Originally Posted by nleksan
I am going out on a limb to say that these are absolutely not aimed at the kind of consumer who visits this Site, but rather the type who doesn't know much more about how a computer works than "it has Solitaire?", allowing a truly easy, hassle free way to get more life out of their machine.
To further elaborate, basically if you get your computers from a retail store or if it comes from any mass production company, you are the target audience. If you build your own PC, and if the "seating a CPU and applying TIM" doesn't sound like the beginning of a very uncomfortable medical procedure but rather is a very common activity for you, you are not in the target audience.
I have to say that I think that this is really a very good thing. How many computers just had 1-2 years tacked onto their life as a result of this product? How much electronic waste does that eliminate? I hope that this is the start of a bigger trend, one in which companies offer parts that are incredibly simple in both hardware and software, but which diminish the ability of Dell, HP-Compaq, etc to build crappy PCs, overcharge the customers by 50-75pct, and then artificially "cap" the lifespan of the unit.
Anyone who has ever tried to update and OEM machine knows exactly what I mean... The PSUs don't have a max of 1-2 extra cables for cost cutting, it's to prevent expansion. The highest end desktop series, the XPS8300 from Dell, runs so hot that I took apart my father's and found that the "heatsink" had a layer of putty-like TIM nearly 1/2CM thick, yet the processor was not even touching half of it! Removing, cleaning, reapplying, and properly seating everything resulted in a reduction of 22C, yes, 22C! My girlfriend has an HP with a decent setup, including a Phenom II X4 960T and 8GB of Samsung ULV-DDR3 (yes, the good stuff), but HP doesn't even use the AMD provided heatsink, instead going with some piece of trash that is made of some kind of aluminum-tin metal, and topped with the ONLY fan in the system. Simply adding an 80mm exhaust fan and cutting some room for a 92mm intake fan dropped temps between 5C and 15C, while adding a cheap $15 heatsink with a half-decent 120x25mm fan and some AS Ceramique II resulted in a max temp of 39C (under actual use) and idle temps of 32C, which is pretty decent considering it used to IDLE at 45C. I simply reused the original CPU HSF as a Chipset HSF, which worked well.
But the point is, a computer is no different from a refrigerator, A/C system, or a Toyota Camry: its just another appliance that is a PITA to work on. It is this reason that PC repair shops exist, and while a few are actually excellent, the majority are absolutely disgusting in their abuse of the customers lack of knowledge.
How is it not better to empower the consumer to be able to do this simple upgrade themselves, and in the process perhaps make people realize that "hey, paying $75 for some greasy and arrogant prick to 'install, optimize, fine-tune, and run a full-system integration algorithm developed by NASA and shared exclusively with this one guy, well, GOD, I have been a complete idiot! This was so simple, and now I want to try to install something else, maybe more memory, or a video card! Hey, wait... How come I didn't have to run anything even remotely similar to what the repair guy said he was doing? Hmm.. That's interesting, I wonder why Lord Google, King of Answers and Knowledge (and Keeper of all that is Right and Clearly-Must-Be-So-Because-It's-On-The-Internet), is unable to find anything about the stuff this guy charged me for.... I will just ask on Yahoo Questions. (waits for reply) WHAT!? How could I have been so stupid! Never again! I will now become proficient with computer hardware so that never again will an unscrupulous company or big sweaty greaseball with beady little eyes be able to take advantage of me! I am now a Self-Empowered Consumer! (trumpets play over drumrolls)".
There is a place close to my house that is just like the above, so while it is very mildly exaggerated, I am actually not making up the vast majority of stuff. I went into the place once, as I thought "oh, cool, a local business that specializes in computers! I like computers, and I like to support local businesses, so how could this NOT be awesome?". It was not awesome.
This was actually only maybe 3 months ago, while I was still buying parts for my build but was mostly done (still needed HDD/GPU I think, and then H2O loop). I went in, and it was quite tiny, as in maybe 200sq-ft tiny. I looked around at the pre built "Custom" computers, and I had already figured out that this place was the kind of place I hate: "Custom Gaming Machine: Super-Powered Gaming PC stuffed with the best and newest Equipment!" was the first one I looked at, as I had to see how bad it would b. The computer case was a name I'd never heard of before, but it was essentially the absolute cheapest-looking and feeling mid-tower I've ever seen but as it had a "window" and "Gamer Features including Awesome Orange and Red Paint", it was apparently good enough for them. Inside, the computer had the following: AMD Athlon II X3 2.5Ghz processor, an out-of-production Gigabyte AM2 MB, 2x2GB of Kingston DDR3-1066 ValuRAM, a No-Name 430W PSU and the absolute worst cable mess I've seen in a very long time, a 320GB "Super-Charged Speed" WD Caviar Blue SATA2/16MB with a production date in 09, 3 total fans (all generic junk, 1 120 intake, an 80 rear exhaust, and a 92 top exhaust), a PNY GeForce 8600GTS 512MB DDR3 "Powerhouse of Graphics Performance and the Absolute Latest in Video Tech", and the CPU HSF was some type of Server-style unit that used a 60mm fan.
The funny/sad part? They wanted $650 for this... It was simply a mess of thrown together used parts with a few "new" ones, and they were asking for around 4x its value...
I looked at prices for HDDs, and I actually asked the "tech" who was a completely arrogant prick how much for the SATA3 WD Caviar Blue 500GB drive and he told me that it was $139, and I asked if they carried WD Caviar Blacks or RE4 drives and he said that they don't because "those drives are incredibly unreliable and they are not any faster than a Green, plus you really should not use RAID because you don't know anything about it, and I don't want to have to fix the array every week because you are not a professional and shouldn't be messing with that stuff, but if you want the drives special ordered its $220 for the 1TB Black and $255 for the 1TB RE4", and I was so stunned by this d-bag's response to my perfectly legit question that I had no idea what to say back (he asked me "why are you here?" and I told him I was building a PC and needed a few bits and he asked what I was building and I told him to which he said "why don't you just bring the parts in here, and we will build it for $275 because there is no way you will be able to do anything close to how well I build PCs, just look around, oh and I can try to assemble water cooling for an extra $150 but if anything gets damaged we won't be responsible, but really you should just have me do it because you will just end up breaking this awesome equipment, which you really don't have any use for anyway"...! I swear on my life, and I couldn't believe that). This was the first and only time I'd ever been in this place! I did speak with the owner and explain that his employee (there is only one) was incredibly obnoxious, disrespectful (btw he was likely 18-20, so I have more than a couple years on him), and flat-out insulting, and that unless I hear that something is done, I would report the experience to the BBB. He told me that they would give me $5 off the price off a HDD to which I said I will happily take the five bucks, in cash, because I am currently ordering two drives for less than what your price for one is and that's not even sale price, and he just got angry. He threatened to sue me for libel, I told him good luck, and I just wrote a complaint to the BBB, and wrote about the experience on Google, Yelp, Angie's List, and reposted it all over Craigslist (where they advertise).
The point is, there are places everywhere that are as bad as, and even worse than that! It's no shock that people are intimidated by working on computers when everywhere they go, they are treated like complete idiots or flat out insulted. Now, there are some amazing places with awesome employees, but that has become the exception.
I say HELL YES to anything that better empowers the consumer to make their own decisions regarding the future of their computer instead of having some little prick literally steal their money by doing nothing, or having some big company steal their money by making a perfectly fine computer impossible to upgrade, forcing them to buy a new model. This wastes so much, and I don't care how much this drive costs, I am going to be putting one in every PC owned by my family members, my GFs PC, all her family's PCs, and so forth. I will always support consumer empowerment.
Geez, sorry, I guess I made my coffee a bit too strong this morning.