I’ve been building PCs since middle school. Not sure why it clicked back then, but it was a pretty big deal for a long time. And frankly, back then I could build a PC in about 30 minutes – with the OS build being the longest part. Today? It’s still easier than most people think, but it’s more of a science.
It’s been about 10 years since I built my last box. I certainly enjoyed it, and the super flexibility of applying upgrades over time. Replacing RAM or a video card is pretty simple. Replacing a CPU… well that gets rougher. Cooling options were starting to get a bit too complex for my tastes. The next upgrade was a gaming laptop – a Clevo tank. It provided all the benefits of desktop gaming, but allowed me to move around with it.
There are downsides to laptop gaming. Replacing parts is more complicated. Hell… just getting the parts is hard, as most video cards are only sold to resellers. Plus, it’s not like you can get a new keyboard, or a new monitor. It’s a complete package, and you’re going to pay a premium for it. Plus, the thing can get hot as hell so a laptop tray is often a good call.
The last one I purchased in 2015. Solid box at the time, with a 970M card. The 1070M is ~100% better, but I can’t really find one to buy. Box currently has 8GB of RAM, which could certainly use a boost to 16GB. CPU is an i7 but a 4th gen. I am pretty sure I can upgrade to 7th gen, if I can find a chip, again not exactly common. I can’t get an 8th gen (let alone 9th), that will require a new motherboard and new RAM – essentially a new laptop. So really the only viable option here is more RAM – $50 should be able to get a new 8GB stick.
I think I’ll spend the new few weeks scoping out other options. I like the idea of building a great gaming rig and then streaming that in the house. Pretty sure I could build an entire super rig for ~$1500. Another top end laptop, that’s more like $2500. Been a while, and the rust is showing. Still, fun to shop!