Penny Pincher

It’s been 2 years since I built my current workstation, and it’s still a very capable machine. It has an i7 3770K, 32GB RAM and a nVidia GTX 670. There really isn’t a rational reason to upgrade. While full recompilation of the source code takes 10 minutes, I rarely need to do so, and so most of the time, the limitation is really on how quickly I can type and move the mouse around.

I suppose it’s like getting a new car. How often do you really need a new car? And do you really need a car of that size, with that acceleration? In most cases, the answer is no. Yet people buy new cars they don’t need all the time.

So I might be able to rationalize that getting a trophy workstation is irrational, but normal, and so, therefore, it is OK for me to indulge. But then I look at the cost/performance of the high-end gear and then the predicament returns. Do I buy the high-end gear, that I want, but is too expensive compared the performance it offers, or do I go for the sweet spot? For example, the i7 6700K quad-core offers pretty good performance vs the more expensive 6800K hex-core CPU, but the 6700K will not deliver a noticeable performance boost compared to the 3770K…

In many ways it is similar to getting a fast car; you have seen people drive these cars fast or on winding roads mountain roads, and you might do so too, once in awhile, from time to time, but nowhere near as often as you make yourself believe when you get it. Same with the PC, I see people running GTA V and Battlefield 1 at a level of fidelity that is just mind blowing, but I know, in my heart, that I won’t spend more than an hour per month playing these games. Perhaps I am paying for the privilege of knowing that if I wanted to, I too could play Titanfall 2 at the ultra setting.

Perhaps I will just buy some DIY IoT gear and have fun with that…

 

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