Minor hardware upgrade news

Having just gotten a new computer a scant two weeks ago, I’ve already failed at resisting the urge to start pimping it out. I should point out the whole point of this endeavor was to make a cheap computer. Well, today I added another 2 GB of RAM (at a cost of $25) and a 400 GB hard drive (transferred from another computer). I’m lucky I already had that hard drive laying around; otherwise, I’d be out another, what, $80?

So the total price of my “cheap” system, if you don’t have any components laying around and have to buy everything from scratch, has ballooned to over $500. And that’s not even the end of it. I thought I could get away without a discrete graphics card; well, now I’m finding out that maybe I can’t. I’ve been playing around with Compiz, the 3D desktop manager, and also gotten interested in running some 3D Windows games in Wine. So it looks like I will need better than Intel Integrated graphics after all. And with the recent news that ATI is beefing up their Linux support, it’s proving hard to resist.

I still contend it’s possible to build a decent GNU/Linux desktop computer for $300. It’s just not something I seem capable of. I have the upgrade bug. The first time I happen to examine top and notice that I’m using swap space (gah!), I’m off buying 2 GB more RAM. A similar thing happens when I fill up all my hard drives (the whole reason I added this 400 GB hard drive is because the 500 GB one the system came with is already full).

7 Responses to “Minor hardware upgrade news”

  1. William (green) Says:

    Actually, you can get a 500GB for about $60 off the ‘Net right now.

  2. T2A` Says:

    Intel graphics can’t even run a screensaver at a decent framerate.

    Fuck those chips, man. Seriously. They’re a big part in why PC gaming isn’t as popular — I bet something like 90% of the systems bought retail and from Dell, HP, and whatnot come with that shit, preventing any of their users from going out and randomly picking up a game on a whim.

    Gaming on a PC should be viable, but there’s sooo many imposed barriers that it’s ultimately 100x less hassle to go get a 360. D:

  3. Cyde Weys Says:

    Yeah, but why should customers be forced to spend extra money on graphics processors more powerful than what most of them need simply so that some of them can go “randomly pick up a game on a whim”? If you’re actually trying to put together a $300 desktop, you need those integrated graphics chips.

  4. Kelly Martin Says:

    Oddly enough, there are uses for computers other than playing games…

  5. T2A` Says:

    Wow. Totally whoosh’d you both.

  6. Cyde Weys Says:

    I don’t think you went over anyone’s head here. We’re just saying that gaming isn’t the primary area of concern when it comes to computers. It’s far more important that they be as cheap as possible and as widely available as possible. The existence of integrated graphics chips is part of what allows that to happen by bringing down the number of discrete components that must be assembled, as well as bringing down component costs themselves (an integrated graphics chip costs far less to manufacture than a GeForce 8800, for instance).

    Besides, what would you do, outlaw integrated graphics chips? There’s obviously a huge market for them. I use them in all of my servers (which run headless until there’s a bad problem) and I’m rather glad I have the option to use a really cheap graphics card instead of a more expensive one, considering I don’t use it 99.9% of the time.

  7. William (green) Says:

    I think he might have been joking, maybe, and that’s what he was referring to? Don’t look at me; I don’t get it.