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So, my desktop is dying, and I'm dithering about a replacement. I… - John [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
John

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[Jul. 18th, 2006|11:09 pm]
John
So, my desktop is dying, and I'm dithering about a replacement. I suppose part of the question I have to ask myself is whether or not I can deal with the annoyances of working only on a laptop for a few more weeks while I build up some cash to buy a real computer, and whether or not I can put together a decent desktop from the supplies I have around the house... and whether I want to buy a cheapie replacement, knowing that in under a year I'll probably want to replace it again. Add to this my desire to travel to Philadelphia sometime in the late summer/early fall, and it gets even more complicated, since it'll mean a week off from work, and the costs of flying and car rental, and such.

In the meantime, I do have a setup to use my laptop from my desk, and the biggest worry I have is that I'll only have one computer if/when a computer-using friend wants to visit, and I am very, very slowly catching up on communications with folks. I'm starting to fall behind on livejournal, but I'll either catch up or I won't.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: kightp
2006-07-19 06:46 am (UTC)
I could offer to wrestle you for computer privileges next time I come up. (-:
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[User Picture]From: ztrooper
2006-07-19 02:35 pm (UTC)
Welllll.... having gone the cheap route on my file server, and suffering the meltdown less than 6 months later... I'm thinking you'll want to go with something of quality, even if it's not super powerful.

What parts do you need? It's possible to get decent system componets for 300-500 for most all the guts...

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[User Picture]From: johnpalmer
2006-07-19 10:20 pm (UTC)
Well, I pretty much need a whole new system. I've had to swap out everything on this machine over a few years, to the point that I don't even trust that the case and power supply aren't causing a short, or something, causing the memory, or the disk, or the motherboard, to go bad.

I'm seriously tempted to buy a pre-built system, but no one really has one in my sweet spot. The cheapest ones aren't expandable (some won't even allow a video card swap - what kind of idiot came up with that idea?) (Never mind, I know... someone who wants you to buy a whole new computer if you decide to get into heavy graphical applications), and the ones that tend to have all the goodies I want tend not to be within my hoped-for price range.

Plus, I've been out of the "drooling over components" game for too long, and I have no idea what's good anymore. I mean, I know I'd rather have SATA, especially since a new disk drive is in the cards anyway (and I never filled my 100 gig drive past 40, so the smallest SATA I can probably buy is better for me than the largest IDE). But I have no idea about motherboards anymore. I'd kinda like an AMD dual core processor, but I don't think I can afford that... so maybe a machine that can upgrade to one would be nice, but it'll take some time to figure that out.

I think I want to give up on AGP graphics... I think PCI-E is considered the default now. But I'm not even sure of that. (Damn shame, too... I don't remember how much memory my old graphics card had, only that it was a lot larger than many of my earlier computers - 64? 128? More? and it overpowered all the games I run - keeping in mind that Warcraft III has the highest requirements of any game I play, and I don't play competitive, so it just has to *run*, it doesn't have to be blazingly fast.)

(By the way, did you play through Starcraft and Warcraft III? Tell me the truth, one gamer to another: the story line in Starcraft totally wipes the storyline in Warcraft off the map, doesn't it?)

Ah well... tonight's a non-gym night, so it's pretty likely I'll end up drawn to Fry's or CompUSA and will walk out with a computer or with components. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, but we'll see. I still have some willpower (read as: an unwillingness to dirty my last "clean" credit card).
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[User Picture]From: ztrooper
2006-07-19 10:30 pm (UTC)
First, I'd strongly urge you to go to Newegg.com to do your purchases. they've got the best prices.

For a dual core, the 3800+ is the lease expensive processor in that line.. though I hear there is a major price break coming.

If you'd like, I'd be happy to talk to you about what's what out there. I'm current on my component-fu.

drop me a note w/ your phone#.
cbiro@wideopenwest.com
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From: (Anonymous)
2006-07-21 05:23 pm (UTC)
Yes, Newegg is pretty good. Right now, my most likely next computer is one of their homebuilds with some really nice component choices. I'm a bit torn; there are some relatively cheap HP and Compaq builds with AMD processors, a free PCI-E slot, a gig of memory, and a LightScribe burner. I think I'll end up going with the NewEgg build, though. I've heard one person just bought one of those systems and had a hard time putting a flipping *hard drive* in. (I thought having a hard time putting a CD burner in was the ultimate!)

It's one of those things... manufacturers should be exposed to constant ridicule if you can't swap out memory, hard drives, optical drives, and video cards. Can't get to the processor? That's okay. Motherboard mounting isn't standard? That's okay. Need to use a power cable splitter to add a new drive? Barely acceptable, but okay. But those four components are obvious candidates for upgrading, even on a brand new system.
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