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Page 4 of 8 pages
The thing is, if you care about what's inside the box at all, you end up doing a lot of the research anyway. "Is the i7 worth the extra money over the i5?" That sort of thing.
If I could build a washer in 30-60 minutes with parts that kick the ass of what I would get from a manufacturer, I would do it. My current gaming rig was an $1800 build, crushes what an OEM sells for $1800, and the same config would have been $2480 at Ibuypower and $2510 at cyberpowerpc.
Under $500, a pre-built makes sense. For a high-performance rig, if you're at all competent with your hands, it doesn't. Either of the two $1000 builds I posted will almost certainly still be managing games at moderate settings and 1080p in 5 years, without a single upgrade.
Some of this is is due to even Dell offering a lot less customization (i.e., you can't really build your own, selecting all components anymore) so there were certain options I couldn't get around/eliminate, but just messing around, I can say for absolute certain that my desktop will be a home build.
Team Fortress 2 is easily my most played game on Steam, at 1189 hours.
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard ($212.50 @ Newegg)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($134.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Crucial M4 64GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($78.99 @ Expansys US)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive ($67.00 @ Amazon)
Video Card: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 Vapor-X 3GB Video Card ($304.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Define R4 (Black Pearl) ATX Mid Tower Case ($84.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 800W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($109.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Pioneer BDR-207MBK Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($64.99 @ Amazon)
I'm not generally into cases with front doors and prefer airy cases with a lot of mesh panels,
My point is, who gives a ####? For an extra $300 bucks spent every two to three years, I can devote 0% of my brain space to this and get a more reliable product (at least until I've done multiple builds, which sounds like a skill that takes years to develop), with better customer support and no need to learn how to troubleshoot. Why take a simple, no fuss appliance and turn it into something that requires thought? I'm sure with enough granularity you can take any stupid product and geek out on it, but its pointless.
What a bizarre and pointless hobby.
It takes like half an hour to assemble a PC that you can use daily for 3-5 years. And homebuilders have access to plenty of nifty cases and components that you simply can't get from the mass-market manufacturers. You can let a white-box builder build it for you, though, if little Lord Fauntleroy is afraid to get his hands dirty.
Not to mention, you end up with a much better idea of how to upgrade, and you'll spend time anyway doing due diligence on whether a given white-box builder is reliable. There are plenty out there who do cheapo builds. Hell, Dell used to sell computers that were very difficult to upgrade, since that wasn't their business. It's silly to think building your own is any more "bizarre" than any other useful hobby on planet earth. Why not condemn bird watching, home repair, and swapping out your own alternator, while you're at it?
I'm particularly talking about the fetishizing of things like power supplies and after-market CPU coolers...
Even if its 30-60 min to actually physically assemble (with "good hands"), you're talking about hours of research and shopping to save, what, a few hundred bucks?
Ah, those all-in-ones are actually something that you *don't* want to build yourself as they have more in common with laptops in design than desktops. Nobody really builds laptops - a few extremely hardcore people do, but laptop parts are much more difficult to get your hands on. They're not like desktop parts in availability.
I'm particularly talking about the fetishizing of things like power supplies and after-market CPU coolers
Which is a shame, as I would have liked to build my latest computer as a really big laptop instead of a desktop. I imagine there are only, oh, 10 million people who'd enjoy building a laptop. It's odd that it's not a more straightforward process than it is.
where does the income in a shop come from these days?
While I've got some tech folks here, I seem to remember hearing about a service that would take your CD collection and put it all on an external hard drive for you. I own about three or four hundred CDs and it would be nice not to have to manually burn all those songs to a hard drive if I could pay someone a reasonable price to do it for me. Am I making this up, or does such a service exist?
Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge do not run cool, either. We're talking high-end CPUs, not someone surfing the web on a Sandy Bridge Celeron that came in their $300 Dell or a low-end APU.
@347: ah, the high school kid who actually shows up and actually follows instructions. A mythical beast, in these parts.
I was being hyperbolic but the larger point here is that modern processors are awesome and the headroom an aftermarket cooler gives on overclocking is mostly just an exercise in dick swinging. There is little practical benefit for gaming.
The sandy bridge celerons are 90% as good as the i3 versions at equivalent clock speeds. I think the only difference is a slightly smaller cache and maybe a couple instruction sets. I run a couple 2.6ghz sandy bridge celerons in my shop, they are fine office machines and then some.
And all my files are tagged neatly and consistently. I'm not a neat and organized person (and in fact, a bit of a slob), but my media library is that of someone with severe OCD.
I'd be happy to take your music if only it were not illegal, as I never, ever do anything illegal, folks from the NSA reading this post.
You're wrong. And if you ever have the misfortune of frying a CPU, let me tell you, you will never, ever forget that smell.
Well, relatively speaking, it's a light load. What constitutes a low-end processor is quite powerful and blows away old CPUs. Games and scientific applications will still generally be way more taxing on a PC than the web is.
I've never burnt a cpu and of the 40+ computers I've built in my life only one of them I used an aftermarket cooler on.
If you want to take an old, slow, core 2 duo machine and turn it into a blazer, replace your stock HD with an SSD before necessarily investing in a fancy new i5.
I couldn't tell you how many computers I've built, but it's certainly over a thousand. Granted, many were back in the day when you didn't need coolers at all, but many are more recent.
I don't overclock, and the folks I usually build for don't either. I've never used anything but a stock cooler, and I've never once fried a CPU.
If you want to take an old, slow, core 2 duo machine and turn it into a blazer, replace your stock HD with an SSD before necessarily investing in a fancy new i5. Computers for the average home user and office worker are a lot like other appliances now. The one you already paid for 5 years ago is 90% as good as the fancy brand new one. People don't change refrigerators every 5 years, and I don't recommend people change computers more than every 5 years as well -- unless course they are a power user.
n contrast, the demands on a computer have increased, and applications do require more system resources to run. It's like saying somebody with an old black-and-white TV shouldn't bother getting a new HD flatscreen,..
Sooo anyways, this thread has inspired me to give the old civ4 Caveman 2 Cosmos mod another whirl. I am about 45 mins in, and so far... err I have decided on my map settings, and narrowed my starting leader/nation down to 2.
Swapping out your own alternator is also silly.
Swapping out your own alternator is also silly.
Look at Mr. Fancy Pants, who has the money to pay other people to fix his car for him.
No, it really isn't. It's like saying that for somebody with a 36" flatscreen a 48" HD flatscreen is nice, but hardly necessary.
A smartly built 5 year old system isn't going to be overwhelmed by any but the most graphics intensive applications. My long experience tells me that at five years, for well built systems, it's far more likely a computer will break down that it will become obsolete (or even close to it).
Sadly, it's near impossible.
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Seriously, I am considering getting at least a 60" TV eventually, especially if I go for 4K.
I tried playing The Witcher again based on the GOG sale, but the female models in that game annoy the #### out of me. Every dude is dressed in dirty dark ages getup, and every woman has her gigantic waps flapping out. For a game that's trying to be more complex than your average RPG, it's a real downer and ruins my immersion in the game. At least with Planescape: Torment the ingame graphics were bad enough that I could ignore the ridiculous clothing on women. I mean, Christ, I'm a 30 year old man. I thought this was ridiculous when I was 15.
I agree with this. My current system will be 5 years old this fall, and the only upgraded part is a GeForce 550ti I threw in a year or so ago after the first GPU failed. Otherwise it's all 2008 hardware, and not bleeding edge stuff from 2008 either. By modern gaming machine standards it's underpowered, but I've had no problem playing any recent games at higher graphics settings. Maybe not the very highest, but it was able to make Bioshock Infinite and Borderlands 2 both look and play great.
It's more likely that the HD will fail before any games come out that I want to play on it but can't.
Seriously, I am considering getting at least a 60" TV eventually, especially if I go for 4K. I like an entirely immersive video game experience, where the edge of the picture is the edge of my visual arc. If you can see even a hint of border, it's not full visual immersion. If that sounds ridiculous, try sitting less than a foot from a 27" monitor and see how easy it is to handle.
you could definitely go bigger
It's a funny thing. My mother came over to my apartment a couple of weeks ago and I mentioned that I was thinking of upgrading the television. I expected her to say something like "oh, that's so unnecessary" and she said "your TV isn't small, but you could definitely go bigger." My dad, on the other hand, thinks my current television is pretty close to capacity for the room.
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