For myself, I’ve never bought a Windows based computer. I’ve always built them, all the way back to the 386 days. I’ve even built a dual Celeron system for BeOS (using the wonky but awesome Abit BP6 motherboard). Back in those days it was usually cheaper to build your own than to buy one already made. The other advantage was that if you wanted to upgrade a part of it, you usually could keep the rest of the old pieces so you were just paying for whatever you were upgrading.
My current Windows computer is getting a bit old. I think it’s pushing five years, now. I’m thinking it might be time to upgrade. Technically, I only need to buy a motherboard, processor, and memory (I’ll call these The Core). I have a case, power supply, drives, and other things needed to complete a computer.
The problem with being me, though, is that once I start pricing components, I start pricing everything. Because, boy howdy, things have changed. For instance, I have a giant monolithic black tower case which had everything I was looking for back when I bought it. These days, I’m thinking I don’t want a giant case. After having the behemoth standing next to me for so long, and having a Mac Mini, I’m kind of longing for something smaller. Also, with USB 3 and Thunderbolt, having internal drives aren’t that important to me.
So… I would start looking for a new case. Also, when I upgraded my video card a year ago I noticed that I was running out of the power connectors for the video card. I also needed an adapter to fit them on. New power supplies have the necessary connections so maybe I should get a new power supply?
You know what? My power supply has lights where the cables fit into it. I thought it was kind of gaudy when I first got it, as I didn’t get it for the lights but because it was the right capacity and the right price. Having lived with it for so long, though, I kind of like the look. So I would want the new one to have lights.
My mouse and keyboard also have lights. It’s ridiculously gaudy. But I love it. New cases are covered in RGB lights. So many, really, that I wouldn’t even need a Christmas tree. I could just light up a computer case and all the computer internals.
So, yeah, any advantage of upgrading in pieces goes out the window when I decide to re-buy everything.
But, I’m kind of tired of building my own boxes. It’s also cheaper, now, to buy an already built system. For a little more than those ‘Core’ components, I could have a fully assembled, warrantied, operating system enabled computer. It may not look as wonko cool as super light-em-up cases going around today, but it would be a lot less of a hassle. For slightly more than that, I could have a super compact system bigger than the Mini but way smaller than The Dark Tower.
It’s a conundrum, all right. By now, you all should know what I do when hit by a conundrum of this sort. That’s right, do nothing but think about it excessively. I still don’t have that 5K iMac I’ve been wanting since it was released.