Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

A Treatise in Which I Examine the Finer Points of Computer Hardware, or Summoning the Beast: The Arcane Magic of Gaming Rig Resurrection and Improvement

After reading some reviews for the newly-released ATI Radeon HD 4770, I find myself thinking long and hard about my planned tech purchases. I’m often fond of referring to such spending as investments, but realistically that’s a misnomer. Regardless of what motherboard, or processor, or graphics card I buy, none of them will gain value the longer I own them. In reality, the value of computer hardware drops almost as quickly as that of cars, and in some cases even worse, given the six-month to one-year life of each generation of hardware. Before I go any further, that needs to be clear and ever-present in my mind and that of readers – any money dropped on hardware should basically be written off at a loss.

That being said, the logical thing to do is examine my reasons for upgrading my hardware. It’s pretty easy for me Continue reading


May 2, 2009 Posted by | Personal, Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How To: Install a New Graphics Card

This was previously published at You can read my article here.

Periodically, every computer needs an upgrade. Parts get old and, as software becomes more sophisticated, that old gear just doesn’t cut it. Trust me, I know the feeling. I went through this process last February. My main PC came with an nVidia 7300 LE graphics card – just barely better than having an integrated graphics chipset at the time and absolutely useless by today’s standards. I wanted to play HD video without overworking my processor. I wanted to play the latest video games without having to set them at minimum resolution and low detail. Continue reading

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , | 2 Comments

PC Component Selection Guides

While I’m still on the topic of pc components, having written up part one of my pc build series exclusively on the parts my friend Raymond and I chose for his build, here are some excellent, up-to-date guides online to choosing components when building a PC or merely replacing or upgrading a part. If I’m not completely certain about a part, I often reference web pages like these. They can be absolute lifesavers for those of us that don’t do PC builds/repair work professionally. Continue reading

September 20, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My First Computer Build

Maybe the title is a little misleading. While this is my first build, it isn’t really mine. I’m putting together a gaming rig for my friend Raymond, who has plenty of money available but not a ton of knowledge when it comes to computers. I’m by no means an expert, but I’ve upgraded computers quite a few times, throwing in new hard drives, memory, graphics/sound/wireless cards, etc. From time to time I’ve performed hard drive reformats, and I seem to have become 24-hour tech support for my family and friends. Raymond happens to be the most recent example, and I’m excited to challenge myself (and a little encouraged by how many people online state that “any idiot with a screwdriver and a how-to guide can build a computer”). Continue reading

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment