I’m rebuilding my computer. Why? A game, of course.

Like so many others in the geeky computer gaming world, I’m impatiently awaiting the August 12th release of No Man’s Sky. This appears to be, in every way, my kind of game. Thoughtful, strategic, fantastical, multiplayer but not too dependent on other players. It’s been too long since I last idled away a day lost in a gaming world. I’m too old and slow to be any good at first person shooters, and I’ve never made an effort to analyze weapon and resource matchups in most strategic RPGs, and I go nuts playing puzzle games, so I’m always on the lookout for something in between. No Man’s Sky may be the answer.

It’s also an excuse to upgrade my PC.

Of course, I don’t really need an excuse. It’s not like I must justify the expenditure to a significant other. It’s not like I don’t use my PC for work, which benefits from any and all upgrades.  Still, I’ve recently bought a new house, and it’s nice to have a justification ready in those rare minutes when my brain says, “Do you really need to upgrade?”  Yep. Shut up, brain. You lose.

The core of my PC is six years old. In those years, I’ve added RAM, an SSD for the OS, and a new video card. The chip and motherboard are ancient. Over the past three months, I’ve been conducting my research and settling on kickass new parts. As always, I’ve gone way overboard for No Man’s Sky requirements, but that’s not the point. What is the point? Who cares?!?! It’s fun!

The upgrade list includes an Intel Core i7 6700K processor, 32GB of DD4-3000 RAM, Gigabyte’s Z170X Gaming 7 motherboard, liquid cooling, and the most exciting new component: an overclocked NVidea GeForce GTX 1080 Xtreme Gaming video card with an additional front facing VR panel. It’s quite the upgrade, and it paves the way for an almost inevitable Oculus Rift purchase in the near future.

I’ve had the motherboard, chip, and RAM for over a month.  Then I added a new keyboard and mouse for fun. Whenever a new package arrived on the doorstep, I grew more excited. But that video card is one of the first post-founder edition 1080s and nobody has had them in stock. I’ve been watching for weeks. Luckily, I was sitting at my computer when NewEgg‘s “in-stock” notification email arrived, and I ordered immediately. After all that waiting, the package was then delivered to my old house. Absolute torture! But today the waiting ended. I got my first peak. The card is an enormous beauty.

Anyway… next step is putting all the pieces together. I don’t anticipate too many problems with assembly. And I’m only slightly worried about fires. In my long history of toying inside computers, I’ve only set one computer on fire. Twice. But that wasn’t my fault. The supplier had mislabeled ports on the motherboard. Instant flame. At the time, it sucked, because that meant a week or two of waiting for replacement parts in the mail. Nowadays we can get almost any part online in a couple days (except for the high demand stuff). So I’m not too worried about fire. I do, however, fear BIOS and OS and driver issues that keep me offline for a while.

We shall see. It’s a thrilling undertaking. An exciting hardware adventure that will lead to an exciting gaming adventure. Wow. That was cheesy. Anyway, let’s do it. Updates to follow.

Also published on Medium.


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