Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Building a New Computer in Japan

It's been about 8 years since I built my own computer. One of the main reasons I studied Computer Science and became a massive nerd during my formative years was because of a knack for this stuff. The first computer I put together from parts was a x386 something-or-other back in 1993.

It used to be a lot harder, let me tell ya. Jumpers and what not. DOS prompts. Anyways, my laptop, an Alienware gaming thing, was starting to show its age, so I headed down to Akihabara.


A lot of people come to Japan thinking they are going to find amazing deals on electronics. For some countries with massive sales and import taxes, this can be the case. But with North America at least, you can probably get everything that plugs into a wall and makes beeping noises for the same price, depending on the exchange rate.


Actually, even in Japan, you can probably just buy all your parts on Amazon.


But walking around this place, anime music blaring, girls in their 20s trying to make a buck by donning their high school uniforms and working at cafes, overwhelming neon lights, there's something nice about that.

Six years ago, before some guy went knife-crazy and they shut down street performers, this place was super fun. Maybe not super fun, but more like neat-o fun. The weekends were a veritable extravaganza, with mini live performances every five meters.

Now it's just a place to buy stuff. Let's consume!


The only real deals are when you buy a few things at once.

By the way, I chose the components for this based on Tom's Hardware's Quarterly System Builder Marathon, with a much less powerful video card (I don't play a lot of games). I also went a little beefier on the storage and memory. And I didn't get the Fatal1ty branded motherboard. I met that guy once at E3 years ago and he seemed like a dick.


I saved 6000 yen by buying the motherboard, processor, and memory all at the same time.



Bought the drives on the net.


Windows 8 is rad! It is the perfect balance. Just enough new features to excite Windows mega-fans (fanboys). Just enough weirdness to give the Apple people (fanboys) something to complain about. And it is slick enough so that normal people can use it to get on facebook and watch cat videos.

Anyways, I added up how much I paid, and compared it to the price in dollars on newegg (a popular computer retailer in the states). About the same. I used to be in touch with the crazy deals back in the states, and most of my friends were into this stuff, so you could often get scraps from other people and free-after-rebate bits and bobs to drastically bring down the price of a home-built system. But those days are over. Everyone in Japan uses Macs!

By the way, my 3DMark11 score is:

SCOREP4907 with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti(1x) and Intel Core i5-3570K Processor

Not sure if this is good or not.

I could probably adjust the core speeds in the bios a bit and . . . whoah!  Too nerdy!

I'm out!


Ἀντισθένης said...

Japan is, however, a cheap place for building up bicycles - my hobby. So long as you are buying Japanese componenets: Shimano, Dixna, Sugino, Nitto... Maybe 75% of US retail, or 50% of Canadian.

Forget frames though, unless you're girl-sized.

Kurt Mifsud Bonnici said...

Nice one Brian. Indeed, PCs were much more difficult to setup in the 90s. It was more fun back then though and it gave you more bragging rights (in a nerdy kind of way) :)

Now that your PC is setup you can get back to WoW. You know you want to. You can even play it for free. There are a lot of free private servers out there. I have recently joined http://www.emeralddream.com/.

It's a vanilla server .. pre the burning crusade back when the game was at its best. Give it a go!

thegypsie said...

My favorite part about building systems is finding good hardware at good prices. :) The second part I like is all the bubble wrap it gets shipped to you in. Kid at heart I guess.... and building them has become so much easier. I never had a hard time of it because I have small hands but some mini-cases and laptops can really be a bitch to work on. Stay away from those MMOs they will consume precious time.

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