After a 3 hour troubleshooting session with my PC, I have decided to throw the DIY towel after 18 years of building my own rigs. The reason? I have the worst hardware karma of any person that I know. I have had every problem imaginable through the years. Many of them are difficult to troubleshoot like PSUs, and others that are easy to figure out like HDDs...and even DOA parts...hell one time, I was suffering from random BSODs, turned out it was the CD-ROM drive. After weeks of dealing with the blue screens and a wipe, I decided to disconnect the drive as a last attempt to figure out what was wrong, BSODs gone.
It's not that I don't practice standard precautions during the build process...I am a test engineer by trade and am intimately familiar with things such as ESD. So I know it's not that. I also am careful when I spec a system..ie, I don't put in a 300w PSU into a system rocking SLI and a multi core processor. I also make sure to spec in components from reputable manufacturers only.
The most recent issue involves my circa 2007 rig. It looks like my southbridge has gone out. It was intermittent for quite some time, and has now gone completely out...the system fails to detect either one of my SATA disks.
By not having a pile of parts laying around, my troubleshooting abilities are severely limited.
I have spent untold hours troubleshooting my home built rigs through the years. Now at the age of 34, I no longer want to go through the process of finding out whats wrong with my system. I really hate having to spend 2x the dollars for a pile of parts put together by a local boutique PC maker near me, but that buys me the ability to drop the box off when it breaks and they call me when it's fixed.
As a contrast, one my my best friends only swaps parts when he is upgrading. He rarely deals with hard fail issues like the ones I seem to get on a semi-regular basis.
Well, that's it for now, I just wanted to vent to some fellow enthusiasts. I hope no one here has to go through what I have in the quest for PC performance.
I like building PC's as much as i can and sometimes i get the weirdest blue screens only to find out that im over cooling the ram or something like that, basically 10 hours of try this and try that (i hear you with that CD-rom issue, who would have thought) but it makes you a better system builder having gone through it.. dont give up man! your next monster performance build awaits
Over the years, I have been pretty lucky. I have had almost no "out of the box" bad parts. And I have pretty much standardized on Intel based Gigabyte motherboards, nVidia GPU's, and Corsair PSU's. That simplifies maintainability even it costs a little more.
Even though I said I am throwing in the the towel, I still feel the temptation to get a load of stuff from Newegg and have another crack at it...then I have thoughts of pulling my hair out again in the near future because the box is acting up.
I think for now I will just sit back and go without a desktop for a little while and save some money for a new system.