Help me spec out a new work at home PC?

Hehe, yep, he likes to do that.

My older son, on the other hand, is getting ready to drive out to Micro Center himself today and buy the exact same G509. At first he didn’t think it was such a great deal at $1200, but now he’s saying “the graphics card has 12GB of RAM! I thought it only had 6. That is a crazy good deal!!”

If any of you guys want to make the trip to the Micro Center in Madison Heights M to buy a G509, there will be 24 left after my son buys his, and the sale lasts until Nov. 1. Surprisingly they’re not moving that fast— there were 26 when I got mine over a week ago, so no sales since then.

And I’m enjoying playing Control. I was stuck for awhile at this long chasm in the astral plane level, but that’s because I had assumed I had to shift-sprint and then jump to get over the gap. But my jump wasn’t working and I thought I was jumping too late or something. Then I discovered you can’t jump in shift-sprint mode, only when you’re going forward at normal speed. And that’s all it took to jump the gap. I was totally overthinking it.

Now I’m back in the creepy office areas, shooting at people or things that are shooting at me, picking up clues along the way. Why does my female avatar keep grabbing her right shoulder, is that significant (coincidentally I also have a sore right shoulder)? Why are pictures of her all over the bureau offices? She must have been some sort of important person at the Bureau. And of course just the unfolding of what sorts of crazy paranormal sh—stuff they were up into is fun.

Those above are just rhetorical questions I’m pondering, but I do have one actual question about the game- after one time I got shot to death a message popped up saying “you lose 10% of your source every time you die”. What is my source and what does it do for me? If it’s really important I may have to start the game from scratch, because I can’t have much source left at this point- especially if the game counts all the times I fell into the chasm at the astral plane level…

Source is a type of currency that you generate by just killing anything and that later in the game you can spend on upgrades to your stats and abilities. Losing 10% from dying is not a restart situation, and in fact if you restart and more efficiently get to the same spot, you’d probably end up with less source than you have right now. And anyways, because mobs respawn, you can always just go farm as much as you need by killing respawns.

When you do get to the point where you can spend points on upgrades, I have a pretty clear recommendation for you. This is technically a spoiler, but a game mechanics spoiler not a story spoiler:

Spend all your points on four categories, not necessarily evenly: hit points, launch strength, spell points, and the fourth one is kind of a spoiler so I won’t say it yet. In the beginning, splitting evenly between hit points and launch is optimal. Add spell points to the rotation once those two get pretty high.

I found that I greatly preferred the service pistol (the one you start with) and the shotgun as my two weapons.

Oh, one tip to mitigate annoyance: If ever you find yourself supposed to go somewhere and you’re not sure where it is, go to Central Executive (the main room) and get on the elevator. There’s a decent chance the exact wording of where you’re supposed to go is one of the elevator buttons.

Is Fallout 4 worth playing? I notice it’s on sale on steam right now for $5 and I’m thinking about picking it up. Never played any Fallout games before.

Since it was only $5 and 25GB, I went ahead and bought it. I’ll let you know after I try it, probably tonight.

So, dumb question RE: Fallout 4: I’m guessing video games don’t work quite like movie sequels, in that if you missed any in the previous movie series you may not be clear on what’s happening in the sequels. In other words, I’m guessing video game versions 2+ are not continuing story lines per se, although it may help understand the game play if you are familiar with the previous versions.

Is that more of less correct, or am I going to be confused, not having played Fallout 1-3?

The Fallout games are all independent stories. Some things remain the same linking them as a world such as factions and general world building (retro-future aesthetic, the Vaults, etc) but none are dependent upon the others to know what’s going on.

Great, that’s what I figured. Thanks for the confirmation.

Make sure you pet a Deathclaw for us. They’re cute and cuddly.

All I saw so far were giant radioactive roaches. Seems like I spent a looong time exploring the vault, gathering stuff, and killing a few roaches with my fists. Then after I found a gun I came upon a bunch of giant roaches that swarmed and killed. me. I was doing better killing them with my fists than with my gun! Then after all that I wound up all the way back at the cryochambers.

Man, the talking people in that game…total uncanny valley.

Let me know what you think of this for a work PC build:

Ryzen 7 5700G (the one with the builtin graphics)
Gigabyte B550M AORUS PRO-P
InWin BL631 SFF case
Some RAM I bought to put in the Dell mentioned below
An NVMe drive from the old desktop, and a new one intended for the Dell

The Dell. I just wanted a prebuilt that would “just work,” so I bought a Dell Precision 3450 with an i7 11xxx and some sort of Radeon card. It didn’t “just work” or in fact “work” at all. So now I think I have to build something on my own.

The saga of the 3450

It arrived in August and seemed fine at first. It ran for a few hours, just enough to get my OS transferred over and stuff, and then it broke. It would turn on and off and back on continuously. New motherboards were backordered until December, so I said I wanted to return it. It took so long to process the return that a motherboard showed up.

A repair guy swapped in the board, and it worked for about 5 minutes before breaking again. He ordered a new motherboard, cpu, and power supply. I told Dell to take it back, as it had now been nearly two months without a working system. This time the return processing beat the backordered parts, so it’s going back.

Now that it is going…

I think my build is fine for my needs, but I’m happy to take advice. It’s been about 7 generations since I built my last computer. I run Linux so I really need AMD video. It doesn’t have to be too fast, and this should be far better than the i7-4790k and UHD video I’m using now. The 5700G because I don’t want to fight with a separate graphics card on a build my own.

What I really want is a pre-built based around the 5700G, but I just can’t find anything that is right. There are several that come with an external GPU, but that makes it too expensive for a part I don’t care about. There are a few from HP, but they’re so limited as to not be worth it. The best candidate seems to be the MSI Pro DP20Z-5M, but it uses SO-DIMMS and I already have these regular DIMMS (see the saga of the Dell) that are too late to return.

So, any pointers to pre-builts I might be overlooking? Or a better case/motherboard combination to make my own small form factor system? Or a prebuilt with equivalent AMD graphics to the 5700G in the $1000 range?

I’ll take a closer look and offer feedback, but my immediate thought is that I love a solution based on AMD’s new integrated graphics. I’m not 100% sure it’s sufficient, but really curious about it. If you’re enthusiastic to try, hells yeah.

Can you explain this one?

There are only three choices for PC graphics at the moment: Intel, Nvidia, and AMD.

Intel has full featured open source drivers for Linux, but the hardware itself isn’t very fast. It’s fine for about 90% of what I do, but it’s nice to have a better GPU for that remaining 10%. Also, Intel’s Linux drivers have had some very annoying bugs which have persisted for years, and I’m frustrated with putting up with them.

Nvidia makes fast GPUs, but the only performant Linux drivers are the closed source ones. They generally work fine, except when they don’t. Nvidia’s support for wayland is lagging, and it means waiting for updated Nvidia drivers to update to new kernels.

AMD has good quality open source drivers included in the kernel. It’s the first class hardware for wayland. Also, I think the last time I had an AMD video card it was still ATI. That means there aren’t any bugs or problems, because I haven’t experienced them, like I have with Intel and Nvidia.

So my son decided that a 44 mile round trip was just too far to drive, and ended up ordering the below computer from NewEgg. He gets it today and fires it up, and apparently there’s a problem with the GPU always pegged out at near 100% capacity at idle and the computer is super slow. He says he tried every fix he could find on YouTube and nothing worked (and he’s actually pretty good with computers, having taken vocational networking training in high school and has an A+ cert. He’s smart but he doesn’t have the temperament for troubleshooting).

So he had the holy meltdown from hell tonight. He has emotional issues and doesn’t take disappointment well. He actually blamed me for not trying to talk him more into going to Micro Center (which I did, very strongly). I hope NewEgg has a generous return policy.

iBUYPOWER Gaming Desktop Element MR 208i Intel Core i7 11th Gen 11700F (2.50 GHz) 16 GB DDR4 1 TB HDD 256 GB SSD NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 Windows 10 Home 64-bit - Newegg.com-83-227-946--Product&quicklink=true

That sucks, sorry to hear it. My experience with iBuyPower was much better than that but still not great. The 8-year-old computer I just replaced this year was a $550-ish iBuyPower prebuild from 2013. It had cheap plastic plexiglass side panels, horrible cabling, obnoxious lighting, and super loud fans. But I mean it worked fine for 8 years so it’s not like it was bad. Just not great.

Buying from Newegg he should be able to return it within 30 days I would think. I don’t particularly love that system anyway.

He has bad luck with computers. I think I told this story in this very thread, but around 4 years ago when he was 14 or 15 he decided he wanted to build his own computer. He spec’ed out his own parts, I helped him build it, and at the crucial power-on moment, a flicker, then nothing. A holy meltdown from hell back then as well. Took it to a local PC repair shop who were really friendly and helpful— they traced it to a faulty RAM chip, of all BS reasons for a new build to fail! One new RAM chip later, It’s been his main gaming computer to this day (for a few more days now, at least— I think he will do the Micro Center pilgrimage now. Maybe?)

Had no idea they’d been in business that long. I did a quick search online after the debacle, didn’t find a lot of info about them, figured they were a relatively new Chinese company with a California front.

I have no idea if they’re actually affiliated, but I’ve always thought of iBuyPower as Newegg’s pre-build shop.

Sounds good, AMD it is.

I’m not sure how much I love the PSU that comes with the InWin BL631. It was remarkably hard to track down, but this Amazon listing states:

Then looking almost at the very bottom of the BL Series page on InWin’s site, they list the following:

300W LF Series Gold Rated
300W IP-S Series EF Bronze Rated
200W - 300W IP-S Series FF (not rated)

According to the Amazon site, the psu is “IP-S300FF1-0 300W.” The “IP-S300FF” part makes me think it’s the not rated one, as in not even Bronze rated. Your Newegg link I quoted above doesn’t specify any details of the psu at all. The only clue is that the model number includes “FF300TB3F”, so I think it’s the unrated FF psu, just like the Amazon listing. So I don’t love that.

I did find a Fractal that has a similar form factor (the Node 202) that comes with a 450W psu but the psu it comes with is Bronze rated. So I wasn’t going to recommend that, but then it made me wonder about the InWin, and now it turns the InWin psu might be even worse.

While the InWin psu specs are what I would call “evasive,” the Fractal Node 202 listing linked above seems almost proud about its Bronze rating, almost like it’s boasting. It could be that low psu ratings is just a normal thing for small form factor setups. I have no experience with them so I don’t know.

Is there a way to get an InWin with that LF Gold rated psu? It’s on their website so it seems like it should be possible.