Brade and I had a few extra funds lying around that we were instructed to “do something fun” with. So, about a week or so ago he looked at me and said “we should get you a new computer”. At first I wasn’t sure about it. We have some remaining wedding expenses (but not too many) and we are taking a trip down to Disneyland in January. But once the thought of (finally) getting a new machine (mine is more than five years old) was planted in my head it grew. It started out as a tiny seed that I could almost forget was there, but soon flourised into a giant beast that could think of nothing but super awesome computers and how nice it would be to have a new, shiny one of my very own.
As a result, last Friday I looked at Brade and told him that if he was okay with the whole new computer thing, I would really like one. He told me to head over to MMO-Champion and look at some of the builds of the month and we could take a look at putting one together. Of course, he had the misfortune that I did this while he was out getting his haircut, which meant that I went straight to the Louis Vuitton rack and skipped over the knock off/clearance items.
Okay, that’s not entirely true. I did glance over at them on my way by!
In the end, I had decided that there two were things that were must haves on my list: an i7 processor and a really kick ass video card. From there, I largely went with the “unicorn” build that was recommended. I made a few changes – I opted for 16 gigs of RAM instead of 8, I opted for a larger SSD and I opted not to get a new internal HD as I had a relatively new 1 TB one in my current system that I’m just going to pull out and continue to use.
All in all we spent a little more than I think Brade and wanted, but I was really pleased with what our purchase. Ok…mostly pleased, let me tell you how hard it is to make a really large online purchase these days with credit card companies being hyper vigilant about fraud! But we won’t get into that!
Anyhow, for those interested, here is what we went with:
Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower (although, Brade did try to talk me into going with a smaller case – I was worried about the video card fitting, so opted to stick with the full tower).
Intel Core i7-3770K Quad Core
EVGA GeForce GTX670
Asus LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI Sata 6gb Motherboard
Crucial 256 GB SSD
G Skill DDR3 (16 gigs)
Noctua 6 Dual Heatpipe Cooler
Corsair Professional Series HX 750 Watt Power Source
For those interested, we priced everything at both NewEgg and Amazon, and they came out within twenty bucks of each other for the total. We opted to purchase at Amazon for aforementioned credit card security issues and NewEgg not having weekend customer support (where Amazon did). The downside was that we had to pay sales tax, where NewEgg would have been tax free (I don’t even know how they get away with that!). We also have Amazon Prime, so we get super fast shipping and it’s free, which is also nice!
I’m really looking forward to everything arriving and being able to put it all together! I think the worst part is going to be that everything but the case arrives today and tomorrow, with the case arriving on Thursday. However, my parents get in town on Thursday, so I won’t actually have the opportunity to put it all together until next Monday/Tuesday. It’s going to be sheer torture looking at those amazon boxes and knowing that my new shiny is being held hostage inside!
A little over a year ago I asked for some advice on purchasing a new desk chair. Several folks responded and offered feedback, and I took all of it under consideration. However, when push came to shove, I couldn’t decide what I wanted and ultimately chickened out at the costs. I ended up purchasing a back support for my current chair and went along my happy way.
Then one day Brade commented on how the cushioning in his chair (which was identical to mine, only about a year newer) was gone, and he thought he needed a new chair. Of course, at that point it made me realize that the cushioning in my chair was also long gone and I could probably use a new one as well. However, we happily sat in these chairs for another few months until one night on a chance trip to Costco we happened across some office chairs. We each happily plopped our tired butts into different chairs, and went “ahhhhhh”. And hey, the one that I had picked was supposedly all ergonomical and promoted for good posture by all these different medical people. What could go wrong?!
The Nefarious Costco Chair
We made our respective purchases, and brought them home. And everything was good – for a time. But (there is always a but!) about a month after I started using this new chair, I started to experience pain in my right hand. More specifically my right pointer finger. I used my Googlefu and WebMDfu to try and figure out what could be the cause – and just so you know, Dr. House ain’t got nothin’ on my self-diagnosing abilities. Just sayin’. Time after time, when I put my symptoms in, I came up with the same result: Repetitive Strain Injury. And one of the key contributors was consistently listed as poor posture with long hours on a computer. Read the rest of this entry »
Niniel recently shared his desk set-up with his new monitor. I have to say that I loved his clean, candle-lit look! Inspired by Niniel, I thought I’d take a few minutes to share my past weekend’s desk endeavors as well!
For a very long time (3+ years to be exact), Brade and I have shared this desk. While it was workable it was, needless to say, quite cramped. Neither of us had very much personal space. Part of the reason that we shared the desk was because we just didn’t have a whole lot of space to put in a second desk…or so we thought. We had been talking about trying to find a bigger desk/desk solution for quite some time now, tired of knocking elbows while we played. We had just never gotten around to getting those conversations past the “I’d like” or conceptualization stages.
However, this past weekend, venturing out to purchase a laptop table for the living room had us looking at desks. And of course, once the bug go into my head, along with actually shopping while we were discussing it, I was excited to have a new project! And so we got home and I dug out our tape measure and started taking measurements. Ultimately we wanted to keep the desk we already had, not only to help keep cost down, but so we didn’t have to figure out how to dispose of it. We also knew it was something we’d like to do before Cataclysm, so that we’d have extra space once we were back at the computers a great deal.
We took measurement after measurement, added up the space, debated, discussed and finally decided to go down to Ikea to have a look around. After doing the math, we were fairly confident that we’d have enough room to purchase a second desk like we already had, and “L” them up. We had also hoped that we could purchase a connector for the two desks. As luck would have it, we could purchase another desk. However, because we favored the glass top desk, they did not have the connector option. That was fine, it just meant that we had a huge square gap between the corners of the desks – I could find a way to fill that space.
We got home, got everything assembled, and I have to say that I’m quite pleased with the results! We bought a silk tree to fill the gap in the desks, but I am still considering having a table made to fit the space. It’s a little snug between the front desk and the wall, but we can still maneuver through the space without problem and can get the vacuum and what not through it easily – it’s almost as if we just created a bit of a snug hallway. The best part is that we each have our own space again! And that is well worth it in my opinion!
The new desk space, with both desks, and plenty of room to move about.
My desk – with lots of space! And yes, that is a framed map of Middle Earth on my wall =P
For those that may be curious, and/or considering a desk/office renovation project of their own, the total cost of our little weekend remodel was ~$560 USD. However, we picked up a few non-essential things like a couple of blotters ($70/two), the non-essential silk tree ($50), the little shelf unit you see on my desk ($35) and a couple of desk lamps ($100). The cost also included a new surge protector (we shared one before), and longer cords to compensate for the additional length needed to get from the computer to the router (combined total $50). If you stuck just to the absolute bare bones, it probably could have been done for under $300 USD, depending on how many of the desk components you needed/wanted to purchase.
All in all, for what the end product ended up being, I think it was pretty well done and a relatively economical solution to our problem!