Well today is the last day of vacation in about 6 hours we will begin the long drive home. This has been a great week as we got to spend time with family, and I got some bonding time with my father in-law over some computer shopping. I actually come away this week with some thoughts I wish to pass along…
1) Silent computer sites are NUTS!
During this week I did a build for a gaming PC that was intended to be left up here. For this build I chose the Thermaltake Spedo I used for the original X-Ray build. A lot of review sites had commented on how this case was noisy. Well sitting here as I write this I am in the basement of a home that is literally in the middle of nowhere. There is no noise outside except perhaps birds singing but that is not making it through the walls. The inside temp is a cool 72 so there is no AC running. This basement is as close to a silent room as I think you can get in a living space. The only thing on in this space right now is the light sound of the fans on the Spedo case doing their job.
Now to listen to the complaints of noise when it comes to some cases including the Spedo you would think this room would be filled with a loud droning sound. The truth is that a box fan on low is LOUD compared to this case. I mean I can hear the can of Coke Zero in the desk flex when I pick it up over the case noise. I can easily hear anything at this point over the case noise.
Oh I am sure there are even quieter cases out there but is there a need? I mean we somewhere along the line lost a sense of perspective when it comes to stuff like this. Even my typing right now is deafening compared to the sound of the case. In any kind of normal world usage, i.e. with background noise at normal levels this case might be heard but it would not be close to so loud as to be distracting or even obstructive to the sound around it.
When it comes to finding a quiet PC we need to learn how to put things into perspective.
2) Cheap is JUNK!
For years now I have preached the mantra that cheap is the politically correct word for junk. Well this week I failed to practice what I preached and paid the price for it. You see this gaming PC build is one of the first I have done in a long time where it was 90% built with my money. Now in fairness I spent a bit more than I needed to but I was having fun and had the budget lined up for it. However as I got down to the PSU I realized my budget was getting tight. I wanted to be sure that I was getting enough power for the PC as well as some headroom so I was faced with the issue I would go over budget. Then I noticed a PSU that was within my power requirements, 80 Plus certified and it was cheap!
Well I am sure you all know where this is going. Got the system home and started having some minor glitches. I tested RAM and it was stable. I turned to GPU and fired the test up and my computer emitted the most awful whine. I thought at first it was the video card fan but was wrong. I did some searching and finally found the whine. It was in the PSU, not the fan for the PSU but IN the PSU.
Needless to say the PSU was promptly returned and a model from a trusted company was put into place. Sometimes I guess even I have to go back and get a refresher course in learning a lesson the hard way.
3) Never build what you want and then think you can leave it.
Finally I have learned never build something you really would want and then think you can leave it. Here I am building a system purely for fun for me and the plan was it would stay up here for the next visit. Well that plan has died as I will be packing up this machine for the return trip shortly after I post this blog.
If you are going to put a machine at the in-laws for when you visit the key is to not put your best but to put good enough. When I get home I will be taking my oldest machine offline and redoing it with a fresh HD as my away gaming machine. Oh sure it will be just a 19” monitor and a low end video card but it plays my games just fine and will be moved to make room for my newest build, the Mancave.
The good stuff should be where you can enjoy it everyday, not stuck in some basement room to only be enjoyed a few weeks a year. This was a crazy idea. It is like people that buy a 56 T-Bird and then let it sit in a garage to only drive it an hour or so each year. That car begs to be driven and this computer begs to be gamed with.
This has been a great vacation, I have been able to put the work mentality behind me a bit and get back in touch with the fun of computing. I have taken on some challenges of changing the way I look at some components and tried something different. Sometimes it was great other times not so much but still fun. Next week the show and the blog come back full tilt so be sure you tune in and see what will be happening.
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