But then I began checking benchmarking sites just to make sure that the parts I was considering were compatible and performed well. Through this I
discovered that even mid level Intel CPU's were getting higher performace benchmarks than that flagship AMD CPU - in many cases substantially higher.
Also, the AMD 9590 ( the CPU we're discussing ) generates so much heat that it has to be water cooled AND it uses electricity as liberally as
Kardashians use the NBA as a dating pool. In comparison even the high consumer end Intel CPU's are amazingly energy efficient. In real world
applications the electricity issue would only amount to maybe ten or twenty bucks a year ( or so the experts say )... But the heat issue really
bothered me. Anything that gets that
often surely cannot have a long life expectancy. And since I am making a long term
decision here, life expectancy is as much of a consideration as performance.
To simplify it all, I was stymied - utterly stymied.
This led to about two weeks worth of indecisiveness and erratic decisions that surely left me looking like a loon. I must have filled carts on Newegg,
TigerDirect, Amazon - and other sites - dozens and dozens of times only to bail out on the purchase at the very last step of placing an order. I
consulted friends who are experts and then tried to blend their advice in with my own thoughts. But the fact of the matter was that I kept coming in
over budget and very worried about the heating issues, quality of components ( my budget forced me to hedge into some questionable brands on a number
of items in my prospective build ) and a general fear that I would order everything, put it together and find that I had come across some rare
conflict that had no answer ( Shades of that damned Toshiba CD-Rom and that Linux install disc ). And all of this still did not address gaming
directly - as most games are Windows based and Windows is NOT a cheap product.
In disgust I panicked and placed an order with a "vanity builder" - a company that will let you pick a "base model" of a machine and then customize it
step by step - then they put it all together. I opted for this because their selection menu was promised to prevent one from choosing incompatible
parts. It actually busted my budget worse than a self build would have - but I was at my wits end. I selected a base model, threw in the highest end
AMD CPU, and then went down the list. The upside to this, in my mind, was that I would get Windows essentially for free - or looking at it another
way, for the same price I would have paid to build it myself and buy Windows ( Yes, I know that everyone who is into computers will want to type the
words "People pay for Windows???" Which would technically violate T&C - so please don't. But, yes, I would have paid for Windows - even if I took a
gray area approach and bought a key from a source that was selling them through legal loopholes that may or may not close at any given time ).
This time, at the end of all of my button pushing and cart filling I actually did commit and push the "finalize order" button. Then I sat in terror as
I stared at the price on my monitor. It was quite a bit higher than my budget and I was already thinking "OK... OK... I can live on Ramen for a few
months. I've done it before..."
But a funny thing happened on the way to horrible decisions and potential financial ruin and homelessness ( again ). I discovered that their little
"it won't let you make mistakes" point and click ordering system had, indeed, allowed me to make a mistake. A rather large one. The AMD website
clearly stated ( by clearly I mean somewhere in the eighteen thousand words I ended up reading through ) that their flagship CPU had to have a power
supply that was substantially higher in wattage than the one the vanity builders system had suggested I choose. So I instantly emailed the vanity
builder to inform them of this faux paus and to ask what needed to happen for me to upgrade the power supply in MY ordered computer to comply with the
As I waited for a reply I began web searching this particular vanity builder - and the panic sunk in deep. I had done my homework already and web
searched the company name - which yielded never ending glowing reviews of their products and services. BUT... adding in the single word "problem" with
the company name in a search opened up a hidden universe of truth. Sometimes I forget that we live in a world where a great number of people make a
living doing nothing BUT manipulating search engines to spit out glowing ( and totally fake ) reviews just so sucker folks in. Given the frustration
and general "This is not nearly as exciting and fun as I thought it would be" state of mind I was in at that time - it didn't even occur to me to
double check for evidence of search manipulation. Yet I found it anyway - and it was ugly. I read horror story after horror story about PC's that
never worked, or died after very short periods of time. Stories about customer service numbers that would ring off the hook, only to direct to full
voice message inboxes. Tale after tale from people discussing their two thousand dollar paper weights and their sheer and utter anger about being
nearly powerless to get any resolution.
It was at this point that the email popped in. If I wanted to change the power supply, easy-peasy... I'd just have to cancel my order and re-enter it
with the power supply I wanted. A few back and forths later confirmed that my debit card had, indeed, been cleared of the order.
I WAS FREE!!!!!
But I was also back to square one. Wanting a good computer at a fair price that would do the things I desired it to do. As far as gaming goes? Sure
super enthusiasts demand 100 frames per second on the highest settings that every single game has. They also pay a LOT of money for graphics cards and
systems that perform at that level. Personally I'm happy with a step or two down from the absolute best. I don't need 8 times antialiasing when I'm
wandering through Skyrim with some insane resolution that only 4k monitors can achieve. I just want a PC that will give me a similar experience to
what a console would.
And that just was not working out for me.
Then fate came along and kicked me in the ass yet again. This happens a lot in my life. You see I despise pop-ups. I mean we all dislike them, but I
will literally cuss them out, verbally, as I close them. I refuse to read them. I scream at them and click the X with a vengeance. I HATE POP-UPS!!!!
So it's odd that a pop-up became my salvation. About a week ago, as I was, yet again, surfing a parts wholesale site, a pop-up opened. I began cussing
and moving my cursor towards the X when I just happened to see the words "Today only - $300.00 off of any Dell computer. Clearance and sale items
I had owned a Dell before ( the aforementioned $199.99 refurbished OptiPlex ) and, all things considered, it was a decent machine. The one I had was
old, outdated by a generation or three, and was made for office work, not gaming and more flexible use. But it was a good computer that I still
actually possess. In fact I could plug it in and turn it on right now and it would boot. So I decided to go to the Dell website and check things
edit on 3/11/15 by Hefficide because: (no reason given)