Back in the olden days of March 2014, I decided to buy a computer capable of playing games. I had not had a full-blown computer in many years, preferring to rely on a laptop, but I didn’t want to try to play games on any laptop – high-end or otherwise. This lead me to debate my purchase for weeks before finally pulling the trigger in early March. Since then, it has been nothing but a seemingly unending endeavor in frustration.
From the beginning there were problems involving the graphics adapter that could only be solved by moving the card to a PCI-E slot on another bus. This eventually lead to me sending the entire computer back for repair. The attempted repair did not gain me much since the computer had the exact same problem. Thus it went back to the manufacturer, again.
Third time is the charm? Not so much, because after I got it back again it was still unstable. It would run anywhere from two minutes to two hours before locking completely, basically rendering the device useless. After yet another call to the manufacturer, they wanted to replace the video card – which is exactly what they did when they last had it. This time they wanted to send me the video card so that I can do the replacement instead of them (PS: thanks).
Even though I told them I did not feel it was a hardware issue, I went through with the exchange. Much to my dismay, the new card exhibited the exact same behavior. Time to break out the troubleshooting skills and Google so that I can fix this myself! After a good bit of searching and reading, followed by equal amounts of trial and error, the system seems to have become stable. I managed to play Mass Effect 2 on it for two sessions of over two hours each.
What was the magical fix? Well… it involved taking the system’s memory that is manufactured to run at 1333MHz and under-clocking it to 1000MHz. If that were not enough, I also had to enable OverDrive on the graphics adapter so that I could under-clock its memory as well, from 1250MHz to 1000MHz.
Perhaps I’m wrong in thinking that I shouldn’t have to do these things. If these devices are built to run at higher speed, then why won’t they? I really didn’t want to enable OverDrive on my card since it should be powerful enough to run almost anything at this point, and it feels so stupid that I have to enable it just so I can make the card run slower.
Throughout this entire process, I could turn to my left and see all of my consoles that work just fine without me having to do all of this extra effort. I continually asked myself “why am I even doing this?“. This was a clear example to me why people prefer console gaming over PC gaming. You can make all the arguments about graphical quality and overall costs, but in the end, consoles are more accessible and easier to deal with for the masses.
Obviously I have another call to make to my PC manufacturer, but this entire experience has me wondering if it is even worth having a PC capable of gaming. I’m kind of dug in at this point since the money is spent, unless I get an offer of a full rebate.
Has anybody else had similar issues? Please tell me I’m not alone in this madness. If there are people out there that have had pains like these to deal with, I feel for you.
Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!