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

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:

This is why you should always surge protect the PC.

Reply Parent Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

What happens when the surge protector erupts in flames?

Reply Parent Score: 2

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:

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

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:

Also, a number of surge protectors also have a light on them that indicates weather they can still protect you from a surge. Once that light goes off, all bets are off.

Reply Parent Score: 2

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:

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