Computer advice thread ("What's the best way to do this?")




Got home and messed around with the monitor. I think it’s dead. Tried unplugging the power. Tried swapping the display port cables. Tried using HDMI. It’s now just a very large USB 2.0 hub.

What’s the best 4k monitor that isn’t unreasonably large or expensive? Is there something out there better than a Dell U2718Q?

Maybe a P2415Q?

Same resolution and smaller screen means smaller pixels. Bezel is way big, though.


The U2718Q is perfect for me, and I am very happy with two. The pixels are plenty small.


Is spinrite still how you want to recover a spinning disk?


Wow, I realize I actually don’t know.

I no longer have any spinning disks that aren’t in a RAID, so I’ve given up on the idea of recovering from one…


The recovery plan for a failed disk of any kind is always to buy a new disc and load from your backups.


I’m more saying that I honestly don’t know the best way to approach a data recovery in 2019.


Well, it’s still up for sale:


I want to get back into gaming. It’s been a growing itch that I just haven’t been able to scratch in a number of years. So many years, in fact, that I no longer have any computers that are capable of doing so. I have a smartphone and a Chromebook, that’s it for devices that can run games. And the games on the Play Store aren’t scratching that itch. I have probably four or five major games that I backed on KS that I just haven’t even considered playing, plus an urge to try and see if there’s a good platforming game that scratches that Metroidvania itch.

But building a PC is damned expensive if you don’t make a lot of money. Building a good gaming rig? Pretty much out of the question. And I don’t have much space to put anything. I live in a studio apartment, there’s no room to put a desk/monitors. I’d have to run whatever I got off my TV.

I was considering Shadow as a solution since the fee for it is reasonable enough. $400/year is something I can find in my budget, I think.

Anyone else looked at or considered anything like this? Or should I just save up? And what would I save up for, even?


I recommend putting your blood, sweat, and tears into getting a good deal. Comb deals sites and stuff like /r/buildapcsales. Get familiar with what parts are out there. Shop gently used parts where necessary. Get familiar with certain things to watch out for like EVGA’s wednesday b-stock sales. Set reasonable expectations, a 1050ti is still a fine card to do a lot of gaming.


How about like, a Nintendo Switch? There are some Metroidvania on there.


And that’s probably why I’ve wanted to build a PC for almost three years, and haven’t.

I no longer have a knowledge base for “How to Build a PC.” I don’t know where to go. Yes, I can go look, but that’s draining as hell to be constantly on the hunt. That seems like it’s the level of emotional energy for a higher level of need.

I want this, will spend some money to get this, but it’s no longer worth my time. Certainly not worth my time trying to refamilize myself with a framework that I haven’t looked at in twenty years. The last video card I bought was the one that went in the PC I took to college. Since then I’ve been through two Macs.

@Apreche, I’m considering it. The biggest mental obstacle there is leaving all the games I have waiting for me on Steam to lie fallow. I stopped having a PC when there was starting to be a decent selection of Mac ports of games, so I have a minor library there.

If I did that, what would your top recommendations be?


You can play a LOT of steam games with an old cheap slow PC. You just can’t play the newest hotness.

For reference CIV VI minum specs:

  • OS: Windows 7 64bit / 8.1 64bit / 10 64bit
  • Processor: Intel Core i3 2.5 Ghz or AMD Phenom II 2.6 Ghz or greater
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Hard Drive: 13 GB or more
  • Video Card: 1 GB DirectX 11 Video Card (AMD 5570 or Nvidia 450)

You can get like, a GTX 750 for like $50 or less.

Boom. $300 gaming PC. Same price as a Nintendo Switch.


Thank you, bookmarked for later. I’d tried looking before, and most builds were landing around $800. That’s in the range where I should be able to save up for it in a few months.


Save up then. An $800 PC will last you a lot longer.


If you skimp on something, skimp on lots of storage and skimp on the video card. I made it until pretty recently with a GTX770, and I play a lot of games on my current HTPC which is still rocking a god damned GTX450.


An HTPC is pretty much what I’m going for here, and I’m several years retired from my oceanic endeavours; don’t really need the space. I’m aiming at a 720p TV, not a gaming monitor, so that also means more room to skimp.

I think no matter what happens, I’ll probably end up bouncing any finished parts list off Dan to see what he thinks, since he’s still making his own PC’s.


Yeah, even at 1080 you don’t need to push that many pixels.


You could probably start with integrated graphics and just upgrade later on if you ever need it.

$350 before windows. Has two open memory slots for later upgrade, and supposedly AMD is keeping the same socket for a while so you’ve got options to drop something nicer in later. For $50 more you can get the 2400g for a graphics and cpu upgrade at once.


At this point, there may not be much difference in price between 720p and 1080p TVs. I recently got a 4K that was slightly bigger than my 1080p for about the same amount of money.