Not holding off on PC anymore

In fact, it's downstairs. I finished the sidework and decided to just order it. Here's what I ended up buying.

1) New keyboard! I'm typing on it right now. It's an Apple Keyboard. No one makes a good plain keyboard anymore. Apple and I share the same philosophy on a lot of things, and a good plain keyboard is one of them. It's gonna take some getting used to though, since this thing is so small compared to my other one which sucked. It had about 80 extra keys, for volume, sleeping the computer, starting certain programs, and a bunch of other crap that I didn't use ever. Not once. Hopefully it's good for games. I'll probably try that out before I go to bed.

2) Don't you hate when you order from one online store, and your order ships from two different places? That's what happened here. I ordered 9 things from and 7 of them shipped from New Jersey. Good thing I didn't pay extra for shipping! The other two packages shipped from California! That's fine, but the New Jersey packages got here today, and the CA ones were still in CA last I checked.

3) What I ordered: 2GB ram, 320 GB HDD (SATA-II), EVGA Geforce 8800 GTS w/640 MB RAM (a beast), Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo running at 2.4 GHz, ASUS motherboard with dual GB ethernet and a whole lot of extra goodies (2 graphics slots! 4 DIMMS!!), Huge case with a fan on the top and side as well as the normal places, power suppy, cpu cooler, and some thermal compound. That's 9.

4) What shipped from CA: Power supply and cpu cooler. This makes it impossible for me to put it together tonight. I could but I also got a game for my Wii called "Elebits", which I played for about 8 minutes and later learned that an hour and a half had passed.

5) Upgradeability. My current computer is not upgradeable, which is what I said in a previous post. This computer... Here are the things I can upgrade:

--- Extra memory. Right now I'll have 2 GB and it has two more DIMMs for another 2GB! Won't be doing that for another year or two.

--- New CPU. The motherboard I got can support up to 1066 MHz FSB, and up to Intel Quad Core! Probably as long as they're Socket 775 or whatever, I'll be able to upgrade quite a bit on the CPU. Won't have to for a long while though.

--- Video card. As well as just flat out upgrading the video card when new ones come out which work on PCI express 16x, I can get a second one! There's not a lot of room in there, and I plan on putting a sound card and a physics card in there. There are enough slots of for them, but the fan on the video card covers a ton of shit. If I have two in there, it's hard to imagine what kind of room, if any, I'll have for other crap.

This keyboard is nice. Only thing is that my wrists are more in a carpel tunnel position than with the other one, but I never type this much on the gaming PC! I'm just typing it on here this time to get a feel for the keyboard. It's quiet. And white. Nothing goes with anything anymore. When I strip the parts out of my old gaming PC and put it in the new one, it'll have a black DVD drive sticking out of a silver case... oh well. I'm not playing a game tonight, it's time for bed.

In other news.. whenever I try to preorder a video game off of, it always gets delayed. I cancelled it and placed the order on and it shipped a few hours later. Of course, it's STALKER, which should be fun. The graphics won't be that great, as I suspected, since they haven't upgraded them in about 2 years, but still, graphics 2 years ago were pretty good. You still got dynamic lighting and physics. I can't wait to play that. Hopefully the power supply and cpu cooler get here soon.

I almost could just throw my power supply in the new PC, and use the fan that came with the CPU for keeping it cool, and if the game comes tomorrow and doesn't run too well on this PC, I will certainly do that. The fan that came with it has to work, but the fan I bought is going to run cooler and quieter, which is why it's $30. Anyways, now it's time for bed. This keyboard rocks.

Build a gaming PC guide

This is really just a checklist for me. Let me know if I forgot anything!

You'll need:
Video Card
Hard drive(s)
Sound Card
Network, although usually built into mobo nowadays
Keyboard and Mouse
CD Rom (DVD recommended)
Power Supply

Stripping from another computer that you plan on replacing is usually a good idea, so you don't need to get everything and can save some money, especially if those parts really haven't seen significant technological advance since you bought them.

I am stripping:
2nd hard drive
Sound card

Make a checklist of what you plan to upgrade on the 2nd go, usually within a couple of months down the road.

I will, in the not so distant future, upgrade:
To dual 22" LCD displays and ditch my 19" CRT

Next, make a checklist of what you plan on upgrading further on down the road, like a year or two.

In a year or so, I will be upgrading:
Sound card to latest Dolby surround and EAX
Speakers to support latest Dolby surround (7 speakers or whatever it is now)
Possibly a 2nd video card because SLI is awesome.

Find the parts on a trusted website, like,, or Place order. Wait.

When the boxes arrive, it'll be like Christmas and your birthday for the last 20 years of your life, all in one day. Now comes the best part. Building the beast.

Sloppily take out all the parts and throw them in a pile on the floor, making sure to remove the static guard from each piece, and allowing your dog and/or wool blankets to run over them a few times. Carefully place your mobo on the screw mounts in your case and screw it in. Connect the CPU, RAM, HDDs, Graphics and Sound Cards, and any other cards you won't need because this is a f@#%@$ing gaming machine. Connecting the pin connectors for the case is always the worst, and I just find out where the power switch and LEDs are and connect them, completely ignoring everything else. Who needs a reset button, or an HDD indicator? Certainly not me. Strap the power supply unit (PSU) up in there. Put your HDD and DVD rom drives in there before you start connecting them to the mobo. Connect the power cables to these components, and finally, plug in the power to the mobo.

Close the cover on your case, hopefully making it look like what it did before you took it off, but this is not important. Actually, the more f@#%@ed up it looks, the better. This is a goddamn gaming PC. Cut yourself and throw some of your blood on there, or if you can't be wicked l33t, just find a red marker. Glue with red sprinkles, red #40 food dye in a highly viscous liquid like shampoo, and ketchup all make convincing substitutes.

Connect your monitor, mouse, keyboard, speakers and network cable. If you have wireless built into the motherboard like some are offering these days, one of those steps can be skipped. If you have a bluetooth mobo and bluetooth keyboard and mouse, then a few more can be skipped.

Finally, plug the power into the PSU in the back of your case.

Hopefully all went as planned, and when you turn it on, you can immediately begin installing Windows XP (don't get Vista until all old games are supported, like Duke Nukem and Doom). Reboot. Install updated drivers. Reboot. Install the updates from 2002 to SP2. Reboot. Install SP2. Reboot. Install all updates from SP2 to current. Reboot. Note, you may have to reboot a few times for each set of updates. Install DirectX 10. Reboot. Install a game. Play!

You are finished.

Some notes on installation:
The CPU fan does not want to go on. Ever. But don't put too much pressure on the motherboard, especially if it's bending due to the position of the screw mounts. You might want to put the CPU and fan on before you put them in the case.

HDD masters and slaves are a pain. Get SATA HDD drives and an IDE DVD drive if you can. This will prevent much confusion. Get a big HDD (200+ GB) because you don't want to have to uninstall games to fit more on there. You only want to have to uninstall games because the game you are uninstalling happens to suck, or you got totally noobed online and can't bare to even look at the icon on your desktop. The uninstalling games because there's no room thing happens to me every time I get a new game. I have only 80GB and about 5GB left now that I uninstalled a few games that I won't be playing for a while.

Some other recommendations: 2GB ram is good for now. Dual core [insert brand name here] are good, and over 2 GHz is awesome. 700W PSU should be good for all upgrades over the next 2-4 years. Since DirectX 10 is out, get a DirectX 10 video card. Hopefully MS doesn't totally f@#%@ us over and upgrade to DirectX 11 before 2010. Sound cards built on Dolby 5 are great. 5 speaker stereo surround... who in their right mind would *need* more than that? You can save some money this way. I'm keeping my card which is 4 years old now, and my speakers which are 2 years old. Gigabit ethernet is the only way to go now.

Holding off on new PC for now

Depending on whichever one happens first:
#1) S.T.A.L.K.E.R. performs crappy on my system. The minimum requirements are much steeper since the last time I checked.

#2) My MacBook Pro has been paid off. Which isn't really easy for me to gauge since I buy music and TV Shows off of iTunes with that same credit card.

#3) I become a millionaire soon

#4) The bank errs in my favor and I collect $200 (or more).

#5) My computer dies

#6) I accidentally place the order.

Hopefully at least three of those things happen before Wednesday.

Time to upgrade the PC

I hate the fact that I'm contemplating this, but it has deemed itself necessary.  I built my current PC two years ago, and I still think it's a beast.  Until I try to play the latest first person shooters.  I tried to combat this by not playing them, but lately, I really just want to play.

I have the parts to an uberleet PC sitting in my shopping cart over at TigerDirect.  I even cut down some unnecessary parts that I can get later (sound card, monitor, dvd drive, extra hard drive), and it's at $2100!  Granted, this one's twice the PC I have.  Here's a rundown of what I have vs. what's in the cart, and I'll try to make it as boring as possible.

Current PC:   AMD 64 FX 53, 2GB RAM, 80GB SATA, 250GB IDE, NVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra w/256MB, SoundBlaster Audigy something or other, and the real kicker, it's liquid cooled!  This makes for difficult situations.

Dream PC:  Intel Core 2 Duo E6700, 4GB RAM, 320GB SATA-II times 2, NVidia Geforce 8800 GTX w/768MB, SoundBlaster Audigy something or other, and NOT liquid cooled.  Also, dual 22" LCD displays (Sceptre makes a good monitor that I'd definitely get).

Problem with Liquid Cooled PCs
No, they don't leak.  Actually, it did, but this won't happen generally.  The case that's pictured isn't the current one.  Yup, I had to drop $400 on a new case with built in liquid cooling.  Long story short, I also had to get a new motherboard because I fried it (not from the leak).  Read that story,  it's worth it, I promise.  The major problem with liquid cooling is that you buy coolers for each component that you want to cool, so if a new video card that you want isn't the same shape as your old one, you have to buy a new cooler, which then means you have to drain your whole system, re-cut tubes, re-tube it all, refill the water, etc.  Major pain in the ass.

Long story
My current PC was no longer upgradeable when I built it, for reasons other than me avoiding having to go through the liquid cooling upgrade hell.  You see, right when Halflife 2 came out, I was ill-impressed with the performance I was getting on my old PC (AMD 3200+, Geforce 5900 Ultra).  I went ahead and ordered the 6800 Ultra for the old motherboard, and AGP (Accelerated Graphics Port) was what it supported.  A few weeks later, craving even more performance (and coincidentally frequently overheating the old PC), I went and bought the current PC knowing I couldn't alienate my new $600 AGP graphics card.  So, right when I bought the 6800 Ultra in AGP flavor, I was f!#%@ed.

For a while there, after I bought the Wii at the end of December, I almost had myself convinced that I already have the best PC games, and any new Wii games plus what I already have on PC should suffice just fine.  I mean, really.

Boring list coming up.  Awesome games installed right now are:
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas  (doesn't perform well...),  Neverwinter Nights 2   (performs fine), Fallout, Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion   (fine), Dawn of War + Winter Assault Expansion,  Company of Heroes,  Civilization IV, Heroes of Might and Magic V, Sid Meier's Railroads!, Rise of Nations, and "Steam" with Halflife 2, Episode 1, Day of Defeat Source, Counterstrike Source, etc.  More of a DOD guy myself

I dabble in all genres.  My favorite, though, is "Real Time Strategy games made by Relic".  Dawn of War and Company of Heroes are my two all time favorites of that genre ;-)  And I was into Homeworld briefly.

As much as I tried to forget about the potentially great games coming out, I am a paid subscriber to GameSpot, and I have about 30 games in my watched games list.  This little tool on that website ensures that you will never forget.  I get emails every day, and the two games that I have to go look at right when I get the email are S.T.A.L.K.E.R. (I know, it's a pain to type too), and BioShock.  And you can't leave out Spore or Crysis.  While Stalker will probably run fine on my current PC, BioShock and Crysis sure as hell won't.  Stalker ships this week!!  I've been watching that game for about three years now.  It's one of those games that I won't believe I'm playing  (kinda like Duke Nukem Forever).  I already preordered it on

So, while Stalker was being made over the past 3+ years, of course they've been upgrading it to work with the latest hardware and such, but they claim that it will run on any hardware that supports DirectX 9.  I find it hard to believe that it won't run like a f@%#ing champ on my current PC, but why risk it?  All I have to do is press "Submit".  Justifiable?  How about my birthday's on Friday :D

Interest sucks/rules

Mortgage (estimated):$887/month (not a $320,000 loan)

Interest Earned This Month: $ 0.91
Interest Paid Year to Date: $ 3.57

I opened that account on 5 Jan.