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My 'New Computer Update'


Ashoka the Great

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Sorry to interrupt various war-related musings, but I thought I would provide an update on my computer.

Why should you care? An excellent question.

My current PC, an 8-year-old P4 2.66, is going through menopause. Seriously....it gets hot flashes. Even though the CPU fan is spinning nicely and is dust free, the CPU heats up which in turn causes the computer to do an auto-shutdown before components start cooking. This happens about five times a day, and whether or not the computer is running particularly taxing programs doesn't seem to matter.

One day it's going to shut off and stay that way, and if that should happen I won't be able to long into Cyber Nations.

That is why you should care. If I cannot log in to CN, then you will miss me. I'm certain of it. (Why do I feel a little bit like RV when I put it that way?)

Anyway, not too long ago I posted info about a barebones kit I intended to buy. I got a lot of valuable input. (Alterego, for example, talked me into moving up to an AM3 Socket in order to take advantage of DDR3 memory.)

So, let me tell you what I have thus far. It's not much, but it's a start.

- A generic case with a 500W power supply. (I visited this site, crunched the numbers and realized that I could actually get away with much less. Regardless, I'll probably get a better power supply in the near future.)

- An Asus M4A77T/USB3 motherboard. No onboard video, which is fine with me.

I installed the motherboard yesterday; the first time I had done this in several years. After I finished squinting and connecting all those damnable wires from the front of the chassis, I remembered why in the past I generally preferred to pay someone else to do it for me.

- I've also picked up an adapter that will allow me to grab data off of my old hard drives. Won't use that 'til later, of course, but it was on sale.

Before the end of the month I'll pick up:

- CPU - Right now I'm looking at an Athlon II 3.1 GHz. I honestly don't need more than that.

- RAM - 2GB of DDR3 1333. I'll pick up at least another 2GB once I've got everything put together, and will decide later on whether or not I'd like to add some more.

- Hard Drive - 500GB should do just fine. I currently have a 160GB hard drive and it has nearly 50GB of free space.

- CD/DVD RW - Probably something like an LG; a decent brand that will do what I need it to do.

- Video Card - It's here where people are likely to ask, "What are you thinking?" Well, I visited this handy page at Radeon's site and answered a whole bunch of questions. It said the best choice for me would be a Radeon HD 5570 card. A similar tool on nVidia's site suggested I get a GeForce GT 430. I've opted for the Radeon. (I still need a VGA connector, owing to my current monitor.)

- And finally.... - I'm going to pick up a copy of Win 7 64-bit, some cable ties and a couple of case fans.

Once I have all of this stuff I shall:

- Split my hard drive into two partitions, roughly 400GB/100GB

- Install Win 7 on the first, Ubuntu 10.04 on the second. The first will be primarily for gaming, the second will be used for surfing and word processing.

- Install/play some of the old games that have been sitting around gathering dust owing to my current PC's woes. I may even *gasp* install some new-ish ones.

- Pick up a new 27" LED Monitor and a UPS, along with wireless keyboard/mouse, speakers, headset, webcam and printer. (Yup....all wireless. I've grown tired of the 'octopus' that lives between my desk and the wall.)

- Oh, and get a new desk, too.

And now, for the really sad part.

I've had such a good time going out and pricing components that I've already figured out what my next build will be: a Phenom II Overclocked 6 Core with 16GB of RAM, the best Video Card I can afford, and two 3TB hard drives with RAID 1. (So really....3TB of total space.) Just for a bit of an added challenge, I'm going to put all of this in a Micro ATX box. (There are many MATX chassis out there that have enough room for ATX power supplies, and some -- like this one -- look rather interesting. I figure 1000W will do me just fine.)

Why do I want to go out and spend $2,000 on all the things I'll need for this second build? I dunno....I just wanna see how it runs, to be honest.

When I'm done with that, I'll give the PC I'm currently working on to my five-year-old. Or maybe my wife. Hmmm....I may ask them to share, if it will keep them from wanting to go near Daddy's new toy.

I'll probably start amassing the components for that immediately after I finish this build.

Alright....done musing. When I've actually finished I'll take a couple of pictures so folks can comment on what a pig's breakfast I've made of the wiring job.

You may now return to your arguments.

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Interesting, you chose the exact motherboard I have now.

For the power supply I'd suggest corsair.

For the case I'd suggest cooler master

For the CPU there is absolutely no reason to go lower than this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727 it's just too good a deal to pass up in power/$.

Also needless to say, you'll want to register every component on the manufacturer's website just in case you need to RMA it.

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For the CPU there is absolutely no reason to go lower than this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103727 it's just too good a deal to pass up in power/$.

When I can get a dual core -- which is all I really need -- for $100 less, that's reason enough for me. I'll get a blazing fast Phenom next time around.

There is a thing or two I bet you'd like about a mac pro. Biggest thing for me was internally there are no wires, just bays to replace all the components. :P

Unfortunately, it's still a Mac. Seriously, though, I get enough Mac propaganda from my father-in-law, who spent $1500 on an all-in-one a month ago and still can't get it connected to his printer.

Mac users, Scientologists and Ayn Rand enthusiasts have one thing in common. They're absolutely impervious to reason.

Your going to need a bit more ram if you plan on a 27 inch monitor and Win7 OS.

Also something that might be really helpful for you in the future

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,2569-6.html

Yep....more RAM is on the to-do list. 2GB is enough to get me going, though.

Also, after using the tools on the nVidia/Radeon sites, i checked this site to help me figure out what kind of value for money I'd be getting.

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Unfortunately, it's still a Mac. Seriously, though, I get enough Mac propaganda from my father-in-law, who spent $1500 on an all-in-one a month ago and still can't get it connected to his printer.

Mac users, Scientologists and Ayn Rand enthusiasts have one thing in common. They're absolutely impervious to reason.

Hey I'll admit I've drank the koolaid, but once you have a case with no wires, easily add up to 64gig of ram and 8tb hhd, you'll never go back :P

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When I can get a dual core -- which is all I really need -- for $100 less, that's reason enough for me. I'll get a blazing fast Phenom next time around.

Come on grandpa, if you're going to upgrade, you may as well go for the midrange. If you're going to blow money on a quality GPU like the one you listed, it would be a shame to have the CPU bottleneck it.

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