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Malik (5/14/12)

I did not touch gaming much this weekend, once again. It was nice weather, so I wanted to enjoy being a true suburbanite by buying a new lawn mower. I've had a hand-me-down mower ever since getting my house, and it was time to go big and do things right. Well, I thought it was.

I just got the rebates from T-Mobile recently for my Amaze 4G purchases (two; one for Velveta and one for me) and was ready to drop that money on a new mower. Well, the rebates came on CitiBank Visa debit cards. The problem with that is that these cards are as good as cash...only at places which can actually take them. In reality, many stores are pretty damned incompatible with these things. So, I ended up dropping $400 on a mower out of real money. It was still worth it, but it left me feeling like I had some plastic garbage instead of real money I could have used constructively. I would imagine that a real check (you know, that strange paper that rebates used to come on that you can put in an ATM and magically have more money in your bank account?) would be cheaper on T-Mobile, but they must have their reasons. It probably comes down to a partnership with Citi that gives them both potential kick-backs.

So, looking online, I found the one advice many people had on making sure you can use these stupid rebates. I went to Amazon and bought myself a couple of gift cards...after some struggles and losing some of the value of my rebate. To use the damned cards, I had to spend $1 extra per transaction. Well, after failing once, I ended up having another round of troubles (they were $225 cards and each failure to buy a gift card took $1 away). In the end, I had about $444 of my $450. At least I got Citi out of my wallet and now had a better dilemma to solve than how to use these cards. Now I had to pick how to blow the Amazon credit when I really wanted to use the money at Home Depot on a mower.

That is where this gets on subject. I've been wanting to upgrade my computer for a while. My current rig is about five years old, but still can handle new games (I did play Arkham City, Saints Row The Third, and Skyrim without any real issues). My main thing I wanted, after buying a slightly faster Core2Duo six months ago, was to get a new video card. My 8800GTS is starting to show some age. Well, to get a new video card, I would need a new PCIe port to take advantage of it (my mobo has a PCIe 1.0 or maybe a 2.0...and I wanted to go big with a Radeon 6900 or better, requiring a PCIe 3.0 for best performance). Well, if I get a new video card, I may need also a need power supply to run it (the 6900 series draws just a touch beyond what my GeForce 8800 sucks down). Well, if I get a new mobo, then I need a new CPU, since the socket on a newer mobo would not have the old Intel C2D socket type. Well, if I get a new mobo, then I obviously need to drop my old DDR2 RAM and get some DDR3 (thankfully, RAM is cheap). Well, if I get a new mobo, then I also need a new hard drive since I have one of the split-generation boards that has SATA2 and IDE, and one HDD is still IDE in my machine. That was a problem last fall when the Thai floods destroyed the supply of good priced large hard drives. That is finally coming to a better place, and can start my avalanche of upgrading.

So, with my Amazon gift cards (would have tried NewEgg gift cards, but their prices are a touch higher and not much free shipping when compared to Amazon right now), and an extra dose of money, I took care of that. Or I will take care of it as the components arrive. I'm now going into the world of USB3, a new SATA3 2TB HDD, an Intel i5 (i5 looks more appropriate for most gaming than dropping $100 more on an i7), a new Asus mobo that is supposed to be a beast at overclocking (I am an overclocking addict), 8GB of new RAM, a 750W power supply, and a couple of new cables (barebones HDDs tend to be barebones style which leaves me needing a $0.99 SATA cable or two). The funny part is this was all done to get a new video card, and that is the only component I will have to wait on getting. Still, I imagine prices may be better around typical sales days for GPUs, like I know the 4th of July was a great PC component sale time last year. It is funny, however, just spending all of that and not getting the one thing I really wanted.

I hope, once I get this done, that I have some friends pop-up with a LAN party...that, or I need some damned technically intensive PC games about now.


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