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Oct 19, 2009

Tech Shopping in Kathmandu

     Well it is a festive season and plus my PC has been really old (by the way, its two years old) so it was a good reason for me to do an upgrade. I was accompanied by my friend Sajaan who also wanted a PC and a flash drive. We hovered all around New Road to Putalisadak in search of computer components. We went to almost all vendors searching for products and getting their price.

Here is the detail of the day:
     First we went to Computer Bazaar in Putalisadak where we found one of our friend who was looking for a decent graphics card. We found that vendors there had very small range of GPUs. ATI's graphics cards were very few(only Radeon 4670 and Radeon 4750). Even Nvidia's cards were few. High-End cards were very hard to find leave alone mid range cards. Most of the shops had outdated Geforce 8400GT and 8500GT. So he zeroed on  two GPUs Geforce 9600GT  512 and Geforce 9500GT 1 GB. 9600GT cost around Rs 10,000 and the latter cost Rs 5,500. He chose to buy one 9500GT and spend rest of the money on 2 GB RAM stick which cost him Rs 2500.
     Then we parted with him and went on our quest of finding the best possible configuration for a HTPC. I was fed up with Intel's processors so this time around I wanted to buy an AMD processor. But bad luck for me, I could hardly find any AMD chips. Wherever we searched, we found only Intel's chip and that too old ones. Latest processors like Core i7 and Phenom II from Intel and AMD respectively, were hard to find. I could find only two processors from AMD's Athlon II series that were Athlon II 240 for Rs 7500 and Athlon II 250 for Rs 8900. I zeroed for Athlon II 240 which fitted my need perfectly. Then the search for motherboard began. As I had chosen to get an AMD processor so I wanted to get a motherboard based on AMD's 785 chipset as it is newly released board and it has decent integrated graphics with 128 MB memory as side port. But AMD's board were a case of rarity leave alone the 785G chipsets.  Some vendors even showed me Intel's board when I asked for 785G. We searched everywhere in New Road and Putalisadak but all in vain. It seems like Intel is vendors' favorite brand and G31 their favorite model. Now lets come to other components that I needed. RAM sticks' price had risen and no vendor had any DDR3 modules as they are very expensive here. They had DDR2 sticks ranging from 512 MB to 2 GB but not more than that. DDR2 667 MHz was the common product along with some 800 MHz and 533 MHz sticks in some shops. As the 533 and 667 MHz modules are old, I chose to get a 2 GB 800 MHz stick at Rs 2500. 667 sticks cost little less than Rs 2000 for a 2 GB stick. So 800 MHz is a better choice in price to performance ratio. When it comes to hard drives, they are the cheapest thing available. Products from both Seagate and Western Digital were found. They ranged from 80 GB to whooping 500 GB. And to my surprise there is not much difference in their prices. 500 GB drive from Seagate costs Rs 5000 to 5500 depending upon the vendors. 320 GB costs Rs 4200 and 250 GB drive costs Rs 200 less than its big brother. So in my opinion 500 GB drive is a very good option as storage need is increasing day by day. Now lets come to the monitors. CRT monitor are like history now and LCDs have become really cheap and affordable. We found LCDs from brands like Samsung, AOC, Viewsonic, LG, HP and BenQ. Most of the vendors had LCDs ranging from 15” to 22”. Some also had 26” and 32” LCD's. Today wide screen is a most if you are in gaming and are a movie buff. 19” monitors are dirt cheap costing around Rs 10,500 to 12,000 varying according to brands and vendors. 17” monitors costs as little as Rs 8000 to 10,000 and 20” costs little more than Rs 13,000. I decided on a 19” LCD from HP.
Coming to conclusion from this shopping( if you can say so),I think people have a plenty of choices here except for motherboard and processors( I haven't taken Graphics cards into consideration as hardly 15% people buy a discrete card). When it come to this category, search for appropriate  board and processor can be hectic and even make you mad at the vendor. When it comes to high end boards and processor you have only choice to get it from abroad. Even if have you enough money you can't get them here. It seems like most of the vendors have little or no knowledge about the product they are selling. Still there are some vendors who are very good and provide every information that you want about a product. At last I can only say that we need better products and better vendors. Otherwise we will always be stuck with outdated products for our life.


  1. Yea i totally agree with you saurav.
    So leave those computer illeterate vendors we will open our own shop..What say?

  2. everything is fine, but for a reader to read a paragraph would always be a kind of challenge, so i advise you to find better way to attract reader, so i want to suggest that a highlight on the subject matter just below or above the title would have been great.

  3. gud article .....inspired by agent 001 from(****)... though gud job keep it up ....

  4. I am looking forward for the PC configuration. The configuration should meet latest devices available in the market and their features. In addition, if you can list the price of the devices then it would be better.

  5. thanx for the comments. keep on supporting me.

  6. Don't worry friend, we are with you.

  7. hmm.. seems like hardware freak hehe... better if u have included price list as well.

    From your review we can see much development in the IT sector in just a decade.

    By the way, why do you need such high-class hardwares? I bet you are not a high-end graphic designer nor a programmer ;)

    There is nothing new in technology. Thing you buy today gets outdated tomorrow. And also taking it in business point of view it is not beneficial to the vendors as they target large number of costumers. New products are surprisingly expensive as well.

    There are not much aware costumers like you in KTM valley.

  8. @saaZ, thanks for the comment. You are right to say that technology changes everyday. but that does not mean that peoples have to get stuck with old gadgets( i mean old as 2yrs or more in this case). BTW i am not a graphics designer but am a going-to-be-a-programmer. :)
    anyways thanx for writing in. Hope people will be more aware in future.

  9. going-to-be-a-programmer means you are learning programming! ;) so what are u learning now-a-days. I expect you post something related to your programming skill here in your blog as a tutorial.

  10. @ saaZ ya ya I'm learning programming. I'm learning Java at collage and Ajax by myself.
    and yes i'm thinking about writing something on programming but it will take some time. :)

  11. I'll be waiting for your programming projects ;)