Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fallout 4 has a new home

And that home is my new Alienware X51 R2. I know, I know. I am a big ole nerd and should be able to build my own computer. 10 years ago that might have been true but technology has gotten away from me in the last decade. I no longer recognize any of the names or tech. I could have gone to a site like NewEgg and built my own but that never really worked out for me in the long run. All the PCs that I built crapped out in a few years whereas the Dell that I bought in 2004 is still chugging along. I know that I paid about $400 more for Dell building it for me and for that sexy little alien head. It came down to security and stability (things that get increasingly more important the older you get).

At the time of posting this, Bethesda has not released any of the system requirements for Fallout 4. This site has speculated on what they might be so I bought a computer that was one better than everything that was there. I don't what the difference between an i5 and and i7 processor but I know which is more expensive now.

There is a speculation that Fallout 4 might have lower system requirements than expected. that would be similar to Fallout 3 which ran on my outdated system at the time. Granted, the draw distance was rather short for critters and grass, but it ran and the experience was pleasant enough.

The thing is that I am not buying this machine to just run Fallout 4. I am buying it for the next decade of gaming. So I overbought a little. A machine that fit the basic requirements for Fallout 4 would have run me closer to $700 but would be outdated very soon. I would rather buy a computer that is going to last longer and run Fallout 4 at a higher quality than have an outdated PC in 4 years.

So here is what I got:
CPU : i7 4790 8mb cash 4GHz

There was an option to upgrade to a 4.4GHz processor for $150. My research showed that the upgrade would not have been worth the month of work it would have taken to pay off jsut that upgrade.

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 with 2GB GDDR5

I upgraded this from AMD Radeon R9 370 with 4GB GDDR5 for $100. While this upgrade does not reflect what the retaile value of the cards, the NVIDIA card outperforms the AMD card by a narrow margin desire having half the memory.  I feel that for a gaming computer, a GPU upgrade was always in the cards.

Mem: 2Tb

RAM: 16Gb

Aside from GPU, the next place to spend your money is in RAM. I didn't have an option in this matter and it didn't matter. I would have wanted 16Gb regardless.

I also purchased a 30" 2k monitor for and unheard of $100. That is bigger than our current TV and so big that I need to modify or remove the hutch from my current set up to fit it on my desk.

I think that I have built ordered a good computer that will play Fallout 4 well and last for a while. The plan is to wipe and reformat the current computer and use it for all non-gaming needs like iTunes, web, reading and Netflix. That will keep the gaming computer from getting cluttered and slowing down. It has been a long time since I had a multiple system setup and I really miss it.

Overall the experience of buying the computer was what I expected. The hold times for buying a computer was a lot less than calling with any problems. The first guy I talked to was not helpful at all in terms of getting me what I needed/wanted. he took my information down and did little to guide me to the system that I needed. I got frustrated with him at one point and hung up. He called back 5 times with me not answering. It is clear that someone works on commission and can not take a hint.

I took some time to call down and did some more research, I found that I could get 10-30% off with my AAA membership (more like 6%) and there were better deals on the website. The second guy also took down my information diligently and was equally unhelpful but slightly less annoying. Not by much but he was tolerable. It took him 5 min of hold time to get me my AAA discount but he gout it with no identification necessary.

He made a few mistakes though. He told me that a mouse and keyboard was included. I told him that as long as it was free then I would take it. At checkout when he was confirming the order, he said that no keyboard or mouse was included. I stopped him and said that I requested one. He then backtracked (after 5 min of hold time) and said that it was only a keyboard. I could have made a big stink about this but I don't care about the keyboard or mouse.

After finally getting my order right, he put me on with the Financial Manager. That appears to be the "Doyouwantacreditcard/whydontyouwantacreditcard" Manager. Dude (who sounded like he had a pound of marbles in his mouth) tried to explain to me how credit cards work. Seriously. Then after telling him 4 times that I did not want a credit card, he asked me to take a survey as to why not. I told him that I did not want to answer his question. Utter corporate nonsense.

I asked the guy to send me a itemized receipt for my order to make sure that he got everything right. He said yes and then sent an order confirmation with no itemization. Again, I could have made a stink about this, but to what end. Clearly this guy could not help me in the way I needed. He said that I would get an itemized receipt when the order ships. Even if that is true, it is not helpful at that point.

I am getting 5% back on my order in the form of a gift card and that works out to be about $60. That is just enough to buy Fallout 4. I noticed that their $25 gift card runs out on pre-ordering Fallout 4 through them tomorrow. I wanted to get my gift card code early to order it and get another $25 back. I spent 30 min on hold with them with no answer before giving up. Seems that hold times are shorter when you want to give them money and longer when you have a problem.

Overall, I do not care. the $25 is not really useful for anything but it would have been nice.

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