Yesterday I went to Raleigh, my state capitol, for some recreation. Yes, it's a few hours away, so it's nothing we do very often. While I was there, we played laser tag, visited a few stores, and most importantly I went to TigerDirect for the first time.
But this day, something happened. I had to take my money out of my room because our house is on the market for selling. I really didn't want any snooping folks to find a few hundred dollars lying around. <.<
Little did I know that this would be the day we enter, for the first time in my life, a large store that is dedicated to all things computer. Needless to say, my eyes got bigger then my brain for a few minutes... I walked out with a Corsair GS800 PSU, and a total cost of around $125.00.
I wasn't quite ready to check out yet when an aggravated looking male in his twenties flagged me down from behind his register. "Debit or credit" he kept shouting until I took notice and responded, bewildered. "I just have a question about this PSU." I said as I approached his booth. I set the box on the counter and proceeded to consult him about the cabling and the warranty.
"I want to buy this PSU but I'm worried the cabling won't support my motherboard correctly. See, my current PSU doesn't cover four pins on my ATX plug, and I have ano-" Before I could finish he cut me off. "All power connectors are on an ATX standard and this PSU is designed to cover it. It also has a 4-pin breakaway connector if you need it."
Truly, that's exactly what I wanted to hear at the time because my CPU requires a 4-pin power connector in order to function. I asked him about the warranty next.
"Okay, so it should fit my motherboard. But, say, I get it home and it doesn't fit." He looks for a moment at me. "It will fit." I look back. "I'm talking about your warranty. Say I get home and something unaccounted for happens and it doesn't work fo-" He cut me off again. "Thirty days." I start communicating to ensure my point was made. "Okay, so if something about it just doesn't work for me-" Again, he cut me off. "Thirty days. You have thirty days to return it." I ask: "For a full refund?" He responds, assuming I'm using a card, "Whatever you pay here will be put back onto your card."
At this point I finally answer his first question. "I'm not using a card, just cash." He doesn't seem to notice. We proceed to create a profile for me, since I've never shopped at this store before. When we're done, I duly count my money and hand it to him. Now he seems to take notice and mentions that his drawer is empty so he can't take cash payments. We swap registers and someone else rings me up under his name. During the process, I keep recounting my money, because for some reason every time I counted up to my $5 bills, I lost count. I had counted my money three times up to $110 and lost count because of $5 bills. I guess I was feeling rushed; that could account for it.
Either way, I handed the new person my money and she rung it up as $120 dollars. My mom paid the difference on debit for me, and soon after, the lady paused and handed me two fives back. "I miscounted. Here's your difference back." So apparently the fives were a big deal to her also. Maybe that portion of the store was just a no-five counting zone.
Either way, I walked out with a new PSU, and I was feeling elated.
In the car, later, and on our way home, I was in the back seat and opening the box to admire the mass of sleek cables jumbled inside. My dad pops his question. "So how much was that?" I told him it was $99.99, because after I get the mail-in rebate, that's how much the sticker would have been. "One-hundred dollars to replace a part you've already got. I may not know much about computers, but why would you do that?" I proceeded to give an analogy, as I so love to do.
"Imagine this computer part was a car part, say a tire. Imagine that the tire is balding, you know you'll have to replace it eventually, but you don't have to just yet. Now, you decide to replace the tire, find that the replacement is much cheaper than you had budgeted for, and that you can not only replace it but get a much better tire in its place." I go on to start adding something about tire compounds just to finish my point and sound smart, but it was too much and he cut me off. "Okay, so better tire, got it." And that was that. My mom overhead and later commented that she thought it was a good way to explain the situation to him.
This was the best part of the trip, the anticipation to get home so I could play with my new toy. I eagerly waited for the ride to finish. So eagerly that I couldn't listen to my music, but rather just stare out at the greenery as we passed by.
When we finally arrived home, at about 8:00 PM, I spent the next hour ripping out my old PSU and prepping my case for the new installation. I had so much extra cabling that I had to remove a DVD drive and stuff the extras into the slot. Because of this, Cad'ika later recommended that I look into a modular PSU.
At any rate, I can't stress enough how happy I was to install this thing. I carefully prepared my case and all components as well as I could for arrangement of the new cabling. When it came time to plug things in, though, I ran into a problem. The breakaway connector the clerk had told be about could indeed be broken away, but the cabling was glued to the ATX power plug. I had to proceed to unhappily cut away the glue and rip off the nice snake-like covering from that cable.
I'm upset now that we have to drive all that way... Too bad it's not a store that's just down the road. Ah, well. Nargh. I need to figure out what PSU I want to get to replace my current one.