Recent visit to Microcenter - what it was like inside

Insula Gilliganis

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Not sure where to place this thread.. mods, please feel free to move this to a more appropriate location

Sorry that it took me a while to get these off my phone but after Christmas my son and I went to the Rockville, Maryland (northeast suburb of Washington DC) Microcenter. Not having been inside one since the human malware situation started, I was curious if the experienced had changed any from before. And since there are only 25 such stores in 16 states, there are probably more than a few of you who have never been inside one. So to help quench your curiosity on what it is like inside, I took a few random pictures. The pictures make it as if the store was fairly empty but it WAS crowded that day.. checkout look 15+ minutes with 3 lanes being used!! Take care everybody!!

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BlueLineSwinger

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Reminds me of Fry's glory days, before they gave up and became a withered husk for a few years then finally shutting down.

I wish the Santa Clara MC could have held on longer and not shut down. Central Computers in the Bay Area is nice and all, but just not the same.
 

vegeta535

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I only been to that one once. I normally go to the Parkville one since it a lot closer. They both very similar but the Rockville one seems more organized.
 

cpufrost

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I only been to that one once. I normally go to the Parkville one since it a lot closer. They both very similar but the Rockville one seems more organized.
My biggest gripe with them is removing the customer service counter for returns/exchanges and making you go to the main checkout aisle if you have to exchange something.
Aside from that, never really need to step foot inside Best Buy any more. Been going to Rockville store since 2009 and mostly the Towson store (because it's a lot closer to me) since they opened in 2012. Sometimes I have to swing down to Rockville when Towson is OOS. Traffic sucks, try to go in evening before closing unless on a weekend.

It's sad walking by the GPU cabinets and seeing them mostly empty. At one point last year they looked like the toilet paper aisles at the grocery stores! Still slim pickins for high end RTX cards but I've found a few 3090s over the past year by asking as oftentimes people don't pick up reservations and lose their placeholder. Pretty good selection of AMD GPUs but still $$$. Just before Christmas 2020 they had a few Red Devil 6900XTs for $999. I hesitated and lost out. :-|

DDR5 is finally becoming available too!
 

Jonnycat99

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Reminds me of Fry's glory days
We used to go to the Portland Fry's, man that place was freakin' huge like a warehouse with every kind of software and hardware you could imagine from floor to ceiling. Always busy, too.

I remember they kept the CPUs in the "cage" (a fenced off area), and you had to pay for it before you could have the guy working in the cage to hand it to you. We had a dodgy Soyo board from there once, but since they only took returns on defective mainboards, they wouldn't process it until it was tested. The test station? Yeah it was right after you enter the store and consisted of a guy sitting at a table with some PSUs and monitors - he would just plug it in right there to see if it booted. Good times.
 

Susquehannock

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I only been to that one once. I normally go to the Parkville one since it a lot closer. They both very similar but the Rockville one seems more organized.
My experience as well. Parkville store seems smaller than Rockville yet better organized.

Went to try a few gaming mouse in person before buying online. Then there was this.

microcenter.jpg
 

Mchart

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1050 baby, the plebs choice. Run some candy crush at 240p.
 

Zepher

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Reminds me of the glory days of compusa!
Was just going to say the same thing.

I think this was the last major purchase I made there before they closed,

Went there on Black Friday and it was packed, check-out line was nearly haflway around the store, probably would have been an hour or so to check out.
I asked if I could check out at the Business Counter since I had a business account with them and they said yes.
Was also able to get business pricing on all the items, and the biggest discount was the G15's that were $100 each and dropped to $61 (these weren't on sale either).
We were in and out of the store in 20 minutes.

g15-price.jpg


bf2-games1.jpg
 
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Andrew_Carr

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I hate shopping at retail stores but Microcenter is like the chick-fil-a of computer stores. I go there even when I know it's not good for me. The sales people (most of them) are actually knowledgeable and generally honest, although they try to push sales like anywhere else, at least I can walk in, see an open box rtx 2060 and 6600xt or something random and have an intelligent conversation about which is better for gaming or mining. Their open box deals have been pretty good to me as well.
 

viper_0307

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MicroCenter is my Stop and Shop for PC hardware, been to 3 of 4 stores in NY. Just went to the one in Brooklyn for an Intel AX200 wireless kit.

Back in the days, CompUSA and Circuit City, rebates galore.
 

whateverer

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One of my fist trips to the new Microcenter up im Parkville was to buy the wife a quick pc upgrade the old athlon x2 3800+ I had given her years back. I grabbed her the amazing G3258 plus MSI Z97 MATE

It was the best deal for a free processor with $100 motherboard purchase! After the wife convinced me that she was more comfortable wih a laptop I was able to repurpose the board when my 2500k suddenly died in 2017 - I found the last closeout 4790k for $289 back at Microcenter

I'm still using that MATE z97 + 4790k stock five years later, using the old 16GB DDR3 that I just didn't want to waste money on REPLACING during the last mining rush

I've used them ffor same-day hardware purchases using a Newegg price check (color laser, which they are usually too expensive).

if my two gaming systems survive until next year, then I will replace them with AM5 + ddr5 systems! But if I shoud have a sudden death, I'll replace both with a discount 5600g
 
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wra18th

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One of my fist trips to the new Microcenter up im Parkville was to buy the wife a quick pc upgrade the old athlon x2 3800+ I had given her years back. I grabbed her the amazing G3258 plus MSI Z97 MATE

It was the best deal for a free processor with $100 motherboard purchase! After the wife convinced me that she was more comfortable wih a laptop I was able to repurpose the board when my 2500k suddenly died in 2017 - I found the last closeout 4790k for $289 back at Microcenter

I'm still using that MATE z97 + 4790k stock five years later, using the old 16GB DDR3 that I just didn't want to waste money on REPLACING during the last mining rush

I've used them ffor same-day hardware purchases using a Newegg price check (color laser, which they are usually too expensive).

if my two gaming systems survive until next year, then I will replace them with AM5 + ddr5 systems! But if I shoud have a sudden death, I'll replace both with a discount 5600g
I have the exact same setup. I actually have a new and unused motherboard.
 

whateverer

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It was my first MSI board (and it won't be my last)

They have the same level of quality of Hardware Tweak applications as Asus. My only complaint about the hardware was a noisy onboard sound (haoppened on one of my cheaper Asus h77 boards as well)
 

CaffeineMan

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I will be making my first trip to Microcenter next week, my closest one is about 9 hours away.
Any recommendations before I go?
 

Andrew_Carr

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I will be making my first trip to Microcenter next week, my closest one is about 9 hours away.
Any recommendations before I go?
Check the clearance section they have for returned/open box motherboards. Sometimes they do other things as well, but you can get a lot off a motherboard if you buy those. Then combined with their $20 discount if you buy a CPU / motherboard combo and their low CPU prices and it's hard to beat. Right now they're selling 5600X CPUs for something crazy like $140, so you could conceivably walk out with a $50-80 motherboard plus that. They have something similar now for open box GPUs as well, but prices are still all over the price. They had a $940 3080TI and a $750 3080 but they also had a $1000 6700XT.
 

CaffeineMan

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Check the clearance section they have for returned/open box motherboards. Sometimes they do other things as well, but you can get a lot off a motherboard if you buy those. Then combined with their $20 discount if you buy a CPU / motherboard combo and their low CPU prices and it's hard to beat. Right now they're selling 5600X CPUs for something crazy like $140, so you could conceivably walk out with a $50-80 motherboard plus that. They have something similar now for open box GPUs as well, but prices are still all over the price. They had a $940 3080TI and a $750 3080 but they also had a $1000 6700XT.
Last time I was in a computer store (not best buy) they had a router with a serial port. This was before wireless was cheap enough for me, and we still used dial-up. I didn't work in tech yet. My house was wired for Ethernet for lan parties for the family. The router was stupid cheap for the time 30 bucks. I read what it could do, it seemed like I could use my serial modem and share the dial-up internet connection. It worked exactly as I thought it would and was super easy to set up, it was awesome. I will be sure to check the clearance isle. I am all video carded up right now.
Take only one credit card. You can become poor and in great debt really quick in a Microcenter. I know. I dropped over $8000 in one visit there.
I am bringing my wife so I am some sanity check. Already got a new to her computer sitting on my bench, and I just upgraded my PC. I got to be careful because I am just dipping my toe into Ubiquiti, looking into clusters, and my own changing out my home OMV NAS.
 

CaffeineMan

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If I could go to only one Microcenter in Chicago which one should I go to or are they going to be the same?
Westmont, Illinois Computer Store
OR
Chicago, Illinois Computer Store
 

Starfalcon

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If I could go to only one Microcenter in Chicago which one should I go to or are they going to be the same?
Westmont, Illinois Computer Store
OR
Chicago, Illinois Computer Store

Ive been to the westmont one and it was nice, never been to the one in chicago, so cant say if it is better.
 

uOpt

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The checkout lines are killing me. I repeatedly put stuff back on the shelves and left.
 

drutman

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The checkout lines are killing me. I repeatedly put stuff back on the shelves and left.
Odd experience, our checkout lines in Houston are fast and friendly.
 
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CaffeineMan

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The magical pc store...and some that can actually get there whine about a long line. 😒
With stop and go traffic trip took 8 hours, so we did not spend a lot of time there.

WOW, no one mentioned the "Radio Shack" area. Touched a few mechanical keyboards.

Didn't spend a bunch of money, new case LIAN LI LANCOOL 215 X for my wife, she picked it out. Got a 1tb NVME for her PC, for me I got some flash drives and SD cards and a tote bag. Also got the free keyboard/mouse promo they had.

I wanted to spend more time and money, but the timing was wrong. Still worth it.
 
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