Paying It Forward

grandgnu

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So I was recently messaged by a PCF member who resides near me in Florida. This member noticed I was looking for a portable A/C unit to cool my new poker room.

I had already picked one up, albeit a less powerful version than the one he had. His was practically brand new and he had wound up upgrading further beyond this unit, none of his neighbors needed it and it was just going to goodwill if I didn't want it. Here is the unit:

http://www.whynter.com/productdetail/air_comfort/portable_air_conditioners/304

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I haven't named this member because I don't know if they want it out there, but this unit was offered to me free of charge, no strings attached! I mean, WOW! Just blew me away. Picked it up this morning before going into work, thing is MINT!

I gave him a small collection of chips, being the least I could do. And also offered to get his buy-in if he's able to make one of my games in the future.

But I still feel like that's not enough, so I want to pay it forward to the community here. I haven't quite figured out what that will be, but I'll come up with something. Just wanted to post that there are some truly amazing and generous folks in this community and I'm glad to have interacted or met in person many of you!

UPDATE ON HOW I'LL PAY IT FORWARD

I have been building my own PC's since the 90's and love tinkering with technology.

I will provide advice and system building labor to one PCF member in the market for a new computer. So instead of buying a bloatware-filled HP or Dell machine, I will build you a custom rig! Here are some limitations:

* Can't build you a laptop
* Can't build you a PC inside a monitor
* Winner purchases system components online and pays shipping to me (I recommend Newegg.com)
* I have never built a water-cooled rig, so not comfortable attempting that

What I can do

* Provide advice on specific components based on your needs and budget
* Build standard desktop/tower PC (mini, medium or large sized cases)
* Can build gaming rigs, number crunching rigs, media boxes or just a budget machine
* Can build systems that can accommodate multiple monitors
* Can do windowed cases with light up fans, uv reactive cables with blacklights, etc
* I Pay for shipping of the completed system to you (within continental USA only)

So the winner receives my time, labor and knowledge in selecting PC components and building it out, setting up the operating system and getting everything up to date, and then shipping of the system to their home or business.

This is for the PC box and components only, so it ships as one piece (i.e. if you need mouse, keyboard, speakers or monitor those would be something you would purchase separately and ship to yourself, I can still provide advice on which items to purchase based on your needs). Winner pays for the components of the system they wish me to build.

HOW TO ENTER

Just post in this thread that you're interested and you'll be entered (make a post that says PLEASE ENTER ME). Entries are accepted through 23:59 on Friday July 31st.

On Saturday, August 1st I will take all of the entrants and have them "play" a headsup poker tournament in my poker room.

Each match will consist of two entrants considered all-in against one another, playing NL Texas Hold Em. I will take pictures and document the results for each match and share them here, with one player advancing to the next round and one player being eliminated in each confrontation.

This will continue until only one player remains, the winner. Winner is asked to claim their prize within 3 months of winning.
 
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72o

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fridged awesome (best I could do).
 

atomiktoaster

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Be sure to post a good build thread. I haven't put a rig together for 5 years or so. My desktops are both feeling the age, but I don't have a good handle on what to build anymore.
 

grandgnu

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Be sure to post a good build thread. I haven't put a rig together for 5 years or so. My desktops are both feeling the age, but I don't have a good handle on what to build anymore.

Really depends on what you're looking for the system to do. I enjoy PC gaming, but you don't need to spend $2,000-$3,000 anymore to get a decent gaming rig, given how much the tech has advanced and prices have dropped.

The biggest thing I've been holding out for is a significant drop in SSD prices, really want to get into that technology, but didn't want to get anything smaller than half a terabyte for the drive. Right now I'm rocking:

Intel Core i5
Radeon 7870 2GB Graphics
8GB DDR3 (might upgrade to 16GB)
1 TB hard drive space (2x 500GB drives, primary drive is a 10K RPM Western Digital Raptor)
 

Tommy

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but you don't need to spend $2,000-$3,000 anymore to get a decent gaming rig

I agree. Current game engines make much better use of the GPU, CPU and RAM nowadays.
I built this monster back in 2007 when I was living in an apt out in Lancater PA. (single, no kids and working a boatload of OT)

P1000459_1.jpg P1000460_1.jpg P1000461_1.jpg P1000462_1.jpg P1000473_1.jpg P1000474_1.jpg P1000475_1.jpg P1000476_1.jpg P1000477_1.jpg P1000478_1.jpg P1000479_1.jpg P1000480_1.jpg P1000481_1.jpg P1000482_1.jpg P1000483_1.jpg P1000484_1.jpg P1000485_1.jpg P1000502_1.jpg
 

grandgnu

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Nice, for the time that was some pretty high quality components. I just have trouble spending 2x or more for a component that only provides a 5-15% performance boost over a better price:performance component (such as the core i5 vs the i7)

My own system is a few years old but I've found it plenty capable of handling anything I throw at it, so haven't felt that "need" to upgrade in order to improve performance. Definitely get a lot more bang for your buck these days.
 

nitzilla

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The biggest thing I've been holding out for is a significant drop in SSD prices, really want to get into that technology, but didn't want to get anything smaller than half a terabyte for the drive.

They're dropping fairly quickly these days.... I regularly buy 512GB for <$175.00 and I caught a Newegg daily deal for a 980GB for $275.00 (normally ~$375)
I used to say that if a 256GB went below $180 I would snap-buy for my HTPC.....I ended up buying a 512GB for $170..... ;) and those 256GB are now ~$90 any day of the week.

But yes, the price point break is right at the 512GB/1TB right now (used to be at 256GB/512GB)

There are other options too like the Seagate Hybrid drives (not a fan of Seagate, but they seem to hold the hybrid market...) and WD makes a pretty cool Black2 drive that is a laptop size drive with 1TB AND 128GB SSD in a single enclosure.....

Good luck with your builds,
nitzilla
 

Tommy

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I just have trouble spending 2x or more for a component that only provides a 5-15% performance boost over a better price:performance component (such as the core i5 vs the i7)

Was easier (for me) to overclock with an unlocked CPU. :) I sold that system to a co-worker and built another system soon after. I sold than one too before I moved.

P1000437.jpg P1000442.jpg

Now I run a docked Precision Mobile laptop at home. I upgraded the RAM to 32GB and put 3 SSD drives in it. No problems playing games on it or running any programs.
I hardly play PC games anymore. I play Xbox One every now and then.

20150721_101345.jpg 20150721_101409.jpg
 

Forty4

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Doh, I just bought a new tower last week! I really need to learn more about this because I think I could easily do it.
 

Tommy

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I've been holding out for is a significant drop in SSD prices, really want to get into that technology,

I would highly recommend getting a Samsung SSD. I've used many brands and Samsung has always been the best performer for me. Updating the firmware is a piece a cake too with their SSD tools software.
 

grandgnu

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Seagate used to be my favorite brand, but something happened within the past decade and their quality took a nosedive, which is too bad. So I do avoid them presently. I wouldn't bother with a hybrid drive. Yes, the prices have come down, but not to the point where I'm happy with them just yet.

I used to overclock, but prices have come down so much and technology is so powerful these days I don't see a huge reason to mess with it (unless you're an enthusiast and really enjoy squeezing those few extra ghz's out of your processor)

I can't see many systems actually making use of 32GB of RAM, seems like overkill for most users.

Sorry to hear Forty4! I'm self-taught to build systems. Started by adding a cd-burner, than a new graphics card, then a hard drive, then changing the cpu. Eventually I had done all the components and knew how it went together.
 

Tommy

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Found one more system that I built after I moved. This was a mini-system compared to my previous builds. It's in an Antec mini P180 case. Dual fan-less video cards. It was super quiet.

p1801.jpg

I can't see many systems actually making use of 32GB of RAM, seems like overkill for most users.

I doubt that I would need all it, but I have pushed into the high 20's with some programs.
 

grandgnu

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I like Samsung products as well, definitely a solid brand. 1,000 watt PSU also seems like overkill for most builds, especially a mini-system. spend that extra coin on the GPU! :)
 

Tommy

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I like Samsung products as well, definitely a solid brand. 1,000 watt PSU also seems like overkill for most builds, especially a mini-system. spend that extra coin on the GPU! :)

IIRC, that was pulled from a previous build. The buyer had their own 1200 watt PSU. LOL
Sorry for the thread-jack. Just reminiscing with some old pics that I had saved on a portable drive. Back to painting and waiting for the refrigerator to be delivered to today. Carry on!
 

CdnBeerLover

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Very cool. It's been about 12 years since I built one (the kids all want laptops now...). The research required today to figure out the best-bang-for-buck would probably kill me.
 

grandgnu

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The PSU upsells are mostly marketing hype and unnecessary. I usually find 450-650 watt PSU's to be more than enough for the majority of builds. It's actually easier to research the best bang for the buck nowadays, what with all the information available online. I love TomsHardware.com for their CPU and GPU comparison charts they put out each month
 

grandgnu

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Updated the OP to avoid any confusion, if you wish to enter just make a post that says PLEASE ENTER ME
 

guinness

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Tommy, nice job. That is very impressive. Did you have the shell CNC'd or was that an OTS kit? I agree on Samsung SSD's. I have 1.5TB SSD and 32G RAM in my laptop but we make very graphic intensive 3D modeling applications. I used to build Shuttle PC's a lot in the 2000 era. So cheap but I agree with CdnBeer, everyone wants laptops who are non-PCgaming users.

Gnu: Regarding pay it forward. Rather than pop a handful of components into a shell for a single person (+ awful shipping everywhere), you should write up a quick recommendation for a low cost slap together desktop or OTS laptop, both $500-$1K and under $500. It would be easier for you and help more than one person. Answering the eternal question "I want a PC for Internet and low demanding applications for a budget price" for other forum members might be a bigger bang for the buck.

Here's my pay it forward advice. For OTS laptops, don't buy Acer. They are CRAP even though their price points are inviting. In before "buy a mac".
 

grandgnu

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I can work on that tonight Guinness, great idea (although my original offer still stands, since I realize not everyone is as comfortable with tech as some of us here and wouldn't know where to start trying to build their own)
 

nitzilla

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I've been an IT pro for 15 years and support everything, Linux, Windows 3.1 to 8.1 (LOL) and Mac.
I'll contribute when I can. :)

We also used to be Seagate fans, but started to see huge failure rates, so we switched to HGST and WD (HGST was bought by WD later...), and while we still have bad disks from all brands, not nearly as many as Seagate....

Also see Samsung as the best SSD too, but we do buy Crucial drives for our users on a budget, and newegg has an exclusive Mushkin that looks tempting, but we haven't bought one yet...but we use Mushkin sticks (64GB USB 3) and they are great.

Looking forward to the new USB-C tech too....was hoping Thunderbolt would have taken off (since Intel was a supporter along with Apple), but sadly it's falling into the same higher priced niche that Firewire seemed to fall into..... :(

Carry on....
nitzilla
 
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