Winter and Computer Frustrations

The Price of Either Fixing Up or Building A New Computer

Winter and Argy Computer Problems

How many people out there still likes to build their own personal desktop computer? How many would rather buy a pre-build desktop computer? For me, I like the enjoyment of going to the shop and building my own personal computer. I have already been through three personal computers that I built and while I could of purchased a shop build PC, there wasn’t the satisfaction of being able to do all of the installation and update by yourself.

Now there are two types of personal computers builders: one who likes to build a PC that meets the users need, and one who likes to build a high end PC for entertainment or gaming. If I would categorize myself, I would technically fall in the high end side.

As Technology Grows

Keeping up with technology is becoming harder and harder, especially if you are a person who only has a limited budget. It’s much harder if you are a person who needs a high end PC to support things like digital arts or for gaming performances, which is why it hurts a lot when you are at the time in your life where you would need to upgrade your personal computer.

When I decided to move away from the Silicon Valley and head up to the Seattle, Washington area, I would never have guessed that my computer would then decided to die on me. It was a very powerful machine at the time (at least in my view) and it was only built three years ago. I honestly thought it was very powerful and ran a lot of the programs I needed flawlessly. But like most technology, it was fated to eventually die. I wasn’t sure why the machine stopped working but after a lot of trial and replacements I managed to conclude that it was the motherboard that was the main cause and not everything else.

Now I Have to Go and Buy…

During the past week, I had managed to get my paycheck just in time to start purchasing my new computer. I had enough money to buy a new motherboard, so I drove to our nearby Fry’s Electronics (computer store) and randomly purchased the MSI Z170A Krait gaming motherboard as it looked interesting. Now that I had a motherboard, I would need a new processor to go with this new board, since my old processor would not fit into the new board (and they stopped selling motherboards that would have fit my i7 processor).

“That would be all that I needed” as I told myself. I still had my DDR3 RAM cards and my graphic card, so I didn’t think I needed anything else.

Boy was I wrong……..

“When It Rains, It Pours”

Reality can be harsh sometimes, especially if it’s technology-related. Everything went wrong without me even thinking about doing my research. I know enough about computers to understand what I needed and what I wouldn’t need, but one thing I didn’t count on was the fact my knowledge on computer components would no longer be up-to-date with what is currently out right now. With the installation of my new motherboard, I was shock to find out that my DDR3 didn’t fit. The motherboard was using a different set of chip slots, ones that I have never seen before. This confused me and I wasn’t sure what to do about it.

The processor itself came with a different issue all together as well. Since their announcement last year, I knew that Intel wasn’t going to be including a processor fan with their processor anymore, but for some reason, I didn’t bother to remember this little fact. It appeared that my old processor fan was no longer working so this meant that I would need to go back to Fry’s again and get the parts I needed.

During my return to Fry’s, I came in shock to know that the new motherboard wasn’t using DDR3 RAM but needed DDR4 RAM. DDR4? “WOW,” I thought to myself. “When did this happen?” I was kind of shocked that I didn’t find out anything about the introduction of the new DDR4 RAM set until now. I quickly grabbed a set of 32GB DDR4 before they were sold out that day and returned home so that I could install my PC.

What came next was more problems that I didn’t foresee. The motherboard wasn’t starting when all of the RAM were set into the board. I was having a hard time trying to update the bios as well. Even when all of that was solved, I still ran into another issue of not being able to install Windows on my system. My choice during the time was to install Windows 7, but the installation process was being interrupted with an error that didn’t make any sense (I eventually decided in Windows 10). A week of trial-and-error went by and I managed to finally get everything running without any issue. I was frustrated and annoyed but after a long week, I was just happy that I was able to get my desktop PC working again.

Lessons Learned

All of the problems that I was going through was part of the price of building a new personal computer. Issues like this could have been prevented had I chose to just repurchase my original motherboard online but the greedy part in me wanted something that was better and up-to-date.

So my advice on a personal level would be for anyone to NOT make the choice I made unless they are able to have the funds to get something new. If you aren’t a computer expert, there is no real shame to purchase a pre-built computer or else you would be digging a big hole in your funds. For an example on how much I spent on this build, here is the purchase list:

Total: $1,032.74

As you can tell, I wouldn’t have lost that much money if I just ordered the same old motherboard online. Again, reality can be harsh as sometimes, as you would rather follow the harsher path than to just find the easy solution. In a sense, my move from California to Washington itself would be considered the same thing. Why move to a new state when your current state isn’t so bad? I think my main decision on why I decided to just start everything from scratch is because of the main joy of experiencing the feeling of building a new computer.