Last year one evening the Mrs turned to me and asked, don't I need a new computer? God I love that woman <g> Daddy's computer is usually a desktop, and usually made from parts:
It's been a while. My old PC was getting a bit long in the tooth - Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, 32bit XP (yes, the irony...). Had a sweet GeForce 9800 GTS video card, but the box was about 5 years old now. Still handles the load well, so I had no pressing need to change.
And I hate reinstalling all my software and Win7's only an upgrade from Vista, so I was in no rush to rebuild my machine.
If you haven't noticed, I tend to play the long game. The 'old' PC was 5 years old. Its predecessor was 7 (and even that died ahead of schedule, due to a fried motherboard/cpu). Now granted, the case is 5 years old, but I've replaced a few parts - memory upped to 4GB, added an SSD, on my 3rd video card for the machine, and went on a mouse binge fest last year when my old MX Revolution died after many years in the line of service. So not exactly all original parts. But the core was original - same old cpu, no USB 3.0, etc. Last year I said Win8 will be out next year, and it'll be time for a new PC.
I expected to buy the 'box' at Fry's, throw them a few bucks to assemble it, buy the other half of parts from Newegg and finish it myself. Turned out Fry's had (almost - see below) everything I wanted (and at equal or better price), so I splurged the sales tax instead of waiting:
All told it was ~$1,800 plus assembly and sales tax. I originally expected to blow 1500, but the power supply, motherboard and cpu were tad more than I expected to spend, and I didn't account for the UPS at all in my original plans. My bad.
I did a lot of research the past few weeks, and learned a few things, as well as a few pleasant surprises at Fry's:
The only disappointment was the drive. I wanted to get a Seagate, but apparently Fry's is having some marital spat with their buyer so they're not stocking any Seagate drives right now. I wanted a 1TB+ internal with a 5-year warranty, and the pickings were slim. The alternatives were a WD Caviar Green (cheaper, even the 3TB, but less perf, and only 2-year warranty!) or some (to me) less desirable drives. The Blacks have a pretty good rep and I've used them before. Just need to work out a backup strategy that doesn't suck, for peace of mind if nothing else. Paranoia's not always a bad thing :-) I figured I'd get the box sans HD and pick up a Seagate at Office Depot (where I got my last one when my drive died last year), but turns out OD doesn't really carry internals anymore - one 1TB desktop, one 500GB notebook, and all the rest SSD or externals. So I crossed my fingers and got the WD.
Took me almost 2 days to install Win 7 (x64!), shift over the drives (why reinstall when I can copy <g>), let Steam download overnight to its heart content and otherwise fiddle with the box. I did learn I have 100GB of music, and transferring 100GB from a SATA2 drive to a SATA3 drive connected to the same motherboard takes ~37 minutes :P
My only mistake was installing Win 7. I didn't realize Win 8 was already available to MSDN Subscribers (as of Aug'15!) else I'd have just gone Win8 Pro from the start. But it's a quick and reliable upgrade, so I'll fire that off shortly.
But not just yet. I'm enjoying The Secret World and a few other games right now on uber ultra max'd out settings :-)