Back in September 2018 the well-known American technology news website, The Verge, published a lengthy guide in written and video form detailing the steps required to build a custom gaming PC using off-the-shelf components. Unfortunately the offered advice was less than stellar, to say the least, leading to a number of video critiques and outright parodies appearing on YouTube. Within a short time the publication amended the article and removed the ill-informed video entirely. And that would have been that, a passing moment of embarrassment for a respected tech-site quickly forgotten by the internet. Until Vox Media, the corporate owner of The Verge, decided in its wisdom to go on a copyright claims’ spree demanding that some of the more damning responses to the original video be removed from the Google platform. Which YouTube initially agreed to, taking down features belonging to the popular channels Bitwit and ReviewTechUSA, until it reversed its decision after considerable outcry by some of its more important content creators.
The whole issue has become rather febrile in recent days, with The Verge‘s alleged reputation as an “SJW” publication bringing a mass of right-wing and alt-right figures, some associated with the infamous GamerGate controversy, into the debate. Unfortunately the “culture wars” struggle in the United States is muddying the waters of an otherwise simple example of a large business trying to stifle its critics through the use of problematic copyright claims. Below are a few of the more rational responses to the issue.
*For the record, while building your own desktop computer can be a fun, interesting and financially worthwhile project I sometimes suspect that for some individuals it is little more than an exercise in nerd-narcissism. If you are an average user and you are going to spend $2,000 (€1,770!) on a gaming PC, as The Verge piece suggested, do yourself a favour and buy a preconfigured machine from a reputable manufacturer. Given the costs and potential issues involved the advantages of purchasing a consumer PC will beat the disadvantages of assembling a custom PC every time.
As someone in the Mac environment who uses PCs and messes around with Ubuntu etc, I’ve often wondered about the idea of building a PC from parts and I’m really interested in your thought at the end of the above that a preconfigured one will largely beat a ‘home’ built one. It certainly makes sense.
I’ve upgraded several systems with new components and I have two PCs at the moment that are almost entirely new in terms of upgraded parts. But they began as OEM machines. Building your own never made all that much sense to me when you can let a Dell, etc. do the work for you, will all the convenience and warranties that come with the purchase. Plus, coming from a manufacturing background, nobody ever factors in your own man-hours and labour that you devote to the assembly, nullifying the supposed savings with a self-build (which are usually pretty minor, given the volumes big PC makers work with).
I was a Linux fan off and on for a few years. Then Windows 10 came along and I loved Windows all over again! 😉
So true re not factoring in our own labour! I’ve got very lazy – and yet, messing around with Ubuntu etc I devote hours just to trying to get stuff to work just cos. Same with running Virtual Box. On a very slight tangent to my mind the best thing Apple did was use Unix as the basis for the OS.
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I love virtual machines and constantly praise their virtues. So to speak! 😉