourge impacting computer systems around the world. There are variants being created every few seconds which makes it difficult to identify and block. See my post.
Each of these need to be checked for and appropriate measures put in place to block, protect and remove infections from your computer. Some vendors provide bundled software which can be used to protect against all three types of infections. Remember, always check everything that you receive on your computer before opening it. It is better to be safe. From the website http://www.statisticbrain.com/computer-virus-statistics/
|Number of US households that experience heavy spam||24 million|
|Number of households that have had serious virus problems in the past 2 years||16 million|
|Number of households that have had spyware problems in the past 6 months||8 million|
|Number of households that lost money or had accounts misused by phishing||1 million|
|Estimated cost to US households for viruses, spyware and phishing||$4.55 billion|
|Percent of all US households that have been affected by viruses||40 %|
|Most widespread virus to date by number of infections – “Conficker Virus”||8,976,038|