I’ve been playing DayZ over the past few days (weeks?).

I’ve been playing DayZ a lot. It hurts me financially to do so. I don’t really make enough solely on subs to sustain myself (though the additional income via computer building now is kind of nice), and I do need to stream to sustain my income. So why the shortage of streams lately?

When I started streaming a long time ago, the reason why I started streaming was because I knew it was something I could be good at. I’m a naturally funny person, I’m smart enough to make jokes and I’m reflective enough to understand what I need to change when it comes to entertaining other people. These are qualities that I’ve worked on since a very young age; since I started playing games with a friend growing up, when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old. Me and a couple little black dudes that lived near my grandma grew up playing NES->SEGA/SNES games together, and it was always a good time. Growing up some more from that, I made friends with Chris, who lived behind my house for some time, and then Frank and Kyle as I got to middle school.

A lot of my life revolved around playing games, and a lot of the skills that I picked up in life were acquired from playing games. The only reason I did as well as I did in school (despite being a horrible slacker) was because of my early addiction to games like Phantasy Star, Final Fantasy, Parasite Eve, Shining Force, etc…If you can read and comprehend text quickly, you’re set for everything up to grade 12.

As I grew older, games continued to be a central part of my life. One of the most entertaining phases was around 5th grade, when I was playing MUDs online. MUDs are essentially text-based RPGs, where you leveled characters in worlds and interacted with other players. The entire purpose of a lot of these games (especially on SWR-based engines) was to discovering bugs or flaws that would yield large advantages. Things like crafting containers with 5,000 characters, dropping them in a room, then waiting for an enemy to walk in, auto-view the container (causing him to disconnect due to buffer overflow), and then kill him…these things were relatively common place. It was amazing fun. It was one lateral thinking exercise after another. What if your character gets punished and sent to hell? There was typically no way out, not unless an imm (that stands for “Immortal”, the admins of MUDs) removed you. But you could create a second account, acquire a grenade, hide it in a container (so an imm wouldn’t see), break a rule to get that account helled, then drop the grenade in hell after activating it to kill the original character helled, causing him to respawn out of hell. There were literally a million little bugs, both discovered and (I’m sure) still undiscovered, that players could exploit to screw each other over.

Regardless, through all of these games that I grew up playing, I was always playing games with other people. Even though I was a “nerd” in a lot of respects (played games, was in band, loved music, etc…) I was amazingly social. Even the jocks in school knew me well for rastlin’ the jammies of a lot of the other kids. It’s amazing with how much shit I could talk and get away with in high school; people would always let it slide by because I was funny, though. Really funny.

So streaming is obvious to me. I can play games, and I can have people watch me play games and enjoy it. It’s not work to me. It’s cake. I can make jokes while playing (I’ve been doing it all my life), I enjoy the challenge and competitive aspect of playing games, and I tend to like most of the games that I play. Opening a door to invite others to take part in that experience is almost the natural evolution of everything I’ve been doing in my life.

DayZ reminds me of a lot of the older games that I used to play. I’ve been playing with some t2 subs over the past few weeks and it’s been amazing. There’s a lot of jostling of jimmies, a lot of joking around, a lot of talking shit, and a lot of fun playing. It feels like I’m actually playing and enjoying games again with other people who play and enjoy games. It sounds silly to say it that way, but that feeling is completely absent in a lot of the games I’ve been playing recently. I’m not under the illusion that a lot of people play with me at the moment “because I’m Destiny”, etc…but at the very least it seems they’re enjoying themselves as well, and they don’t have any problem giving me shit as well.

Everything about streaming and being a relatively popular figure carries so much vitriol with it.

When I’m playing League of Legends, I just want to play League and improve my game. I don’t want to play several games in a day where I wind up in queue with someone going “Oh great it’s this faggot, Destiny”, or “rofl this fucking kid feeds all day”, or even have them on the enemy team “rofl go back to sc2 scrub” “why the fuck are you so bad, how is your stream even popular.”

I am almost a sociopath in regards to both my personal relationships and when dealing with strangers over the internet. I’m not a person who logs off every night, frustrated from solo-queuing, and cries on his pillow because of random internet haters. But after a while, it starts to wear on me, and it makes the entire experience so “not fun” anymore. I can only queue so many games in row with people talking shit over and over and over again before it becomes dreadful to me. It’s not fun to verbally combat person after person, especially when we’re not even engaged in a 1v1. It’s become hard for me to even tell how much I’m improving or not because I play so many games where it’s constantly 2v3 or 2v4. Coupling that with the constant onslaught of verbal abuse, it just makes it impossible to have fun playing a game. I don’t feel like anyone else playing ranked games even enjoy playing, or even want to improve. It’s just a constant shit-fest of people bitching at each other. There are a few games that are fun to play, because there will be a couple of other people in the games that are clearly having fun, but the majority of games are just filled with people who either know me and want to fuck with me, or who are just generally lame people to play games with.

In case you’re wondering, SC2 was more or less the same as well.

Playing games in Diamond I was literally the most fun I’ve had in League a long time because there were actually players more popular than me in a lot of the games. It was an amazing feeling, watching other lanes getting camped over and over again because the person was a popular streamer or an LCS player. Or being in a game where no one really “knew” me as well as the other popular players.

The biggest problem, though, is that it’s not just the players that are sucking the fun out of the game, it’s the audience a lot, too. I don’t necessarily mean my stream viewers (although there is evidence of it happening there), but mainly the entire community of people who rally around “e-sports”. Obviously we tend to “nostalgia” the past with rose-tinted glasses, but gamers were a small enough minority (at least where I grew up) that people were just that…gamers. If you played games, chances are you could play games with other people, and enjoy yourself doing it.

All of these conversations have happened to you at one point in time if you played a lot of games as a kid:

“Oh, you play games? We could play Halo some time!”

“You’re a gamer? Who’s your favorite character in SSMB?”

“Mario Kart? Do you know about the shortcut jump on Rainbow Road?”

This whole fierce allegiance that people feel to a particular video game is so unlike anything I’ve ever grown up with in my life. The idea that you can alienate different gamers because they play a game that’s different than the game you play is such a foreign concept outside of this whole “e-sports” shit. I guess it kind of started a long time back with hardcore 1.6 kids, but I feel like it’s more present today than ever, especially with League becoming as popular as it is.

Even during sub game days, it’s impossible to just have fun in games. Everyone acts like every person has to play perfectly at all times. If someone is playing a champ that they’ve never played before, or I’m jungling a champ I’ve never played before, the chat is full of stupid shit whenever something goes wrong. It’s almost like people have completely forgotten that playing games is just supposed to be fun. It’s so annoying having a chat full of people who act like they are LCS players, all giving insane, destructive criticism at every single opportunity. This isn’t something that’s even unique to my chat. It happens in the LoL forums and it happens in the lolgens as well.

Starting on Monday I’ll return to my more strict schedule of streaming by 1EST for 8 or so hours, but I’m kind of doing it begrudgingly at this point. It’s so hard to look forward to a day of games filled with people in search of their 5 minutes of fame. Sometimes I think it’d be nice to go back to being relatively unknown with 50 viewers, just so I could enter every game as “another person”, rather than “omg Destiny”.

These days, it seems as though everyone on the internet is building their own PC. Of course, there are still plenty of people who buy pre-builts from stores or receive them as gifts from their parents. That won’t stop the online PC enthusiast community from telling you to build your own until they’re blue in the face.

And why not? Building your own PC is superior to purchasing a pre-built for a myriad of reasons. You get full control over what parts you want inside of it and you don’t have to pay for extra stuff you don’t want. You get a more intimate understanding of your PC, yielding greater knowledge of individual parts and giving you the opportunity to upgrade down the line. And you often save a lot of money building a system equivalent (or exceeding) in power to a pre-built PC.

With all of these things being undeniably true, there are still some people who are a bit scared of assembling a PC on their own. They’ve heard horror stories of ESD (electrostatic discharge) frying motherboards, or people destroying pins by depressing the lever too quickly on their incorrectly positioned CPU. Others are scared that if something breaks, troubleshooting would be a nightmare – when you build your own PC, there is no “tech support” number to call like there would be with HP or Dell.

So what does one do, if they’re too wary to build a PC of their own, but they’re cognizant of the benefits of doing so? They turn to the mighty custom, pre-built PC.

It seems as though this is the logical bridge between inexperienced builders and a customized PC. You have the option to choose your parts, you get tech support, and someone else does all of the “heavy lifting” – so to speak- for you. Most (if not all) custom pre-built services on line even offer to overclock for you! This, of course, begs the question raises the legitimate question: are these customized, pre-built PCs already worth the money?

For full disclosure – I offer my own personal services in building PCs for other people. This article directly analyses people that I might consider my competitors. It is in my full financial interest to be as biased and unforgiving as possible when discussing their services – it is my hope in these next few pages to convince you that I am not. It is also my hope in writing this to encourage you, as a customer, to be mindful of the purchases you make so as not to reinforce bad or sloppy sales tactics by larger companies, and it is my hope that said companies work a bit harder in delivering an honest, worthwhile product to their customers.

I am going to be visiting each website as a layman and searching for a mid-level, gaming PC. My approximate budget will vary between $800-$1300 USD. I will discuss the flaws in each build I come across at said price point, and offer some suggestions/revisions concerning said flaws.

Suspect #1 – ibuypower.com

As I open the website of my first potential seller, I glance over the tabs in search of “Gaming PC”. I scroll down and I see “FEATURED GAMING DESKTOPS”, and I see a couple that have caught my eye.

Here’s our first option (Special-A) for $1,099 USD, and here is our second (Weekly Gamer Special) for $1,469 USD.

I’m going to ignore the plethora of “customization” options below, because I don’t even want to get into how much of a rip-off 99% of the services listed are. For instance, charging an extra $49 for overclocking a k series processor..? That out of the way, let’s look at the issues our first $1,099 PC has.

Let’s look at our first option, Special-A.

Problem 1: 4770k processor. Why? There is absolutely no reason to recommend an i7 for a gaming rig. Games today simply do not take advantage of more than 4 threads. [1] [2] A quick rule of thumb from someone with experience building systems – if someone suggests you an i7 and you haven’t explicitly told them you are going to be working with video editing or 3d modeling, run! An i7 is a total waste of money for any gaming system, especially when your graphics card is a…

Problem 2: 650ti graphics card?! Even though the 7850 is priced similarly and is a superior option [1][2], neither card is appropriate in a $1,000 machine. If you’re building a $1,000 machine and you’re not spending at least $250-350 towards graphics, you could hardly even call it a gaming PC.

Problem 3: 16GB of RAM. Why? Completely and totally unnecessary, especially in a gaming PC.

I won’t even get into how stupid it is to include a no-name liquid cooler (that probably gives worse performance and costs more than any decent air cooler) and still charge extra for overclocking…


The thing that upsets me is that the problems with the first rig have nothing to do with the total cost of the system. It’s that someone who is inexperienced with building systems picked which parts to put into a PC built for gaming. This is troubling to me. Maybe the next system will fare better.

Next up is the $1,469 “Weekly Gamer Special” machine.

Problem 1: i7-3820. What?!?!?! A low-class, Sandybridge-E chip? We’ve already established, earlier, that games simply aren’t equipped to take advantage of more than 4 threads, so why on earth would you include a processor that is two generations old that has worse per-thread performance compared to newer Haswell or Ivybridge chips? [1 – SB is the 2700k chip, which is comparable in single-threaded performance to SB-E] In terms of gaming, sandybridge-e tends to be more expensive, yet worse! in terms of performance. [2] The 3820 isn’t even a 6-core processor. Just a normal quadcore, comparable to the 2600-2700k SB chips. This might be the single worst processor you can buy for gaming – it’s expensive, it’s bad, and it’s out-dated.

Problem 2: GTX-770. This card isn’t terrible, but if you’re spending upwards of $1,500 for a system, you can easily do better.

Problem 3: 16GB of RAM again..? I guess this number is just for dick-waving contests?

So what on earth did we get for $1,469? A terrible processor, no operating system, an okay graphics card, no SSD, a PSU that’s only 600w that leaves us no room for adding a second GPU…??? Who chose these parts??

Suspect #2 – cyberpowerpc.com

Sigh…let’s venture over here and see if we can find something better. Upon opening the page, I immediately scroll down to the “Featured Gaming Systems” section and eyeball two PCs in the upper part of my price range. Immediately, something catches my eye.

Remember earlier when I said that the per-thread performance of the 3820 was worse than the per-thread performance of newer chips, such as Haswell chips? By their own benchmark standards, posted on their website, their $1,319 machine is worse for gaming than their $1,169 machine. If you were new to building machines and wound up on one of these sites, how confused do you think you would be to see those numbers??

I could do a point-by-point analysis of each machine, as we did earlier, but it appears as though the same sins have been committed. The first build, for $1,169, sports a measly 7870 with another 4770k! i7’s have no business in gaming machines! Why is this a trend?! And the second machine was sporting a disgusting 3820, with a GTX760! The 760 isn’t a terrible card, but in a $1,319 gaming rig?! Dear God, why?! No SSDs? No OS’s? What on earth are you paying for in these systems? It’s not like I’d even get a cool case, like I would with…

Suspect #3 – alienware.com


I threw this one in for giggles because everyone gives Alienware a hard time for their prices. Let’s see how it stacks up against the other two, popular, “custom pre-builts” websites.

Let’s look at the $1,399 Aurora.

Problem 1: i7-3820. Okay, fuck this chip. I don’t know who thought it’d be funny to include this processor in every single gaming build, but seriously, fuck this chip. The IPC is bad, it’s two generations old, it sucks. I’ve said all I’ve had to say earlier, but Jesus, this chip is fucking TERRIBLE for gaming rigs.

Problem 2: GTX 660. IN A $1,400 BUILD?! A GTX 660? WHAAAAAAAAT??? You should have a MUCH more powerful card in a rig like this; who in their right fucking mind would fork over so much money for such a shitty system?!

Problem 3: 1TB HDD…and that’s it. No SSD. No additional storage. No mouse, no keyboard. At least we get Windows 7 with this build! And the operating system is a generation old, to match the generation old GPU and the two generation old processor!

This build is GARBAGE. Glancing even higher, EVEN THE $2,548 USES AN I7-3820. WHO PUTS THIS SHIT TOGETHER?! WHAT THE FUUUUUUUUU

(explicit section ending)


Every single one of these websites is terrible. It’s embarrassing to think that people are tricked into believing they’re getting a good deal by purchasing a “custom” PC from any of these websites. Someone asked me a while ago how my personal prices for building PCs stacked up against larger websites like these. When I started going through what these websites offered, originally I was guessing I’d only be pointing out how high their prices were. The truth was much, much more upsetting.

There are two possibilities concerning these websites: Either the people in charge of putting these parts together are ignorant, and have no idea what needs to actually be in a gaming PC, or they are actively trying to scam the people who visit their website. Both possibilities are unacceptable to me.

So now that we’ve torn apart the pickings from the aforementioned websites, what exactly is a good PC for gaming? Let’s take a look at something like this.

Assumptions: Person wants a PC strictly for gaming, his budget is around $1,300. Let’s see what we can come up with.

$1,300 sample gaming rig

Ahh…it’s like a breath of fresh air compared to the mountains of garbage we had to wade through to get here.

The CPU is a 3570k, an Ivybridge i5. It only has 4 cores because we only need 4 cores, and it is a newer architecture than SB, yielding greater IPC (instructions per clock – basically how much work the CPU can do in a given clock cycle) to give us higher framerates in our games. It can be overclocked, and we’ve added a 212 air cooler to it to keep it nice and cool. The UD3H motherboard is pretty much the standard when it comes to Z77 overclocking. 8 gigs of 1600Mhz 9 CAS RAM, because that’s all we need. A 2TB HDD, because 1TB HDD’s are expensive given how little storage they provide. A GTX 780 to DESTROY any game you throw at it at 1080p. Honestly, you could even cut back on the GTX780, or xfire 7950’s or SLI 770’s, but those are all finer points that would need to be looked at. The Source 210 is a nice case that will have room for everything and is cheap, letting us put more money towards other components. The PSU is rock solid – SeaSonic make amazing PSUs. And the DVD reader will perform its job of reading DVDs just fine.

Now some would argue over different smaller points concerning the above build, but one fact is undeniable – it will absolutely annihilate any of the earlier builds we examined posted on any of those websites, even the builds costing $100-$200 more. The performance you get out of this rig (gtx 780 + 3570k) is astronomically greater than anything a lesser GPU/SB-E chip can provide.

I hope you enjoyed the read, and I encourage every single person out there to do the reading necessary so you can simply assemble a PC of your own! But if you are too scared to go down that route, be careful what you’re getting yourself into when it comes to custom pre-builts.

Happy gaming! ^_^