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Thursday, January 15, 2015

New Power, New Opportunities

It's been... well, even longer than last time since I've posted here. My life situation is still the same, work practically 9 hours a day, 6 days a week. Don't have much time to update this site ... well, at all, considering it's been over a year since I've posted. I certainly do miss writing things, like my opinions on video games and talking about my experiences in general.

I did buy myself a new computer during Black Friday since Pugyuu, my laptop, hasn't been running as smoothly as it used to. Meet Pal-D879 Kai. It's a desktop, mainly because I wanted the ability to be able to upgrade components in the future when my specs fall below the standard specs for new games. At the same time, I wanted to get the best specs for what reasonable prices were available at the time. Chances are, I won't be needing any upgrades for several years considering the specs I've chosen for Pal.

Here are Pal's detailed specs that I've bought from iBuyPower, including the many free upgrades that I got during their Black Friday sale.

Gamer Paladin D879

Case 1 x Thermaltake Overseer Full Tower Gaming Case - Black
Case Lighting 1 x Cold Cathode Neon Light - Blue
iBUYPOWER Labs - Noise Reduction 1 x Basic - iBUYPOWER Harmony SRS Sound Reduction System - Reduce System Noise
iBUYPOWER Labs - Internal Expansion -
Processor 1 x Intel® Core™ i7 5820K Processor (6x 3.30GHz/15MB L3 Cache) - Intel Core™ i7 5820K
iBUYPOWERPowerDrive -
Processor Cooling 1 x Corsair Hydro Series H55 Liquid CPU Cooling System (Copper plate for best cooling performance) - Free Upgrade to Corsair H60 (Standard 120mm Fan)
Memory 1 x 32 GB [8 GB x4] DDR4-2400 Memory Module - Corsair or Major Brand
Video Card 1 x NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 - 4GB - SLI Mode (Dual Cards)
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE] - Turtle Beach Z1 Headset - FREE with ALL iBUYPOWER Systems ($29 Value)
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE] - 802.11AC Dual Band Wireless USB Adapter - FREE with iBUYPOWER Desktops
Free Stuff 1 x [FREE Game Download] - NVIDIA Pick Your Path Bundle (The Crew, Assassin's Creed Unity, Far Cry 4) - Free with purchase of GTX 970, 980, 970M, and 980M GPU
Motherboard 1 x ASUS X99-A -- 3x PCIe x16, 6x USB 3.0, 4x USB 2.0
Power Supply 1 x 850 Watt - Corsair RM850 - 80 PLUS Gold, Full Modular
Primary Hard Drive 1 x 128 GB Apotop S3C Series SSD -- Read: 490MB/s Write: 135MB/s - Single Drive *Free Upgrade to 256GB Apotop SSD* (Single Drive Only)
Data Hard Drive 1 x 2 TB HARD DRIVE -- 64M Cache, 7200rpm, 6.0Gb/s - Singe Drive
Optical Drive 1 x 24x Dual Format/Double Layer DVD±R/±RW - Black -- Free Upgrade to 14X LG Blu-ray Rewritter
2nd Optical Drive -
Media Card Reader / Writer 1 x 12-In-1 External USB Media Card Reader/Writer (SDHC supported)
Meter Display 1 x NZXT Sentry 2 Touch Screen Fan Controller & Temperature Display
Sound Card 1 x 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard
Network Card 1 x Onboard LAN Network (Gb or 10/100)
USB Expansion Card -
Operating System 1 x Microsoft Windows 7 Professional + Office Starter 2010 (Includes basic versions of Word and Excel) - 64-bit
Keyboard 1 x [FREE] Tt eSports Backlit Gaming Keyboard - Free w/ ALL iBUYPOWER Desktop
Mouse 1 x [FREE] Tt eSports Backlit Gaming Mouse - Free w/ ALL iBUYPOWER Desktop
Monitor 1 x 23.6" 1920x1080 ASUS VN247H-P -- LED BACKLIT LCD MONITOR - Thin bezel design for best multi-monitor experience
2nd Monitor -
Monitor Cable 1 x 15 ft. HDMI Male-Male Cable
Speaker System 1 x Eagle Tech ET-AR504LR-BK 2.1 Soundstage System /w Subwoofer
Wireless Network Adapter 1 x ASUS USB-N53 802.11a/b/g/n N300 Dual-Band Wireless USB Adapter
Webcam 1 x Logitech C615 8.0MP USB 2.0 1080p Full HD Webcam
Advanced Build Options 1 x iBUYPOWER Specialized Advanced Packaging System - Protect your investment during transportation!
Advanced Build Options 1 x Tuniq TX-2 High Performance Thermal Compound - The best interface between your CPU and the heatsinks
Advanced Build Options 1 x Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower - Achieve exceptional airflow in your chassis
Advanced Build Options 1 x Professional wiring for all cables inside the system tower - Basic Pro Wiring
Case Engraving Service -
Warranty 1 x 3 Year Standard Warranty Service
Rush Service 1 x No Rush Service (Usually Ships in 5-10 business Days)

Everything runs super smooth, I can get great FPS in games with the graphical settings all set on the highest, and I have very little problems with Pal so far. What problems I DID have, I suppose, was the weird, long waiting time before my computer got shipped to me.

They send you E-mails for all the processes, such as gathering the components for the computer, building the computer, running a stress test, packaging, and shipping. If they encounter any problems, they claim that they would tell you. Everything was going nice and fast, only taking one day for them for all the processes, until the packaging stage. Seeing that I do the packaging and shipping for stuff at work, I felt it strange for the packaging stage to take over a week. So I called the iBuyPower customer support number and asked what the hold up was. The verdict? ... They didn't know. They assured me that they would tell me if something went wrong, and that packaging and shipping shouldn't take so long, and yet they can't seem to find out why my computer wasn't shipping. Twice. I called a total of three times, and I got two different customer service representatives the first two times, and they both said the same things. The third time, I called the same representative as the second time to talk to someone who knew what my situation was, but even then I didn't get an explanation as to why it was delayed as long as 2 full weeks for it to be shipped.

From what I believe, maybe the components for the desktop arrived quickly, but maybe the free stuff or other accessories I've bought weren't in stock. The emphasis being more on the free stuff, since if it's something I paid for, then they would just tell me that they're out of stock of that item. If it's a free item though that comes with my purchase automatically, an impatient person might consider just foregoing the freebie, saying that it isn't worth the delay, especially for something that they're just giving away and not something you asked for.

Speaking of which, the keyboard that I got for free is cool, but I feel like the keys are a bit too loud when I type. Maybe that's a nitpicky thing to complain about, but it does sound very loud to me.

I also have an issue with my old headset where the microphone doesn't seem to work at all with it. I have been talking to people on Skype with the built-in microphone on the webcam I ordered instead. Maybe I should open and try the headset that I got for free though...

Anyway, I also wanted to point out on this post that I am currently experimenting with my Twitch channel now, now that I have a strong enough computer to be able to stream games. I don't have a solid schedule, nor know what I want to stream in particular. I mostly only have time to play Guild Wars 2 enough to get my Daily Achievement at the end of the day; usually at around 10:30 PM EST to whenever. The best thing I can say is to follow me on Twitter to know when I begin streaming.
Once I get enough feedback, mostly to help me have a decent stream going, I may look into making a more solid schedule, if possible.

There's also talk about getting a video capture card as well, so I may have more games to stream other than Guild Wars 2, League of Legends, and whatever I have on Steam.

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