Marc - Column for 10/21

Buying a computer

Iím not real sure what I should be writing about. I have read through some of the archives of Cant for inspiration, but Iím feeling distinctly uninspired. One option would be to go on a tirade about something. Not much has really bothered me except the traffic. Heck, traffic is pretty okay even. Iíve loaded my iPod with books on tape. This is helping to smooth the edge of DC traffic.

The only thing Iíve been seriously devoting non-work intellectual time to is figuring out what type of computer I want to buy. The only real reason I have to buy the computer is for video games. Iíve given up saying itíll be anything else. Itís just an expensive toy to waste time with.

The funny thing is that I havenít even bought a new computer since I was in college. Once I started working, I have always had work laptops. The odd thing is that I can remember spending a huge amount of time researching the various parts. I bought the motherboard, memory, video card, and everything else. This wasnít that long ago by some standards, but all the research I relished at that time is pretty boring to me now. I feel an obligation to inform myself about this purchase for some reason. Itís odd, but I would probably be happy just buying something from folks. I even thought about doing at Alienware. Then after a few minutes checking, I realized that I would be spending way too much.

So, Iíve been spending the last few nights crawling through reviews and discussion threads about video cards, memory RAM, motherboards and such. I think I have a simple goal. I just want to get something that will play the leading edge games for the next 2-3 years. Since I donít know what that should be exactly, Iím just using good play of Doom 3 and Half-life 2 as the baseline metric. Based on all the posting and articles Iíve seen, the most important component is the video card. The motherboards and processor speed are important, but they really pale in comparison to the video card.

Now I have zeroed on two sites that I am really working with; Cyberpower and Ibuypower.com. Both seem to be around the same price range. I am looking forward to getting the machine. Nothing real exciting, but it is one thing that I am thinking about.

Man, I should try and do something more exciting.

Columns by Marc