Boring Computer Hardware Post

I’m through with Dell Computers.

This time it’s the power supply. Our home computer has taken to shutting down suddenly and without notice every so often. That computer runs Ubuntu most of the time, so it doesn’t freak out about “not shutting down correctly”, but it’s annoying and could eventually cause some data loss.

No big deal, right? Just replace the power supply. Amazon and Newegg and, well, every place besides Staples has good deals on power supplies. Just four screws hold it in.

Unless you have a Dell. They use proprietary power supplies which either: 1)Has connections which fit but subversively supply different voltages than the standard connections, potentially destroying your components; or 2) Use an additional connection to the motherboard, which if missing, will not allow the computer to work.

So your options are to find a replacement dell power supply, which are over priced, or…buy a new case, power supply, AND motherboard. Why all of those? Well, not only are Dell power supplies proprietary, but so are their boxes and motherboards, having unique mounting points and, as mentioned, power requirements.

Again, I could simply replace the power supply with a Dell or OEM that will fit, but when the motherboard eventually fails–they always do at some point–I will be in the same place I am now. No upgrade, stuck in a proprietary mobius strip.

So, I’m done. Now I am saving some money and assemble something that will last. I plan to re-use the memory, hard drives and gpu from the old home system. Thank God I have this church laptop to use when I need it!

And take this advice: if you are in the market for a new desktop and are entertaining the possibility of one day, some day possibly opening it up and doing an upgrade, just build your own now. Take the plunge. It is not only cheaper (though not much cheaper than a brand new shiny Dell), but it is more satisfying and will definitely be cheaper in the long run when parts need upgrading or replacing.

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