Computer hand-me-downs

posted by Jeff | Saturday, December 23, 2023, 6:21 PM | comments: 0

Today we replaced Simon's late-2015 iMac with... my previous 4-year-old PC that I built. Yeah, we get a lot of mileage out of stuff around here.

Getting eight years out of a computer seems crazy by aught standards, but here we are. It's still usable, and I hope to find it a good home. With tax, that thing cost $2,800, which is nuts. It only had 8 gigs of RAM, but that's when you could still upgrade, so I added another 16, for 24 total. Up until today, Simon was mostly playing B-list games on it, and a ton of Roblox, for which it was fine. It could even run the Mac version of Planet Coaster, kind of OK. The big attraction when I bought that machine was that it had a "5K" screen, back when stand-alone monitors were not usually high resolution. I made a lot of software on that machine, and even got laid-off once through it. Apple has stopped supporting it, so while it gets a security update now and then, it does not update to the newest version of MacOS.

The PC is actually really robust still. The CPU is a 9th-generation i7-9700K, and I overclocked the shit out of it. The video card is an RTX 2070, which I spent $460 on at the time, a total splurge. The crazy thing is that it's on par with cards that cost $300 now, so it's no slouch. The aforementioned Planet Coaster plays well with all graphic settings on high. I put 32 gigs of RAM in it, and added a very fast SSD. It's a huge upgrade for the kid. I intentionally bought him a cheap $150 IPS monitor that's limited to 2560x1440, instead of 4K, because that card will perform really well at that resolution.

I admit that it's kind of easy to look at all of the talk of frames-per-second and such and want to build another computer, but honestly, I don't want to play games at my desk, where I work. Maybe it's different if you leave the house for work, but for me, no thanks. I've been fortunate to make some stuff run on my MacBook Pro. But it begs the question, if the machine can use its excess resources to translate Windows x86 to Mac ARM, imagine what it could do if publishers were porting to the Mac. One of the few AAA games released for Mac, Baldur's Gate 3 apparently runs insanely well on the Mac.


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