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Bits Misinterpreting The Enthusiast

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 3 Mar 2008.

  1. Xir

    Xir Modder

    26 Apr 2006
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    "...engineers with oscilloscopes, thick glasses and degree plagues mounted on the wall..."

    Reminds me I've still got to mount that plaque! ;-)

    Haven't got an oscilloscope or glasses, will a cat in my lap and my pinky in the mouth do? Muahahahaa!
  2. kenco_uk

    kenco_uk I unsuccessfully then tried again

    28 Nov 2003
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    The 440BX was the bees knees for it's time. The i815e chipset (particularly the Asus CUSL2) was highly desirable as it was an overclocking monster. It'd easily (if the cpu could cope) take a 700Mhz P3 and clock the sh*t out of it to over the 1GHz mark. That was the main excitement, back in the day. Getting to and surpassing that 1GHz barrier. Once that had been done, water cooling and case mods sprang up and tbh, apart from making things go faster (Intel dominating, then AMD, then Intel again), there's been no real fuss or excitement (apart from some eggs being fried and a couple of G-nome's mods).
  3. yuusou

    yuusou Multimodder

    5 Nov 2006
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    one of the best reads in a long time. made me think. well you can surely tell i'm a sort-of old day enthusiast (tho rather young, its much more interesting doing it old way!)
  4. dire_wolf

    dire_wolf Last Of The Dovakhiin

    24 Jul 2002
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    Ah yeah, motherboards without all the useless crap, I miss by abit kx7-333, best mobo I ever owned

    Great article, enjoyed the read :)
  5. Matticus

    Matticus ...

    23 Feb 2008
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    This article really speaks to me even though im too young (19, very close to 20) to fully appreciate all the references.

    But I agree about the enthusiast being the one who buys the cheapest he/she can and turns it into a machine with the power of one that cost twice or thrice the price.

    My current system I knew exactly what I was after, so intead of buying that I bought the lowest I could that would overclock to the same specs, obviously not quite as old school as some manual modding, but what have I really got to work with now.
  6. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

  7. krimson

    krimson What's a Dremel?

    16 Nov 2006
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    i am glad i am not the only person who thinks that the market is ridiculously over saturated with the same stupid junk, just with a copper fan instead of a aluminum fan, or "item b has feature a, but not feature c, but item a has all these features, but not this one, etc"

    i shouldnt have to spent a month of research to decide what motherboard i want.. choices are good, but too many choices leaves people that dont spend 8hrs a day following the hardware scene a little out in the dust.

    and, about the branding of stuff... i HATE that ... that whole fatal1ty series is JUNK... its like they take a perfectly crappy device, put more crap on it, paint it red, add some obnoxious LEDs, put that idiot's tag on it, and sell it for 25% more than the original product is... its not a good product to begin with, so the end product ends up being worse...

    i dont see the point in spending twice the amount of money for things on my bios that i will never use... enthusiast boards are typically used for maybe a month at a time... these boards dont need cat5 cable testers built into them, they need the essentials for what they are designed for.
  8. timmythemonkey

    timmythemonkey Monkeymodder

    27 Apr 2006
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    "degree plagues"... Did I miss my chance to take a BSc in Apocalypse Studies perhaps? Maybe its just a typo, I'll check the UCAS site later.

    The current state of the market does make you wish there was something simple yet fast and fun, like the equivilent of the Caterham 7 or the Arial Atom (if one was to compare PC parts to cars), just pure honest engineering. I dont always want 36" gold-plated spinners on my graphics cards' cooler!

    I'm in complete agreeance with the soundcard issue too. I'm sticking with my Audiology ZS gathering dust in the bottom of my case and pumping out just as good sound (at least to my ears) as my fancy all-singing all-dancing new motherboard's built in sound device.

    As far as 'enthusiast motherboards' go these days they're covered with copper heatsinks crafted into shapes that would make Henry Moore proud. However those "hardcore" people who are going to go pouring liquid nitrogen over their compontents, to whom it may be suggested that the additional features built into the board are aimed at, are going to yank these copper monstrosities off of the PCB and refit it with kit that looks like its from Halfords... doesnt this defeat the point somewhat.

    Although after having some particularly noisy motherboard chipset fans in the past, personally like the all copper kit that comes on boards these days for the noise reduction factor alone. Having said that it no doubt adds to the cost (not to mention the weight of the PC in the end, if anyone ever tries to steal my PC I hope they have health insurance for when they do their back in trying to lift it!) as well as limiting the modifying potential. For instance if I wanted to watercool my Northbridge, I'd also have to think about some way to refit some cooling to 2 other chipsets and my VRM chips because at the moment its all done by one huge heatpipe... somewhat of a disadvantage in my book.

    I guess the only way to make some people happy would be so that you could bespoke design your own components straight from the manufacturer. (Even if that were a possibility you can bet that they'd slap you with a price premium so high you'd need to remortgage to afford it)

    So until the day that the entusiast starts running companys like ASUS and MSI instead of the PR people doing so, true enthusiasts shall have to make do with the likes of pneumatic hard drive mounts, mood-matching cases and the plethora of other marketing gimmicks soldered to our kit.
  9. Risky

    Risky Modder

    10 Sep 2001
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    I've been meaning to post on this article for a while -blocked forum access at work :( - and your update gave me a prompt to finally reply.

    I don't have a problem about the commercialisation of the modding and overclocking. There is a lot more choice out there than was the case way back when and the cost is far far lower. However I do share a certain despair with the lack of variety in the market. Enthusiasts are consistent only in their desire to go further than the average, not in the direction they go in. Thus there are some who may be completely uninterested in overclocking or never play a game, but still want to get their setups optimised for their own needs. The shame is that the much of the new product is narrowly targeting a single area and not seeing that there are a lot of separate niches that should be aimed at other than SFF cube systems and money-no-object monster rigs.

    The motherboard manufacturers, in particular, don't make enough effort to target products at particular applications. Why on earth is a super-high-end board loaded with wifi and onboard sound and god knows what else, given that at that level you will surely have add in cards and proper networking. Now what you really want is a board stripped of all the frippery designed for the purpose. Then again how many are providing a hardcore overclocking board in mATX? Or what board has made a real push to be legacy free since the IS7? Again there's Windows Home Server which (allowing for the correction of a limited but very annoying data-corruption bug) had a lot of enthusiasts trying to build boxes with a lot of non-ideal hardware. Why hasn't any of the majors produced a simple board with not much other than a 8-12 SATA ports onboard and a solid set of 2003 drivers? And there plenty more niches where a little bit of imagination and a touch of R&D could produce a product that would really capture the imagination and fire up some excitement.

    For myself my hardware obsessions are monitoring, watercooling and complexity. I get most stuck in about finding ways of applying more and more obscure hardware to a rig. At times I think the total cost of the pushfits and pipefittings in my rigs would have cost more than the CPU!

    Lets hope we see more well-targeted hardware and less of the herd products.
  10. chEx

    chEx i like pie

    9 Feb 2008
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    Thank you so much for this article! I work at a pc shop and i often see misguided "enthusiasts" come in after their striker extreme, sli-ed gtx, water cooled quad extreme systems take a dump. It sometimes hurts to try to find the logic in their madness especially when they spend all that money and not overclock. For example i had a customer who demanded a single stick of corsair ddr2-1142 for their basic dell w/ onboard video for gaming when they should get a graphics card and basic matched pair of ddr2-667 in dual channel.
  11. MrWizard

    MrWizard What's a Dremel?

    5 Feb 2008
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    Awesome article! I really couldn't agree more with you on this issue. Alot of the power has been taken from out of our (the enthusiasts) hands these days. Options really are dwindling in terms of the high-end hardware available. There is an advantage though: Many people just getting into building their own systems have it relatively easy (after they get over some sticker-shock, of course) when looking into what hardware to buy. They really can't go too horribly wrong. I think alot of us in the bit-tech community and elsewhere have resorted to looking for the best (read: most cost-effective) boards out there and making them stretch theri legs. The P35 chipset is an excellent example of this, and as long as there's boards like that out there, we will always have a nice reliable, refined, and tweakable platform. Sure, it's not like the old days by a long shot, but man is it more forgiving if you don't get something right the first time.

    I always thrive on buying up the 'just behind the cutting edge' hardware at bargain basement prices. I just love it. To think; I just bought a new system to game on for under $1000 that absolutely spanks the tar out of my current 4-year-old system, and can hang with the latest and greatest out there too. To me, that's what being an 'enthusiast' is all about.
  12. boiled_elephant

    boiled_elephant Merom Celeron 4 lyfe

    14 Jul 2004
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    Same. I love buying one product line behind the best.

    Awesome article, genuinely lol'd at times reading it. Makes a very valid & timely point...
  13. Gunblade

    Gunblade The Frugal Chef

    5 May 2005
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    Great article...though you only seem to touch what is wrong with the industry! I want more!

    I especially liked the bit on motherboards. I really don't look forward to getting a new one.
  14. David

    David μoʍ ɼouმ qᴉq λon ƨbԍuq ϝʁλᴉuმ ϝo ʁԍɑq ϝμᴉƨ

    7 Apr 2009
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    Thats was a good read, nice work.

    From my experience, most enthusiasts fall into the latter of the two categories you mentioned. I have no love of blowing wads of cash on a high-end mobo or CPU. If I did, I'd be thinking twice about clocking it's nuts off. Yeah, I've killed the odd CPU or board, but the prospect killing an E2140, while still a shame, is a lot easier to swallow than frying a QX Turbonutterbastid.

    I still get a buzz out of achieving clock speed that I thought was unattainable only a day or so earlier, if only by scouring forums and picking brains. I don't want to follow a manufacturer's buying list to achieve a given overclock - that is sounding the death-knell for the enthusiast community.

    I've often been hunting for info on one particular board and have been totally sidetracked by another forum post, relating to a bit of kit I have in another PC. It's a voyage of discovery, to find that someone has managed something special with an ordinary component, and something you will not find if you just accept whats handed to you on a plate. Yes, even this method only really amounts to 'standing on the shoulders of giants', to a lesser degree, but it is still more fun than filling in a shopping list.

    I do think it is better to have an industry, like watercooling, that has matured and evolved to make products that meet our needs, but I don't want to be spoon-fed the choices I make.

    The money-bags enthusiast is a very rare animal indeed, do they actually exist? or are they creatures of myth and legend, like the Yeti? Regardless, I find it difficult to believe that £250 motherboards are selling in sufficient quantities to justify the efforts of the manufacturers but, while ever there are hideously expensive premium products out there, the mid range products have a much wider band within which they can be priced. So, I echo the calls to focus on producing solid mainstream products, rather than premium priced, flawed toys. Maybe then we'll see better, more reasonably priced, enthusiast-friendly parts.
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