It’s a combination of things.
The world is in a situation, with an additional situation as a result.
You just can’t get computer parts, particularly mid and high end ones, either at all, or for anything resembling a reasonable cost.
(This article will NOT be evergreen, I suppose).
And it matters, it all matters, to a lot of people, but it has a strange effect, echoing around the Vault.
I don’t particularly need anything. And as a hobbyist, and as someone with a twitching “buy now” finger, it’s weird.
My primary system was actually parted off to help a close friend build his first computer. I figured with the scarcity of the part he needed plus the absolute surplus of components at my disposal, I could absolutely afford to part with my primary CPU. So I did, and I bumped down to my next most powerful system, and never looked back.
While I’m absolutely itching to buy new tech, just for the hell of it, I just can’t. Things are too expensive, and while I could potentially afford something or other if I needed it, the other problem is, I don’t.
My primary is a six-core, ninth generation Intel based system with 32 GB of RAM and a Geforce GTX 1060, nothing special by this point in time but it is more than enough to do small photosets in Lightroom or play Genshin Impact. (Dating the article again, I’m sure). Plus, there’s been no photoshoots I felt I could do safely for a year now, other than taking pictures of my anime figures but that’s a podcast for another podcast.
My home theater PC is nearly as powerful as my primary, just with a lot less storage and a low wattage CPU and no integrated graphics. It’s a little silly to even have a home theater PC for me, but it is a matter of convenience. I feel comfortable with the tiny box resting atop the dusty PS4, waiting to stream some YouTube or Netflix with its absurdly over provisioned CPU. What can I say, it’s the combination of two great deals, which I’m ever a sucker for.
The strange thing is that I spend most of my time not on my “high end” computers but on my low end ones. The Gigabyte, as previously mentioned, is actually what I spend most of my time on, and before you ask, I can’t quite explain why. It’s weak – it’s the weakest modern computer in the house, but it accomplishes my browsing and writing needs and there I find myself. And when I’m on the go, I have yet to adapt to my new high end laptop that I recently got (somewhat impulsively, depending on how you’re willing to define the term) because I’m just so used to the epic battery life and barely sufficient processing power of that cursed Acer Spin 1. These crappy computers, they’re just somehow what I need, and I sort of love them for it.
I wish I knew why.
I’d be happy to throw money at gorgeous Microsoft Surfaces or new Mac Minis. But I don’t think they warrant their costs FOR ME and my usages. I’d also like to put the newly acquired 2009 iMac into service, old as it is, for it’s gorgeous display and usefulness at least as a terminal to access other machines in the house, but it just sucks up too much power.
Way too much power.
The Vault is in a strange position. There’s nothing affordable to buy new. But there aren’t any needs of anything new. And we’re already overprovisioned as it is. The Vault is in a holding pattern.
The server, appealing as it is, doesn’t even require any additional storage.
As times, well, as times don’t change, neither will the Vault. I will learn as best I can to be satisfied with what I have, which is far more than enough. Maybe someday I will actually convince myself to start selling off the antiquated parts as I’ve meant to for so very long. The Vault will always be the Vault, even while it changes as well as stays the same.
I’ll still be out there, interested to talk to you about your old or new computers or computer needs @geekadematt on Twitter and on the Geekade Discord.
The so-called Primary PC is the third iteration of the increasingly improperly named “Skylake” running on an Intel Core i5-9600k (not-overclocked) cooled excessively by a Hyper 212 Evo tower cooler. It is supported by 32 GB DDR4-3200 MHz RAM running at 2666 due to chipset limitations and has a 1 TB nvme m.2 device as it’s primary storage plus a 2 TB nvme m.2 device as secondary storage and a 3 TB 7200 rpm rotational hard drive as tertiary storage. It connects to Hina, a 48 TB network attached storage device, for additional data dumping.
The television needs are covered by a Lenovo M720q “Tiny” upgraded with an Intel Core i5-9400T and 8 GB DDR4-2400 and a 240 GB SATA based SSD. It is far more than is necessary to watch streaming anime at 1080p.
The bedroom is where the Gigabyte 3955u is placed, the admittedly anemic Celeron 3955u supported by its maximum 8 GB DDR3L-1600 RAM (no that’s all it will handle I’ve tried) and a 240 GB SATA m.2 device. It shouldn’t be useful, yet it is every day, attached to its 60% brown switch mechanical keyboard and 24 inch Dell display. It is complimented by the Acer Spin 1 and its even more expectation-defying Pentium N5000 cpu, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB eMMC storage device, and the worst IPS display I’ve ever seen on a laptop. Battery life is absolutely epic though.