Thursday, October 16, 2008

Like Brain Surgery, But With Less Fluids

"You should just build your own computer. It'll save you a bunch of money."

"Build it from Scratch, you'll get exactly what you want that way."

"Pre-built computers are for soccer moms and the technically illiterate. Build it yourself."

I hear this crap all the time. Building your own computer is not worth the time and trouble it takes to get it to work. Consider the case of Tim Buckley of Ctrl-Alt-Delete. He has a lot of experience with this, and still has a gnarled mass of headaches because of it.

The way I see it, Gearheads are a lot like Hardware Nerds. Gearheads like to rebuild that'64 Shelby Cobra from scratch because it's their idea of a good time. They have the mechanical skill, knowlegde and patience to make their dream a reality. The rest of us can't understand why someone would willingly spend an afternoon covered in grease under an eviscerated car. When they could just go to a dealership, sign some papers, and drive off the lot with a late model vehicle. I'm one of those people just doesn't understand. But the gearhead has a hobby that gives him joy, and would scoff at my hint that the local Chevy dealer is offering 0% financing this month. That's fine.

Alternately, if the gearhead tells me that I should build it from scratch, becuase I can get the exact Gearbox, Engine Block, and exhaust system I wanted, I'd tell him that I just need something that gets from Point A to Point B without exploding or burning too much gas. I don't care who makes the gearbox or pistons, as long as they all work in harmony with each other when I turn the ignition.

Likewise, I don't care much if Intel or AMD makes my processors, as long as they make the Blue Smoke Happy. I'm not particularly concerned what chip set my Graphics accelerator utilizes, as long as it can render the Stubble on a Space Marine's Face while maintaining at least 30 Frames per second, preferably 60. In general, just give me the biggest, fastest, sleekest components that's in my budget, using a recent First Person Shoot game as a benchmark (except for Crysis, which wrecked the curve something awful).

You guys go right ahead and and painstakingly handpick your motherboards, sound cards, and cooling system. Heck, even I'll upgrade memory or insert a PCI card; that's fairly simple. But everything else is fanboy territory as far as I'm concerned. I don't want to build it any further than plugging in the peripherals and power, and pressing the On button.


Justin said...

It is like brainsurgery, but there are less fluids as you note and you play angry techno music because it seems to fit with the frustration and anxiety of it all. (I built my own pc earlier this year and I will never do it again.)

And I was not quite out in your neck of the woods I'm afraid, otherwise I would certainly have had a steak with you. We would have eaten the fatted calf.

Fuzzy said...

Glad to see I'm not alone in this.

And the next time your in, or even just passing through Colorado, Wyoming, or Utah, drop me a line.

Fatted calves are plentiful up here in Beef Country USA, as are the Bison. Both delicious!