Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 27th Sep 2012 19:36 UTC
Apple I bought a brand new iMac on Tuesday. I'm pretty sure this will come as a surprise to some, so I figured I might as well offer some background information about this choice - maybe it'll help other people who are also pondering what to buy as their next computer.
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Umm...Build your own?
by yokem55 on Thu 27th Sep 2012 20:36 UTC
yokem55
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your main argument seems to come down to - you want to be able to have someone else take care of the hardware when it breaks and you want that someone else to just around the corner.

It seems to me you could do a lot better for yourself (in terms of money and hardware quality) if you took over that role yourself and build and maintain your own hardware. Are there no PC component shops in the Netherlands anymore? Or are you just wanting to be a consumer who when it comes to the insides of the magic box, "doesn't deal with that stuff"?

As for your recent motherboard failures, you might want to get your electrical setup checked out. I'd be really sad if your brand new expensive iMac suffered harm as a result of electrical problems on your end...

Edited 2012-09-27 20:41 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Umm...Build your own?
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 27th Sep 2012 20:47 in reply to "Umm...Build your own?"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Up-voted for the electrical system check up. I've lived in some extreme environments where the the electricity has killed motherboards, power supplies, hard drives and more.

If you had that many pc's die from mysterious electrical problems... It really does point towards a problem with the electricity.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Umm...Build your own?
by lucas_maximus on Thu 27th Sep 2012 20:47 in reply to "RE: Umm...Build your own?"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

This is why you should always surge protect the PC.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Umm...Build your own?
by tanzam75 on Thu 27th Sep 2012 21:41 in reply to "RE: Umm...Build your own?"
tanzam75 Member since:
2011-05-19

I once lost two microwaves within a period of two months. I put the third one on a surge protector, and it's been running for two years without a problem.

Note that surge protectors degrade over time. Each surge that passes through the varistor will degrade its capacity, and increase the chance of a total failure at the next surge. If your livelihood truly depends on computers, then replacing your surge protectors every few years is a cheap form of insurance.

In fact, if your livelihood depends on computers, then you should not rely on plug-in surge protectors. You should hire an electrician to install a whole-house surge protector.

If you do not install a whole-house surge protector, then the plug-in surge protector will depend on a high-quality ground path. Many houses have terrible ground paths, even houses built quite recently! The problem is that the ground path is never really tested until an emergency occurs. Whereas you're much more likely to notice flickering lights from a bad hot or neutral.

You can now buy Chinese circuit testers for less than $90 on eBay. Buy one and test the ground impedance on every receptacle in your house. If there are any problems, call an electrician and get them fixed. If you use a plug-in surge protector on a receptacle with a bad ground, then it's serving a largely placebo effect.

Also, I've found that a a lot of people, including engineers, do not seem to realize that power strips are not surge protectors. If you plug a computer into a power strip that is not a surge protector, then you might as well plug it directly into the wall. It's not protected from surges at all.

Edited 2012-09-27 21:43 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Umm...Build your own?
by feydun on Fri 28th Sep 2012 22:18 in reply to "RE: Umm...Build your own?"
feydun Member since:
2012-02-27

I had a couple of good quality PSUs go bad on me. Thought it was a motherboard problem at first. Finally figured out (from clicking noises from fan not quite starting up) that I was getting current spikes for about a minute twice a day (even small ones induced with PSU plugged in but physically switched off) from the street lights outside my house automatically going on/off at sunrise/sunset.
So... I guess surge protectors not necessarily a luxury even for home PCs.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Umm...Build your own?
by lucas_maximus on Thu 27th Sep 2012 20:47 in reply to "Umm...Build your own?"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Though I think Thom decision for a Mac has primarily been because he doesn't like Win8 rather than anything else ... I have to defend the support option

If something breaks and it is affecting your source of income, waiting for a RMA's PSU or something just isn't an option. You need to be up and running ASAP. End of.

I have pretty vanilla hardware and there is not one shop in 10 miles of Gibraltar that can supply me with spare parts for my main computer at home within a week.

In fact could probably get something posted by the Royal Mail faster on regular postage.

Edited 2012-09-27 20:49 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Umm...Build your own?
by yokem55 on Thu 27th Sep 2012 20:54 in reply to "RE: Umm...Build your own?"
yokem55 Member since:
2005-07-06

I guess here in the US I'm pretty spoiled. I can order a part from Amazon in the AM, and with Prime next day shipping I can have a replacement component on my doorstep the next afternoon. Then I can deal with the warranty issues, and if I get a replacment, I can ebay the replacement. At most 2 business days of downtime, which even Apple can't beat with in-store service.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Umm...Build your own?
by lfeagan on Thu 27th Sep 2012 21:07 in reply to "Umm...Build your own?"
lfeagan Member since:
2006-04-01

Agreed with the electric problems. I live in a state with many thunderstorms and other electrical fun. A power filter, not just a surge protector, is a very good investment. Beware of just putting things on a UPS. A line-interactive UPS will not filter the line. A double-conversion UPS will filter the line. Similar comments apply to many surge protectors--they don't do any line filtering.

If you regularly have under voltage conditions on your lines, components could be overheating causing premature failure.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Umm...Build your own?
by WorknMan on Thu 27th Sep 2012 21:27 in reply to "Umm...Build your own?"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Your main argument seems to come down to - you want to be able to have someone else take care of the hardware when it breaks and you want that someone else to just around the corner.

It seems to me you could do a lot better for yourself (in terms of money and hardware quality) if you took over that role yourself and build and maintain your own hardware.


Personally, I don't have the time nor patience to do my own builds, much less maintain them. So I usually buy my PCs from an outlet like Avadirect, and if it breaks down, there's a guy here in town that will come get the machine and usually have it back to me fixed the next day.

Of course, I realize everyone isn't lucky enough to have someone locally who makes house calls AND does good work, but you never know what you might find if you look ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Umm...Build your own?
by Morgan on Thu 27th Sep 2012 21:57 in reply to "RE: Umm...Build your own?"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

As a side business, I'm that "house call guy" and I've actually had to dial that business back some as it was beginning to affect my full time and part time jobs. Just word of mouth alone was getting me more hours than I could fit in one day.

Thankfully, a couple of local computer shops have opened up and I've been able to refer customers to them (after checking them out first of course). If it were possible to get decent health insurance in this country without a government job, I'd drop the full time job and just do consulting. But it's just not realistic right now.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Umm...Build your own?
by AlekosPanagulis on Fri 28th Sep 2012 14:01 in reply to "Umm...Build your own?"
AlekosPanagulis Member since:
2012-03-19

Right dude, i agree.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Umm...Build your own?
by Lennie on Sat 29th Sep 2012 10:19 in reply to "Umm...Build your own?"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Thom lives somewhere "in the sticks"* I guess there most be no PC shop near by ?

I would have choose a mom & pop PC shop too, they can build anything you ask them to and fix any issues if they arise.

We have Dell at my work place, mostly servers and I'm not impressed with their help.

* I think that the English or American expression.

Edited 2012-09-29 10:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2