This is the geeky post I promised about my new computer.
I've been trying to upgrade my home PC for awhile, but I hate negotiating with the Korean sellers of computer stuff. There are no stores like CompUSA or Best Buy in Korea. All of the electronics stores are these tiny little shops. Most of the shops are part of a larger warehouse type store that sell there products on their own and pay a percentage to the building owner. The two largest places are Technomart
electronics market. They always quote you some outrageous price (usually about 30% too high) and then you are expected to haggle back and forth. What a waste of time!
Since I didn't want to deal with all of the haggling/non-English speaking Korean computer shops I decided to order everything off Pricewatch.com
. This site is the absolute cheapest place to buy computer components anywhere. The only problem is that few, if any, of the vendors on Pricewatch will ship overseas. So I had to time the ordering with my next trip home (I fly back to Texas for a visit every couple of months). I planned to ship the stuff to my father's house and pick it up, no problem. Perfect plans never seem to go perfectly. One day before I get home to the U.S. one of the vendors I ordered from 2 weeks prior said the motherboard was backordered and they didn't know when they would get it (why the hell didn't they tell me that when I placed the order). So now I was stuck, I only had a few days in the U.S. and I didn't have time to order the motherboard again. I decided to go to Fry's and just try and buy one. I bought a motherboard on the way to my friend's house one afternoon and didn't give it a second thought. The CPU and video card I ordered arrived just fine.
Once again, my perfect plan didn't go perfectly. Stupid me did not inspect the motherboard very closely when I bought and I just assumed that my genius self would never buy the wrong motherboard. Well I did. Not only did I get back to Korea with a motherboard that wouldn't fit my new CPU but the type I needed is not even available in Korea yet. Apparently Korea is a little behind the times when it comes to personal computers. My CPU is one of AMD's new 64 bit Athlon 3800
chips that uses a socket 939 motherboard (told you this would be geeky). I accidently purchased a socket 754 motherboard (it's the generation right before 939, it's close but not quite right). I spent days looking around Seoul for ANY socket 939 motherboard and as of the writing of this post a socket 939 board cannot be found anywhere in Seoul.
So I'm sitting here with $1000 dollars worth of AMD 6800 chip and a Geforce 6800 256MB
video card and no motherboard to use them with. I couldn't stand it! So I head over to eBay on the net and start shopping for the motherboard I want, the ASUS AV8 deluxe
. I found a guy in Canada that would be willing to ship overseas, thought the board was going to be $150US plus $50US in shipping. Not to mention the $150 I had already spent on the board that is useless to me! I bit the bullet and bought the motherboard, a week later it shows up but I had to pay 50,000 won (about $50US) in taxes just to pick it up at a post office all the way across Seoul (another $10 in cabs). So overall I have $400 tied up in a motherboard that should have been only $150. Even after that, finding a CPU fan (which I also forgot to buy in the U.S.) took me forever to find in Korea. Oh well, it was my own damn fault.
Anyway, I'm happy to say it all works now. My computer has got to be one of the fastest in Korea. It only took me a friggin month from start to finish and a round trip to the U.S. from Korea.
Here is the break down of the specs.
Monitor - 19" Samsung LCD monitor.
CPU - AMD 64 3800
Video Card - GeForce 6800 GT
Motherboard - ASUS AV8 deluxe
Memory - 1Gig. of PC3200 DDR
Hard Drive - 2 SeaGate serial ATA 80G drives in a Raid-0 config
Etc. - DVD burner, CD Burner, and standard DVD drive (3 drives total).
I have been playing every game I can get my hands. Doom3, FarCry, HL2, (beta), Lock-On you name it and this machine is running everything maxed out on graphics at great speed. I know it'll be obsolete in 6 months but for now, it's the bees knees!
I just wanted to add that the reason I build my own computer is purely financial reasons. I don't particullary enjoy battleing with assembling the thing, but an equivalent machine on the retail market would cost anywhere from 3-4000 dollars. The best sight to look at high end retail machines is www.alienware.com
. If I were ever to buy a prebuilt PC it would be from those guys.