Computers, and being an "Enthusiast"? What defines that?

Discussion in 'CPUs and Overclocking' started by VirtualLarry, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    I bought a store-bought computer, my first one that I didn't either build myself, or get as a hand-me-down from relative (my first PC during HS was given to me by my dad).

    Guess what? It is adequate for my needs. Even though it's not overclocked. I *did*, however, put in a 120GB SSD, and a fresh install of Win7 64-bit HP, and eventually also added a LP NV GT430 card. So it's still souped-up a bit.

    I bought it for a price that was less than what it would cost me to build it, so that's why I did. Couldn't pass up a bargain, and it uses less power than my previous rig (Edit: Previous - Q9300@3.0, new rig - SB G630), so it saves on the electric bill. Even doing distributed computing.

    I do slightly feel like should hand in my "enthusiast/overclocker" badge, living with a store-bought computer running at stock speeds.

    I still want to buy a Haswell next year and overclock it, but that may depend on my finances at the time. Plus, with AMD's rumored demise, and them getting out of the performance x86/x64 market, Intel may move prices up a notch for what you're getting.
     
    #1 VirtualLarry, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  2. Puppies04

    Puppies04 Diamond Member

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    I would say enthusiast is more about knowledge than hardware. You may not have a custom built PC but the one you have now fits your usage better than your old one did and being able to make that call makes you an enthusiast in my mind.

    Also simply by posting on AT forums about the fact you don't think you are an enthusiast anymore pretty much makes you an enthusiast in my book :p.
     
  3. Avalon

    Avalon Diamond Member

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    Why would you buy a computer that's not adequate for your needs? :p
     
  4. WhoBeDaPlaya

    WhoBeDaPlaya Diamond Member

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    To be fair, you are comparing a quad against a dual. Now if you were talking about an E8400 vs. the SB Pentium, fair enough ;)
     
  5. OBLAMA2009

    OBLAMA2009 Diamond Member

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    id say since it is only a pentium he no longer qualifies as an enthusiast, but gets an "intelligent shopper" award.
     
  6. VirtualLarry

    VirtualLarry Lifer

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    What about people that buy a Dell, or an IBuyPower, or a CyberPowerPC PC, and then upgrade the PSU and add a decent GPU. Are they enthusiasts? Or does that depend on what CPU they originally ordered with the system?

    PS. I was guessing that you were joking with your comment, but in case you were serious, discuss.

    Edit: Better question would be - if you built an E-350 mini-ITX rig, and put an SSD in it, would you still be considered an "enthusiast", just because the E-350 is a low-end CPU, and with those motherboards, you don't even have to install the CPU?
     
    #6 VirtualLarry, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  7. bononos

    bononos Diamond Member

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    If they are not interested in the nuts and bolts of what they are buying and aren't bothered about tweaking and modding and whats coming out in the future, then they aren't enthusiasts. As the previous poster pointed out, it has to do with interest and knowledge. To use your analogy, if you don't own an 'interesting' car, could you be an enthusiast on the OT-garage?
     
  8. Medikit

    Medikit Senior member

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    I think if you've ever run your computer "open" with the innards exposed then you are probably an enthusiast.
     
  9. BonzaiDuck

    BonzaiDuck Lifer

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    I was "kludging" and modding in the 1980s. Laugh yourself silly, but my first "system" in 1981 - 1982 was a Sinclair ZX-81 or [Timex] Sinclair 1000. I used it to do two-stage least-squares regression and access a state university mainframe to do the same thing. There was even a word-processing module you could plug into it and a 64K memory module [you could even add multiple 64K modules, but I put the kibosh on any more little drains on the wallet: I bought an IBM-compatible transportable. And I "kludged" and modded it.

    In '87 or '88 I bought an NEC 386 system; I probably paid at least $3,000 for it. In '93, I bought a 486 system -- also for around $3,000+, and then a Pentium 80 or 100 in '95 for about the same price.

    So I started building my own, with an eye toward saving money. Pentium II's for maybe $1,000+ each. Then a P4-533 in 1992 and a P4 Northwood in 1994. [EDIT!! CORRECTION!! "2002" and "2004". I must be getting old and getting my decades mixed up!]

    With the Northwood, I started over-clocking, and subsequently spent handsomely for some high-end RAM. By the time I was building LGA-775 systems and now my Z68 Sandy Bridge, I was again pushing up my hardware budget above $1,500. I couldn't have bottom-end graphics, so I'd buy mid-range. More memory upgrades.

    It's much harder to save any money building your DIY computer nowadays, but I've built units for the fam-damn-ily costing maybe $350 for recycling used PSUs, cases and fans -- with low-end mATX motherboards and budget Intel processors. Those latter machines are all tip-top -- with stellar performance and reliability for what the relatives use them for.

    There's a clear line of demarcation for "enthusiast" at over-clocking. You'd expect ANY comprehensive upgrades or building projects to require "enthusiast" skills, I suppose.

    Truth be told, I'd seen the innards of older Dell and HP models, used parts of Dell cases and cages for case-mods, but I couldn't bear buying one of those units in those days -- four or five years ago. I may stick to choosing all the parts myself in the future. It's still going to cost me a little extra, even if I don't do any tweaking and over-clocking. [But -- I will -- that's for sure . . . ]

    If I had to live any length of time without a computer, internet access, accounting and design software or anything else that I use frequently, I'd feel like a boy-scout in the wilderness without a pocket knife or book of matches.

    Scary, isn't it?
     
    #9 BonzaiDuck, Dec 9, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  10. IndianScout

    IndianScout Member

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    even people who want to hotrod Yugo's are considered enthusiast's in the automotive world..

    to me being an enthusiast is a person who is or gets excited about working or building their computers. Can't wait for new hardware to talk about it and buy, lives eats and breathes this expensive habit most of us have..
     
  11. HutchinsonJC

    HutchinsonJC Member

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    I think the word enthusiast has a different meaning depending on what you're talking about. It's kind of like the word "casuals" in MMOs.

    Casual to person A could mean someone who spends more time playing the game than person A, and accomplishes less in that time than person A does.

    Where as person B might consider person A to be a casual because person A doesn't play very often despite the the fact that person A has better gear than person B.


    An enthusiast in my opinion could be someone who has no real top-of-the-line hardware to speak of, but is very knowledgeable about the best of the best in a large range of topics like hardware, programming, math, the pros and cons of what company A is doing that's successful for them vs the pros and cons of a competing company B.

    Even if you're not the *most* knowledgeable, I still might think someone something of an enthusiast if they are weekly checking up on sites like this one and the various other sites similar to this one.

    Some individuals that do have all the top-of-the-line stuff, a true enthusiast sitting across the way would call this person dumb, naive, or some other choice words. So even if you do have a bunch of awesome tech, I don't think that necessarily makes you an enthusiast. Excessive maybe...
     
  12. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    Being an enthusiast is a state of mind, not a state of hardware.

    It is about one's interests, not one's assets.
     
  13. IndianScout

    IndianScout Member

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    I call those people more money than brains..

    to them it's a pissing contest it's not about computers and gaming..
     
  14. KingFatty

    KingFatty Diamond Member

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    Yeah, definitely agree it's about a state of mind. You invest the time to learn about it because it makes you happy.

    If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands [clap clap].

    Enthusiast, ta-dah!
     
  15. dma0991

    dma0991 Platinum Member

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    What makes you an enthusiast is that you're never truly satisfied with what you've bought/own. It could always be better in some way whether it is more performance, less power consumption, lighter, faster, etc. This not only applies to computer hardware, it could be any form of hobby you could think of.
     
  16. T_Yamamoto

    T_Yamamoto Lifer

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    I concur.
     
  17. NickelPlate

    NickelPlate Senior member

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  18. ShintaiDK

    ShintaiDK Lifer

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    I would say interest and knowledge.

    Money or the "epeen" got absolutely nothing to do with it.
     
  19. PrincessFrosty

    PrincessFrosty Platinum Member

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    I kind of agree with this, I think enthusiasts tend to go our of their way to get technology they don't need as well, investing in a CPU you can overclock even if it brings you little to no benefit for example, I'd consider that more hobby/enthusiast.
     
  20. laputan machine

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    My computer is a sandy bridge pentium g850 with a HD7750, surely I'm not an enthusiast right? Well I spent ages trying to find the right mini-itx case,and when I got it I upgraded the tfx-psu, waited forever for a LP 7750 to be released and had to mod the case to get more airflow, and installed an SSD and a HDD. I'd call myself enthusiast to be honest. I'm also still trying to see how I can make it even smaller without downgrading more, and I did install windows 8 on it because I wanted to try it out mostly because it was new.
     
  21. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Diamond Member

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    Anyone can go out and buy a bunch of 'enthusiast' level hardware and put it together and probably get it to work (I know, I did... :whiste: ) but what makes the difference is knowing how and why it works and what it takes to get it to function, even in the face of a failure.

    If you want to look at it another way, the manufacturers are actually stepping up to the plate and offering prebuilt systems (I'm talking consumer-level systems, not custom or semi-custom gamer builds) that an enthusiast can take and work with... the enthusiast taking the pre-built and, using their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm, taking it to the next level of performance based on their needs (and that doesn't even have to include adding or replacing hardware.)

    I have recommended and 'sold' 2 Dell 620 i3 systems this past year for a friend and my mom... both are very capable systems in their own right. I took one of them and did some mods to it making it a better computer than it was. I couldn't have built the same system for the same money.
     
  22. Martimus

    Martimus Diamond Member

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    I would call an enthusiast anyone who is enthusiastic enough about computers to do the research and really understand what they are getting, not because they need to know, but because they enjoy learning about, and playing with computers. The same definition applies to all other types of enthusiasts to me.
     
  23. Idontcare

    Idontcare Elite Member

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    :thumbsup: Sounds quite spot-on.

    If we were having this discussion 50yrs ago, we'd refer to ourselves (as would the businesses that cater to our demographic) as "amateurs".

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/amateur

    But owing to the ego/chauvinism/pride of our specific demographic; those who wish to commercially benefit from us dare not label us as amateurs (how derogatory! we ain't noobs :colbert: tut tut)...hence the creation of a new label to describe those who lack the expertise of a professional background: We are amateurs! enthusiasts!
     
  24. Martimus

    Martimus Diamond Member

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    I quite like that. I have never considered myself an enthusiast, even if the term fit. I can however freely feel comfortable calling myself an Amateur, as it feels a more appropriate name.

    I also generally avoid other seemingly contrived names like Gamer, noob, and the such. I enjoy playing games as my form of entertainment, but that doesn't mean I need to use some newly invented word to describe that activity. There are plenty of old terms that fit just fine.
     
  25. IntelEnthusiast

    IntelEnthusiast Intel Representative

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    +1

    For us we look at the enthusiast space as people who are building, upgrading or looking to get the most out of their computer hardware. They can be gamers, DIYers, or even the person who is looking to build their first system. In the end it is all about the state of mind that IDC brings up.
     
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