Once upon a time, bedlamhouse got a copy of a new video game called City of Heroes. It was an online multi-player RPG set in a comic-book superhero universe, and he suggested to the others in our AD&D group that if we all got copies, we could team up and play together. So I went and bought a copy. After watching me play it for a few days, kitanzi decided it looked like fun, so we went and got her a copy too. For the next three years, we played the game a lot, often just the two of us, often with other members of Penguin Force, our superhero group. But eventually, we did what could be done, and newer shinier games (*cough*World of Warcraft*cough) lured me away from Paragon City. When I made the jump to WoW, kitanzi decided to hang up the MMO habit, not wanting to get addicted to yet another time sink.
Earlier this year, though, CoH, now a venerable old warhorse in the MMO field, announced they were going free-to-play, and old subscribers could reactivate their old characters and play without paying a monthly fee. We both jumped back in, and while I couldn’t recapture my enthusiasm for the game, she had a lot of fun beating up bad guys and flying around.
Last night, kitanzi says to me, “Yeah, I think I’m getting bored with City of Heroes again.”
“Well,” I said, perhaps a bit too eagerly, “If you want to try Star Wars: The Old Republic”, I could get you a copy. We could play together again!” She’d been watching with interest as I’d been playing the game since shortly before its release, and she’d also enjoyed watching me play other BioWare games like Dragon Age and Mass Effect, so she didn’t require much convincing.
I decided that it was probably about time put a proper video card in her machine, though. Integrated graphics were fine for the games she was playing before (I mean, CoH came out in 2004…it’s not really going to stress out a modern system, even without a gamer-spec card in it), but TOR was likely to give it a bit more of a workout.
So, in preparation for this upgrade, I popped open the case to examine her power supply. I honestly expected to need to replace it, because gamer-spec video cards are power-hungry, and this was just a Dell Inspiron intended for general home use. But hey, I figured, check anyway, to make sure. And what I found astonished me.
I had figured I’d find a 280W or 300W power supply. If they’d been really spiffy, maybe a 350W, but I didn’t expect more than that.
It has a 160W power supply.
I checked my calendar to make sure I hadn’t accidentally opened the case of a computer I built in 1995 instead of the one I bought last year. Seriously, Dell, way to go. I’m amazed it even boots.
It’s now fitted out with a 500W PSU and an ATI 6670, which is a solid entry level card that wasn’t too expensive. Now we’re ready to conquer the galaxy!