I’m sure I’ll get a bunch of smarmy comments from the Mac contingent over this, but I’m currently in the middle of a PC upgrade fiasco, and I need to get it off my chest.
I really like the new City of Heroes game, but unfortunately the PC I use, a homebuilt box, does a lousy job of running the game. The graphics card I have (a Radeon All In One) isn’t quite powerful enough, but due to the age of the motherboard, I can’t upgrade to a better graphics card without also upgrading the motherboard. Which means buying a new case and power supply, because the 4-year-old case won’t hold newer motherboards. And at that point you might as well go to 512MB of memory and upgrade the processor. Now you’re up to $500 worth of new hardware to run a $50 game.
Scott suggested new hard drive(s) as well but I drew the line there. And I decided that since I have so much free time right now, I was going to be the primary builder of the new box. I’m about 4 times as slow as Scott when it comes to hardware installation, but with him working and me not, it seems unfair to make him do it all.
That all leads us to the point of this post, which is a list of the 10 things I most hate about building your own PC:
- Despite the huge pile of PC hardware in our office, some of it up to 7 years old, none of it is actually useful
- There is no easy way to grab onto PCI cards when you’re trying to take them out of their slots, resulting in cuts on your fingers
- Instruction manuals on the one hand omit key pieces of information yet offer pages of useless drivel on the other hand
- Power supplies, whose huge masses of cables block critical space inside the PC case, don’t have enough plugs of the kind that you need and too many if the kind that you don’t need
- I don’t get why you need 6 different kinds of screws to put one PC together
- Operating systems that give a BSOD on boot-up if the CD drive isn’t found suck
- Motherboards with secondary IDE controllers that don’t work out of the box or even after you’ve updated the BIOS also suck
- Resellers who ship motherboards that have non-functioning secondary IDE controllers suck even more than that
- Planned Obsolescence in general, for being the root cause of the entire fiasco
- Having to do it all over again when the (hopefully fully functional) new motherboard gets here some time in the next few days