Yesterday, I went with my son to Microcenter to pick up a pile of parts that is going to become his new gaming computer. I was struck by how, given my limited knowledge of current computer hardware (too many years of Mac/laptop action...), doing this stuff was similar to what beginning modular users run into:
- There are forums about this stuff, but most of the discussions are way too detailed - and way to coded - to be useful to me.
- When I do visit a forum, most of the posts are the equivalent of "This thing is excellent!"/"This thing is shit!"/"This thing is too expensive!" Tiresome.
- There are endless similar things, each of which seem to have proponents, that are at vastly different prices, packaging, features and details. Head-swirling.
- You can spend 110% of your money on getting what you want, even though it will perform about the same as if you'd spent 90% of your money.
- There are namebrands that people spit at, other names that are lauded. Looking at the spec show practically no difference, but people are really, really adamant.
- Most people walking around the showroom were getting advice from a friend - someone that is proposing that the newbie purchase exactly what they've purchased.
- I, not having an opinionated friend in the area, found a sales guy to help. He sold me exactly what he's purchased in the past (plus, probably a few things that have decent spliffs).
- In adding things up, the thing you don't think about (graphics card on the computer, case/power for the modular) end up eating far more of your budget than you would have imagined.
- After spending a lot of money, bringing it all home, and piling it on the table, you realize that you are a long, long way to go before anything cool is gonna happen.