DSGamer Down Under (Australia) and back

Sydney is probably great, and Melbourne is just a little bit greater ^_____^

Good thing you are getting that gaming laptop otherwise when you get here and see the price of electronics and witness the bulls***ness of Amazon and international shipping, you might have regretted selling that PC.

I've never tried an egg on vegemite. Cheers mb, gonna do that soon.

I have a US 3DS, and it's fine to charge it by USB. www.play-asia.com is where I import the charging cables and games and such from. I would never plug in something from the US into the wall, even if I had one of those 'travel adapters'. I second that a step down converter is what you need.

I haven't tried it yet, but if I was going to buy from the nintendo eshop I would buy a points card from play-asia and use that. Dunno if it blocks downloads based on IP region. Not sure how it will go with kindle and so on, you might need a VPN or whatever, or learn to live with a lot of 'this content is not available in your region' screens. Welcome to not-USA.

And there are a lot of jokes/hype, but the reality is you're unlikely to encounter dangerous wildlife other than a small number of region specific ones. Deadly jellyfish somewhere on the QLD coast, and Sydney funnelwebs. Those things terrify me but I've never seen one. I had a Saturday job dealing with stuff that had been sitting around in people's garages and sheds and I only saw one or two redbacks in that whole time. And nobody has actually died from a redback for years, and that was a toddler, being more at risk due to their smaller size. Don't forget, in the US you have bears. They seem pretty fearsome too.

P.S. I witnessed the creation of that PA strip in person \o/

P.P.S. if you want to find out how *not* to speak in an Australian accent, look up the Let's Play Deus Ex with Warren Spector panel that happened at PAXAus this Saturday (that I was at!), and get to the part where they're in the nightclub area, talking to two 'Australians' XDDDDDDDDDD

Mermaidpirate wrote:

Sydney is probably great, and Melbourne is just a little bit greater ^_____^

Good thing you are getting that gaming laptop otherwise when you get here and see the price of electronics and witness the bulls***ness of Amazon and international shipping, you might have regretted selling that PC.

It's not sold yet. And the gaming laptop has a 960M, which I understand to be far inferior to the GTX 770 I currently have. To be honest I'm already starting to regret that decision and I haven't made it yet. I spent some significant time with the PS4 controller today after a fairly sizable break from it and it was killing my hand. I much prefer the 360 controller. I'm sure I might even prefer the XBox One controller. There's a chance I shrug my shoulders and try to figure out how to get a tower on a plane, honestly. I don't want to be stuck with a system that can't play new-ish games and a controller that I hate when I use it. I have something to think about there.

I would never plug in something from the US into the wall, even if I had one of those 'travel adapters'. I second that a step down converter is what you need.

I'll look into that.

Can you take the tower apart and travel with them in a smaller footprint, then just look at buying an actual case when you're down here?

Not sure how much space you'd save, our how you would go with an 'unconventional configuration of circuit boards and wires' travelling in a plane. That might be a question for the airlines to answer, as it may need to travel in the pilots' quarters (my Dad had to do a similar thing with his divers knife when we moved out here).

Mermaidpirate wrote:

I have a US 3DS, and it's fine to charge it by USB. www.play-asia.com is where I import the charging cables and games and such from. I would never plug in something from the US into the wall, even if I had one of those 'travel adapters'. I second that a step down converter is what you need.

Unless you're bringing a toaster or something like that with you, or something with a really old power supply, you shouldn't need any step-down converters -- I've never had any trouble with laptops or other device chargers going from Australia to the US or vice versa. I haven't tried moving a console or a PC, but I'd expect they all have switching power supplies these days, and you should be able to confirm that just by looking at the power supply and seeing what voltages it supports (most will say 110V-240V or something like that).

m0nk3yboy wrote:

Check out the price of recharging devices, and what they can and can't recharge. 3DS rechargers are pretty cheap down here $10-15, but not sure if the 3DS has a 'regional' battery, set up to receive 110V, rather than our native 240V. These are the things you might need to look into more closely, especially with the PS4.

I don't think there's such a thing as a regional battery -- devices charge from low-voltage DC, and I've never heard anything about any common devices using different DC voltages for charging in different countries. As long as you have a local charger, or a foreign charger with a switching power supply and a travel adapter, you'll be fine.

m0nk3yboy wrote:

TECH IS EXPENSIVE!

It's not always that bad -- prices are higher, but you don't have to pay additional sales tax on top of the quoted price (since it always includes the nationwide 10% GST), and the exchange rate is in your favour heading to Australia, so the difference often isn't all that big.

Mermaidpirate wrote:

And there are a lot of jokes/hype, but the reality is you're unlikely to encounter dangerous wildlife other than a small number of region specific ones. Deadly jellyfish somewhere on the QLD coast, and Sydney funnelwebs. Those things terrify me but I've never seen one. I had a Saturday job dealing with stuff that had been sitting around in people's garages and sheds and I only saw one or two redbacks in that whole time. And nobody has actually died from a redback for years, and that was a toddler, being more at risk due to their smaller size. Don't forget, in the US you have bears. They seem pretty fearsome too.

Not to mention all the other Americans! You're several orders of magnitude more likely to be killed by an American in America than you are by a snake, spider, shark, jellyfish, or anything else in Australia. (If I sound snarky, it's because I hear that crap all the time living in the US, and it's always fun to remind those people that they live in a country with 300 million guns!)

pneuman wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

TECH IS EXPENSIVE!

It's not always that bad -- prices are higher, but you don't have to pay additional sales tax on top of the quoted price (since it always includes the nationwide 10% GST), and the exchange rate is in your favour heading to Australia, so the difference often isn't all that big.

I dunno... I was recently looking at getting a PC built, and when I posted the AU prices in the "help me build a PC " thread what we were getting charged for graphics cards scared the people in the thread more than the threat of our wildlife. What they were describing as a sub-$500 build, I was lucky to source for AU$800.

That works out great for DS, if he's potentially bringing out US$500. That kind of works out on the exchange rates, but earning AU$800, whilst in Australia, that's a different ask. Also, we don't get the range and choice down here, just because shipping is so expensive. They only get in 'what will sell'.

Don't believe the lies about Vegemite - it's not actually a food, its sole function is to make the venom of the various creatures here seem pleasant by comparison. Some people claim to like it, but I'm pretty sure that's a delusion brought on by Vegemite toxicity.

m0nk3yboy wrote:
pneuman wrote:
m0nk3yboy wrote:

TECH IS EXPENSIVE!

It's not always that bad -- prices are higher, but you don't have to pay additional sales tax on top of the quoted price (since it always includes the nationwide 10% GST), and the exchange rate is in your favour heading to Australia, so the difference often isn't all that big.

I dunno... I was recently looking at getting a PC built, and when I posted the AU prices in the "help me build a PC " thread what we were getting charged for graphics cards scared the people in the thread more than the threat of our wildlife. What they were describing as a sub-$500 build, I was lucky to source for AU$800.

That kinda goes to my point, though -- AU$800 is about US$570 right now, so that's about a 14% premium, but that's without factoring in local sales taxes. Where I am in San Francisco, for instance, buying $500 worth of stuff actually costs you $542.50 thanks to the 8.5% sales tax here, which is only about 5% cheaper than in Australia.

Some things in Australia definitely have inflated prices, like when the PS4 launched at US$400 and AU$549, despite the AU$ being close-ish to parity with the US$, but even there the gap is less than you might think once you realise that most people in the US couldn't actually buy a PS4 for $400 thanks to local sales taxes.

m0nk3yboy wrote:

That works out great for DS, if he's potentially bringing out US$500. That kind of works out on the exchange rates, but earning AU$800, whilst in Australia, that's a different ask. Also, we don't get the range and choice down here, just because shipping is so expensive. They only get in 'what will sell'.

I see what you're saying, but the gap between what things cost and what people earn is a bit of a different issue really, and wages for a lot of people in the US really aren't great either. That affects everything, too, not just tech.

I definitely hear you on the availability of things, though -- when we move back to Australia I'm really, really going to miss Amazon Prime!

In the case of the XBox One, JB HiFi is showing online that it costs $400. Is that correct? With the current exchange rate that comes out to less than $300 AUS. That makes me really tempted to go ahead and sell my gaming PC and if the laptop I'm thinking about buying / borrowing can't handle something like Fallout 4, just buying an XBox One when I land in Australia. That's crazy cheap. For now at least.

I'm interviewing for jobs right now in Australia. Obviously those jobs won't have the same built-in advantage as I'd be getting paid in Australian dollars.

Fwiw, DSG, I've come to prefer my Lunar White Xbox One controller over the 360, which is a surprise. The same model in Forza Blue is available directly from Microsoft.

If you buy a new console, I think it should have a similarly-revised controller with the exception of not having the rubberized grip that only those two share.

Fedaykin98 wrote:

Fwiw, DSG, I've come to prefer my Lunar White Xbox One controller over the 360, which is a surprise. The same model in Forza Blue is available directly from Microsoft.

If you buy a new console, I think it should have a similarly-revised controller with the exception of not having the rubberized grip that only those two share.

What's revised about it? I am a little gun shy about it because I prefer the 360 controller to anything else, but I really don't want to haul the tower there when I think about it. Mostly I'm hemming and hawing, though, because I have enough store credit from unloading stuff to pick up a copy of Fallout 4 and Metal Gear Solid 5 before I leave and I'm trying to figure out if I want them on XBox One or Steam. Steam insinuates that I'm bringing the tower, though, which I don't want to. I'd rather "suffer" with lesser graphics on the One and haul that there, honestly. Or buy it there, etc.

Oh, I see, looking at pictures online it looks like the Forza Blue controller has some kind of grip material on the bottom.

The current Xbox controller has improved shoulder buttons and d-pad, as well as a universal audio jack (along with the proprietary one). The original X1 controller had awful shoulder buttons for some reason.

That audio jack naturally accepted my Samsung earbuds and allowed me to very simply get game audio and chat handled with no TV speakers. Probably not that exiting to most, but I thought it was cool.

The Lunar White and blue Forza controllers also have a rubberized grip. Apparently the new Halo ones don't have that.

DSGamer wrote:

XBox One, JB HiFi. That's crazy cheap.

Yep, just type into google "$400 aud to usd" and you'll have what you need in American Dollars to get your Aussie alternative in magic beans.

I just did that, and that $400 XB1 is only going to set you back $286.46 of your 'Merican dollars.

Welcome to Sydney DSG!

My wife had some success packing a PC tower with a LOT of bubble wrap and cloth, shipping by sea; of course YMMV if dampness manages to get its way into the circuitry. If you try it, definitely back up all your stuff beforehand.

As for physical address - I am no expert but I tend to think that yes you will need a physical address for online purchases. It may cause you problems with Steam and the like, not sure how you get each platform to recognise your circumstance (i.e. US expatriate in an Australian IP-zone).

Biggest things you should get used to in Australia include slow internet/huge latency, the so-called "Aussie-tax" on IT goods/services, no tipping is required in restaurants. Oh, and do take care when bushwalking - there's a proliferation of snakes this year (y'know, the kind in the top 10 deadliest in the world variety).

m0nk3yboy wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

XBox One, JB HiFi. That's crazy cheap.

Yep, just type into google "$400 aud to usd" and you'll have what you need in American Dollars to get your Aussie alternative in magic beans.

I just did that, and that $400 XB1 is only going to set you back $286.46 of your 'Merican dollars.

Yeah, I just wish I could bring my gaming PC in some form. I feel like I'm doing a lot of weird machinations to use a XBOX controller when I don't necessarily want a one right now. If it turns out that I sell my computer and buy an XBOX, I'm sure I'll enjoy Halo 5 as well as Viva Piñata. It's just weird.

I held that Artic White XBOX One controller in my hands today and I can't get past the feeling that it's too small still.

DSGamer wrote:

Yeah, I just wish I could bring my gaming PC in some form. I feel like I'm doing a lot of weird machinations to use a XBOX controller when I don't necessarily want a one right now. If it turns out that I sell my computer and buy an XBOX, I'm sure I'll enjoy Halo 5 as well as Viva Piñata. It's just weird.

OK, Whirlpool is kind of like an Aussie Reddit (as far as I understand Reddit). They are more tech centric than most, and the information given by users is of a fairly reliable standard.

With that in mind.

http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/auspc_nsw

That link has a guide to all the PC stores in Sydney, with ratings. Reduce your PC down to it's core components. Look at what you have. Look at what you have that is 'a good deal, and unique to your US build', then price the other bits you'd need to buy, once down here.

For example, you evaluate your current setup and your MOBO, GFX card and power supply are pretty sweet. The RAM, case, and (insert other PC bits I have no idea about here) are all fairly pedestrian, and could be swapped out either way. Visit one of the online stores linked, and check out their price list.

If the value of buying those new bits is less than the cost of an XB1, and you have the capacity to transport the other components in a static proof bag, to airline compliance, then just do that. You get a gaming PC in Aus, shipped without the bulk, and you still have your preferred gaming platform.

I think your best bet is to just assemble a new rig in town - all sorts of mischief can happen with sensitive electronics, even if you do your best to swaddle in anti-static bags and cushioning.

Still, as m0nk3yboy indicated earlier, be prepared for a bit of a price shock. If you do happen to go down the path of building a new machine, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the guys at ARC, I did work experience as a teenager there and they've built/supplied parts for about 5 gaming rigs for me. Or, you could try Capital Square in the Sydney CBD (there's an electronics district with about 10-20 suppliers under one roof).

It's fairly pedestrian with a nice graphics card (770 GTX) that can run anything I throw at it and a combination of liquid cooling, RAM and CPU that works great together. I've been really happy with it.

My biggest issue is all the sunk cost. I paid ~$1500 for it. It would be nice if I could somehow get it here more or less intact. Honestly if transporting a PC is that risky I would be inclined to either see if my friend's Alienware 13 (he's loaning it to me indefinitely) could handle the games I want or just get out of PC gaming altogether.

You can imagine how OCD moving to the other side of the planet is making me about all of this. Given that I was already this way. I wish I could confidently just take the PC on the plane packed in a special way (professionally?) and call it good.

DSGamer wrote:

It's fairly pedestrian with a nice graphics card (770 GTX) that can run anything I throw at it and a combination of liquid cooling, RAM and CPU that works great together. I've been really happy with it.

My biggest issue is all the sunk cost. I paid ~$1500 for it. It would be nice if I could somehow get it here more or less intact. Honestly if transporting a PC is that risky I would be inclined to either see if my friend's Alienware 13 (he's loaning it to me indefinitely) could handle the games I want or just get out of PC gaming altogether.

You can imagine how OCD moving to the other side of the planet is making me about all of this. Given that I was already this way. I wish I could confidently just take the PC on the plane packed in a special way (professionally?) and call it good.

Seriously, contact the airlines. They may have a 'ready made' solution for you. Custom box, special hold area... I'm sure you're not the first person who's wanted to travel a desktop.

The only 'international transport of a PC' story I know ended with the motherboard getting a hairline crack in it and the whole thing being cactus. That was many years ago though.

I think people here have the right ideas though, maybe disassembling the whole thing and shipping it sans case could work out, as could finding out what the airline's solution is.

Worst case scenario, it breaks completely or gets lost, and you have to live with a cheaper interim replacement until you can save for a sweet upgrade. That wouldn't be so bad, there's plenty of super gaming to be had without the shiniest of graphics. My 6 year old desktop (which admittedly was pretty hot when it was brand new, except a maybe mediocre graphics card) still runs a lot of stuff on medium or low.

Also +1 to Whirlpool, I would never think about it in the same breath as reddit, because wp has actual moderation (I may have never been to 'the nicer parts of reddit' and be judging it harshly). For videogames, I don't read it myself (ain't nobody got time for that) but Kotaku Australia is pretty good, mostly due to their editor-in-chief.

Oh, and while we're talking 'national anthems'... (NSFW)

TISM are effing phenomenal.

PSN you can just leave as whatever your current address is. Nothing will be affected.

Mermaidpirate, between your post and one in the Build a PC catch all I think I'm on the same page. I tried out an Xbox One controller today and I really really didn't like it. So I don't think it's a great solution for me to sell my PC to find an Xbox and hope that I like the One controller as much as I like the 360 controller.

I talked to someone about taking my current build and putting it into a smaller case and that hit around the price point of $300. The most I could get from the local store if I sold the computer outright is $300. So I do think the solution is to take the parts (which work great right now), box them up, and transport them separately. Now I just need to figure out where to find the proper static bags, padding, and the boxes to pack the components that I love.

Thanks for the recommendations on stores and the forum. I will hit those too. I just wanted to make a decision and proceed accordingly. Basically I wanted to sort out which platform I was buying a few key games on before I headed over. I'm comfortable building a PC once I'm there. Using my old parts or otherwise.

Sound choice DS.

Random question. Is the Alienware Graphics Amplifier available in Australia?

No idea to be honest, and not actually sure where to look on their site.

http://www.alienware.com.au/

Are those Alphas any good, relative to the rig you currently have?

m0nk3yboy wrote:

No idea to be honest, and not actually sure where to look on their site.

http://www.alienware.com.au/

Are those Alphas any good, relative to the rig you currently have?

Not sure. Today I get my hands on the laptop I'm borrowing / possibly buying down the road. It's an Alienware 13. My understanding is that at least that one is less powerful than my current PC. An external memory card might close the gap, but I think the laptop has a dual core i5, which seems to be the bigger problem.

A happy update. The laptop turned out to be an Alienware 15 with a quad core i7 and a 970mm (the 13 has a dual core i5 and a 960m). After fighting the correct order to install drivers (why is that still a thing?) I got a number of fairly intense games running flawlessly at the highest settings. With that I gave affirmative replies to a couple perspective buyers on Craigslist and purchased Fallout 4 with the credit I got selling my 360. So that's that.

Now I have more time to pack and less stuff to pack. I'm really excited to have that sorted.

Taken from the aforementioned whirlpool.net.au.

Should definitely replace hard drives if moving from northern to southern hemispheres, they spin in the opposite direction here due to the coriolis effect

Post of the year.

DSGamer wrote:

Taken from the aforementioned whirlpool.net.au.

Should definitely replace hard drives if moving from northern to southern hemispheres, they spin in the opposite direction here due to the coriolis effect

Post of the year.

And people think our sandy deserts are the driest part of the country...