Tonight as I write, I'm using my infamous craptop (infamous to friends and guildmates at least). On Saturday night my regular PC blew it's second power supply in three months. I was actually talking on Vent to my buddy Squorg about my computer woes when a burning smell drifted to my nostrils. Thinking someone was mercilessly torching some unsuspecting food item in the kitchen, I continued my conversation with no thoughts of investigating. A few minutes later my screen went black as the burning smell started to take on a decidedly plastic-infused odor. Needless to say, this story does not have a happy ending.
That system is about five years old, and started life as a barebones computer to which I added my own components. Over the years I've upgraded it a few times, but it's not holding up well with the current state of WoW. It's functional, but I really wanted to put off on buying a new system until after Blizzard published some requirements for WotLK. Not that I expect them to be 100% honest, but at least it would be a place to start. In an effort to stave off the inevitable death of the aging relic, I recently did a fresh install of Windows XP and upgraded my 128mb video card to a 256mb video card. Alas it was to no avail. Saturday's firebomb previously known as power supply #2 drove the final nail into the coffin. The all-knowing hubby proclaimed the system unworthy of redemption and suggested I start looking for a new one.
After doing some shopping around (Dell, TigerDirect, NewEgg) we finally decided to go for broke and order a spiffy little mid-level Alienware system. I'm actually kinda stoked since this is the first time I've really bought myself a "nice" computer instead of building one on the cheap. I generally don't consider myself picky when it comes to computer selection, but it's hard to get an inexpensive computer with a decent graphics card in it. By the time you purchase the cheap system and upgrade the video and probably add more memory to it, you may as well pay the gamer PC price.
Now I just have to deal with the pain of TWO WEEKS of Craptop-Flavored WoW while I wait for the folks at Alienware to build and ship my new baby. And now that I've shared more than anyone really cared to know about my personal setup, I'm curious what the rest of you guys invest in your gaming habit. We all know that we spend $15/month to play WoW, but how much effort does the typical WoW player put into their hardware? Do you buy off-the-shelf stuff from the local electronics store or order a customized PC specifically for gaming? Do you upgrade the system yourself or try to buy one with all the necessary bits included? I know I'm not the typical gamer, computers usually outnumber people at my house. I just thought I'd toss the question out there and see what floats back... it's not like I have anything better to do for the next two weeks (ackackack - i'm dying i'm dying gurglegurglegurgle<plop>).