Published on November 19, 2004 By d3adz0mbie In Personal Computing
If you're reading this article, you've probably fallen into the upgrade trap at some point in your life. Speedy new computer parts, bigger, faster, sleeker than the ones you own. And you want them. It could be a new laser mouse, with all the bells and whistles, or the latest processor or even a smaller, better digital camera. You see the Intel commercial for their latest, fastest processor, with a happy family having a good time around the computer. Your computer isn't that fast, and your family doesn't look like the one in the commercial. Maybe a faster processor will make things easier, and add a touch of family fun? Whatever the hook is, we've all been there.

For a computer 'enthusiast' like myself, it's worse. Call us gamers, geeks, PC builders, customizers or whatever the latest term is, we're the guys that build Mom, Dad and the whole families computers from mysterious boxed parts that we get from secret warehouses. At least thats what my Mom thinks, she really doesn't have the slightest idea or concern, it's all a mystery to her. The upgrade trap is bad for us enthusiasts, we get magazines showing the latest hot videocards, lists of CPU benchmarks, sound comparisons on the latest speaker standards. We 'geeks' are bombarded with a mountain of advertising on whats new and cool, and why we've "GOT TO HAVE IT" is pushed down our throats daily. For years I've been a victim, and I think I've finally broken free of it.

A little over a year ago I had all the shiny new toys on and inside my computer. $500 graphics card, latest CPU, killer sound, ultra fast Hard drive with a ton of memory. Over the years every new component was a 'must have', until finally, I reached the peak. Blazing fast, I felt like king of the geeks. Now, according to every trade magazine and commercial I see, my equipment is outdated, slow, something out of the Messazoic era when lumbering beasts walked the Earth. New, faster video cards are on the market, cutting edge processors - even my mouse is supposedly outdated! But is it really? Do I really need this new stuff?

For the past few years I would have said yes, but recently my attitude has started to change. The kicker for me was Doom3. For months I was wondering if my 'aging' hardware would handle this technological marvel of a game. After I first installed Doom3, fired it up, I was hugely dissappointed by how poor the game ran. Certainly my hardware wasnt that old? With a little research I discovered that the game shipped with setting to make it run poorely on my ATI video card... it seems Id software, the makers of the Doom seires, and nVidia, a video card manufacturer they had advertising deals with, might have been trying to sell new video cards by making some people think ATI video cards couldn't handle the game. It took changing 5 settings in a Doom file and suddenly the game was playing in all its full glory, without a single slow frame. Hmmm, maybe my hardware isnt so outdated after all.

I've taken a closer look at those benchmarks for new hardware, showing how the new stuff beats my system hands down. And I wonder if I really need Quake3 to run an extra 25% faster, after all, it runs jst fine maxed out on my system. What would I gain? I started to think that my system was still pretty current, and these shiny new toys every hardware vendor in the world was trying to convince me to buy was just that - toys. Things I dont really need, might be nice to play with for awhile, but eventually to be discarded for the next new thing.

The nail in the coffin was sealed a few days ago. I've had my eye on the new Logitech MX1000 lasermouse. This mouse is cutting edge wireless, the first ever laser mouse (which makes it more precise, better in every way!). Every review I'd seen had been through the roof - people were raving about this new mouse. So I bought one. And I was hugely dissappointed. None of the reviews mention the mouse is as heavy as a brick and incredibly bulky, they only discuss its cutting edge technology that were supposed to get excited about. Truth is, the mouse feels like pushing a lead brick around, even on the best mousing surfaces! For me thats unacceptable. My wife has the mouse now, a gift from her husband. Shes obviously much more macho than me, able to push around 100lbs of mouse.

So I'm out of the trap. I like my system, it can handle anything I want to do. It plays all the latest games just fine, edits movies and creates content at a fantastic speed. I dont need another shiny new toy for now, even if it has some cool new feature that I might die without.

Although, I bet a bigger monitor might be nice...
Comments (Page 2)
on Apr 04, 2006
He has done this in a couple of threads.  Spam maybe?
on Apr 04, 2006
Well, I can't deny I am about as passionate about computer parts as Chip Foose is with cars. I look at magazines, I check the internet, I go to stores, to me this is like a kid in toys-r-us. To others, they wonder why I put so much time on PCs and not naked women like they do.

A couple of years ago I decided to make a list of what PC parts I would by to build what I considered the Ultimate PC. My biggest problem is that I'm broke and so this is just more for fun than an actual shopping list. I dream of building it someday, hopefuly sooner than later. Well the PC came out to about $6000, with everything from side windows, lights for anything and everything, UPS (backup battery), all the latest and best. I only wish my wife was as into computers as I am. I still have the list, and to todays standard, the parts are outdated, but I still think it would be a mean machine, and I believe it's maybe a couple of thousand bucks cheaper right now. Who knows.
on Apr 04, 2006
It took changing 5 settings in a Doom file and suddenly the game was playing in all its full glory, without a single slow frame. Hmmm, maybe my hardware isnt so outdated after all.

please tell us how you did it, my ATi card and Doom don't get along very well either.
on Apr 04, 2006

To others, they wonder why I put so much time on PCs and not naked women like they do.

Oh, good heavens.....learn to multi-task......

Works for me....

on Apr 05, 2006
on Apr 05, 2006

To others, they wonder why I put so much time on PCs and not naked women like they do

Naken women are exactly why I spend so much time on PCs  



BTW, all the girls in the pics are over 18... just in case the authorities read this   

on Apr 05, 2006
Suggestion: get rid of the wife and buy the PC - you'll be a lot happier
on Apr 11, 2006
To write the letter, it is necessary ...
on Apr 11, 2006

Looks like a bot to me.

on Apr 11, 2006
Bots! That's all I need!

Shiny!? Yeah, I went for it too...this old homebuilt rig's just fine, actually. Runs everything and has plenty of room and speed if I manage it all and dump the crap into my external HD from time to time. But...Christmas I went for the marketing and my inner demons and got a new laptop as the other one died from a spazzed hard drive. Got a vaio FS780/W. Left it in the box for a week or so, then made the mistake of setting it up. Preinstalled Win XP Home, no domain possible Preinstalled Norton Trial Preinstalled Office XP Trial A lot of f__t-ware I don't need or use. IE that now wont access Search or Windows Update. Reformatted 2X, no joy. Today, bought [$!] Win XP Pro "Upgrade" and $499.00 Office XP pro as my daughter needs "Publisher" for school and my homebuilt has Office XP 2002. [...whine..."Days of Whining Neuroses"...]. Oh yeah, have two Logitech combos, for PC and laptop, and they stumble now and then, too, usually I don't notice 'til waay into the document, or whiny post, as I still type "Columbus Method", Search and Discover, with two or three fingers and have to focus on the keyboard as I do it. Some days life is just a bowl of ___ Mostly not, tho

Hang in there. It'll get different