The Hole I’m Writing This On

 

Amy and I both play World of Warcraft. As the game progressed, we had to use lower settings and had reduced frame rate as our systems aged. So, on Black Friday, we saw some Graphics cards on sale, so we bought a couple. I swapped Amy’s card out in 10 minutes. Old one out, new one in, no problem. For my computer, I had two problems — perhaps you can see one.

Old Case

If I removed the hard drive, then I might have gotten it to fit, but the power supply would not have been enough.

So I waited, and ordered a new case (that could fit a kitten, no picture) and power supply. I got all the parts last night, and was able to swap the motherboard.

At midnight, I decided that sleep would be a good thing. Coming back this morning, I got everything installed and “tidied” up.

The sharp-eyed among you might notice some unconnected cables. Well, the front panel I/O headers on the MoBo are under the Graphics Card, and there’s not clearance to plug them in. There are solutions, but I’ve spent more on this upgrade than I did on the original computer. To be fair, it was a return so it was a reduced price.

Some lessons: another computer is helpful to look up motherboard pinouts. Think about the form factor when buying hardware.

On another note, I might have to unplug the power LED indicator. I can see the light on the ceiling.

Anyone else have some holes that suck money?

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  1. Valiuth Inactive
    Valiuth
    @Valiuth

    This is why I just have someone else make my computers for me. 

    • #1
  2. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    This is why I just have someone else make my computers for me.

    Me too. I got off the do it yourself train on these a while back. Just could not keep up. 

    • #2
  3. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    This is why I just have someone else make my computers for me.

    Me too. I got off the do it yourself train on these a while back. Just could not keep up.

    What’s hilarious is that my computer, the one that was so easy to swap complements, goes by the name of “The PC of Theseus” because it has been nothing but replacement parts for going on 20 years. It still has a 3.5″ floppy drive!

    • #3
  4. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    It still has a 3.5″ floppy drive!

    Don’t worry. You will complete King’s Quest one day. 

    • #4
  5. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    ChefSly – Super Kit: Anyone else have some holes that suck money?

    That is the definition of a boat.

    • #5
  6. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    When you’re buying cases, buy the biggest one you can afford.

    I used to build all my computers, probably 20 or so, going back to the time when you had to set a jumper to tell the motherboard the clock speed of the CPU.  The last couple, I’ve just let someone else build it.  There are some computer guys I used to work with who are glad to do it, and know what I want:  not quite cutting edge technology.  Though the actual construction is way easier now, I don’t feel like spending the time to match up CPU speed, video speed and resolution, and memory speed.

    • #6
  7. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    You know that bit about the cobbler’s kids got no shoes?  Yeah, that’s me.  Every so often I think I’ll build myself a smoker.  So I do a bit of research (“What’s new these days?”) and quickly give up.

    However, last year I began dabbling in building ARs.  Mainly, as I’ve posted on before, because I wanted each of my kids to have one.  I’m still just dabbling, mind you, but these are “holes”, nonetheless.  The options for spending money are limitless.  

    • #7
  8. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Spin (View Comment):
    Every so often I think I’ll build myself a smoker.

    • #8
  9. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):

    Spin (View Comment):
    Every so often I think I’ll build myself a smoker.

    “…beats four aces…”

    • #9
  10. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member
    The (apathetic) King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    My daughter built her first computer for Christmas. It was a glorious experience. 

    But more seriously, how old is that mobo that it assumes a single slot GPU? You already have the new case, GPU, & PSU. With memory prices headed the way they’re going I see no reason not to just spend the $200 on a new Athlon plus supporting parts. And that Athlon could serve as a placeholder until the Ryzen 2 (3000 series) parts come out in the very near term. If the leaks are even 80% true those things are going to be beasts.

    Were you able to at least get the power and reset buttons hooked up?

    • #10
  11. Belt Member
    Belt
    @Belt

    I purchased my first two computers, and then built my next two.  The first PC was nearly unrecognizable in the end, from all the tinkering.  But nowadays I’m at the point where it’s not worth the effort.  I bought my current desktop, and I spent enough on it that it’ll be capable for some years yet.  At some point it’ll have to be replaced, and I may just buy a nice high-end laptop and run with that.

    It used to be that kids and adults would tinker on cars and obsess over the mechanical ins-and-outs of getting the best performance, or the coolest ride, or whatnot.  In the 80s and 90s it shifted over to computer hardware, then to websites and blogs.  It’s shifting again, but to what?  Social media platforms?  I wonder…

    • #11
  12. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    It still has a 3.5″ floppy drive!

    Don’t worry. You will complete King’s Quest one day.

    My favorite ever (the original, real one, of course).  Especially episode three or four.  The Perils of Rubella, or something like that, IIRC.

    • #12
  13. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    ChefSly – Super Kit: Anyone else have some holes that suck money?

    Yarn.

    There are folks here who will understand immediately.  The rest of you not so much, now or ever.

    • #13
  14. Clavius Thatcher
    Clavius
    @Clavius

    I used to build my PCs, but with the deals I’ve been getting at Costco for my last couple of desktops, it would be way more expensive to build than to buy.

    • #14
  15. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    I played games on PC for years and have nothing against it. If I travelled more, I would still game on my laptop. But simplicity and reliability are major reasons I prefer dedicated consoles. 

    The last PC game I played was Orcs Must Die. Fast but fun.

    • #15
  16. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):
    The last PC game I played was Orcs Must Die. Fast but fun.

    The first computer game I ever played was Hunt the Wumpus.  We (me and kids) programmed it in ourselves.

    • #16
  17. Spin Coolidge
    Spin
    @Spin

    Clavius (View Comment):

    I used to build my PCs, but with the deals I’ve been getting at Costco for my last couple of desktops, it would be way more expensive to build than to buy.

    As with ARs, so it is with PCs.  If you just want a rifle to shoot every once in a while, basic use:  buy one.  If you want something that is going to be a performance monster, and customized to what you want: build one.  Or maybe you just enjoy it, so you build for the fun of it.  

    • #17
  18. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I gave up on WoW about 3 years ago.  I’m playing an old DOS game, Fantasy General now.

    • #18
  19. cirby Member
    cirby
    @cirby

    You think a gaming computer is a money sink? Try pricing out a moderately high-end VR rig. It’s like buying a nice used car.

     

    • #19
  20. Amy Schley Moderator
    Amy Schley
    @AmySchley

    She (View Comment):

    ChefSly – Super Kit: Anyone else have some holes that suck money?

    Yarn.

    There are folks here who will understand immediately. The rest of you not so much, now or ever.

     Oh, Chef knows. 

    • #20
  21. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member
    The (apathetic) King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    ChefSly – Super Kit: Anyone else have some holes that suck money?

    Yarn.

    There are folks here who will understand immediately. The rest of you not so much, now or ever.

    Oh, Chef knows.

    The Princess Prawn has taken up knitting. It’s now a line item in her budget.

    • #21
  22. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    cirby (View Comment):

    You think a gaming computer is a money sink? Try pricing out a moderately high-end VR rig. It’s like buying a nice used car.

     

    Soon there will be a dedicated VR console. 

    • #22
  23. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    She (View Comment):

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):
    It still has a 3.5″ floppy drive!

    Don’t worry. You will complete King’s Quest one day.

    My favorite ever (the original, real one, of course). Especially episode three or four. The Perils of Rubella, or something like that, IIRC.

    I’ve only played I, VI, VII, and VIII.  My siblings and I played VI and VII together when we were kids and those two games have a special place in my heart.  They’ve actually made a new King’s Quest Game (set as a prequel before the original series, I think) that you can buy and download from Steam.  I think some day I’m going to have to try it out.

    • #23
  24. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member
    The (apathetic) King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Aaron Miller (View Comment):

    cirby (View Comment):

    You think a gaming computer is a money sink? Try pricing out a moderately high-end VR rig. It’s like buying a nice used car.

     

    Soon there will be a dedicated VR console.

    Steam data indicates that VR usage doubled last year. 

    • #24
  25. Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion Contributor
    Hank Rhody, Acting on Emotion
    @HankRhody

    My brother Sam gave me a motherboard for Christmas. I’m going to have to supply the processor and the RAM myself. Might go in for a new video card too; this one doesn’t seem to be keeping up so well.

    This is going to be one expensive Christmas gift to receive.

    • #25
  26. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    The (apathetic) King Prawn (View Comment):

    Amy Schley (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    ChefSly – Super Kit: Anyone else have some holes that suck money?

    Yarn.

    There are folks here who will understand immediately. The rest of you not so much, now or ever.

    Oh, Chef knows.

    The Princess Prawn has taken up knitting. It’s now a line item in her budget.

    Let me help:  qiviut, bison, kid mohair, baby alpaca, angora  

    Merino, cashmere, silk

    And so on.

    • #26
  27. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    I’ve never built a computer myself, and don’t really have any plans for doing so in the near future.  Laptops work better for my needs.

    I spent a lot of my Winter Break trying to decide on a new laptop to buy, as I spent a couple of hundred dollars repairing my current laptop last year, only to then have the backlight on the screen become very unreliable and touchy the past month or so.

    The search for a new laptop was frustrating.  I’m cheap, so I only wanted to purchase a budget laptop, something in the ball park of $300 to $600 (my current laptop is one I purchased about 2 1/2 years ago for around $300).  In searching, though, I found out that most budget laptops now do not have as much video ram as my current laptop.  All these laptops (including my current one) have integrated graphics cards instead of dedicated, but my current laptop is able to get up to 512 mb video ram, whereas almost all these newer laptops in the price range only go up to 128 mb.  This mattered to me because a couple of months back I’d gotten the game Grim Dawn and have been enjoying it immensely.  It requires a minimum of 512 mb video ram to run.

    What made all this particularly time-consuming is there was no way for me to find out online if a laptop with an integrated card had up to 128 mb, 252 mb, or 512 mb.  The type of integrated card is listed in specs online, but not the video ram.  The only way I could know for sure was getting on the laptops on display in the store and checking in their advanced settings.

    So there was much driving around between different Best Buy’s and Electronic Fry’s to check out the different models of laptops they had on display.  At the end of this saga I finally ended up deciding to wait on buying a new laptop as my current one was suddenly working much more consistently and smoothly this past week than it had for the couple of preceding months (funny how things work like that).  I figure I’ll stick with this one until it has major issues, then I’ll get a new one (I’m not paying for any more repairs).

    At least now that I’ve done this research while looking for a new laptop I feel like I have a little more understanding of laptop hardware and specs to look at while shopping (not much understanding, mind you, but more than the zilch I had before).

    • #27
  28. The (apathetic) King Prawn Member
    The (apathetic) King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Knotwise the Poet (View Comment):
    At least now that I’ve done this research while looking for a new laptop I feel like I have a little more understanding of laptop hardware and specs to look at while shopping (not much understanding, mind you, but more than the zilch I had before).

    If you’re to be stuck with iGPU I recommend Ryzen (definitely not the A-Series) or wait until Intel debuts their new integrated graphics (supposedly at CES next week) because Intel’s current graphics are laughably and pathetically bad. Or save and get something with a discrete GPU. It’s not cheap to get something that meets your needs. It’s only cheap to save money at the expense of your needs.

    • #28
  29. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    BTW, if any of you are fans of the action RPG genre (Diablo, Torchlight, Titan Quest, Path of Exile), I’d highly recommend Grim Dawn.  It doesn’t have the glossy polish of Diablo, or Diablo’s/Torchlight’s/Path of Exile’s randomnized maps, but the character-build system is fantastic and intricate, the loot-drops are bountiful, and the lore/story line is actually pretty interesting.  And you can play it all offline, so you don’t have to worry about internet lag.

    • #29
  30. Knotwise the Poet Member
    Knotwise the Poet
    @KnotwisethePoet

    The (apathetic) King Prawn (View Comment):

    Knotwise the Poet (View Comment):
    At least now that I’ve done this research while looking for a new laptop I feel like I have a little more understanding of laptop hardware and specs to look at while shopping (not much understanding, mind you, but more than the zilch I had before).

    If you’re to be stuck with iGPU I recommend Ryzen (definitely not the A-Series) or wait until Intel debuts their new integrated graphics (supposedly at CES next week) because Intel’s current graphics are laughably and pathetically bad. Or save and get something with a discrete GPU. It’s not cheap to get something that meets your needs. It’s only cheap to save money at the expense of your needs.

    Yeah, I learned to write off any thing with an Intel card (all of them only went up to 128 mb), which unfortunately meant most of the budget laptops they had on display.  

    I did finally find a couple of laptops that I liked- Asus Vivio Book F505ZA-DB31 (Ryzen) or the Acer Aspire E 15 (which actually does have a dedicated card).  But I’ll hold off on buying either of them and run my current laptop into the ground first.

    • #30

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