Dear Readers I have a secret. I feel dirty. I have a nasty habit. I have been in the closet about this for along time but its time to open up. Its time to face my fears. I hate buying a new computer. Is it wrong to be an IT professional that hates to buy new computers? Why are people so judgemental? Its not my fault. I mostly blame my parents. It has to be someones fault even though they have had more new computers than me.
Why do I hate buying that new machine? I am not your typical user. And since we are coming completely out of the closet here it is… I have a gaming addiction. I love to log on and kick the trash out of other 30 something year olds posing as 14 year olds. Ok you pervs, Its so they can score a few more points off my sympathy of an adult not wanting to beat a child. My poison is the Battlefield series. Its your fault Vince. You and your download this game its cool. My wife hates you for it.
So I hate buying new machines… I know that in 2-3 years I will be back where I am now. It turns out I am a poor loser. And now I am getting beat because my hardware is a) old and b) its failing mechanically. Moore’s Law states that the power of a microchip will double approximately every 18 months. This poor machine is 2 years, 6 months, 30 days old but who is keeping track. That is 1.83 Moores.
So now comes the shopping… I could buy a prebuilt machine which is a fine way to buy a computer but not the best bang for your buck and certainly no gamer will ever do it that way at least any that aren’t wealthy. Something about paying 4k for a machine that in 3 years I will literally give away or throw away, I have done both. This time I think the wife might get it. I will just upgrade some parts on the cheap and she will be happy as a clam in sand. It will also keep her off my machine.
The second option is to do your research and build your own. This is my method of getting a lot better bang for the buck. Now for people who don’t game this is a waste of your time. If you just need a basic computer for anything but gaming a $600 HP is fine. Gaming requires a lot of horsepower. The name of the game is transfering little packets of information at lightspeed a little faster than your competitor. Your Ping rate is the big deal. My ping has been sinking faster than my 401k lately and I can’t take it. In simple terms the player with the lower ping will win when shooting each other. Now there are literally thousands of other variables but ping is a big deal.
So I need to find the best bang for the buck. Buying the cutting edge is a fools game. It means you waste about 40% more money than if you buy on the curve. As new products get released yesterdays must have product is now not as valuable and because of Moores law this process is quite rapid. It is even worse around Christmas when new games and new machines are bought. The first step is to find out what products are the must haves and what products are just slightly less. The money saved is major and the performance often times isn’t that much different. I usually try to decide who is winning is it AMD or is it Intel. I will then choose a motherboard and the appropriate RAM. The last piece is the graphcis card which is very important for the latest games. After all that is decided choosing a new case and figuring out if you are keeping any of your old hardware for the build. I generally have 3 harddrives at any moment. I seem to have one new, one about a year old and one that is dying. I seem to RMA/Warranty a lot of harddrives and they usually upgrade the size as they die. This whole process drives me nuts… I don’t read up on all the computer changes over time. I do it now and then during the 3 year replacement period. Professional IT people don’t order gaming machines at work. I don’t have to research for a new workstation. I might read up on new server technology but not that often. I have a variety of servers that do a variety of things and don’t require much more than more CPU’s and more RAM. The rest of the parts are pretty standard.
I think the hard part is choosing wisely and not blowing the family budget. When I was single I was a lot more selfish. I miss that sometimes. Nah I love having a little girl who tells me everyday that she loves me and a wife who loves me so much that she is quite understanding with my addictions. So this is the hell I am currently enduring… that and what to buy my wife for Christmas… Its terrible.
PS AC/DC is blasting in my office…