My farewell to extreme PCs

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My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 3:46 pm

I have made a decision to have this be the last high end upgrade I ever do on my computer. Money is getting tighter, but mainly there is less and less need to really get upgrades now a days. Maybe the days of old where I require new PC upgrades will return with some new advent, but I highly doubt it. I upgraded to Sandy Bridge not long ago (actually my first Intel CPU) as the beginning process of this decision, and I just placed an order for an SSD (Corsair Performance Pro 128GB) and a GPU (Asus DirectCU II HD7970). I was willing to spend the bit more on the 7970 because honestly, ATI and later AMD has always served me well on the GPU front and this is my farewell to them per-say. I have almost always gone with them for my GPU needs since way back in the Radeon 9800 days, and been upgrading every other generation since. Call it corny, fanboism, or what have you but I cannot say how many times I've gotten my GPU's dirt cheap from ATI/AMD. This is my cheers to them.

There is no real point to the post, but this is more or less the end to my active participation in my favorite hobby to date. I will be keeping up with the new releases still for fun, and will always have my eye out for low power HTPC predecessors. Still a bit of a sad day none the less. Anyone else doing something similar?
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:06 pm

I stepped out of the upgrade cycle, back in 2005. Built a $2200 rig, and now get by with value based system components.
The whole "good enough" thing........
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:09 pm

Everything I own is ghetto. But it all works, it makes me happy, and I am not an iota jealous of all you who dump $500+ on a video card! lol pfft
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 4:18 pm

thegleek wrote:Everything I own is ghetto. But it all works, it makes me happy, and I am not an iota jealous of all you who dump $500+ on a video card! lol pfft


Yea they aren't for everyone, that's for sure. I've had the money saved up for the upgrade for quite sometime since I've been doing this upgrade path for a while. Like I said though, this will be the last that is for sure. I suppose "good enough" components are indeed what I will be using from here on out.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:13 pm

thegleek wrote:Everything I own is ghetto. But it all works, it makes me happy, and I am not an iota jealous of all you who dump $500+ on a video card! lol pfft


I got the money for it and I like hassle free gaming. Turn all the graphics to max and go to town. It's fantastic. While I shouldn't have spent $570 on a single gpu, it was worth every penny not having to mess with tweaking ini's and spending hours getting the best performance i can with at least some eye candy.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:21 pm

Anyone else doing something similar?

Nope. I've got a linux workstation to build and, following that, a new gaming rig (waiting for Ivy Bridge).
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:24 pm

There is a happy medium, I feel.

I mean, if you must play the latest crysis/battlefield on insane resolutions at 60fps with ultra detail, well there's always a high price for that.
I skip those games on purpose. They're oftentimes neat, but ultimately little new in terms of actual multiplayer gameplay.

With those few titles abandoned, I am mostly left with either console ports (low hardware requirements) or a few PC games that usually are OK with a midrange GPU and decent CPU.

So for instance, if I built a rig around a 2500K with an ATi 6870 a year ago, that machine would still power the vast majority of games at 1080p just fine, and will keep doing so for a while. And that wasn't a very high investment.

I've long gotten out of the high-end race, except splurged for the 2600K instead of getting a 2500K. But I'm still rockin' a 5850 and happy with it. Nothing I actually want to play is anything but butter smooth on that machine. I just stay behind the curve ever so little, and it's a great place.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:44 pm

I really don't get the whole this is my last purchase post. Its not like when I bought a home entertainment center and declared I wouldn't be going to the theater anymore. How does buying tech facilitate you not buying tech? Its not like you bought a laptop and gave up desktops. I'm just confused by this thread. It would be something if you were about to upgrade and said you decided not to and that you were content to do everything on your phone from now on.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:47 pm

hansmuff wrote:I mean, if you must play the latest crysis/battlefield on insane resolutions at 60fps with ultra detail, well there's always a high price for that.

Psh, a mere 60fps? You're not thinking extreme enough :P
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:49 pm

kamikaziechameleon wrote:I really don't get the whole this is my last purchase post. Its not like when I bought a home entertainment center and declared I wouldn't be going to the theater anymore. How does buying tech facilitate you not buying tech? Its not like you bought a laptop and gave up desktops. I'm just confused by this thread. It would be something if you were about to upgrade and said you decided not to and that you were content to do everything on your phone from now on.


It also reeks of "I'm quitting smoking, right after this last pack" :P
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:06 pm

hansmuff wrote:There is a happy medium, I feel.

I mean, if you must play the latest crysis/battlefield on insane resolutions at 60fps with ultra detail, well there's always a high price for that.
I skip those games on purpose. They're oftentimes neat, but ultimately little new in terms of actual multiplayer gameplay.

With those few titles abandoned, I am mostly left with either console ports (low hardware requirements) or a few PC games that usually are OK with a midrange GPU and decent CPU.

So for instance, if I built a rig around a 2500K with an ATi 6870 a year ago, that machine would still power the vast majority of games at 1080p just fine, and will keep doing so for a while. And that wasn't a very high investment.

I've long gotten out of the high-end race, except splurged for the 2600K instead of getting a 2500K. But I'm still rockin' a 5850 and happy with it. Nothing I actually want to play is anything but butter smooth on that machine. I just stay behind the curve ever so little, and it's a great place.


Yea, I have a lot of friends that do exactly what you are talking about. I do enjoy being able to just turn everything up, and that was part of it for me was having no issue doing pretty much anything in the computing world. Outside of gaming I have a lot of other tech interests that I dabble in, nothing extreme but all of it benefits from having beefy hardware. Either way, really I'm just splurging as a last upgrade.

End User wrote:
Anyone else doing something similar?

Nope. I've got a linux workstation to build and, following that, a new gaming rig (waiting for Ivy Bridge).


Great to hear! Keep it up, so that the industry continues and I have something to read. Har har :lol:

kamikaziechameleon wrote:I really don't get the whole this is my last purchase post. Its not like when I bought a home entertainment center and declared I wouldn't be going to the theater anymore. How does buying tech facilitate you not buying tech? Its not like you bought a laptop and gave up desktops. I'm just confused by this thread. It would be something if you were about to upgrade and said you decided not to and that you were content to do everything on your phone from now on.


*shrug* I can understand what you are saying, however it's just like leaving any other hobby. If you raced cars privately, and as such needed to upgrade your car all the time to stay relevant, you can't understand how it would be a somber moment to move from actively participating in the races to just watching them? That is how I see it in this instance, or at least that is how it feels. I will continue reading about it, but I will never get to enjoy all the goodies I use to when I got all the latest and greatest. Considering a bunch of my time was spent exploring those new possibilities and pushing their limits it is indeed sad to be existing that realm of computing. If you can't understand it after that explanation, I suppose we just have a different approach to our computer building hobbies. Maybe we never even shared the same approach to begin with, who knows.

spitfire650 wrote:It also reeks of "I'm quitting smoking, right after this last pack" :P


It probably does, doesn't it? Haha, life will ensure that it doesn't turn into that though, as it takes me about a year and a half to even save up the money to buy a card. This is the last time I could even think of doing that, unless my job randomly decides to give me a hell of a raise!
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:09 pm

Never have built an "extreme PC", myself. My current i5+SSD build comes closest, mostly because that's the first time I've ever spent a full grand in a single upgrade event, but even then I re-used my case, sound, and video (GTX-460) and hope to get five years out of the barebones components. Never have bought the fastest CPU on the market, and never have spent more than $200 on a video card (and usually less than $150). Part of the reason was limited budget and part of the reason was the rapidly diminishing returns once you get past the upper-midrange sweet spot.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:15 pm

StuG wrote:I have made a decision to have this be the last high end upgrade I ever do on my computer.

Resolutions like this are generally made to be broken. :wink:

StuG wrote:Money is getting tighter,

That's certainly a good reason to put upgrades on hold though, at least until the money situation improves.

StuG wrote:but mainly there is less and less need to really get upgrades now a days. Maybe the days of old where I require new PC upgrades will return with some new advent, but I highly doubt it.

Well, if you're an avid gamer who likes to play the latest games, you're probably wrong. But aside from gaming, yeah the need for frequent upgrades is going by the wayside... largely *because* games have pushed the hardware to the point where it is massive overkill for most other desktop use cases!

StuG wrote:I upgraded to Sandy Bridge not long ago (actually my first Intel CPU) as the beginning process of this decision, and I just placed an order for an SSD (Corsair Performance Pro 128GB) and a GPU (Asus DirectCU II HD7970). I was willing to spend the bit more on the 7970 because honestly, ATI and later AMD has always served me well on the GPU front and this is my farewell to them per-say. I have almost always gone with them for my GPU needs since way back in the Radeon 9800 days, and been upgrading every other generation since. Call it corny, fanboism, or what have you but I cannot say how many times I've gotten my GPU's dirt cheap from ATI/AMD. This is my cheers to them.

...and even the people who haven't bought a lot of AMD CPUs over the years have AMD to thank for low CPU prices. Without AMD, Intel would've had less incentive to sell powerful CPUs at affordable price points.

StuG wrote:There is no real point to the post, but this is more or less the end to my active participation in my favorite hobby to date. I will be keeping up with the new releases still for fun, and will always have my eye out for low power HTPC predecessors. Still a bit of a sad day none the less. Anyone else doing something similar?

Well, I hardly game at all any more, so I will likely be sticking with my Phenom II systems for a while -- they are more than "good enough" for me. When I do eventually upgrade, it'll most likely be something that is mid-range at the time, close to the price/performance sweet spot. The last high-end upgrade I did was an Athlon MP dually system, around 10 years ago; even that wasn't a high-end system overall (the GPU was quite pedestrian), since it was not a gaming-optimized rig.

One thing that I *do* tend to do is buy components with an eye towards reliability and stability. I try to use ECC RAM and motherboards that support it properly. I've also started making RAID-1 my baseline disk configuration. So while my PCs aren't "extreme" in the usual enthusiast sense, I do spend a bit more on the features that matter to me.

ludi wrote:Never have built an "extreme PC", myself. My current i5+SSD build comes closest, mostly because that's the first time I've ever spent a full grand in a single upgrade event, but even then I re-used my case, sound, and video (GTX-460) and hope to get five years out of the barebones components. Never have bought the fastest CPU on the market, and never have spent more than $200 on a video card (and usually less than $150). Part of the reason was limited budget and part of the reason was the rapidly diminishing returns once you get past the upper-midrange sweet spot.

Ditto. I think the most I've ever spent on a CPU (well CPUs actually) was a pair of Barton core Athlon MPs for the above mentioned dual Socket A rig; and I've never spent more than around $200 for a video card.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:07 pm

Until.............a part dies and you have to replace it:)

But in all seriousness, I hear you and have been and am sorta in the same position, I told the wifey no worries here hun, take all the money and pay down every last bill that we have.

Just because well we should do that, but on the off chance the proverbial you know what hits the fan in the next couple of years, I would like to be free and clear of anything except of course the mortgage, the lotto will take care of that:)


Besides, it does help that I have been fortunate enough to have a 2500k, damn fine MB, toxic hd6850, plus a corsair like yourself, so I'm not complaining, though I have to add, unless something bad happens with jobs and whatnot, I sure will continue with my upgrades, where I can.

P.S. Btw, I'm not wearing a tin foil hat,lol, but I do believe we are going to be in for a much bigger economic situation at some point in the near future.

I most definitely believe that capitalism is the way to go, I just believe that it is kind of broke atm, but what change and who is going to suggest them,lol.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:02 pm

I went through a period where the only computer I had for years was a GMA950 equipped laptop. Let me tell you, when you're unable to enjoy the latest and greatest games, regardless of whether you actually end up liking the games or not, you end up developing a really itchy itch!

When I got my current Phenom II X6 build with 880G integrated graphics, I installed every recent game I could think of, mostly FPSs because I had mostly been able to squeak by with less input latency intensive genres with the GMA950. And I played and played and played! And then I got the GTX470... oh it was wonderful.

Look at me today, with a PS3 and a nice PC... and I don't want to play any more games! Well, fine, the occasional Minecraft, making minor additions to my existing infrastructure, the occasional PCSX2. Recently I played a bit of X-COM, which as you all know doesn't require much in the way of hardware. I'm not sure if this itch will come back, but if it does, this Phenom II X6 should still be more than sufficient in the future. Maybe I'll just get a Kepler as a last hurrah... yes, that will be the last one I swear :)

So for me, upgrading my PC is less about actually playing the latest and greatest in games, and more about having a choice, being able to play the latest and greatest when I feel like it. Else the rest of the time it just sits there folding.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:12 pm

IrateAdmin wrote:
thegleek wrote:Everything I own is ghetto. But it all works, it makes me happy, and I am not an iota jealous of all you who dump $500+ on a video card! lol pfft


I got the money for it and I like hassle free gaming. Turn all the graphics to max and go to town. It's fantastic. While I shouldn't have spent $570 on a single gpu, it was worth every penny not having to mess with tweaking ini's and spending hours getting the best performance i can with at least some eye candy.
You have an interesting definition of "hassle-free gaming".
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Mon Feb 13, 2012 8:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
StuG wrote:I have made a decision to have this be the last high end upgrade I ever do on my computer.

Resolutions like this are generally made to be broken. :wink:
Going on five years, here. Speak for yourself. I also quit smoking in a single day, after smoking that last pack. :P
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:20 pm

If you love something it never really leaves you. You'll build for friends or family and maybe you put priorities above pc right now... I remember when I thought I was giving up magic the first time... Then the second time... Now I realize its just one of those things I'll always play and it will rise and fall in priority for me.

Costing on your current build makes sense but I honestly don't think you would Buy anything current and put up this post if you were actually stoping. Maybe a 12 month upgrade cycle becomes 24 months or 36, it happens. Sometimes I'm upgrading stuff every 6 months other times every 24-36. It ebs and flows. I don't know how you can predict what you are going to feel like doing in a few years time. Unless you make a commitment of a lifestyle choice, get rid of your tower etc. you aren't out ya know, the game has changed but your still playing just in a different way.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:56 pm

The last upgrade I made was swapping an 8800GT for a 460GTX...I've never had an extreme PC :lol:
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:21 pm

Sorry to hear it Stug. My situation is quiet the opposite. I've finally gotten to the point where I'm making damn good money and I'm getting into things that require a lot more of my systems. That is namely gaming, video editing, hopefully some programming, virtual machines, ect. I've been setting up doing all of this on my 1 system, hence my recently new built computer.

My feeling on it is that people who have more money tend to buy frivolous stuff and then get completely disinterested because they no longer have anything upgrade wise to look forward to. I notice that you've got an i7-2600k, a sweet ass motherboard (if I do say so myself :D), that 7970... 16gigs of ram, TWO mechanical keyboards, an expensive as all hell computer case. I mean just looking at the list you've put down there you've got more stuff than really necessary to do everything that you probably do.

If you truly consider computers to be your hobby and your not leaving it for another hobby, perhaps you just need to find something more to do with them to fill that emptiness you feel inside :P. If all I did was surf the web.... then sure, I'd be disinterested too. But the truth of it is I rely on computers to make a living, and I have the need to do LOTS of different things personal and business related on a single system. Since my hobby is also computers, the fact that I can build a system and tweak one to meet both my money making needs and entertainment needs, still excites me. More so now than ever.

Either way man, sorry to hear that you've lost interest.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:05 pm

Welch wrote:Either way man, sorry to hear that you've lost interest.
Well that's not quite what he said :wink:
mainly there is less and less need to really get upgrades now a days


I would say that computer hardware has gotten fast enough that the operating system never feels slow anymore and a bunch of lightweight programs like office apps and media playing apps and email and web don't feel any faster with faster hardware. But there are a whole host of applications that will always be able to use as much CPU as you can throw at them - rendering, media encoding, etc. And then there are apps like games where the need for a faster CPU is pretty inconsistent but still there.

It is nice that over the last several years the rendering times for some of our architectural renderings has gone down from several days to just a half a day and with more sophisticated scenes at that, but it's sill be nice to have those scenes render in just 15 or even 5 minutes. And those are still scenes - not even animated walk through renderings. For those we still generally have to reduce the rendering quality and they still take days to render.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:08 pm

I like to shoot for the area where all the newest games are playable, but I dont mind sacrificing some detail in order to get around 50fps. I dont need to be at 1080 resolution and I dont need Ultra detail levels. (though they do look awful nice) Those things make games gorgeous but I don't feel like it adds too terribly much to a games "experience." I'm much more sensitive to a good storyline/plot, quality of gameplay, gameplay mechanics, character movements and realizm, etc.
I only game about 4-8 hours/week which doesn't justify a $2000+ computer sitting idle for the other 95% of the time. Maybe I just don't make enough money to have expendable income like that. My belief is that a decent processor (~$200 at time of purchase) can stay relevant for 3+ years and a ~$200 GPU can stay relevant for 2+ years without sacrificing much/any detail or resolution at the end of that time. Longer upgrade cycles start to require the user to drop detail level, resolution, FPS, or all of the above to play the most current and demanding games.

(Notice): If you're looking at my system specs and saying "jeez, this guy's computer sucks"...you're right, I'm upgrading once Ivy Bridge comes out.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:57 pm

Don't worry OP software will find a way to make you want to upgrade. If you think the need to upgrade was ever real it wasn't. I work in an office with 90's computers! :o When I started my computer had the same GPU I put in my first build pack senior year of high school, it was like a hand stretched across time and space all the way from 2004 and slapped me in the face. It was over six months of me complaining religiously till I got a new machine.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:47 pm

I understand as I’ve a Sandy Bridge P-2600K and twin GTX580 in SLI and unfortunately don’t see any need to upgrade for a long time. Most games are console ports these days and coded for obsolete hardware and they don’t task my current system. Maybe after the next generation of consoles comes through and hopefully moves consoles to DirectX 11.1 there might be a reason to upgrade. But in general consoles are aimed not at the high end, but mass market so I don’t hold out much hope for the next generation of consoles pushing the envelope that much.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:12 pm

Moral of story.....

If you have money, and buy high end hardware you will feel like computer hardware is boring.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:27 pm

well if having fast hardware bores you, I guess you haven't overclocked it enough yet :P

it's not quite fast enough unless you're taking breaks from driving M1 Abrams' to fill up the liquid nitrogen :lol:
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Fri Mar 02, 2012 7:41 pm

Firestarter wrote:well if having fast hardware bores you, I guess you haven't overclocked it enough yet :P

it's not quite fast enough unless you're taking breaks from driving M1 Abrams' to fill up the liquid nitrogen :lol:


LMFAO... that or you need to do much more intensive things with your computer to make it exciting again ;)
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:14 am

Welch wrote:Moral of story.....

If you have money, and buy high end hardware you will feel like computer hardware is boring.
No, that's not it at all. The moral of the story is that high end computer hardware is just as boring as low end computer hardware these days. Computers have become appliances. I have a Dyson Vacuum for the house(high end, $400 vacuum) and a Bissel for the garage (low end, $50 vacuum).

They both suck. (sorry, I coudn't resist).

Seriously though, they're both vacuum cleaners. They both serve a necessary function. Neither one is particularly exciting.

There's today's computer hardware scene in a nutshell.
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:31 am

I'll say it again for you then :)... Sorry to hear you've lost interested :P. They may be boring for you guys, but they haven't become boring for me and others. Sure some of the mystical coolness factor is gone with being able to unlock cores, overclock the bejeezus out of things and push a system to do more than it should. But the truth is its boring because you don't have anything else to obtain with it.

Baseball... equipment and training has gotten better, compared to 20 years ago most players can smack the ball way the hell out of the park for a home run... Quit the game? No, put the walls a lot further back and change the game to make it more challenging and interesting!

You guys have merely hit that wall where what you do with your computer no longer benefits from throwing more cash at it, its no big deal, there is nothing wrong with it. Its the same exact reason that consoles exist. You can play a game on a console and for most people that's all they'd use a computer for, but they don't want to spend lots of money on a computer that can game too, after all a console does the same thing (as far as they know). The line is slowly closing on that, but as the line on common stuff closes in for computers and other consumer electronics, I'll just keep changing the game up by doing something else interesting/fun with my computer that other electronics can't.
Last edited by Welch on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Welch
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Re: My farewell to extreme PCs

Postposted on Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:42 am

Like what?
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