Monday, August 06, 2007

Computer Wars

I'm treading on thin ice here. I'm going to ask the Spoonhouse their opinion on a serious subject. At the risk of suffering shame and ridicule (I can hear it now, "nOOb!!!"), and the possibility that this post will spiral out of control once Cohort gets a hold of it and divulges his embarrassing bedroom story from last Friday, I am going to seek technical advice.
I'm in the market for a new PC. Mine is an old Compaq (2002), and it's age really began to show when I installed Unreal Anthology and the nearly 10GB it required soaked up 25% of my hard drive. So, in order to keep up with the Joneses (or the Hawkses), I need a new machine. Right now is a good time to buy from big-box stores because of their back to school specials. A perusal of the recent ads turned up the following specs on various machines (HP, Compaqs, Gateways, etc), all for around $600:
300-400GB hard drive
2048MB memory
2.1-2.6 GHz processor (mostly AMD Athlons)
and 17"-19" flat panel LCD monitors
I have no idea what the video cards in these type of machines are though.

So here's the question: Should I buy a bundled desktop, or build one from scratch ala Simon and Jizzoel? Seems to me that years ago you could build a kick-ass machine from scratch and save yourself a ton of money, but I think that gap has shrunk. What say you!?


Blogger Cohort Mandibles said...

That's a pretty good deal on a pre-built machine. The only problem with those is that they come with a bunch of shitty factory-installed software that taps your anal every 3 seconds. Everytime you try to do something you have fucking Yahoo banners & toolbars flying all over the country and Vongo advertisements bending you over, plus a lot of other useless drivel. But once you get all that shit deleted and uninstalled, it's a lot better. Also the more I use Vista the more I like it. It seemed kind of homoey at first, but if you load your computer up with a shit ton of RAM it seems to run way better. These are just my gay thoughts though, I'm sure the uber-nerds of the blog will argue me on this.

6/8/07 11:10  
Blogger Cohort Mandibles said...

Oh, P.S.

6/8/07 11:11  
Blogger Simon Hawk said...

I think in the long run building your own is better because it's easier to upgrade them .vs buying a whole new big box store machine.

The fexibility that building your own computer offers is almost unlimited too. I also REALLY LIKE the fact that when you build your own computer you don't have a bunch of useless SHITTY programs installed like the big box companies load onto their machines. You get good old windows and thats it. Anything else you can download for free or buy from a store.

Windows Vista is the latest OS from microsoft and from what I hear its a memory HOG, you'll need a massive video card and tons of RAM just to run it in the first place. If you build your own machine you can stick with XP until it become oboselete and then upgrade to Vista later.

It's really up to you. There's always some sort of bug or set-back when you build your own, but the satisfaction is well worth it when everything is said and done I think. I've been involved in building five compters this past year, all of them are working flawlessly (knock on wood) so far and I couldn't be happier with them.

I doubt you're going to save much money, I'd probably buy a box machine and order an upgraded video card if you don't want the hassle of building and debugging your own computer.

6/8/07 11:23  
Blogger Cohort Mandibles said...

Building a computer is easier anyway. Just slap some shit in a box and plug in a few wires. It's better than dealing with those jack-offs from Best Buy or waiting 6 years to have your machine shipped from a magazine.

6/8/07 11:42  
Blogger Matt McMinn said...

* If you're not doing anything special, anything you buy off the shelf will be more than powerful to meet your needs.
* If you want games, you want more ram and a better video card. Check the prices on an off-the-shelf + 2gb ram + good video card (I like nvidia), and you're probably up in the 800 to 1000 range. You don't need the latest and greatest of everything, so you can skimp a bit on things that are easily upgradable (hard drive, dvd rom, etc) to get a better base system.

You can build a computer, from opening all the boxes to having an installed OS in an afternoon if you know what you're doing, so for a first timer, I'd give it a day, but it's not hard. If you want to, you can order everything and come over and I'll help you set it up.

When I built our last computer two years ago, it cost me about $1000, not including OS (because I didn't buy one). I could probably have gotten a comparable off-the-shelf for a bit more, but the price is probably comparable. But it's good for you to build your own, you learn more about how all this crap works, and what a miracle it is that it works at all, and that you should all be praising people like me for making it possible.

6/8/07 12:00  
Blogger Simon Hawk said...

All this work just to look at Bree Olson nude. Jeeze.

6/8/07 12:46  
Blogger Jim Brannick said...

I think it was Garble's dad that said the internet was useful for two things: E-mail and Porn.

6/8/07 12:57  
Blogger Jim Brannick said...

Well reading all your input (thanks, btw), it looks like I probably should buy one off-the-shelf. I'm not going to be doing anything "special" with it (I run all the super-huge/complex datasets thru my work PC), but I would like the ability to load a UT2004 game in under 20 seconds. Oh, and watch porn too.
McMinn, I'd take you up on your offer of help but I think the 2,200 mile round-trip from TX to MI would reduce the cost-effectiveness of assembling my own.
Seems like building vs. buying a PC is similar to fishing for food. Sure, you can go out buy all the equipment for fishing, etc, and catch fish to eat, but it's a lot cheaper (and timely) to go to Long John Silver's for a fishwich. Okay, bad analogy, but you get the idea.

6/8/07 13:03  
Blogger Matt McMinn said...

Now I want a fishwich. And I don't think there's a LJS around here - but there is a Big Johns Steak and Onion, that might hit the spot.

6/8/07 13:14  
Blogger Jim Brannick said...

Fucker. Now I want a BJSO. They don't have those down here. We're covered up with Dairy Queens and Weinerlands though.

6/8/07 13:16  
Blogger Simon Hawk said...

Mmmmmmm...DQ uuuugugghhhhhhhh.....

6/8/07 13:18  
Blogger Matt McMinn said...

Within one minute of getting off the expressway there's a dairy queen, BJSO, and a chinese restaurant. You can see why I moved here.

Fucking A I'm hungry.

6/8/07 13:36  

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