It had been my intention to use part of that money to get a replacement for the current Hugin, my main computer, which, while still a decent machine, as it was top-of-the-line when I bought it back in 2008, is starting to show its age, and it just generally feels like it's "that time."
Originally I had planned to simply buy the components and actually put together my own system, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized what a hassle and recipe for disaster that would be.
A while back I had configured an HP system that (mostly) had the components I wanted, so I was toying with the notion of just buying that and then adding in the additional upgrades that HP didn't offer. However, after pricing the components, I found that the total cost of the HP + the extra bits was $300 more than the cost of buying all of the parts I wanted and putting them together myself.
Plus there was a particular computer case I really liked, and I had some concerns that one of the components I wanted to add wouldn't fit in the stock HP case.
Still, whenever I thought about the work involved in assembling the pieces, my inner Homer moaned, "Can't someone else do it?"
I remained on the fence about buying the HP, and then found that my decision was nearly made for me. I wanted to buy a particular Intel CPU, and was looking to save some money by ordering the CPU and Motherboard together, as you usually get a better deal when you buy them as a combo. However, I wasn't able to find any CPU/Motherboard combos that had that particular CPU.
So HP it was...until I found another site that does custom-built complete systems which offered a lot more choices than HP, including the particular case that I wanted.
Sadly, I couldn't pick out the particular graphics card that I wanted, but that seems to be the case everywhere. As a consumer, I can actually buy the card from an online retailer or a brick-and-mortar electronics store, but as part of a system build? Nope.
The other component I'm looking to add is only available from two sources, so there was no way to get that thrown into the build.
I went through and configured the system, going mostly top-of-the-line with the components, and managed to put together a system that was somewhere between the cost of building one myself with the individual components - with a slower CPU - and the cost of the HP.
I found that I could knock the price down a bit further - still above the DIY version, but, again, faster CPU - if I could exercise patience and tell them that there was "no rush." This would be an absolute lie, of course - want it nao! - but a 5% discount made up for the fact that I'd have to wait about three weeks to get it.
So I put together all of the components and added the system to my cart.
And left it there overnight as I got preemptively hit with buyer's remorse. I need (note "need") a new system, and it was an incredible amount of bang for the buck, but it was still a lot of buck.
Finally, early Sunday afternoon, and I went back to my cart and, as I knew I would all along, made the purchase.
The buyer's remorse kicked in instantly, and so did the realization that I'd lied and said that there was no rush.
So I'm stuck in a period of remorseful waiting. My order status says that the expected ship date is 3/29/11. Given that I went with the cheapest shipping option, I most likely won't actually get it until sometime in early April.